COMING OUT: LIVING OPENLY ON YOUR TERMS & BEING OPEN WITH YOURSELF…..
Also see October – LGBT History, Breast Cancer Month & Coming Out Day (Oct 11th) on Gay Jamaica Watch
Also see Making a Coming Out Plan
Coming Out Telling Family Members
Living Openly on Your Terms
As you continue to live openly, here are some other points to consider:
■ It’s important to remember that the journey from “Coming Out” to “Living Openly” is ongoing, and unfolds at your own pace.
■ Living openly is something that becomes easier with time, it will often take a little energy when you tell someone new even after you’ve been open for years — but it gets exponentially easier with time.
■ Living openly as a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or straight-supportive person can help to make it easier for young GLBT people who will follow this generation.
■ Living openly can be a passive expression of who you are — such as not hiding a rainbow or equality sticker or a loved one’s photograph — or it can be a deliberate process involving a planned conversation or the decision to always be ready to affirm your sexual orientation or gender identity should a situation arise.
■ Living openly doesn’t mean that the sole, or even primary, aspect of your identity is being GLBT. It means making this part of your life a natural piece of you — just like your age, height, hair color or personality.
■ Living openly lets other people know, especially those who are judgmental or biased, that their attitudes are theirs alone.
■ On a daily basis, you will face decisions about where, when and how to come out — or where, when and why not to. Always remember, this is your journey. You get to decide how to take it.
Being Open With Yourself
From birth, most of us are raised to think of ourselves as fitting into a certain mold. Our culture and our families teach us that we are “supposed” to be attracted to people of the opposite sex, and that boys and girls are supposed to look, act and feel certain ways. Few of us were told we might fall in love with someone of the same sex, or that we might have a gender identity that differs from the body into which we were born. That’s why so many of us are scared, worried or confused when facing these truths.
Opening up to the possibility that you may be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or even just questioning means opening up to the idea that you’re on a path that’s your own. It’s also why coming out and living ever more openly is a profoundly liberating experience.
In the end, and at the beginning, the first person you have to be open with is yourself.
Throughout the coming out process, it’s normal to feel: