If you are questioning what sexuality or gender you might be, or know that you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans, then download our Coming Out Guide!
It’s a great resource for everyone to read to explore and understand your gender and sexuality, think about how to be a good friend to a LGBT person and it also includes some of the things you might be feeling as some who wants to come out or someone who has had someone come out to them! – There is something in it for everyone!
Coming Out can be a stressful time, but there are people who understand and can help (like us!). You are not alone. Although this can be a very hard time, most people are really glad they have come out as they can truly be who they are inside.
Coming out to yourself is a big deal
Before coming out to others, a big step is to come out to yourself.
You might be thinking:
I am not like that
I can’t be like that
It is wrong
I am wrong
It is against what God wants
Because I am a manly man, I can’t be gay
Because I like make-up I can’t be a lesbian
Can I really be attracted to men and women?
I don’t fit the stereotype of being trans so I can’t be trans
I am scared.
These are all natural things to think through, but try not to worry. If you feel that you are attracted to people of the same gender then you are might identify as lesbian or gay. If you are attracted to women and men or people of your own and different genders, then you might identify as bisexual. If you feel your gender doesn’t match with what people think your gender is or that was given to you at birth, then you might identify as trans. There are lots of LGBT+ identities, but equally if you feel happier not labelling yourself, then that is completely fine too! For lots of people, identity is something that changes and develops throughout their life and so feeling unsure or your feelings changing is completely usual!
Everyone is different
If you come out as lesbian/gay/bisexual/trans/genderfluid (or something else) it doesn’t mean you have to walk or talk a certain way, wear particular clothes, watch certain TV shows or have particular friends. Everyone is different! Some people are a lot like the stereotypes of LGBT people whereas others are totally different. Not all gay men like Lady Gaga, not all lesbians have short hair! LGBT+ people come in all shapes, sizes and races with differing styles, beliefs and interests – and that’s what makes the world such an great place!
Take your time
You may want to tell friends or family about your identity. If you do, this is your choice. Do it when you are ready. There is no time limit and so try not to feel pressured into doing it by a specific point in your life. ‘The right time’ is different for everyone, so you need to think about when the right time for you might be. You might also need to prepare for how to help your friends or family understand, as some people might not know as much about LGBT+ identities as you or be as used to talking or thinking about them. Some people take a bit of time getting used to the new information you give them.
Some people ask you loads of questions, and sometimes people say cruel things they don’t mean because they are in shock. You might want to give them the link for this website to help (for family/ carers/ friends of lesbian, gay or bisexual people) or get them to read our Coming Out Guide.
Or this one (for family/ carers/ friends of trans people).
Have a plan
Having a plan can help you think about how best to tell people and in what way. If you think your family might react badly and potentially throw you out of your home or be violent, then it’s a good idea to have a plan first. Think about how you can get out of the house if you need to, find a friend or a supportive person to stay with or contact The Albert Kennedy Trust as they can help you with temporary accommodation or somewhere more permanent to stay.