What not to do when coming outSo there’s a bit of pressure on someone when they decide to tell the people around them that they love the ladies, but it’s all stress and sometimes you don’t know what’s right and wrong with the whole process.

But fear not, here’s a checklist of the things you SHOULDN’T do when coming out.

Apologize.

One thing that I did when coming out was apologize profusely. I said that I was sorry for disappointing them. I said sorry that I like women. I said sorry I have a girlfriend. But the thing is, being gay is not something to be sorry about. You are who you are and is not you that should be sorry. If anyone is to be sorry, it’s someone you tell that is upset with the news. They’re the one with the problem and they should be sorry for not being accepting of who you are. Be proud of who you are and don’t apologize.

Pick a label.

When I first started to come out, someone asked me “So… Are you gay? Or bi? Or…..????” And I didn’t have an answer. I didn’t have an answer because 1, I was still coming to terms with who I was and 2, I didn’t feel like I should be labeled. Sexuality is very fluid and many people go through life changing their definition of their sexuality many times. .. and there’s nothing wrong with that! Don’t feel pressured to determine everything you are down to one label. If you’re gay, fine, say you’re gay. The same goes for if you’re bisexual. But if you don’t even really know and just want to give people a heads up that you might be dating women, just say that you’re attracted to women and leave it at that. Don’t feel the need to determine your exact label if you don’t want to.

Stress out.

It’s hard, but don’t stress. Telling people you’re gay or bi or whatever is just a conversation that you’re having to tell people s little bit more about yourself that they may not have known about you before. Sounds a bit better, right? When you’re young and working out who you are, for sure it seems like the most stressful thing in the world, especially if you rely on parents for accommodation and food and support. In this situation, find support with friends or a local gay youth support group. This way, even if the worst possible outcome  eventuates from coming out, you still have a network of support.

Give in to stereotypes.

I’ve seen so many women come out and then instantly shave their heads, wear cargo shorts and pierce everything possible. Some stayed that way and it was who they were. .. others were actually more comfortable being feminine but thought they needed to change who they looked like in order to fit in. Come on now, ladies. Aren’t we beyond that? If you want to be gay and have long hair, do it. If you want to be bi and wear men’s clothing, do it. Just be you. Don’t feel like you have to change something just because you’ve come out. Be who you are, not who you think you have to be.
It’s really hard to come out, but some people are lucky enough to know before they tell those who are close to them that everything will be alright no matter what. Some people are unsure if how people will take the news. At the end of the day, do what is right for you and your situation and know that things always get better.