Today (Wednesday 11th October 2017) is National Coming Out Day. Coming out is when a gay man or lesbian woman disclose that they are attracted to the same sex to someone. Coming out for a bisexual is when they disclose that they are attracted to both sexes to someone.
Coming out is a process, rather than a singular experience and is a life long one. Gay, lesbian and bisexual people come out in all areas of their lives including: to family, to friends, to work colleagues, to health & social care professionals, etc. Coming out is diverse, some are out to everyone, some are only out to some people in their lives and some aren’t out at all.
All gay, lesbian and bisexual people remember their first coming out experience and sometimes choose to share their intimate stories with one another. These shared experiences, along with associated emotions can create strong empathetic bonds.
Trans people also go through the process of coming out. I’m not Trans, so this article will only focus on coming out for gay, lesbian and bisexual people.
This article gives 5 great reasons to come out as gay, lesbian or bisexual. But only come out if you feel that it is safe to do so. Don’t put yourself at risk of harm in any way. If you live in a country that mistreats, or persecutes, or where homophobia and biphobia is evident it may be safer not to come out.
Here’s 5 great reasons to come out:
5. More Chance of Meeting Mr or Ms Right
Being out will switch on your gaydar. Suddenly you’ll start to notice attractive gay men, or lesbian women or both sexes everywhere. Being out and becoming part of the out world will lead to more opportunities to meet Mr or Ms Right.
4. A New Lease of Life
Coming out will give you a new lease of life. You’ll become part of the gay community, which is rich with its own unique culture and many sub-cultures. There’s something for everyone in the gay community. You’ll make new friends, lovers and partners.
Gay, lesbian and bisexual people going through a process of self-acceptance prior to coming out to others. Part of coming out to others is about gaining acceptance from those you hold dear. Acceptance and tolerance for difference is something that has always been a struggle for humans. But slowly, in more and more countries around the world, we are becoming more tolerant, inclusive and accepting.
LGB (Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual) people in some places gave gained more rights and protections. In some places they have been given truer equality, just think about the legal right marry their partners.
In history most LGB were not able to marry their partners because they were of the same sex. Yet straight people have always been able to marry their partners. By allowing all to marry their partners, irrespective of gender, is true equality. You can read more about The History of Marriage (in the UK) here.
2. Happier and Healthier
You’ll be happier not keeping the secret from people. Keeping your sexuality is a secret is a lot of work: watching what you say, watching what you do and watching how you behave.
Add to the above saying, doing and behaving like others would expect a straight person to. Analysing situations in your head for a long time after they’ve happened, wondering if your act was good enough?
You will be mentally healthier as well. Those who are not out are more at risk of depression, anxiety and other mental health illnesses due to feelings of isolation and the burden of keeping the secret.
1. Be Yourself
Coming out gives you the chance to be your whole self, without having to hide one of the most important aspects of yourself.
Are there any other great reasons to come out? Leave a comment below.