New Years Resolution: Coming Out! HELP!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 25, 2010 10:17 AM GMT
    I'm a 19 yo college student who is still in the closet and I've had somewhat of a realization of how sick I am of being in the closet! I have been lying to my friends and family for far too long and now that i'm in college i realize that my new friendships that i have created have been not completely truthful. icon_redface.gif
    I hate when people lie to me and I don't want to lie to anyone else.
    So here's my plan:
    I want to be out before the end of this Spring 2010 semester to my direct family and closest friends at the very least.
    I was wondering if anyone had suggestions on how i should do it?
    also if anyone has suggestions on books and literature for my parents and family and friends to read about dealing with this change. I want to be as prepared as possible because the more prepared i am the more confidence i'll have! icon_biggrin.gif
    Help me out guys!
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    Jan 25, 2010 12:46 PM GMT
    time4truth saidI'm a 19 yo college student who is still in the closet and I've had somewhat of a realization of how sick I am of being in the closet! I have been lying to my friends and family for far too long and now that i'm in college i realize that my new friendships that i have created have been not completely truthful. icon_redface.gif
    I hate when people lie to me and I don't want to lie to anyone else.
    So here's my plan:
    I want to be out before the end of this Spring 2010 semester to my direct family and closest friends at the very least.
    I was wondering if anyone had suggestions on how i should do it?
    also if anyone has suggestions on books and literature for my parents and family and friends to read about dealing with this change. I want to be as prepared as possible because the more prepared i am the more confidence i'll have! icon_biggrin.gif
    Help me out guys!


    Hey, I'm glad to hear you've gotten to the point where you're realising that being in the closet is more trouble than its worth! As to how you should do it, just keep in mind that no one is going to outright have the best answer for you, because no one knows your family and friends the way you do, so take some points/ideas you like, leaving others, and don't feel that you have to do it in any particular way, as long as you get the message across right icon_smile.gif

    General points:
    Never come out in the middle of an argument/use your sexuality as a weapon, you want as good an environment as possible.

    If possible, avoid doing it when people are in a rush/have something pressing to do, you want to make sure there is time for them to ask questions if they feel they want to.

    Following from above, be prepared to answer questions if they arise, perhaps think of some questions that might come up, and how you would respond to them (REALLY common one I've found is 'how long have you known'). Also remember that you have had quite some time to get used to your sexuality, so don't get frustrated/angry if they ask some questions which to you sound quite ignorant, but try to help them to understand where you're coming from. Remind them that you are the exact same person now as you were 5 minutes ago, they just know more about you.

    In the order in which you tell people, consider that once its out to some people, the knowledge may spread faster than you would have thought.

    If you think there is a real possibility it may not go well at all, have something reasonably certain that you can fall back on, whether thats money, friends, relatives.

    As to your question about stuff your friends and family can read if they want, PFLAG last time I checked had a pamphlet on their website that you may want to print of and leave for them to read if they dont feel comfortable talking to you about it right away or if they want more information. Make sure you read it too just to get an idea of what it says. There is also more than likely PFLAG groups in your area they could visit to talk to others/phone numbers they could call.

    As to suggestions on the actual HOW, maybe I'll just tell you how I did it and you can take from it what you will. I came out to a friend first, he himself had told me he was bi (at the time) so I thought it was pretty safe. With the exclusion of two people, I told my closer friends about it over messenger, it felt easier that way, an its liberating to just force yourself to hit the enter button and then have no control over it. I phrased it as "would it surprise you to learn that I am gay," i think in most cases it got them to think about it and really the signs were there (I came out 2008, and had never shown the slightest interest in a girl). They took it well, don't let anyone bag out using a written medium to tell people if thats what works for you, but be aware of the pitfalls (i.e. not knowing if the person received it/read it).

    All my immediate family I told face to face, asked to talk to them for a second (wasn't at the same time) told them I wanted them to know, but up until now I hadn't been ready to say it etc. I made the mistake of telling mum that I 'thought' I was gay, which, if you are pretty sure that you are, i would definately avoid, she held onto that uncertainty for months. Practicing what you are going to say infront of a mirror can help, and psych you up, cause once you get there it can be pretty nervewracking.

    Anyways, after I had told everyone I immediately wanted to know, either in person or by messages, I changed the status on facebook to interested in:men for anyone who really wanted to know, and at that point the big part of it was really done.

