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How to come out (concrete advice needed)

Discussion in 'Coming Out Advice' started by ehm28, Sep 19, 2017.

  1. ehm28

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    I'm feeling like i'm getting close to the point where I can't avoid people finding out that i'm gay. I have had a boyfriend for about a year, but i have been hiding this for everyone i know. I think that i can't do this much longer, without breaking my relationship or being outed in an unpleasant way. I have also realized that postponing the "coming out" will not make it any easier. I have already did that for years.

    The problem is that i have real anxiety issues about this (not just a tense feeling, but real anxiety issues). I would say that i'm close to being pathologically introverted and shy, and i usually don't talk a lot about personal things to people to know. This makes it somewhat "unnatural" for me to suddenly start talking to my friends about my sexuality.

    So, the thing is that I can't really come up with a good way to come out. I'm mainly thinking about coming out to my university colleagues. I don't feel like I would ever be able to do it face-to-face, not even to my best friends. So I have considered coming out by text, but i have a hard time finding out how to do that (what to write, which media to use, not to make it impersonal etc.).

    Any advices on how to do this? Concrete advice is highly valued. I have searched all over for coming-out advice, but honestly, most of it is the regular "come out when you are ready/whatever way is good" useless stuff...
     
  2. I'm gay

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    The best way to come out to someone, in my opinion is with a face-to-face conversation. It's more difficult than coming out by written communication because it may involve questions and answers and it makes you be immediately vulnerable to their reaction. A written coming out, however, leaves you in limbo until they respond. It might not be that hour, or that day, or what if they never bring it up at all? They may have questions but are less likely to ask because of your reluctance to have that face-to-face conversation.

    Ok, while I think in-person is better, coming out over text or a letter is a viable option as well. I used that method for people in my life who were too distant to allow the face-to-face. I used Facebook Messenger. It was immediate, allowed for conversation, and I was able to do it in groups as well when it was appropriate. For a couple of people, I chose a voice call instead of text.

    As for what to say? It's difficult to advise because our life stories are different. Here is an example of one of the messages I sent to a colleague/friend who lives in another state. His reaction was very positive. I hope it helps.

    "As my friend and colleague, I wanted to reach out to you today because I have decided to come out of the closet. It really isn't a big deal, which is why I chose not to have the "big conversation" with you. You may wonder, then, why bother telling you at all. I'm not telling you this because I thought you "needed to know," but rather because I thought that you might eventually learn about it, and I wanted it to be me who told you. Talking about my sexuality is very difficult for me, and this process of coming out is an unfortunate but necessary part of me being able to be real, honest, and authentic with the people in my life."

    Obviously I tailored the message differently for different people, but that's an example of how you might go about it.

    I hope this helps. :gay_pride_flag:
     
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  3. ehm28

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    Thanks for the answer (a bit late from me).
    However, I'm still thinking more and more about how to do this. I just know I need to do it soon, if I don't want people to find out in another way. It's mainly 3-4 people I would like to tell. But my problem is that I'm not really close to anyone of them (no one at all, in fact). We are friends, but without really having a very tight connection. We never talk about personal issues (at least i never do).

    Anyway, does anyone have thoughts on this following example of text? Maybe it sounds a bit "cold" and emotionless, but I don't really feel like pouring my heart out. I want to make it seem as casual as possible.

    "I have thought about informing you of something. It may be that you already know. And it’s also not really something I think is anyones business, but I thought that I should tell you just to avoid misunderstandings and rumours.
    I’m currently seeing someone, and have been for some time. The thing is that this is a guy. Maybe most people already know that i’m gay, even if I didn’t ever talk about this.
    I didn’t tell you this before, because it feels unnatural for me to talk about personal issues like that. I also don’t want this to be a big thing. And I honestly don't feel like this is something that I should need to inform people about. However, I would appreciate if you don’t bring this up in front of me. If you have questions, please talk to me in private about it. At the same time, I will not say that you need to keep it a total secret."
     
  4. AlexJames

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    I came out to my dad as gay via text. I'm shy and insecure and such myself, so the idea of doing it face to face was terrifying, especially given the potential for rejection or disbelief. Lucky he believed me and was totally fine with it. Doing it by text gave me the safety and security to get it over with. We talked face to face later about it, briefly.
     
    #4 AlexJames, Oct 4, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017
  5. I'm gay

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    I think your message is good and doesn't feel cold. I would suggest that you remove the line, "However, I would appreciate if you don’t bring this up in front of me." The very next sentence contradicts that sentence by asking them to talk to you in private - right after you asked them not to bring it up in front of you. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding it, but it doesn't make sense to me. If you meant that you would not want someone to bring up the subject in front of a group of people and only talk to you in private if they had questions, then perhaps make that a little more clear. Otherwise, I think your message is fine.
     
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  6. Chip

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    You could do it by inference and assume that people know. That's often an easy out. If you ever do activities with others, it could be something like "Hey, everyone. ________ and I have been together for a year now, and I felt like it's time to have a dinner party" (or whatever).

    And simple can work... taking your suggestion, but simplifying... "In case y'all didn't know, I've been in a relationship with (name) for about a year. I figured it might make sense to address the elephant in the room. I probably don't want to talk about it in groups, but feel free to talk to me in private if you have questions."

    Simpler is usually better, and doesn't come across as apologizing.
     
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  7. mnguy

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    I like Chip's suggestion and making the message as concise as possible. By naming your guy in the sentence you don't have to specifically say you're gay, unless you want to or if the name could be a guy or gal. That part could be cleared up by adding something like, he and I are really happy together, using a masculine pronoun, but that's just if the name is ambiguous.

    Since you're not close to them or talk about personal stuff, maybe wait until a time comes up where it would be natural to mention your bf in a comment about general life stuff. For example if talking about your weekend say, "Name and I are going to this event which we're really excited about", or "Name surprised me with tickets to xyz for my birthday", "have you been to xyz pub? I was thinking of going there with my bf Name this weekend." True it's sorta personal depending what you mention, but in a typical colleague way and you're not making a specific announcement which makes it a bigger deal. You could tailor it to be as personal as you want. At least you'd be opening up about him so you'd feel better and they might ask you to clarify who Name is over time if it wasn't clear, thus easing you and them into it. On the other hand, maybe you want them all to know at the same time, don't want to wait for the right time for the casual comment, not want to do it in person, or just want it over. It's all up to you.

    I do hope it goes well and they're all super happy for you. Let us know how it goes :slight_smile:
     
  8. donteatme

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    i dont get what the big deal is. it's not like "coming out" will even be a thing in 60 years. just because an attraction differs from the norm does not make it special. do people attracted to overweight people need to let the world know what they're into? no. so this shouldn't be a thing. why do other people need to know private information? coming out is a pretty outdated concept. the first person to do it lived in the 1800s. this 200 year old concept really needs to die out.
     
  9. I'm gay

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    I hope you are right, and that in 60 years "coming out" won't even be a thing. But here in 2017, it is still a thing.

    Just today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent the new federal guidance to all federal agencies for complying with the law. This is the guidance that replaces Obama's LGBT-friendly guidance. Now, Sessions has given all federal agencies the tools with which to discriminate against LGBT people using religious liberty. Don't want to hire someone who is gay? No problem, just cite a religious objection to it.

    Why is this relevant? Because we won't get to the future you imagine in 60 years while we are still fighting over even having civil rights. Until then, we must continue to come out and be heard. I leave you with this thought from Harvey Milk:

     
  10. donteatme

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    let me specify my position. people should be allowed to be open about what they like and don't. but i don't think anyone, pro gay or anti gay, should make a big deal out of it. it's just an attraction. chill.
     
  11. I'm gay

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    You have been posting several times today on this very topic. Your opinion is based upon the ideal that "coming out" is an outdated concept, and we shouldn't have to "come out" to anyone. You even wrote on another thread that coming out is really only a problem in the Middle East. I find it interesting that you negate the coming out struggles of people by minimizing the importance of coming out all while you yourself are questioning your sexuality and haven't told anyone.

    For anyone reading this post, I really do hope that @donteatme's vision of the future comes true. But we don't live in 2077 yet. We still live in 2017. Here in 2017, gay kids in America and elsewhere around the world are still being kicked out of their homes for being gay. So many husbands and wives are coming to terms with their homosexuality or bisexuality late in life. Gay men and children are still being pushed into attempting to "cure" their homosexuality through reparative therapy. And in some parts of the world, gay men are executed for being gay. Australia right now is confronting their own marriage laws. And in America, our civil liberties are being threatened by the current administration.

    Yes, @donteatme, people "should" be allowed to be open about what they like and don't. But until everyone is allowed to be open, then we still have so far to go. You don't have to "come out" if you don't want to. But please stop trying to convince others that they don't need to come out. You're wrong.
     
  12. donteatme

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    show me some statistics from at most 2 years ago, einstein. these so called crises don't even seem to be existent. the most recent time this would happen would have been at most 3 years ago. also, why was the topic of my sexuality even relevant? i only put that because i don't label myself. because there's no reason to. i can also bet you 100 bucks a lot of these sob story threads are made up by sock accounts who are wanting attention. so if you cater to these people's delusions, you are just a fucking moron.
     
  13. ehm28

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    I really wish we could be living in the society you picture, where no one cared about who you date or marry, and where sexuality was seen as the dynamic and fluid part of our psychology as it probably is. But you are fooling yourself if you think that we have arrived there as a society. People are still disowned by their families, sent to reparative therapy and thrown out from home. Of course it's MUCH better than in the 70's, but the delusions of religion and primitive instincts of homophobia are still very present among people. I have no idea why you would not believe all these stories. Statistics show higher suicide rates and higher rates of comorbidities like depression among LGBT-people, even in the most liberal and democratic countries.

    The reason I feel like I need to tell, is because people over the years clearly have gotten the impression that I'm straight. So it's more like a "correction" than a coming out. And this is necessary because I want to be able to have a relaxed and open relationship with my boyfriend.
     
  14. ehm28

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    I'm really close to hitting the send button my for coming-out message now. I just need a confidence boost :/
    I'm terrified of the first time I meet the person after my coming-out, and I'm afraid I will break down after doing this. But I've been extremely depressed lately, and I just don't see any other way out.
     
  15. ehm28

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    Damn, I did it. Freaking totally out now.
     
  16. Quantumreality

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    Congratulations ehm28!:thumbsup:Here's hoping that everything goes smoothly and that you get tons of support from your friends!:slight_smile:
     
  17. ehm28

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    I could not look at my phone for an hour. But it seems like he is completely fine with it, and said that he somehow "always knew", but didn't want to bring it up since I seemed uncomfortable with it. He would also keep it to himself if that's what I want.
    Now I just have to get the courage to meet him in person again. This might be awkward, but the worst is done.
    Don't know what I feel right now. A mix of relief, fear and uncertainty i guess.
     
  18. Quantumreality

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    It sounds like he's just fine with it. He was very considerate not to confront you about it if he previously suspected that you might be gay. That and the fact that he has already told you upfront that he will keep this to himself and not tell anyone else shows that he has a pretty good understanding of how hard this is for you.

    It's not unusual to feel a mixture of relief and also anxiety after Coming Out. Relief because you told someone your deepest, most personal secret (and he was understanding). Anxiety because now someone else knows your deepest, most personal secret so it is no longer yours alone. It makes things "real" now. And that can be scary at first.

    Best of luck!:slight_smile:
     
  19. ehm28

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    Thanks :slight_smile:
    He actually seems really fine with it. I hope it gets me courage to live my life a bit more openly than before, since at least I know that he will back me up when the rest of people finds out. I think I will leave the rest of my aquintances to find out for themselves, or just hint about it from time to time. I think I can be more confident with answering honestly now if someone asks me straight out.
     
  20. Islanzadi

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    Congratulations! :slight_smile: The first time coming out is very stressful, but it gets easier! :slight_smile: Personnally I came out to the 3-4 people that were the closest to me and from then I just started to act casual about it as if everybody knew and I let people figure it out on their own. There's no need to make a big deal about it! Wish you the best :slight_smile: