Coming out: how to take control

When you ask someone about their most nerve-wracking moment in life, you will receive a mixed response. Meeting your partner’s parents for the first time, going for your driver’s licence, asking a girl or guy out on a date, and so on.

But if you have ever had to tell your family that you’re coming out of the closet? Well, we think you’ll agree, that’s a whole other story. The most important thing to know about coming out is that things can go really well or really sour – but standing your ground and protecting yourself is super important.

If you’re ready to do this, read further.

You don’t have to label yourself

If you’re still unsure about whether or not you would identify as lesbian, bisexual, queer or gay, don’t feel pressured to choose a label. The more comfortable you are within yourself, in time, such a decision will no doubt become easier.

Give them time

All your family need is time. If they don’t say anything at the time or seem shocked, this doesn’t mean that they disapprove. It could just mean that they were caught off guard and need some time to digest the news. But be ready to answer any pressing questions they may have.

Tell at least one person

It’s good to just confide in one special person before you tell more people – like your immediate family. If you have a best friend or sibling you can trust, tell them first. You can count this as your practice run. At the end of the day, you need someone to talk to, and talking about your sexuality regularly to someone close to you will help you feel much more at ease when you eventually tell everyone else.

Look on the bright side

You may feel scared and anxious, but just remember how relieved you’ll feel after keeping your sexual preference to yourself for such a long time. This may be one of the most amazing feelings ever. You are standing up for yourself and if you have butterflies …  well, that’s a good thing! Butterflies are associated with love and happiness!

Now it’s time to live your life!

All those months - if not years – of keeping your real identity a secret are finally over! Rejoice and bask in this liberating feeling. You are finally free. And even if you were not quite prepared for the reactions, remember that you did the right thing. You are finally being true to yourself and serious about what you want in life. Now it’s up to you to start living the life you want and be happy.

And when you do meet that significant other, whether at a club, school, work, or a special occasion, make sure you have fresh breath. You just never know when that kiss will come.

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