The most important thing about coming out as LGBT* is to remember that you don’t ever have to ‘come out’ to anyone, and you shouldn’t unless you feel it is right for you!
Lots of people choose to come out, or not, for a whole range of reasons, but the most important thing to remember is that this is your decision. With that said, as it’s LGBT* History month, ‘coming out’ may well be on your mind. We know there are many unanswered questions running around your head, so we’ve attempted to answer some of them for you!
There’s no right or wrong way to come out – you should do it in the way that is most comfortable for you. To make it an easier process, first think carefully about what you want to say. Plenty of people write letters if they are worried that speaking might get them tongue tied, some people prefer to come out to one person at a time, whilst others like to come out to a large number of people at once to get it over with. It’s completely up to you.
For some people, coming out is an important thing for them to do. Everybody should have the right to live their life the way they feel they should, and for many people this involves letting others know who they are! For other people, things like gender and sexuality are very private, and they don’t feel the need to share this with others.
There isn’t one way of thinking that’s more legitimate than the other, it’s just about YOU.
When you’re ready! This is your decision and not anybody else’s, don’t feel pressured or rushed. Remember, you don’t have to come out at all if you don’t want to. On the other hand, if you do want to come out then please don’t hold back just to protect other peoples feelings – this is your life, not theirs.
Another thing people often forget when coming out, is that you don’t have to come out to everyone at once. There are some people you may never choose to tell, but other people who you feel should know, like your best friend or your family. Take your time in figuring this out, again remember that just because you choose to come out to one person doesn’t mean you have to come out to everyone else. If you choose to stay private with some people, be sure to be clear about this with the people you do come out to. this will help to avoid anyone accidentally ‘outing’ you and causing you problems.
The LGBT* Society:
You may want to consider contacting Coventry University Student Union’s very own LGBTQIA+ Society who we ran a feature on earlier this month. The society is a relaxed non-pressurised environment for LGBTQI+ people. Whilst nobody is ever obliged to ‘come out’ there either, lots of people find that being open in such a group is very helpful when figuring out identity. I know when I first moved to University I found it very difficult to find the words I needed to express myself. Being in a space where others were able to do just that allowed me to slowly get used to the way the words sounded, and more importantly how they made me feel.
Whatever you decide to do, we are here for you. Coventry University celebrates diversity and equality, and continually strives to provide a safe space for everybody by enforcing a zero tolerance policy against bullying and harassment. Check out these photos of our own staff and students celebrating LGBT* History Month and taking a stance against Homophobia and Transphobia.