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Coming out to others

Coming out bite-sized wisdom

  • Coming out is rarely all good or all bad
  • Don't let anyone pressure you into coming out
  • Don't lose sight of your own self-worth
  • Be prepared for any reaction
  • Be prepared that once you start to tell people others might find out quickly
  • Give others time to process - after all, you may have given yourself time (perhaps years) to get used to the idea
  • Be clear about your own feelings about being gay
  • If you are still having doubts, or if you're feeling depressed or guilty, it may be best to get some support first, perhaps from a counsellor or telephone support line
  • Don't come out during an argument or use your sexuality to hurt or shock
  • Get support before coming out from a local support group or trusted friend or relative
  • Don't come out when you're drunk (or have taken other drugs)
  • Tell them that you're still the same person as you were yesterday
  • Have with you sources of support; eg: leaflet or helpline number
  • If you decide to tell school friends make sure that you can trust them and that they'll be supportive
  • If you decide to tell a teacher or counsellor at school or college check out their confidentiality policy first

Extract from "Call Me By Your Name" Elio's father speaks to him.

“You had a beautiful friendship. Maybe more than a friendship. And I envy you. In my place, most parents would hope the whole thing goes away, or pray that their sons land on their feet soon enough. But I am not such a parent. In your place, if there is pain, nurse it, and if there is a flame, don’t snuff it out, don’t be brutal with it. Withdrawal can be a terrible thing when it keeps us awake at night, and watching others forget us sooner than we’d want to be forgotten is no better. We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything - what a waste!”

"How you live your life is your business. But remember, our hearts and our bodies are given to us only once. Most of us can’t help but live as though we’ve got two lives to live, one is the mockup, the other the finished version, and then there are all those versions in between. But there’s only one, and before you know it, your heart is worn out, and, as for your body, there comes a point when no one looks at it, much .less wants to come near it. Right now there’s sorrow. I don’t envy the pain. But I envy you the pain.”

Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman | Atlantic Books

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