In the context of LGBTI rights, coming out implies letting others know about your gender identity or sexual orientation. It is certainly not a once-in-a-lifetime event. The individuals belonging to the LGBTI community may need to come out several times during their lifetime.
While doing so, they may also face some new challenges. There is no defined way of letting people know about your sexual orientation or gender identity. You may be comfortable opening up to some people about this, but not to everyone.
No matter what your present situation is, it definitely takes courage to come out. You may want to tell others about this, but some questions would keep troubling your mind. Here, we’ll explore these questions and their appropriate answers:
1. Why should I come out?
This can be the very first question you encounter while thinking about coming out. You may still be slightly uncomfortable with the idea of telling someone about your gender identity or sexual orientation. At the same time you don’t like to be a liar and pretend to be someone you’re not.
In such a situation, you need to delve deeper within. The right question to ask yourself would be whether hiding would be more stressful than being open about it. It is okay to take your time and not be under pressure to come out.
Only then you’ll know when the time is right and you’re ready to go ahead with it. You may also feel the need to contact a support group for LGBTIs. There may be such support groups in your country. If not, then you’ll find plenty of help online.
2. What will be my family’s reaction?
When it comes to telling your family about this, any good day would be the right time for it. You don’t even need to worry in what way you’re going to open up about this to your family. There are some who like to tell their family about this face to face.
Some may like to write a letter or send an email to the most understanding member of the family. At first, the person in question might be shocked or find it difficult to accept it. After a while, he or she will be able to understand you better. This would lead to everyone in the family gradually accepting you the way you are.
3. How will my friends react?
Friends are valued the most by almost everyone in this world. So, it’s quite natural that you’d be anxious to tell them the truth. First, it is extremely important to choose someone who is the most supportive among your friends. It is always possible that even the best and supportive friend would be surprised to know this.
He or she may have many questions and may not be able to come to terms with it. Under such circumstances, you must be prepared to answer his or her questions. You must also keep your calm if he or she reacts badly. It just means that your friend needs some time to understand what you’ve told him or her.
4. How should I tell my colleagues?
You can only be efficient at work if you’re open and honest about who you are. It is necessary, therefore, that you open up to the most reliable friend at your workplace. He or she must be someone who is very trustworthy and supportive.
If the organization has an LGBTI support group for the staff, you can be a part of it. You can also get in touch with the HR department for clarifications with regards to policies of the organization. It is to know whether they offer protection to LGBTIs from direct or indirect discrimination, victimization, and harassment.