You are finally ready or ready to come out and you have made an important decision (even capital one): your friends will be the first to know! Perhaps even before your family: prejudices, financial dependence or simply lack of confidence in them, etc. First, you want to reveal yourself to your friendly circle: you are going to have to prepare for this important stage in your life [link to level 1: Announcing your homosexuality]. Coming out of the closet, a step? Yes, although this is not the first. Before that, you must have faced yourself, sometimes doing a long job of introspection and acceptance. Maybe the evidence of your homosexuality, bisexuality, or transidentity has made your acceptance of yourself fluid and easy, and so much the better!
Follow the 5 steps to come out to friends and finally open up to your friends with authenticity.
Step 1: accept the fear of coming out to your friends
Have you been pushing back the moment for a few weeks despite the urge that itches? The diagnosis is clear: You are nervous about coming out to your friends.
First thing: worry is normal.
You will confront who you really are, deep inside you, and the image that those around you have built. The difference between the 2 can make it more or less difficult for your loved ones to receive your exit from the closet.
Keep in mind these few things:
- To apprehend this moment is normal,
- You have the right to be who you are,
- If you lose relationships that don't accept your identity, it's not your fault.
- Welcoming the news can be disturbing for some of your friends,
- Whatever the situation, physical, verbal or psychological abuse is not acceptable.
It is only by living this moment that you can leave behind this worry, this little anxiety that tells you to go back and hide, not to change anything, to take it upon yourself. Your fears will most certainly fly away from the first words out to openly assume, hence the importance of choosing the right ones!
Like an actor who comes on stage with a lump in his stomach, a dry throat and tension in his body, you will see that the stage fright goes away from the first words spoken.
Step 2: decide who you're going to reveal yourself to first
If you're ready to reveal your same-sex attraction or gender identity to some of your friends, take the time to choose who you'll experience that first statement with.
If you're not yet ready to say "I'm gay" or "I'm transgender" out loud, take your time! For example, you can consult testimonials to project yourself in this moment that you still dread [link to the testimonials page], get closer to the LGBT center near you or a gay association, send us a message ...
First, discuss LGBTQI + issues with your friends and family. During mundane conversations around series or current events, for example, you can listen to their opinions on topics related to sexual orientation, gender identity, non-binarity ...
- I like the characters of Omar and Ander in the Elite series, on Netflix and you?
- Have you been following the debate on "conversion therapy", what do you think?
- What did you think of Cheryl's bisexual coming-out in season 2 of Riverdale?
- Have you seen Eliott Page's tweet about his trans and non-binary coming out? What do you think ?
- Pride month was very publicized this year, we saw a lot of rainbow flags on the networks, did you mind?
Take advantage of the various events and news from the LGBTI + world to probe the reactions: pride march, debate on same-sex marriage, international day against homophobia, gay-pride, debate on gender, etc.
In view of their feedback, you can already make a very clear selection between those who accept homophobic, transphobic remarks… and those who, despite a certain ignorance on LGBT + themes, are not in the rejection.
Secondly, choose the people who are most open to LGBT issues, even those who place themselves as allies and defenders of the rights of homosexuals, bisexuals, trans… You may even already have an LGBT activist among your friends. Once you are aware of your sexual identity or orientation, they can be of great help in your future announcements. Yep, a coming-out doesn't just happen once!
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Step 3: prepare the conversation for it to run smoothly
Once you feel comfortable coming out to a specific friend (the more gay-friendly), you can prepare what you want to say, or not, and even practice! Obviously, it's up to you to choose the tone and the words, you don't have to prepare a breathtaking one-man show with humor and trashy phrases, create a coming out that looks like you.
The idea is to put the odds in your favor so that this important moment in your life passes in the best possible way for you:
- Write down what you want to say, what emotions you want to express, what is easiest to deal with and what not;
- Take up your ideas and write a clear text (or an outline that includes the big ideas) with which you are comfortable and which looks like you;
- Explain why you chose this person and your fear as an introduction;
- Use positive terms and expressions: you don't have to be ashamed or apologize;
- Remove revelations that you are not comfortable with: you don't have to say everything, if you want to talk about your attraction to people of the same sex, but not your questions about your gender identity, it is is your right;
- Practice aloud to be as comfortable as possible and to change what isn't right for you.
