Coming Out as LGBT
According to the University of Rochester, “Coming out as lesbian, gay, or bisexual increases emotional well-being even more than earlier research has indicated. But the psychological benefits of revealing one’s sexual identity — less anger, less depression, and higher self-esteem – are limited to supportive settings, shows a study published June 20 in Social Psychology and Personality Science”…Read Article
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) states, “Being brave doesn’t mean that you’re not scared. It means that if you are scared, you do the thing you’re afraid of anyway. Coming out and living openly as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or as a straight-supportive person is an act of bravery and authenticity”….Read HRC Article.
The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) states, “If you are unsure about whether or not to come out, take your time and think things through rather than acting impulsively. Since coming out is first and foremost something that you are doing for yourself, don’t let worries about potential reactions veer you from your course (unless you fear for your safety or security). If possible, choose people to tell who you expect will give you the support and encouragement you desire. For most of us, there will be a time when we need to come out to someone who may be less than compassionate. Many people will say things out of shock or discomfort that they may not mean or realize is hurtful. It is important to remember how long it took you to come to terms with your own identity, and to be patient with others who may need time to come around”….Read GLSEN Article.
Living with confusion about identity is emotionally exhausting and potentially destructive. For some people this period is followed quite quickly by a stage in which they come to accept their identity and are able to express it in a positive way. Mixing with other LGBT people – in social settings or through support groups – can help a person feel able to accept who they are. For some people, particularly in larger towns and cities, LGBT support groups provide a safe environment for coming out. Elsewhere local and national LGBT telephone helplines provide a listening ear for people who want support….AVERTing HIV/AIDS coming out page
HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN (HRC) COMING OUT GUIDES:
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all. HRC seeks to improve the lives of LGBT Americans by advocating for equal rights and benefits in the workplace, ensuring families are treated equally under the law and increasing public support among all Americans through innovative advocacy, education and outreach programs. HRC works to secure equal rights for LGBT individuals and families at the federal and state levels by lobbying elected officials, mobilizing grassroots supporters, educating Americans, investing strategically to elect fair-minded officials and partnering with other LGBT organizations.
ADDITIONAL NATIONAL RESOURCES:
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community.
The Bisexual Resource Center envisions a world where love is celebrated, regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression. Because bisexuals today are still misunderstood, marginalized and discriminated against, the BRC is committed to providing support to the bisexual community and raising public awareness about bisexuality and bisexual people. The BRC uses bisexual as an umbrella term for people who recognize and honor their potential for sexual and emotional attraction to more than one gender (pansexual, fluid, omnisexual, queer, and all other free-identifiers). We celebrate and affirm the diversity of identity and expression regardless of labels.
The Safe Schools Coalition is an international public-private partnership in support of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth, that is working to help schools – at home and all over the world – become safe places where every family can belong, where every educator can teach, and where every child can learn, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.
Empty Closets is a place where you can figure out who you are, surrounded by other people just like you. Whether you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, curious, unsure or a friend of someone who is, Empty Closets will help you find the answer. We welcome new members of all ages from 13 upwards.
The Deaf Queer Resource Center (DQRC) is a national nonprofit resource and information center for, by and about the Deaf Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Intersex and Questioning communities (hereafter referred to as the “Deaf Queer community”).
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is a national non-profit organization with over 200,000 members and supporters and over 500 affiliates in the United States. This vast grassroots network is cultivated, resourced and serviced by the PFLAG National Office, located in Washington, D.C., the national Board of Directors and 13 Regional Directors.
This website is written by parents for parents. We are not ministers or therapists with professional credentials to give you advice. We are small-town American neighbors. We do not have a political or cultural agenda. We are sharing our story in the hopes of providing for you what we could not get for ourselves: Support, comfort and understanding on a difficult issue.
Whether you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or not, be proud of who you are and your support for LGBT equality this National Coming Out Day. Watch HRC’s Conversations From the Heart videos, donate your Facebook status and pledge to have conversations from the heart with your friends and family for equality. A simple conversation can change the lives of people you care about.