Should I come out about my sexuality or identity?

Our sexuality or gender identity is a part of who we are. Knowing you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, asexual or other diverse identities (LGBTQIA+) means you understand a part of yourself – well done! Now you may face some decisions about coming out (telling someone else about your gender identity or sexuality). Let’s figure them out, step-by-step:

Step 1: Do I want to come out?

There is no wrong answer to this question. Coming out is your decision, and you have the right to tell (or not tell) anyone you like. Coming out feels like a relief for some people, and can bring them closer to their friends or family. But if someone is prejudiced (they have judgements about you) or doesn’t understand you, coming out could be hurtful or even put you in danger.

If you don’t want to come out, that’s fine. Do whatever feels right and safe for you.

If you want to come out, go to step 2.

Step 2: Who do I come out to?

If you want to come out to someone in your life, first think about…

·         Their attitudes toward people with your sexual orientation or gender identity

·         How they will probably react

·         Why you want to come out to them

·         If you are financially dependent on them, and what would happen if they rejected you

If you make the decision to come out to your family, get some tips in our article, “How do I get my family to accept my sexuality or identity?” Remember, always put your safety first – sometimes having a secret is OK if it keeps you safe.

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