Coming out tips
Come out first to someone you know will be supportive
For some people, coming out can be pretty scary! If you know someone who is really supportive and pro-LGBT+, then coming out to them is probably a good place to start. If your first coming out experience is a good one, it can give you confidence in your identity.
Tell people the pronouns you'd like to be referred to by
Let people know which pronouns you’d like to be referred to by. Some people might not know the importance of pronouns, or know there are neutral options. If people make mistakes, try not to let it get to you and politely correct them.
Think about how to explain sexuality or gender identity
Some people don’t understand much about sexuality and gender identity, so coming out as non-binary or pansexual might result in a bit of confusion for some friends or family members. Share information about sexuality and gender identity with them, or signpost them to our website. This can help them understand who you are and why it’s important for you to come out and be yourself.
Be conscious what you put on social media
If you want everyone to know your sexuality or gender identity then go ahead and post it proudly! If there are certain people you might not want to know yet, it may be worth keeping it offline. Once you put something online, it’s out there for everyone to see. Even if you’re not friends with someone, your privacy settings may allow people who aren’t friends with you to see your posts.
Think if there is anything friends & family can do to support you
Don’t forget about yourself! Coming out can be tiring and emotional, so if your friends/family can support you make sure you ask for help. This could be anything from asking them to make sure people use your preferred pronouns to coming to Pride events with you.
Look for local LGBT+ groups which you can attend
See if there are any local LGBT+ groups, like Galaxy Youth, our Men's Group or the other groups listed on our Useful Links page that you can attend. You can meet other LGBT+ people there who have already come out and might be able to share some good tips with you. Workers at LGBT+ groups are great people to talk to for advice on coming out too. It’s worth asking around at your workplace, school or college to see if they have an LGBT+ society or how they could support one being formed.
Only come out if you feel it is safe to do so
It’s important to only come out if you feel safe to do so. Luckily, most people in the UK are really accepting of LGBT+ people, but unfortunately this can’t be said for everyone.
Coming out is so important to living your life as your true self, but your safety is also very important. If you’re worried that people might say something at school, college or work, speak to your friends and let them know how you’re feeling and they can help to support you.
If there is anyone who you feel poses a risk to your safety, speak to someone you trust would help you. This could be a teacher, manager, co-worker or a friend or family member. Support agencies are also listed on our Useful Links page if you don’t know who to go to.
…and don’t forget, coming out is a continuous thing
The first time you come out can be really special and you’ll probably always remember it, but coming out never really stops! Maybe in years to come people won’t need to come out, but for now, there will be many occasions where you will come out. If you’re a lesbian you might be asked by your GP what birth control method you're on if you’re sexually active, or work colleagues might ask you if you have a girlfriend when you’re a gay guy. It can be frustrating but you’ll get used to it and every time you come out you’re challenging assumptions, which those people might not make again. Keep your head held high and be your amazing self!