    But yea, sorry for the long response, best of luck, and remember, do what is right for you, not what others think is right.

    Josh
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    Jan 25, 2010 12:54 PM GMT
    Talking to gay friends about coming out was extremely helpful to me. I don't think, in all honesty, I could have come out at all if not for their help. Get a support network around you.

    I got my mother a copy of a book entitled Now That You Know. My mother said it was very helpful to her and she got a lot out of it. In fact, it might not hurt to peruse a copy yourself.

    Good luck... I'm rooting for you.

  • SCgradStud

    Posts: 88

    Jan 25, 2010 12:54 PM GMT
    Coming out is something no one is ever really prepared for. And for the most part everyone I know can't believe they didn't do it sooner. In my opinion telling someone how to come out isn't possible. Everyone has different family dynamics that no one else can fully understand and their reaction can be from one extreme (like already having your bags packed for "rehabilitation camp" to the other (joining the PRIDE committee). Sorry for the bad examples :-D

    More than likely your parents already know and if not then they will figure out the best way for them to cope whether it's reading books or asking the family priest what to do about it. When I came out to my mom I tried to prepare them by taping the coming out episode of Ellen (showing my age now..lol). When the moment came and it was now or never I looked at my mom, everything went black, and I heard me ask my mom if she could ever stop loving me. Then I proceeded to tell her that "I think I might be 65% gay." Why 65% I have no clue but I thought it wouldn't be so bad for her if I wasn't totally gay.

    To make a long story short she said that we should keep it to ourselves, then within a week had told hers and my dads siblings. So I volunteered to go on this local television show that came on Sunday mornings called Time Out for Teens. They were doing this particular show on gay teens.

    Oh and my mom also decided to tell my dad on their way to go see the movie In and Out. HAHAHA!! But to give you some idea of the bizarre types of responses to expect here is what my family said:

    Mom: "Don't tell anybody."
    Dad: "Tell people you think you're gay. And maybe date a few more girls."
    Brother: "I don't care, I just don't want to hear about it."
    Sister (2 months pregnant at time): I know it doesn't mean you will love my baby any less." (for the life of me I don't know why the hell she thought being gay would affect my ability to love).

    Oh and don't expect immediate acceptance. It took my mom two years to finally come to me and say that she doesn't completely understand, but that she is trying and no matter what will always accept me. This was a year after she told me she wanted me to go talk to my aunt and uncle (Baptist ministers) so they can talk to me, pray over me, and help me). I told her I didn't think so.

    Hope this helps the process. But any advice you may decide to take isn't going to turn out the way you might expect. Good luck on your new adventure!!! See ya at Pride this summer! icon_razz.gif
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    Jan 25, 2010 1:33 PM GMT
    icon_eek.gif
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    Jan 25, 2010 1:35 PM GMT
    http://gaylife.about.com/od/comingout/ss/comingout.htm

    http://community.pflag.org/Page.aspx?pid=268
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    Jan 25, 2010 1:36 PM GMT
    have a "gay-mitzvah" icon_lol.gif
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    Jan 25, 2010 1:53 PM GMT
    SAHEM62896 saidTalking to gay friends about coming out was extremely helpful to me. I don't think, in all honesty, I could have come out at all if not for their help. Get a support network around you.


    I agree with this. I came out to the first person at the urgings of several people online (some from here on RJ). Having gay friends (even just online) who are already out can help. You can go to them for support if a coming out goes bad, or you can simply laugh over it and exchange experiences.

    I also actually first came out online, to my teammates in our game dev group (most of them straight, although we have 2 gay coders as well), and they were really very supportive.

    In real life, I am still working on my closest friends though. Only 2 people so far (damn, they all live so far away nowadays, and I want it to be personal, so it's a bit harder to do), so I'm not exactly the expert. But it's all good. icon_smile.gif I find out these days that the prospect of my parents finding out I'm gay by accident doesn't scare me anymore. I used to think that if that would happen, I would have a total breakdown. Now it's just *shrug*. In fact, I kinda want them to confront me LOL. But nah, much better if I talked to them about it first. Not gonna do that though until I'm fully out of this country and financially independent. There are some things I just can't risk yet.

    The first coming out is the hardest to do, and the most rewarding. Make sure you do it to someone who you think will be most accepting.

