We are lucky to live in a world where being gay or bisexual is not as taboo as it used to be. There has been massive progress towards acceptance. Unfortunately, there is no denying that we still have a long way to go. Because of this, young gay and bisexual people still have a difficult time coming out to their loved ones. Often fearing shame, and ridiculed. Even disowned as a result of their inherent sexuality. The bottom line is that it’s important to be YOU regardless of what others may think. Those who deserve a place in your life will love you no matter what.
Below, we share a few helpful tips for coming out with confidence.
Do it in Your Own Time
Never allow yourself to feel pressured to speak your truth before you feel ready to do so. It is about your happiness, not pleasing others. You will know in your heart when the time is right.
Don’t Feel Forced into Labels
‘Gay’, ‘bi’, ‘pan-sexual’, ‘asexual’, ‘trans’. There are so many different labels floating about these days. There is no need to label who you are. Especially if you don’t feel as though one label encompasses the scope of your identity. One size doesn’t fit all – and that’s ok! In fact, isn’t it wonderful to be so unique?
Take it Slow
Avoid rushing to tell the world unless you feel that that’s what you want to do. For many, it’s better to come out slow, starting with those whom you trust the most. Your mom or dad. A close friend or a sibling is a great place to start. This will likely give you the confidence you need to continue coming out to others. (In your own time, of course).
Find Your Tribe
When you are different, it can be so much easier to navigate the world with like-minded people by your side. Find your tribe and love them. Support each other. Be there for each other and help to guide one another through any obstacles that you may face. There are many LGBTQ student groups in South Africa. You can be sure that your campus is chockfull of others who identify the same way as you do.
At the end of the day, coming out is about celebrating who you are. Accepting yourself. As Lady Gaga so aptly said “I’m on the right track, baby, I was born this way!”.