MTV Voices: Thinking Of Coming Out?
Stonewall offer their support to those who are considering the next step...
This week MTV Voices are getting behind anti-bullying week.
Working with Stonewall, we’re making noise about the bullying that so many people suffer as a result of their sexuality – and making the world realise that being gay is no big deal.
So, if you’re struggling with your sexuality, or need advice on working out what you want to do next, here is some information from Stonewall. If you need more advice, please use the links at the bottom of the page.
Should I come out?
You don’t have to! But people do tend to assume everyone is straight so you’ll be able to be more honest about yourself if you do come out. It can be stressful to hide such an important part of yourself, so most people feel happier and more confident about who they are afterwards.
Being out can make life a lot easier - socialising, having a partner, etc. Things you’d have to hide if you were hiding your sexuality.
If you come out it’s also valuable to the gay community as it helps people understand that there are lots of different types of gay people. Also that being lesbian, gay or bisexual isn’t unusual or even exciting, it’s just normal.
How and when do I come out?
There is no right answer. It’s different for everyone and it’s important to find a way that feels right for you. Try to think about:
Who you want to tell and who you’ll tell first? You don’t have to come out to everyone - it’s up to you to decide who you want to tell and when. Perhaps a supportive friend or youth worker, who will help you tell other people.
Who don’t you want to tell? News travels fast these days- especially online. If there’s someone you don’t want to find out, think about how you’ll manage this.
The right time. Coming out could surprise people. Consider a time when you can talk things through properly, i.e. maybe not the day before your first college exam.
The way you tell people. Some people, like family, may appreciate the chance to chat but for others a simple comment, like mentioning the gender of your partner, may do.
What if people react badly?
Some people come outwith no problems but for others there can be obstacles. Sadly people can react badly and it can be very difficult if the people you care about have a hardtime accepting who you are.
Try not to be disappointed and remember: real friends are the ones who love you for who you really are.
Should I behave in a certain way once I come out?
No, just be yourself! People may have stereotypes of what they think lesbian, gay and bisexual people are like, but they’re all different.
RUComingOut might be helpful if you’re thinking about coming out as it has loads of stories from gay people of all ages and backgrounds.
Where can I get support with coming out?
Hopefully you will have friends, family or teachers who will be supportive but if you need more support, go to Stonewall’s Info Bank or contact them firstname.lastname@example.org or if you are in the UK call 08000 502020.