Coming Out – General Tips

  1. Be patient with yourself. It’s not necessary to tell everyone at once. Take your time.
  2. Don’t push yourself.
  3. Start small. It can be easier to start by telling friends than by telling family. Find allies in your family. If you think a brother or sister or cousin will be easier to tell, start there.
  4. Develop a support network of friends who are accepting and supportive.
  5. Be positive. When you come out to someone, you set the tone.
  6. Find resources or get a mentor to talk to.
  7. Don’t come out in anger or retaliation.
  8. Be patient with others. Some people take longer to digest the information than others.
  9. Realize that they may need some time to adjust.
  10. Be firm. Identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) or whatever word you use, if you’re sure.
  11. Assess the situation. If you’re unsure of your own sexual orientation or gender identity, find someone who can help support you during this time. Be aware that different people will have very different responses. Finding someone who will support you and also allow you to discover your own identity will be very helpful.
  12. Ask LGBT friends to share their coming out stories.
  13. Refer parents and friends to PFLAG or other resources that might help.
  14. Be prepared for different types of reactions.

Feel free to download the Tips for Coming Out Information Handout or The Human Rights Campaign’s A Resource Guide to Coming Out.