Coming Out

Things to Consider

  • There is a difference between Coming Out to yourself and coming out to others.

  • This is a life long process and is not described by a single event; it is a process not an event.

  • The process involves many steps forward and many steps backward, but always more steps forward than back.

  • Each person you tell can be a potential increase in the loss of control over this information.

  • People, because of prejudice, may abandon you.

  • There is not a normal time in which you should Come Out.

  • This is a personal issue first and a political issue second, if at all.

  • You will be strengthening yourself!

 

Tips

1.  Schedule the time to Come Out.  Avoid sharing this information spontaneously in conversation; plan your time and location.

 

2.  Come Out first to those individuals who you feel will be the most supportive.

 

3.  Consider the best time for yourself and the other person.

 

4.  Emphasize that you are the same person you were yesterday and that you have not become a different person now that you have shared about yourself.

 

5.  Give the other person time to adjust.  It took you how many years?  Allow the other person reasonable time to process (could be days, weeks, months, years).

 

6.  Have someone lined up for debriefing with you.

 

7.  Don’t give up hope with an initially negative reaction to your sharing.

 

8.  Be careful not to let your self-esteem become reliant on positive outcomes of Coming Out.

 

9.  Do not Come Out to punish others or when you are feeling very emotional.

 

10.  Recommend readings to the person to whom you Come Out.

 

11.  Read!  There are many good titles on Coming Out.  Don’t re-invent the wheel, much of this work has already been done.

This information is posted with the permission of its author: Barry A. Schreier, Ph.D.