Coming out is different for every person. Remember - there is always someone you can talk to. There are many organizations
that can help with your questions and concerns about being gay or coming out.
There are several stages in the process of coming out. It's your life so take your time - do things for you and
only when you are ready.
Acknowledging that you are gay can take many years. Some of us probably hoped these feelings were "just a phase". In time,
we realize that these feelings are not just a phase and we have to find a way of accepting them and dealing with the fact
that we are sexually attracted to members of our own sex.
This realization is the first stage of coming out. There is no hard and fast rule when this point is reached. For some
it happens in their teens, for others it may happen much later in life.
The next stage involves going public in some way, of "coming out of the closet". Who you tell next is really up to you.
You may decide to tell your best friend or a member of your family.
Remember, once you have told someone about your sexuality it can become known to others within a short period. This is
human nature and there is very little you can do to prevent this.
Many gay people describe how important it is to first tell someone outside the family. Make sure it's someone you trust
and who you believe to be open minded and supportive
There is no rule that says you have to sit down and talk to others about this, there are other ways. You might like to
write to them first and give them time to react in their own way. This is probably a better approach if, for example, you
live a long way from your family or friends. Remember that you have probably taken a long time to get used to the idea yourself
and others might need the same amount of time. Writing a letter allows you to take your time and to compose your thoughts
carefully and clearly. It can also give the person you are writing to, space to react and consider the news before discussing
it with you. This could be a useful approach if you are expecting a very hostile or negative reaction.
If you decide to talk face to face, remember not to rush it or to do it when one of you is in a hurry or distracted. It
probably won't help to memorize a script either - you can guarantee that some people do not respond in a predictable manner.
If you are worried about their reaction, tell them of your fears and that you don't want to hurt them but need to be honest
with them. Remember to listen to what they have to say - it should be along the lines of a chat, not a speech!
When it comes to coming out, timing is an important consideration. Choose the moment carefully - do it when you (and they)
have lots of time - not last thing at night when you are likely to be more tired and emotional.
Think about the way you are feeling, allowing for nerves, which are perfectly natural under the circumstances, don't do
it if you are feeling angry or emotionally sensitive - this will affect what you say and how you say it. For obvious reasons
don't do it when you are drunk (even if you think you need a drink to steady your nerves).
And remember - only when you are good and ready. A friend once said that he knew he was ready to tell his family only when
he realized that, if he had to, he could live without their support. Fortunately for him (and his family) this didn't happen.