What does coming out mean?
The term ‘coming out’ is short for “coming out of the closet.” It is used to describe LGBTQ folks telling other people about their gender or sexual identity.
By coming out, they may feel freer to express their sexual or gender identity in their daily lives and their relationships with others.
Should I come out?
- Coming out is your decision and may depend on what feels safe and right for you, your relationships with your friends and family, and how confident you feel about your identity.
- You should never feel pressured to come out to anyone in your life, even if you are in a relationship with another individual of the same sex.
- Coming out is not all-or-nothing – you may choose to come out to some people in your life and not to others
Why might I consider coming out?
There are many reasons to come out. Here are just a few:
- It may feel important to you to be open about your sexual or gender identity.
- You may want to be with people who accept you for who you are.
- You may want your communities, friends, and family to accept a potentially important part of your identity.
- You may want to make a political statement in support of the LGBTQ community.
Why might I consider not coming out?
There are also many reasons to not come out. Here are just a few:
- You may feel like your sexual or gender identity is private and not something you want to share with everyone or with certain people.
- You may feel it is not the right time.
- You may fear that your friends or members of your family will reject you.
- You may fear that you will be bullied or experience homophobia, biphobia, or transphobia at school or work.
- You may fear that you will lose your job.