Coming out – the process by which an individual tells other people that he or she is something other than straight or cisgender – can be a challenge. Sharing your sexual orientation or gender identify with a person can be both exciting yet scary, liberating yet anxiety producing. Additionally, it is important to realize that every person’s coming out story is unique and different. While some people may feel comfortable sharing that they are LGBT with friends or family, it is important to know that if you at all feel uneasy about coming out, there are many resources in New York City or online that can help you. You are not alone.
Before coming out, it can be helpful to find supportive resources or communities to help you. Fortunately, there are many great online resources and in-person centers in the New York city area. For example:
There are other resources specific to the New York City area:
- Coming out NYC
- The LGBT Community Center
- Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays of NYC (PFLAG)
- Project STAY
The act of coming out can happen many ways, including over the phone, via text, over email, in-person, or in a written letter. There is no right or wrong way to come out and many people feel like a big weight has been lifted off their shoulders once they do come out to other people. While there are some risks to coming out such as will everybody accept you for who you are, there are many benefits such as being able to live an open life and connecting with a strong, vibrant, supportive community.
Keep in mind that you are in charge and you decide how, when, and where to come out. As a teen, you want to make sure you are safe and ready. If you decide to come out, there are people who love and support you and many resources such as those listed above to help you needed.
BeWell and BridgeUP Fellows are here to support you!