When to Come Out
Only you can decide when you're ready to come out. No one else can tell you when the right time is. It is a choice that requires a lot of confidence and self-esteem because it may change how certain people regard you. It can give rise to both positive and negative responses or interactions with others.
One important thing to consider is that you can come out at any age. Coming out has no age restriction, and the LGBT+ community accepts all who identify with us. We even accept those who don't!
When Should I Come Out?
This answer depends on many things, including your home life, the friends you have, and where you live.
The most important thing to consider is your safety. If you are already having a hard time at home, coming out might worsen your living conditions. If you know your parents are blatantly homophobic or transphobic, coming out to them might not be the best option—at least at this moment in time. If your parents are radicals when it comes to religion or extremely right-wing, it's okay to wait.
This doesn't just have to do with your home situation. Consider also what the environment is like at your school and your community. Some places have a higher hate crime rate.
Notice how all of these considerations start with 'if' because they're all hypothetical. Coming out is your choice. It's always okay—but is it safe? See statistics below.
"Race, gender, religion, sexuality, we are all people and that's it. We're all people. We're all equal."
— Connor Franta, American YouTuber, author, and artist
How Many LGBT+ Hate Crime Victims?
The graphic above shows that 17.7 percent of hate crimes in 2015 were based on sexual orientation. That percentage might not seem very big, but think about what that means. Out of 7,121 victims, 1,260 were from the LGBT+ community. That's about 3.5 hate crimes per day!
It's Okay to Be Afraid
It's okay to not want to be another one of those horrifying statistics, so here are a few things you can do to prevent that:
- If you know that your town happens to fall on the more dangerous side of things, avoid traveling alone. This will reduce your chances of having a dangerous encounter.
- Try to avoid those who make you feel uneasy. Trust that gut feeling, most of the time, it happens to be right.
- To expand on the second bulletin, the buddy system is another thing to look into.
- Support groups!
- Reach out to loved ones that you can trust about your concerns and if you happen to be feeling unsafe.
A Queer Conclusion
Remember, safety should come first when making the decision to come out. On the other hand, it is understandable if you cannot stand being closeted. Remember how to stay safe, and have a gay time.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.