Capture d’écran 2018-10-19 à 09.47.07

Gay Stuff: Tips For When You’re Coming Out

Image credit: Kamran Khan from Pexels

Even in 2018, coming out is as terrifying and as big of a deal as it was decades ago.  People still get thrown out of houses, ostracized by their family, or bullied relentlessly whenever they come out. It’s no  wonder that a lot of people are understandably worried about coming out.

Adam4Adam blog is always here to help, so we’ve come up with 5 tips that will hopefully make your coming out — and anybody else’s coming out — as pain-free as possible.

1. Come out at your own pace

Nowadays, people come out as early as 16. There are even some cases of children younger than 10 being bullied after coming out. That doesn’t mean that you have to follow their lead. As the tragic case of Jamel Myles shows, coming out sometimes comes with dangerous repercussions. You know yourself best, and you’ll know when the right time is for you to come out.

2. It’s okay to deny if you’re not ready yet

As pointed out in our first tip, sometimes it’s just not safe to be out where you are. Sometimes coming out in your current situation might even be deadly. You shouldn’t feel guilty about denying who you are in situations like those. Your life is so much more important than satisfying the curiosity of other people.

3. Don’t out somebody else

Take the first two tips to heart whenever you meet someone you suspect is gay. Unless you’re a really close friend of theirs, you’re not privy to their home situation, and outing them may just end up endangering them rather than helping them.

If someone comes out to you and only you, don’t take it upon yourself to make them come out to other people. Just think of it as a sign of how much the person trusts you. You definitely don’t want to lose that trust by accidentally or intentionally blabbing about it to other people.

4. Make sure you have a plan B

It’s lovely and heartwarming when coming out results in you being accepted and loved by your friends and family. However, that isn’t always the case. Make sure you have a place to go to if everything goes south and your parents end up throwing you out of the house. If things get dangerous, make sure that there’s a person you can go to who can keep you safe.

5. You don’t need to come out to everyone

Recent years have seen more and more celebrities come out in spectacularly public fashion: via magazine interview like Tessa Thompson, Youtube video like Tom Daley, or music video like Haley Kiyoko. But you’re not a celebrity, and there’s no need for you to come out to every single person in the whole world. It’s okay to just come out to people you feel you can trust, whether it’s a family member or a close friend.

We hope that these tips are helpful! Do any of our Adam4Adam blog readers have any advice they can share as well? What was one piece of advice you wished you heard before you came out? Share it with us in the comments below.

There are 15 comments

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  1. Chris

    Who’s the “expert” who wrote or appropriated these so-called tips? #1 and #5 just make sense; #4 is of value. But #2 in particular…”You shouldn’t feel guilty about denying who you….”?? Really?? Choosing not to come out in some current situation is NOT AT ALL the same as denying who you are!!! I don’t see how denying who you are to yourself is EVER healthy for ANY individual!

    • Of course I swallow

      Chris, I think you misread #2, It was denying to others who you are. If someone asks, and you are not ready. you might say, matter of factly, no, why do you ask? I don’t think the author meant deny to yourself who you are. Realize it may take awhile for someone to accept who they are.

    • Hunter0500

      Agree totally with Chris. Guys have the right to decide who needs to know they are gay. Many militant gays create a social pressure, some kind of obligation, that “if you’re gay, you MUST come out. You owe it to the Community.”

      “You shouldn’t feel guilty about denying who you are..” Does that ONLY mean “if you’re gay, you MUST come out?” Or does it mean “you have the right to determine who knows you’re gay. You have a right to decide if it’s public knowledge.” Many gay guys aren’t guilty about who they are, and they don’t deny it if asked. For them, being gay isn’t the flag they need to wave about who they are. They simply do not feel every person on the planet needs to know they’re gay.

      It’s their sexuality. It’s their right to express it as they wish.

      Isn’t that what militant gays demand … to be free to express who they are?

      Or is there a double-standard?

      Come out if you need to. Be private if you wish.

