What Exactly Does Coming Out Mean in 2021?

What Does Coming Out Mean? | How to Come Out

What Exactly Does Coming Out Mean in 2021?

Not everyone comes out in the same way. And not everyone comes out to everybody in their lives, or comes out to everybody at the same time. There’s no one right way to come out.

Coming out refers to the process that people who are LGBTQ go through as they work to accept their sexual orientation or gender identity and share that identity openly with other people.

Coming out is a very brave thing to do, and it’s extremely personal and different for everyone. Your emotions when coming out may range from scared and anxious to elated and relieved.

There’s no one right way to come out. It can feel better to be open and honest about your sexual orientation than to hide it, but there are many factors to consider before coming out.

  • Coming out is a process. Often the first step is coming out to yourself. This happens as you recognize your sexual orientation and begin to accept it. Next, you might choose to tell your family, friends, and people in your community — sometimes right away, and sometimes later. You might decide to be open with some people in your life, but not with others.
  • Coming out isn’t a one-time thing. Because many people assume that everyone they meet is straight, coming out is a constant process. Every time an LGBTQ-identified person meets someone new (friends, co-workers, nurses and doctors, etc.), they have to decide if, when, and how to come out.
  • Choosing to come out depends on the situation. The coming-out process can be freeing and can bring you closer to the people you love. But it can also be stressful or even risky or dangerous. You may feel safer not coming out in certain situations.  You don’t have to be out everywhere, all the time. You can decide what’s best for you.
  • Coming out can have benefits and risks. If you’re wondering whether to come out, there's a lot to consider. Does coming out mean that you risk losing emotional or financial support from your family? Could coming out put you in physical danger? Will your family try to pressure you into being someone you’re not?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may want to wait until you’re in a different situation or have more support.

You, and only you, are in charge of your coming out experience. It's up to you to choose how, where, when, and with whom to be open about your sexual orientation (and gender identity). It may feel safer to start by being open with other people who also identify as LGBTQ. This could be online, in community centers, at an LGBTQ club or group, or with a few close friends.

How do I come out to my parents and friends?

There’s no single, correct way to come out to your family and friends. You’re the expert in what feels right to you, and who it feels safest to tell.

Here are some suggestions that might make the conversation easier:

  • When you decide that you’re ready to come out, give yourself some time to practice how you’ll do it and what you’ll say.
  • Identify the people or person in your life that you think will be the most okay with the news, and come out to them first. You can often get a sense of how friendly someone is to LGBTQ people by how they react when the topic comes up in conversation.
  • Do some research so that you have information about being LGBTQ in case your loved one has questions or doesn’t have the facts.
  • You may be more comfortable coming out by writing a letter or e-mail rather than telling someone in person. That’s totally fine.  
  • After you decide who you’ll come out to, what you’ll say to them, and how you’ll say it, be prepared to wait as they digest and accept the new information. Give them the time they need.
  • Don’t assume that everyone will react with prejudice — go in with an open mind. Some people may surprise you with their openness and acceptance, and many folks already know other LGBTQ people in their lives.

The Human Rights Campaign also has many helpful and detailed resources on coming out

Where can I find support if I’m coming out?

You can find support from many sources, including:

  • Other LGBTQ people who may share the experience of coming out
  • Online communities of LGBTQ people
  • Trusted LGBTQ adults that you may already know, such as family members or teachers
  • Straight people who are allies to LGBTQ people
  • A Gay/Straight Alliance at your school
  • LGBTQ organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), The Trevor Project, and Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)  
  • A local LGBTQ community center

Not everyone lives in a place that has a Gay/Straight Alliance in their school, or an LGBTQ community center. The Internet is very useful in finding communities and support in coming out.

Источник: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/sexual-orientation/sexual-orientation/whats-coming-out

Queer Definition — What Is the Meaning of Queer, Queer vs Gay

What Exactly Does Coming Out Mean in 2021?

“Queerness” is an umbrella term that is both an orientation and a community for those on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum.

Is the word “queer” an insult?

While you might’ve heard the word used as an insult, the term “queer” has recently been reclaimed by the community to be empowering and to create a sense of community rather than being derogatory, says Amanda Pasciucco, AASECT certified sex therapist.

