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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Top 4 Ways You Shouldn't Come out

Coming out isn't a Nascar race. There is no penalty for entering too late; there is no checker flag signifying the end; nor are you left behind if you don't enter the race going 200 miles per hour. There is no one way to come out, but there are ways you can avoid some of the pain and drama many experience coming out to family, friends and coworkers. Avoid coming out in:

1) In anger.

Emotionally charged situations are unpredictable and actions in anger are often irrational. I came out to my dad in the midst of an argument and the situation only got worse. I was so angry I didn't have the chance to truly express how I felt; and he was so taken aback that he completely shut it out- only for it to come up later. When you come out with a clear mind, you maintain control of the situation and express the things you need to express, all while respecting the other person.

2) As revenge.

Having the gay card in your pocket is like having the only nuclear bomb in a war against your homophobic neighbor. Your same-gender loving feelings are a part of you and should be disclosed under your terms. Why invite negativity upon yourself or share such dear details of your life in a bout of payback? If someone is slinging insults or you know they hate gays, let them have their reality. The best way to combat ignorance is to let them witness your world surrounded by love and acceptance.

3) Through a third party.

Third party news is always a bad idea. Facts and feelings can get twisted from person to person, which is why hearsay doesn't even stand up in court. Sometimes your news will leak to others through gossip, but your loved ones will appreciate hearing it directly from you. Don't get anyone else involved or waste time chasing the rumor mill. Important information such as this should be handled person to person. If a face to face meeting is not within your comfort zone, write a personal letter.

4) When you're not ready.

Coming out should happen on your schedule. Of course, you can't control whether someone finds out through other means, but you can talk about it at your own pace. There is no set age or circumstance that dictates when a person should come out. Let your feelings be your guide. I was tired of keeping such an important part of my life from those I cared about. So I started slowly telling friends one by one and then my family. Those that truly cared stuck by my side, despite the ones that didn't.

*By Ramon Johnson, Your Guide to Gay Life

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