Gender Wiki

Coming out, or "coming out of the closet," is generally defined as when a queer individual "comes out" and expresses their identity to their peers, which could include friends, family members, colleagues, or other forms of social units.

Coming out can be a scary process, even if the person they wish to express themselves to is a member or an ally of the LGBTQ+ community. This page lists some coming out resources, and some do's and don'ts'. But while reading, remember, that there is no right or wrong way to come out; come out in whatever way will work for you!

When to not come out[]

Below are some situations when you should not come out (don'ts'):

  • When coming out would put you in a dangerous situation. If telling your parents that you're gay or trans might result in you being kicked out of your home (without another plan for where to go), physically or emotionally harmed, or any other form of danger, than you should not come out.
  • When you are not ready. There is no reason why you have to ever come out to anyone. Your identity is your business, and third parties do not need to know or be a part of it. Don't come out until you know you are ready.
  • When it is the wrong time or place. Coming out to someone when they are upset with you or during a hard time for you or them can lead to a worse response.

Some tips (Do's)[]

Below are some tips and advice (do's) that can be utilized when coming out:

  • Create a script or plan. Be sure to include a description of the identity you are disclosing.
    • For gender transitioning, when applicable, make sure to include your new name, pronouns, and any other changes you would like to make.
  • If worst comes to worst, be sure to have some sort of back-up plan, preferably involving a third party who already knows (such as a friend or a family member) helping you if they react badly.
  • Don't rush. Even if you are eager to come out, the process can still be a bit lengthy, and that length is often necessary. Take as much time as you need to prepare yourself.
  • Are they supportive? If it is safe to, you may consider asking whoever you would like to disclose yourself to if they support the LGBTQ+ community, prior to coming out.

Additional Resources/References[]