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Dealing with reactions to coming out

Discussion in 'Coming Out Advice' started by airconditiong, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. airconditiong

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    hey guys,

    i just very nervously told my best friend of 20 years that i think i'm bisexual. i thought i'd get something along the lines of "i'll love you anyway" because we're that close, but it didn't go that way.. she had questions, of course, but i think she tried to dismiss me by saying even she thought girls were pretty (she identifies as hetero), and then when i told her about the rumors spread about me in 8th grade about me being gay and they were used as an insult she was like "aah gotcha" and then she changed the subject

    like i know i shouldn't have expectations, maybe i shouldn't even care? but it just hurt anyway, cause she's been the one to unconditionally accept me for all these years, even though i know it could have gone worse...

    just, how do you deal with reactions that are less than encouraging when you come out?

    also this is scary at 22, i don't know how teenagers deal with this and exist as openly out... like, serious kudos to everyone that has the courage to do that as a teenager. i never realized how impressive it was til today..
     
    #1 airconditiong, Dec 19, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2014
  2. shinji

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    Coming out to someone we always have these huge expectations about how they are going to react. Truth is, not a lot of times (if any) do people go like "OMG that's so fantastic, let's talk about this whole day long". As long as she took it well, does it matter how ecstatic she was about it? Have you considered that she might be uncomfortable talking with you about this because she does in fact need time to process this. Or that she simply doesn't wish to make you feel weird and is just being a good friend.
     
  3. OOC73

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    I'm 41 and only coming out now. What I can tell you is the epiphany I had the other week when I came out to my mum.

    You have no responsibility for anyone else's feelings on this subject but your own. I realised I was spending an inordinate amount of time preparing emotionally and mentally to take on any pain or sadness or anguish that the recipient of my news felt when I told them. I didn't want to be caught unawares or be unable to support them through it.

    But then I realised, as selfish as this may sound, you can't predict how someone is going to take it, and you can't know what insecurities and fears of their own you are about to inadvertently hit when you say the words.

    You can be open, and honest, and answer any questions they may have, but the important bit for you is the telling and the honesty. She may just need some time to get her head around it. She may secretly worry that you are telling her because you fancy her and that makes her feel a little uncomfortable or she may simply be reacting to a shift in her perception of the person she assumed you to be. None of those things are something you can prepare for or do anything about.

    You can only get through them - knowing that you are secure in your own self and that it's ok to be you. Let other people feel what they feel, when they realise you haven't really changed as a person it may matter less or they may take you more seriously, but the important bit and that which you should be most proud of is that YOU took yourself seriously enough to take that risk and be open with her. You valued your truth enough to share it. And that's amazing. Xx
     
  4. PatrickUK

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    You've already received some excellent words of advice and encouragment from OOC73, so I'll just focus on your question:
    It's important to remain calm and understand that reactions can and often do change, but it takes a bit of time. In the same way as it takes time for us to reach a point of self acceptance, it can take time for our family and friends to arrive at a point of acceptance too. It's not easy for them as there is no forewarning - they receive our news and it may come as a shock, but we expect them to deal with it. I'm afraid it doesn't often happen that way and we probably shouldn't expect it to either.

    If you click on the resources tab at the top of the page you will find some links to coming out stages, including for family and friends. Take a look as it may help.
     
  5. jess1531

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    I am in the same boat at the moment, i told my brother and he shows signs of being very accepting but in person he does not say much at all to be honest! Unless i bring it up. So maybe try bringing it up and ask her how she feels about it and tell her to be honest! at least you didn't get a horrible reaction, your friend is probably just trying to sink it in! in a matter of time things start to get better. But honestly you gotta do what makes you happy not others! if this person is truly your friend they will stick by your side no matter what!!:thumbsup:
     
  6. BrassGoggles

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    I know what that's like. I recently came out to my best friend of 10 years and wasn't entirely pleased with the results. I know she personally isn't really against it but her family is VERY religious and she really obviously had trouble when I told her. She essentially said that she "respected my choice" and has been pretty distant since. I think the best you can do is give them some space to process it, because it is kind of a big thing to tell somebody. Once it sinks in, maybe after a few days, try to talk and just let her know that she can be honest with you and that you don't want it to get in the way of your friendship. I really hope friendship that close that's lasted that long won't be ruined by it, but don't get too caught up in the people who don't stick with you. If they can't accept you for you they aren't worth it.