Coming out of the closet is arguably one of the most difficult and important things in a queer person’s life. Whether it be navigating family beliefs or doubting your friends, the stress of coming out has been proven to be challenging. So I'm here to give you five pieces of advice in the process of coming out.
Number 1: Confirm you are not straight with yourself. By doing so, you give yourself and your sexuality validation. By admitting you're not straight, you can begin the process of finding out what you do like. Personally, I came out as bisexual before coming out as homosexual. By doing so, I was able to gauge the reactions of my friends and family.
Number 2: Don't rush to label yourself. This aspect of coming out can be terrifying if you're still navigating your sexuality, especially if your culture detests non-heterosexuality. By coming out as non-heterosexual or queer, you can be free without the worries of having to fit into a certain category.
Number 3: True friends don't care. If someone loves and cares for you, they will not turn their back on you. If they do, they are not a true friend. People who honestly and truly care about you won't bat an eye at you coming out, but will welcome you to a life of freedom. I lost a few friends after coming out, but I’ve gained so many more by sticking true to myself.
Number 4: Take your time. I highly suggest waiting before coming out to large groups of people. Instead, try coming out to one person at a time. It helps you gain and maintain the flow of understanding how to interpret and deal with a variety of opinions.
Finally: Recognize you are making a great choice. It may not seem like it—especially if you were like me, who use to cry himself to bed praying to be straight or spewing internalized homophobia—but I can promise that you will be happy someday. Happier than you would have been allowing yourself to hide your true self from society. You will be the butterfly breaking out of its cocoon and entering the world as a beautiful and majestic figure. Do not doubt yourself. Do not doubt your sexuality and do not doubt your life.
XOXO Gossip Gi—I mean, Kenneth.