Who falls under the queer umbrella?

To Pasciucco, queerness encompasses an intersection of identities.

She adds that the term “queer” indicates an “individual who self-identifies as either lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (also sometimes called “questioning”), intersex, and/or asexual, aka the LGBTQIA+ community.

For Pasciucco herself, she also utilizes the + sign when referring to the queer community in order to indicate pangender or pansexual individuals and those in alternative relationship communities, such as polyamory, kink, or non-monogamy.

However, the definition of queerness also varies depending on who you ask.

As Pasciucco explains herself, “To be clear, as a person who is mostly in other-sex relationships, not all individuals who identify as queer believe that people me, or people in the plus, ought to be included in the community.” The word “queer” is intentionally vague (more on that below), and with such vagueness also comes different interpretations.

Is queer a sexual identity or a gender identity, or can it be both?

Queerness is more nuanced than a sexual identity or gender identity, says Pasciucco, who adds that it’s dynamic and a fluid movement “beyond the binary of cisgender and hetereonormativity.” Queerness is intersectional! As Nicole Scrivano, LMFT, one of Pasciucco’s colleagues, explained in a blog post:

“As queer women, we come in a variety of forms, identities, and belief systems. Some of these identities are within sexuality identities of bisexual, lesbian, gay, pansexual, etc. Some of these identities are within gender: transgender, cisgender, non-binary, femme, gender flexible, etc. Relational identities such as monogamous, polyamorous, swinging, open, etc. Queer women are on a spectrum of gender and sexual fluidity.”

To help clarify the definition of queer some more, here’s a firsthand account from writer Sophie Saint Thomas on identifying as queer and more about the word:

“I’m queer,” I told my Tinder match, who was an extremely hot straight dude. When that confused him, I added, “…and bisexual.

” I date people of all genders, but my queer identity is so much more than a label to clarify who I date and have sex with.

He seemed relieved to know that sex with him was still on the table and that “queer” wasn’t a synonym for “gay,” which, even in 2019, can still confuse the best of us.

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“Queer” is a word that clarifies that I’m not straight and ties me to the larger queer community, but it doesn’t categorize me as gay. The vagueness of the term is intentional—queer is an identity created for anyone outside of the heterosexual norm and meant to be inclusive and create a sense of acceptance.

But what, exactly, does it mean to be queer? Could you be queer? To clarify what the term means, Cosmo spoke with Kelly Wise, PhD, a queer sex therapist, about how “queer” evolved from a gay slur to an encompassing—and even welcoming—word used by folks all across the LGBTQ spectrum (and, controversially, even some straight folks too).

Okay, so what does “queer” mean?

Language evolves with society, often due to the brute force and fierceness of those who wish to see change. Such is the case for “queer,” a term predominantly used by the LGBTQ community to stake a contrast from mainstream, heteronormative society. “When I think about ‘queer,’ I just think ‘different,’” Wise says.

While all labels used to describe one’s sexual orientation are unique to the individual, un “homosexual” (an attraction to the same gender), “queer” is an umbrella term that can be used by anyone under the LGBTQ spectrum. “Queer” conveys both an orientation and a sense of community.

“The community aspect states, ‘Because we’re all different, we can celebrate our differences. I can accept you for who you are, and there’s power in numbers,’” Wise says. “There’s an aspect to it that doesn’t allow for isolation.

” Some folks who fall somewhere in the middle of the sexual orientation spectrum will describe themselves as queer rather than bisexual (attraction to both your own gender and genders other than your own) or pansexual (attraction regardless of gender).

Others will use both and introduce themselves as “bisexual and queer,” for instance. The term “queer” is also used by those whose gender does not fall on the binary.

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The celebration and use of the word “queer” is one of reclamation. Not too long ago, “queer” was still used as a slur. “Back in the day, definitely when I was growing up, the word ‘queer’ was a derogatory term,” Wise says. “The reclamation of the word is , ‘This is who I am.

We don’t need to be everyone else; let’s celebrate our differences, and don’t try to put me in any sort of box of who you need me to be because I’ll continuously try to break down the boxes.

” It is worth noting that while the word “queer” is generally celebrated, some LGBTQ folks still prefer to avoid it due to its discriminatory history.

