So you’ve made the decision to come out and now face one of the greatest challenges in your life that is sharing the news with the people you love most. This step is brave and demanding indeed, and it takes a good deal of preparations to be ready for all the possible reactions. Now, we’ve put together a brief guide on how to come out of the closet and go through it with less stress and more gratification.
4 Things You Need to Know Before Coming Out
Homosexuality doesn’t label you in any way
In the society which still thinks in categories, defining your sexuality means putting a sort of a stamp – or even a stigma – on your personality. The truth is, being homosexual doesn’t affect your individuality in any way, and it’s an important fact to remind people of who will immediately start to trace down any stereotypical sign of being gay in your speech, clothing and behavior. Be yourself and don’t try to play according to the rules you didn’t set, and soon they’ll see that your sexual choice is a distinct part of your life but not at all an overpowering one.
Get ready for the unexpected
It’s not necessary that you should get ready to defend yourself or justify your personal choice before some sort of a public jury. Still, you can’t predict everyone’s behavior, and it’s better to be prepared for the most unexpected reactions beforehand. Generally speaking, the lesson on how to come out of the closet is an effective test of your friends and relatives. Use it wisely as a filter of the people that surround you, and stay with those who appreciate and love you regardless of your sexual orientation.
Don’t wait for a big change
If you place too many expectations on your coming out, you can be easily disappointed with a lack of hype or resonance that you’ve been anticipating. If only you are not a public figure and a role model of the generation, the event is likely to be ignored by the majority of people around you, although they will be pleased to have something to gossip about. But in most of the cases, the first shock (if any) will be soon replaced with a sense of acceptance, and it’s likely that you will go on with your life without many changes to your everyday routine.
Coming out is a never-ending story
People come and go, and each time you will have to let new characters in your life, as if coming out over and over again for every new person at a time. It may sound like an exhausting task, but be ready to accept this and figure out the most effective and smooth techniques for doing this. After a while, you will grow into this and each new coming out “session” won’t be as daunting as the first one. Also, as your social circle will include more and more people over the years, the word of mouth will spread, so that most of your new acquaintances will be familiar with the fact prior to meeting you.
7 Tips on How to Come out of the Closet with Less Fuss
Choose your first confidante
It’s a common recommendation to choose your closest friends first, and only then go for confessing to your parents. Of course, if parents are your best friends, it’s acceptable to start with them. In other cases, it’s always good to make a “dress rehearsal” in front of the people who, you think, understand you best.
Timing is key
When considering different options of when and how to come out of the closet, choosing the right time is a priority. It’s better to come out when you first have a boyfriend (or girlfriend), or are generally happy with your sexual life, oozing confidence in your decision. Other important factors to consider include your friends’ and parents’ moods and circumstances – choose the time when they are more likely to respond adequately.
Rehearse your arguments
Consider this to be your ‘theatrical debut’ and rehearse your speech thoroughly to address all the possible arguments that they may have, including those on the matters of health, personal safety, public scorn or even religion.
There’s no point in making them guess while you’re mumbling something to yourself. Once you decide to come out, do it upfront with no euphemisms and without attempting to avoid the obvious.
Don’t lose your temper
Whatever you hear back after your confession, don’t panic, or get angry, or try to fight. Instead, come up with moderate, reasonable answers that come from your mature individuality and common sense. This will help to avoid the pitfalls of heated arguments.
Calm them down
At this stage, you should prove that nothing really changed, and you are still yourself with just a little exception. Make them understand that you carry on living just like you did before, if only more happily. Your state of mind should really accelerate their acceptance and make everything much easier for you all.
Let them take their time
Don’t push them to accept this new fact immediately. If you see that they are not yet ready to make peace with your homosexuality, give them some cooling off period and you’ll see that they will likely come back to you themselves when it’s time. Remember that there is no rush, but by being impatient and trying to accelerate things, you can ruin their first impression and make your coming out experience more complicated.