Your friend has come out. The good news is they can finally be themselves. No more “they” references about your Significant Others. No more “friends” joining you at the office holiday party.
But coming out and telling friends and families who you “really are” can be scary. You are coming clean about living a lie. A BIG lie if you’re in a relationship. A smaller lie if you have just been declining matchmaking offers and keeping your old friends off your social calendar for a while. Whether you’re in the progressive Bay Area or the conservative deep-south, owning up to a minority identity is not easy. Sexual minorities can be judged through obvious religious or “traditional” viewpoints, and through minor prejudices about what you should look like and act like. Who wants to feel pigeonholed about who they are and risk losing their full identity?
We admit we need your help here! Educate us on your experience coming out and participate in our survey or email us to do an interview.
PLEASE. We need you! This is what we know from many of you so far:
“If you aren’t sure whether someone is tired of answering questions, you can always preface your inquiry with, ‘No need to tell me, but…’ or ‘You might be sick of answering, but how…’ The out is nice, and if they want to talk, they’ll talk. If they don’t they’ll appreciate your interest and your discretion.”
- Most important. “I love you!”
- Not that close? Try, “that’s cool!”
- Knew all along? “ Yeah, I’m glad for you. Now where’s my belt you borrowed from me?? [read: no big deal].”
- Ask if there is anyone special now?
- Ask about how they are doing coming out- it’s hard to do!!
NO, NO, NO!!
- Don’t suggest it’s a “phase”!!
- Don’t quibble about why you were not told. That is not the MAIN POINT!
- Really- we know you know this- don’t ask about therapy.
- And no matter how tempting: “I could tell!” Who wants to feel like a walking stereotype? If you’re so impressed with your Gaydar, share that with someone else.
Thank someone for a kind gesture they did for you.
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