Coming Out Advice

Last week when I shared my coming out story  I said I was going to be sharing some tips today. But before I do, I just want to say something. If you're not ready to come out, don't come out. If you need some time to figure things out on your own, do that. You don't owe it to anyone to tell them what you're thinking and feeling all of the time. This is a private thing, and you definitely should not come out until you're absolutely ready. Don't let your significant other pressure you, or make you feel like you should come out. Don't think that you have to tell them before a certain time or someone else will tell them. (Which is pretty accurate. It's very possible that other people could find out and tell your parents.) But, in the end, you need to do this on your own time, at your own pace, and when you feel comfortable coming out.

Okay, so you think that you're ready, or you might be soon. Here are some tips or things to remember:

Timing// I touched on this in the paragraph above, but timing is everything. You should think about when not only you're ready, but to tell your family and friends at the right time is key too. Don't tell them in the middle of a fight. Don't tell them when they're in a bad mood. Don't tell them first thing in the morning (because if they're trying to process the whole thing, you don't want to have to be up in their face all day). Sit them down, and tell them. Or if you're family is cool and you know they're going to accept you no problem, send them the gay song. In the end, this is about you, so do what makes you feel comfortable.

During// When I was coming out, I didn't say the words "I'm gay" because I had an advantage, I was already dating someone. I was literally terrified to say the word "gay". So I didn't. I said "I'm dating someone" and when my parents asked who I said "Kayla" and that was it. I mean, they asked me like a million questions afterwards but I didn't actually have to say gay. And at the time, I was relieved about that. Now, I have no problem saying I'm gay. If you're dating someone and you don't want to exactly tell your parents you're gay, you can try that. It's all up to you. You choose how you want this to go.

Afterwards// In my parents case, when I told them, they hugged me and told me they still loved me and always were going to love me. But, after that night, they showed signs of not supporting me. They made it clear that Kayla and I were not to hold hands in public, they even grounded me after a friend told them we were. They made it awkward every time I mentioned Kayla. They didn't want Kayla and I to talk as much as we did, so they would take my phone every time I texted during school or after 10 PM. And when I still did it after that, they made it 9PM.

Your parents might say they love and support you at the time of you coming out, but still show signs of them not. And thats normal. They had preconceived thoughts of who you were going to be, who you were going to marry, and that you were going to have kids and they were going to be grandkids. Give THEM time. They will come around. They will. I promise. It took my parents almost (and a little bit over) two years to really open up to the fact that, you know, this might just not be a phase. Kayla and I's three years is in November, and I think they get the idea that we really really do love each other. They always talk about Kayla and ask about her, and invite her over when she's in town. Give them time. I know you want the utmost support right away (and I definitely agree you should, it's a hard time, but it's not always offered. And if your parents at first don't support you, give them a chance later on to get used to the idea and support you. They're your parents and they're going to love you.

Who should you tell?// I told my closest like 5 friends, and my immediate family. And that was it. The rest of the school/town found out through the people I told and seeing Kayla and I together. It wasn't that I didn't want to come out to everyone else, I just didn't care to. I didn't care if Billy Bob Joe in my second block knew, or if my aunt, uncle, or cousins knew. It's not their business, and I'm not close with them at all. But, in turn, Kayla told her extended family, BUT she's super close with them, and spends a ton of time with them. So it really depends on who you're close to, and who you want to know. If you have a super conservative Uncle who you think might give you a hard time, don't tell them until you have more of a confidence of who you are. Now, that I've been out for almost three years now, if I just meet someone, they know within seconds that I'm gay. I'm super confident about it, and if you don't like me, your loss buddy. And if you're not like that at first, that's okay, because I wasn't either.

I believe in you. Eventually, you are going to have to come out, you're going to have to tell people you're gay. If you get it over with, it's done. And you have more time to deal with everything after that. I wish you all the best. If you need any more advice, specific advice, some help with what to say, or anything, email me at allygagliardo@gmail.com. I'm ALWAYS here to help.

If you're out, what is your advice?

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