    • Jim

      To Chris: You totally misread the language in #2. Read it again critically. The recipient of the “denying” is the OTHER (nosy) person, NOT the gay guy himself. #2 is good advice and makes total sense.

  2. Casper

    We all come out when we pass through our mother’s legs. The acknowledgement of specifying whom we sleep with should not be disclosed to the ‘General Public’. That is the ‘misguided gay routine’, and it is misplaced.

    You are already out as you are a member of the ‘public’. Once you are with someone, the result and disclosure will out you soon enough. It will be 2019, shortly; the ‘coming out’ is effete; it is superfluous.

    Years ago, some-of-us had to come out as the times demanded, but times have changed, for better or worst, so the rule is this: “use what is between your ears instead of what hangs between your legs” to know ‘when’ and ‘to whom’.

    You will win, each and every time!

  3. PSFactor

    While coming out can certainly still be a big deal, it’s ridiculous to say it’s as terrifying and as big of a deal as it was decades ago.

  4. Canis Lupus

    When you come out to people who might not greet your news with joy or humanity make sure you have a supportive group of friends by your side or immediately available. A group of supportive friends there or with you or nearby. These supportive friends is like an emotional or physical safety net if your coming out is met with negativity or threats of harm.

    When I came out to a friend who turned out to be a homophobic dick, he wanted to start a fight. I can fight but I had a gay friend with me who is very fem but he is also a HUGE MAN! Bigger homophobic guy took an aggressive step toward me and beyond I could react the funniest thing happened.

    This deep masculine voice came out of my normally fem friend. He said, “HEY DON’T MAKE ME GET UP OUT OF THIS WOMAN AND KICK YOUR A$$!” I don’t know who was more shocked me or my former homophobic friend. The other funny thing was soon as the homophobic guy left my big fem gay friend said in a gurlie voice, “What does a Big Gal have to do to get a Werewolf in her bedroom!”

  5. Jeffrey

    Tip #6. Keep what happens in your bedroom to yourself. It is no ones business. Out or not you you share your bed with is personal. Nothing worse then hearing who slept with who.

    • Michael

      Thank you for a very insightful comment. I have two grown and married children with children of their own. I have never once asked them what sex was like with their spouses. Before they were married, I never asked them whether they and their friends were having sex. I certainly never asked them if they were having sex with their friends.
      If they do ask, I will be honest. I think they respect me too much to ask. All they care about is my happiness. And I don’t think I need to “tell” to make a statement to a larger community.
      Being gay is not a choice. No guilt. But whatever ” coming out” is, that’s a choice. Also no guilt.

  6. Quantum_Sexual

    It would appear that more thought and effort was put in their blog about how to butt shave properly.

    Does this author have any credentials or have you outsourced this article to a Bonobos monkey?

    It would serve our community better if this monkey feces article might have asked for feedback, both good and bad of our stories, our own personal experiences coming out allowing others to learn from us.

  7. Matt (Black)

    Call me crazy, maybe I don’t get it. Why is it ever necessary to come out? This blog was generated
    to helpfully, help people who decide to come out. I look at it as very informative like many others articles this author produces. Is it the satisfy the curiosity of family members, friends, co workers, etc? The first thing I will probably get from peeps on here is freedom. In 2018, we don’t have freedom? The author was talking about possible harm, bullying, getting put out the house. Wow. As a black guy, I think my major issue would be the church. In closing I don’t think it’s necessary to come out right now. Maybe 50 or 60 years from now. Apparently we haven’t got there yet….

  8. troy

    1. Come out at your own pace

    I had to as well because after I admit to myself I was gay. I had to really unpack it. What did it mean for my spirituality? What does it mean to my family? What does it mean for me?

