What To Say to Someone That Comes Out

by Lin Grimshaw

Coming out can be extremely scary. If someone comes out to you – whether you support them or not – you should respect that they trust you enough to tell you something this intimate.

Your first reaction is what they (the person coming out) will remember the most. For instance, when I first came out to my parents they asked me “Are you jumping on the gay train?” Admittedly, it hurt a lot and I felt like I couldn’t trust them. They’re a lot more supportive now. But whatever you do, definitely do not say that. Instead, try your best to stay calm and don’t say the first thing that comes to your mind. Yelling and calling them profanities won’t make them not LGBT anymore, no matter how hard you try, that won’t change they’re attraction/gender. If anything that will make them want to fight with you more or just go back in the closet.

If you want to support them, you should ask them if you can help with anything and what you can do to better understand. If they’re still confused, ask how you can help relieve the stress of coming out to others, etc. They trust you, so if they’re not out to anyone else ask them if they’d be okay with you bringing it up to other people. Don’t talk about it , don’t talk about it to anyone if they say “no”, it’s their identity and their choice as to who knows. This is a very vulnerable time for them, don’t make them feel worse by pretending that part of them doesn’t exist, of course it’s not their entire personality, but it’s a big part of who they are and it’s important to them. Plus ignoring that part of them doesn’t change the “problem”.

Coming out is different for everyone and it’s hard to know what to expect, just remember that they are just as human as you, doesn’t matter what sexuality or gender identity, we’re all naked, ape descendents. Your life doesn’t matter more just because you’re comfortable being cisgender heterosexual. Stop trying to take the high ground and instead realize that it’s unexceptionable to be a bigot. You don’t have to love lgbt, but at least try and have some basic human courtesy.

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