    They can actually help you in coming out further by being just there if ever something bad happens. Plus the feeling of finally saying the words 'I'm gay.' to someone else is indescribable. icon_smile.gif So you'll have something to look forward to. It's like something really heavy being finally lifted from your shoulders.

    Be prepared for a thorough grilling though (questions like, 'How long have you known', 'So you were just faking it with -insertnamehere-', 'Have you ever had a crush on me?', 'Does this mean you want to be a woman now?').

    Oh. And in case of bad reactions, just don't do anything rash. If they can't accept it, they'll eventually drift off anyway (in case of friends). As for family, they'll have to come around someday anyway. Having prepared yourself with a group of people there to support you will then be quite useful for ranting about it.
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    Feb 21, 2010 10:19 AM GMT
    Just an update...i came out to a gay friend of mine and it was a great relief!
    my plans are to come out to my best college friends right before we leave for Spring Break. and my family following that when i make it home from school!
    icon_biggrin.gif
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    Mar 21, 2010 9:54 AM GMT
    UPDATE!!!!:
    I have come out to my 4 closest friends at college!
    and my mom and sister!
    i had planned on coming out to my dad as well but things just didn't
    feel right so i'm postponing that one till my next visit home in a couple weeks!
    i love this feeling! icon_smile.gificon_smile.gificon_smile.gif
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    Mar 21, 2010 11:32 AM GMT
    time4truth saidUPDATE!!!!:
    I have come out to my 4 closest friends at college!
    and my mom and sister!
    i had planned on coming out to my dad as well but things just didn't
    feel right so i'm postponing that one till my next visit home in a couple weeks!
    i love this feeling! icon_smile.gificon_smile.gificon_smile.gif



    Congrat's man. You should be so proud of yourself. The coming out process for me was emotionally draining. Come out to whoever you want, when your ready.

    So, how did it go? What was there reaction? I hope a positive one.
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    Mar 21, 2010 12:49 PM GMT
    time4truth saidUPDATE!!!!:
    I have come out to my 4 closest friends at college!
    and my mom and sister!
    i had planned on coming out to my dad as well but things just didn't
    feel right so i'm postponing that one till my next visit home in a couple weeks!
    i love this feeling! icon_smile.gificon_smile.gificon_smile.gif

    Personally, I've always found the "I eat dick, ask me how!" shirts really relieve you of ANY need to ever talk about your sexuality ;)

    Awesome that things are going so well for you duder.
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    Mar 21, 2010 1:25 PM GMT
    time4truth saidUPDATE!!!!:
    I have come out to my 4 closest friends at college!
    and my mom and sister!
    i had planned on coming out to my dad as well but things just didn't
    feel right so i'm postponing that one till my next visit home in a couple weeks!
    i love this feeling! icon_smile.gificon_smile.gificon_smile.gif


    Aww good for you!
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    Mar 21, 2010 1:38 PM GMT
    Previous posters wrote some great ideas, so no need for major rehash:

    1. For you, find a Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) or check out www.glsen.org (Gay, Lesbian Straight Education Network) It'll be a good way to meet other gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, questioning and queer folks around your age. There's probably something at Colorado State (my old school!) if you go there (and it's actually where I started coming out.) icon_smile.gif

    2. PFLAG is definitely a great resource for parents and family. Your family and friends can go and meet with other parents whose kids have come out, and talk through the mixed emotions.

    Great job! Be careful, ALWAYS follow safer-sex practices (you're too young to get STD's, and crabs ain't cute)
  • gumbi69

    Posts: 20

    Mar 21, 2010 1:40 PM GMT
    hey kid good luck with this, it is probably the hardest thing to do.
    I told my sister first and that went well so i continued. i hit some big hurdles so i stopped telling people. I decided I was not going to hide being gay, but iwasn't going to tell anyone else. no one ever told me they were straight. i came out before u were born and it was much much different then. so for me this was the way. The one thing u have to remember is this. U must live wtih yourself and honesty has never built up anxiety the why lies can. be honest but u don't have to broadcast it either. they might already know anyway. keep in touch.
    john
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    Mar 21, 2010 2:17 PM GMT

    Congratulations - both on taking the plunge with your friends and with your mom and your sister, and on following your instinct about holding off on telling your dad. Coming out is a process that is best undertaken at a pace that feels right to you - not necessarily completely comfortable - but generally right.

    Knowing that you can be more open with people who matter to you will hopefully make it easier for you to feel at ease with who you are. Best of luck.