Coming out can be a scary time, and everybody’s experience of this is unique. There is no right or wrong way to do it- just remember to go at your own pace and that you are not alone.
Our groups here at RY offer a fun and safe space to meet other queer or trans* youth and to get advice and support as you figure out your sexual or gender identity. Check them out here on the groups page.
- Coming out is different for everyone.
- There is no right or wrong way to tell others who you are.
- You don’t owe it to anyone to come out – do it for yourself and when you’re ready.
- Experiencing fear and anxiety about telling others that you identify as queer or trans* is normal. Abuse and rejection are not.
- You deserve to be treated with respect.
Everyone’s coming out story is different.
You can check out a few here!
Knowing Who You Are:
- You may find that the popular “labels” don’t fit exactly how you feel about yourself – that’s okay!
- It may be helpful to use your own words to describe how you feel, rather than use a word you’re not comfortable with or one that can cause misunderstandings.
- Rather than trying to find a label, work out what makes you happy. That could change over time and that’s okay!
You’re Not Alone:
- Get support from others that you trust.
- There will always be someone who is willing to listen and help out. If you can’t think of anyone you know personally, take a look over at Curious for a regional guide of the queer and trans* groups in your area that can provide support for you. Or if you’re Auckland based, you can head over to our groups page to see which one suits you.
- If you feel as though you are isolated, or your safety and well being is compromised, there are services such as Youthline, Lifeline, OUTline and What’s Up which provide free over the phone counselling and advice.
- If you feel pressured to tell someone you don’t trust, take control and make a choice to wait or not tell them.
- Coming out doesn’t mean you have to change anything because other people expect you to. You are in charge of your appearance, behaviour and thoughts.
- When you decide to come out to someone, choose your time carefully. Think what may be happening in the other person’s life at that time that could compromise their ability to be supportive of you.
- If someone isn’t accepting right away, that doesn’t mean they never will be. Some people need time to process the information.
- You don’t just come out once. Often when we meet someone new, change a job or school, we find ourselves faced with the decision to come out. It feels daunting to be constantly facing this challenge, but it gets easier as time goes on and you gain a better understanding of how to handle people’s reactions.
- There are some amazing things to be gained from ‘being out’. This includes boosting your confidence, gaining a sense of freedom, earning respect from others, deepening personal relationships and fulfillments of self-expression.