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No set timetable for deciding when to come out

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No set timetable for deciding when to come out


October 6, 2009

Dear Amy: I’m a gay teenage guy, and I have no idea how to come out.

My family is more liberal than most, but I can’t even begin to gauge their reaction.

I know they’re comfortable with gay rights, but how do I know if they’ll be comfortable with my being gay?

I’m not sure about my friends either — we never really discuss "serious" issues with each other, so how do I bring it up? With Facebook and e-mail taking over, should I tell them in person?

And I have no clue what to do about the relatives and friends I don’t see every day — do I call? E-mail? Tell them over the holidays?

Oct. 11 is National Coming Out Day. I might be able to bring myself to do it then, but it’s tough to do when I can’t tell how anybody will react.


Dear Nervous: I understand the concept behind National Coming Out Day, but what I don’t like is the pressure it might put on you to come out on a specific day.

Coming out is a process that doesn’t follow neat guidelines or timetables.

Start the process by talking with the person in your life whom you deem most likely to be supportive. If you have any "out" gay friends or relatives, they might share their experience and offer advice.

As you and your friends mature, you will all wrestle with questions of relationships and sexuality (and a lot of other things).

Please do not make important personal disclosures on Facebook. Tell whomever you want to tell personally.

You can rarely anticipate and can never control how another person reacts to any particular thing. But this will go best if you present it as a fact of your life. If people have a problem with your sexuality, then they’ll need to do the work required to come to terms with it.

You can check for local events for National Coming Out Day and read coming-out stories on the Human Rights Campaign’s website at

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Written by gaybombay

October 6, 2009 at 6:03 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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