    I believe everyone does have a pace to come out and a lot of the time it’s personal long before you come out to family

    2. It’s okay to deny if you’re not ready yet

    I really do agree with this point and if you are not ready to tell people, you shouldn’t have to. That brings us to number 3

    3. Don’t out somebody else

    Unless they’re an anti gay pos or in the GOP, those people are fair game in my view. I know a few people who are closeted but not exactly out. Their relationships are open secrets but they have never said that they are gay to their families. In some peoples’ circles it’s like Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

    4. Make sure you have a plan B

    Definitely make living arrangements in the event (regrettably) your parents or other relatives disown you

    5. You don’t need to come out to everyone

    That’s definitely true. I do come out to those who are striking up a friendship with me so I can rule them out right away if they’re homophobic or something. Other times, I have not come out or revealed I’m gay because I just don’t feel I should or need to

  9. BillyG

    How about some input and insight on coming out to your kids and ex-wife? Very close to doing it, but still looking for the right time and approach……………. Kids are 13 and 15….

  10. Stephen McLeod

    Very good advice. I would add one thing from my own experience. Come out to yourself Coming out is more than passing along information. It’s a shift in attitude and behavior. It changes how we do everything. I am probably older than your average reader. I was 11 years old in the summer of 1969 when gay people stood up for themselves against the police at the Stonewall in New York City, I don’t think I was aware of what happened at the time, but i knew I was gay for a long time, since puberty anyway. I did no’t know there were other gay people, but I was not confused about what I wanted. Nor was I confused about my gender, as one well meaning clergyman suggested. After Stonewall, things change pretty quickly. Gay men went from being invisible to having our own districts and even tourist attractions in most major cities in a couple of years. And the concept of “Coming Out” and the metaphor of the “closet” was something I was consciously aware of by the time I was 15. I did not understand the concept but like many adolescent boys, I thought I knew everything. I thought I was “out” because I told all the straight boys I longed for that I was gay. Hard as it is to say this, gay men turned me off. My long-term goal to land a straight boyfriend who would make, I guess, an exception for me. . I did not wish I was straight. If you’re straight you have to sleep with women and that is not something that appeals to me. My wish was to be accepted, to be taken seriously so I wouldn’t have to live in a ghetto. Most of those boys I used to pursue slept with me, by the way. Two of them committed suicide. It wasn’t over me, or because of me, but I was relevant. No one can shame us more powerfully that we can shame ourselves.I fancied myself a modern liberal person, But what I did not see was that I was the most intolerant person I knew, a gay man who despised gay men.

    The honeymoon for gay men, after Stonewall, lasted a little more than a decade and turned from being a little dustup with police into a Bacchanalia that to this day defies description. I graduated college and headed for New York. Surely I could find myself there, I thought: . I was 20 years old when young men started dying. Like any healthy male of that age, I thought about sex a lot. I was vaguely aware that the society of gay men like me was something missing in my life and I had resolved to address it. . I had just moved to the biggest of big cities and was horned up and ready to go. I asked the straight man I stayed with the first night I was in New York City (friend of a friend) to take me to Christopher Street and he did. But I was too nervous and then when people I knew actually started dying horrible deaths some months later, I got scared and crawled into a hole and stayed there for the next 20 years. AIDS traumatized me but it also gave me an excuse. I did not realize it I had been trying my whole life to find a way to live in and from a very different and insidious kind of closet, the kind of closet where everyone knew of what I thought of as “my affliction” and accepted me anyway. . I was completely celibate for 22 years after the first deaths were reported.

    Finally one day I had enough. I joined a free support group and met a man who taught me what a wonder it is just being oneself. The best part of my story is the most boring so I won’t further burden you. He was hot, he was a personal trainer and yoga teacher, he had a huge cock. I fell in love, for the first time, with someone who was, in theory anyway, available. I have not looked back. He and I did not last, but while we were together, he showed me how desperate and lonely I was. He taught me that coming out is not about what we say or who we say it to; it’s about what we do and who we love. I found out how to come out only when I I could not stand to live another single second in the closet, I realized, at last, I was not alone, and that I had been my own most powerful oppressor. I came out when I had to: when I finally had enough of he pain of what happens when we don’t.

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