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Coming out to new friends

Discussion in 'Coming Out Advice' started by Mariana, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. Mariana

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    I moved to a new city a while ago and I have a whole group of new friends/acquaintances here. They're nice people, we're all students and we live in an LGBTQ+ friendly area. But still I just haven't been able to come out to them, even though I really want to.

    At first I thought it would just come up in conversation - and it does, but I always chicken out. I mean, people talk about relationships and stuff and whenever I say something I either keep it really general or use gender neutral pronouns. The last person I dated was a girl and I'm currently (and maybe forever) only really interested in dating girls, so why can't I just say "she" and keep saying "they" instead?! (It would be a different story if I was talking about someone who uses they/them pronouns, of course).

    Everytime the topic of dating comes up and I say something (most of the time I just keep quiet) my heart starts beating like crazy, I'm sweating like an idiot, I'm so nervous. I don't want to lie or hide myself but I just dread the moment where they're like "oh, so you like girls?". They're just all so straight. Does anyone have any advice as to how to overcome this? At some point someone's gonna notice that I keep using gender neutral pronouns and ask me why and that thought stresses me out like crazy!
     
  2. pasinhose

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    I recommended this to someone years ago. She had the same concern. I said wear something with a rainbow....a ring, earrings or a necklace. it worked. and she got over her anxiety as other people asked and she did tell them she was a gay female.
     
  3. jam93

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    It might supprise you how long it takes them to question you. Peope can be pretty oblivious some times. I used to use gender neutral stuff a lot when I was working on coming out. Basically I was hoping that if I said they instead of she, date someone instead of get a girlfriend, or partner instead of wife, people would eventually catch on and ask why, giving me the perfict opertunity to say "well I'm bi, so I don't know what gender they'll be." No one ever asked, and looking back it doesn't really suprise me. Honestly, unless they are looking for evidence your gay, it probably won't register with most of your new friends. If your looking for a way to get them to ask, I'd go with the rainbow thing @pasinhose suggested. Rainbows are pretty well established as a gay symbol at this point, and it's fairly uncommon for anyone elss to wear them. Not saying It's 100% guaranteed, but we humans are visual creatures, were more likely to notice a new clothing item then an odd turn of phrase.
     
  4. Mariana

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    Thanks for the tip, that sounds reasonable :grin: I don't actually have any rainbow-themed clothes or anything (I know, shocking!) but I came out to one person yesterday and that has definitely given my mood a little boost. Maybe I just need to come out to them person by person, or at least in small groups so it's a little less stressful.
    I guess people are right when they say coming out is an ongoing process... I guess I didn't expect it to be such hard work, you know? I'm out to the people who matter to me the most, and I guess I just thought it would be so much easier with people I don't know that well.
     
  5. LittleMouse

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    It continues to surprise me how long it takes for some people to realise if you exclusively use ‘they’ pronouns when referring to a potential future partner. If people are cis and straight, they will probably not pick up on it if it is just in casual conversation and only mentioned once or twice within that conversation.

    As far as coming out to new people, I actually find it easier than with old friends! Personally, I like to get to know people a little bit first as I want people to get to know me, rather than just knowing me for being gay.

    Obviously you have to judge the situaion, if you work or study with these people and you are going to HAVE to be around them, then try and get an idea of how they are likely to react first otherwise it could make things difficult. Maybe mention meeting an openly gay friend? Or mention a (made up if necessary) friend who is dating a same sex partner and just judge their reaction? Not foolproof but can give an indication.
     
  6. GaiaFr

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    Hi Mariana,

    I totally feel your struggle. I'm recently out and I want to be quickly and simply out with the new people I meet but it's not that easy.
    Here is a post I made on another website. I wanted to post here as I didn't get much advice or experience sharing but I don't want to make a duplication of your post. So here it goes, I hope more people will share their experience on that subject :

    "So I thought I could seek some advices here on something that’s been bugging me lately.
    I just moved to London 2 months ago so basically I’m starting a new life : meeting new people, starting a new job… which is absolutely great. I considered myself out : I’m out to my family and friends at home and I would say that I’m gay to anyone who’d ask or to correct anyone who would explicitely mistake me for straight. But the thing is the subject of relationship never came while discussing with all my new friends, so I’m like waiting for an occasion to come out to each of them “naturally” but it doesn’t happen. I’m feeling that it wasn’t the right way to do and I should bring the subject myself now, it feels ridiculous to me that they don’t know that quite important fact about me while we met several times and I absolutely want to be out in my new life.
    So the question is, how do you handle that “every day coming out” with people you meet ? Especially with people of the same-sex you just want to be firends with. I don’t want to make a big declaration like it’s a big thing to say, it’s just a fact about me that should pop into the conversation.
    For the context, I do think they have all the elements to at least have serious doubts about my orientation. I even have a stupid rainbow pin on my backpack all the time ^^, but people are sometimes quite blind, especially depending of there culural background and they are all expats from different countries. And I'm probably shy when there's occasion to bring the subject."
     
  7. pasinhose

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    sorry for the late response. yes, it does work. it still takes an amount of courage but I am convinced that we do want the world to know our sexuality. for me, it happened today of all days by accident. no turning back now......thrilling and terrifying.
     
  8. Mariana

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    @GaiaFr Yeah, it's surprisingly hard for the topic to come up naturally! And it's just sooo easy to use gender neutral language (in English, at least) and a lot of people just don't notice it at all. I still don't have a good solution for this and I hate how nervous I get everytime the topic of dating comes up.
     
  9. Elendil

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    I've noticed that people in general can be very oblivious, especially if you don't display many of the stereotypical traits and mannerisms that are associated with being LGBT. Eventually people will ask me if I have a girlfriend and I usually use that as a way to let them know I'm gay.