Coming out as gay or bisexual can be very daunting. You may feel ready to come out now – or if you’re still hesitating, you may want more information about how others have done it.
You may have come to terms with your sexuality or it might be something that you have recently started to question.
Either way, you may be experiencing some strong feelings, and thinking them through on your own can be frustrating. It may help to talk things through with someone and get some support.
Say it loud and proud
Have you tried saying: 'I'm gay' out loud to yourself? Just practicing saying the words can be really useful. If you find that you can't say the words out loud then maybe you should take a bit more time to think about how comfortable you are with your sexuality.
If people think you are confused about your sexuality, they may not take you seriously or may try their hardest to change your mind. So make sure that YOU accept your own sexuality before going any further.
Coming out – where do I start?
Coming out can be difficult, but if your experience of telling people is positive you will feel like a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders.
We have some ideas on where you could start:
Think about testing the waters a bit to find out your friends' and family's attitudes towards homosexuality - think about stories in the media or openly gay celebrities that you might be able to bring into a conversation. This is an excellent way of finding out what people's attitudes are if you don't know already.
You don't have to go through this on your own but only you will know when the time is right to come out. Don't ever let anyone force you into it - coming out is a very personal experience, and it’s different for everyone.
If you have a hard time coming out, it's not the end of the world. There are helplines, youth groups and services all over the country that can provide you with excellent support and give you a more hopeful outlook on your situation.
Who should I come out to first?
Start with a close friend. It's hard to predict how people will react to your coming out. Telling parents can be the biggest challenge, so it may be a good idea to tell a friend you trust first.
If your parents don't accept your sexuality straight away, you’ll be able to get support from your friend. If you only want to tell your friend for now, be sure to let them know that you don’t want them to tell anyone else until you are ready.
LGBT support group workers. You could also go to a local LGBT youth group. It may be a good idea to come out to a worker at a group first, just so you can get used to talking about your sexuality and the issues involved. The workers will be friendly and will be able to offer you support and advice.
If you come out to your parents and they react badly, they can get support from LGBT groups around the country – perhaps the ones that are run by parents of lesbians and gay men. They will be able to offer your parents professional support and information on coming to terms with their child’s sexuality.
Coming out to your friends and family ››