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!
- Schedule the time to Come Out. Avoid sharing this information spontaneously in conversation; plan your time and location.
- Come Out first to those individuals who you feel will be the most supportive.
- Consider the best time for yourself and the other person.
- 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.
- 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).
- Have someone lined up for debriefing with you.
- Don’t give up hope with an initially negative reaction to your sharing.
- Be careful not to let your self-esteem become reliant on positive outcomes of Coming Out.
- Do not Come Out to punish others or when you are feeling very emotional.
- Recommend readings to the person to whom you Come Out.
- 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.