If you already have an ally, best friend, member of an association for the defense of LGBT rights or the desire to be part of the HappyGayTV community: now is the time to ask for feedback on your text, ask your questions, be accompanied…
But keep in mind that this is still YOUR coming out and even if you need advice and support, only you need to be in control.
Keep control of your coming out without being alone CTA to Support
Step 4: anticipate possible reactions to welcome them in a benevolent way
The announcement of your homosexuality, bisexuality or gender identity will not go unanswered. While there might be a silence that you might find inconvenient, expect to have a few questions.
Before this moment, take stock of the questions you are ready or willing to answer and those that make you uncomfortable.
Even if your friends' curiosity is a sign of interest, you don't have to give it all away. To avoid getting caught out, here are some common questions:
- Are you sure you are gay? Are you sure you are a lesbian?
- Since when do you know?
- Have you ever had homosexual intercourse?
- Why have you ever had a heterosexual relationship? Did you not like it?
Simply refuse to answer questions that seem too personal to you or those that relate to your gay or straight sex life, by staying positive with formulations such as: "I like that you want to know this side of me better, but I don't. don't want to share this information which is quite intimate, you understand ”or“ thank you for being curious, but I don't feel able to talk about this yet ”.
Be prepared for possible negative reactions too, even when selecting the people who seem most benevolent and open-minded to you, you cannot 100% predict their hot reactions and remarks. This does not mean that you have to accept everything, on the contrary!
Step 5: agree with what you accept and what not
What do you want on HappyGayTV? May your loved ones be happy to see you open to them and touched by your trust, may they smile with tears in their eyes and may your first coming out to your friends end with joy.
However, it is possible that it is not necessarily this state of fullness when you first announce your homosexuality. Their reactions in the first few minutes can disappoint you: moment of embarrassment, inappropriate remarks ("this is surely a passing fancy", "I'm not homophobic, but ..."), prolonged silence, etc.
Give your friends time to digest the information. They can be very surprised, and that doesn't mean they don't accept you. Even though they are supporters and allies of the gay, lesbian, or LGBT + community, they may not have expected your coming out.
- Remind your friends of the trust you place in them;
- Ask them not to tell anyone, that it is very important for you to maintain control over the disclosure of your homosexuality, bisexuality or gender identity at this time;
- Let them know that you understand that they may need time;
- Thank them for listening;
- After a few days with no news, send them a message to check on them, without necessarily telling them about your coming out.
If some people, instead of silence or hugs, react negatively to your coming out, it is important to know beforehand what you tolerate and what not. If you have followed these different steps, you have minimized the risk that the selected people will be violent in their returns.
However, inappropriate, even homophobic comments can be dropped. In response, you can set your limits and express your disappointment at this reaction with "This remark is inappropriate", "I'm sorry that you are feeling this, I understand that you need time and that you are probably asking yourself. questions ".
Keep in mind that these reactions are theirs and are about them and not about you. It is their prejudices and stereotypes that are expressed after being brought up in a world where heterosexuality is the norm. Even though negative words are hard to hear, your friends may come back to you later when the point is made on their side. However, we advise you to stay away from people who remain negative on the subject.
Focusing on the positive throughout this stage of life will allow you to best experience this beautiful transition to who you are.
You can even share your best moments with us. CTA Hotline
You now have all the cards in hand to prepare your exit from the closet in the most healthy and respectful way possible. Perhaps the disclosure of your sexual identity or orientation within your group of friends will make some people feel confident as well and act as a trigger. Do not be surprised if you gradually become the privileged person with whom these topics are discussed. Perhaps this is a way for some of your loved ones to test the waters in preparing for their own coming-out.