Despite the progress, the word “queer” isn’t without controversy—some people within polyamorous or kink communities identify as queer even if they enjoy solely heterosexual relationships. “Just because it’s one penis and one vagina, that doesn’t mean that there’s not some queer aspect of you,” Wise says.

While some agree that polyamorous sexualities count as “different” (and therefore “queer”) others feel that for a straight, poly person to describe themselves as queer is piggybacking on decades of LGBTQ activism to gain fundamental rights and celebrate their identities.

But to keep it simple, if someone describes themselves as queer, it’s quite often because their sexual orientation and/or gender falls under the LGBTQ umbrella rather than the heterosexual norm.

There are as many ways to identify as queer as there are people who do so—so if you feel you may be queer and want to own that, go forth with pride.

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Источник: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/a25243218/queer-meaning-definition/

Coming Out

What Exactly Does Coming Out Mean in 2021?

You've learned something important about yourself and now you want to share this with your family, friends, or other people. Or you might not feel sharing right now.

It's normal to wonder about coming out (telling people that you are a member of the LGBTQ+ communities).

You might feel relief that you finally get to be your true, authentic self. But you probably also think about how your world could change if you do share: How will people react? Will the people you tell spread the word to someone you'd prefer didn't know? Is it safe to come out?

There are lots of reasons why people choose to come out. Here are a few:

  • They're ready to start dating and want close friends and family members to know.
  • They don't want people making assumptions about them or gossiping.
  • They're tired of hearing other people use stereotypes or negative labels.
  • They feel they're living a lie or not acting true to themselves and want to feel accepted for who they really are.

There are also plenty of reasons why people decide not to come out, such as:

  • They're not yet sure about who they are or how they feel. They're still trying to figure things out for themselves.
  • They're afraid they'll face bullying, harassment, discrimination, or even violence.
  • Their families, friends, or community don't know, and they worry about what might happen if people found out.
  • They live in a community that has not being very accepting of LGBTQ+ people.

Coming out can be more complicated for teens who depend on parents or other adults for care and well-being. Some people who come out live in places where being LGBTQ+ is accepted. They're more ly to get support from family and friends. Each person should consider their own situation. It's different for everyone.

Most people come out gradually. They start by telling a counselor or a few close friends or family. A lot of people tell a counselor or therapist because they want to be sure their information stays private. Some call an LGBTQ+ support group so they can have help working through their feelings about identity or coming out.

Things to Keep in Mind

Coming out is a big and personal decision. You won't know how people will react until the time comes.

Sometimes you can get clues about how people think from the way they talk about LGBTQ+ people: Are they open-minded and accepting, or negative and disapproving?

You can get an idea of how people think by bringing up LGBTQ+ issues. Listen to how people respond when you ask questions these: «I've been reading about gay marriage. What are your thoughts on it?» Or, «My cousin's school is raising money to help a transgender student who is homeless. Is that something you'd donate to?»

Even when you think someone might react positively to your news, there's still no guarantee. Everyone responds their own situations: Parents who accept an LGBTQ+ friend may be upset when their own child comes out. It could be because they worry their child might face discrimination. Or it could be they struggle with beliefs that being LGBTQ+ is wrong.

Here are things to keep in mind when you're thinking of coming out:

Trust Your Gut

Don't feel forced to come out by friends or situations. Coming out is a process. Different people are ready for it at different times in their lives.

You might want to be open about who you are, but you also need to think about your own safety. If there's a risk you could be physically harmed or thrown the house, it's probably safer not to share.

Instead, call a helpline the GLBT National Youth Talkline to get advice and support your situation.

Weigh all the Possibilities

Ask yourself these questions: «How might coming out make my life more difficult? How could it make things easier? Is it worth it?» The Trevor Project's Coming Out Handbook has lots of tips and things to think about. If you're thinking about coming out to anyone at your school, consider reading GLSEN's Coming Out at School guide first.

Have a Support System

If you can't talk openly about your identity, or if you're trying to figure out if you should come out, it can help to speak to a counselor or call an anonymous helpline, the GLBT National Youth Talkline.

Having support systems in place can help you plan how to come out (or not). Support systems can also help you cope if any reactions to your coming out aren't what you expected, or if you need emergency shelter.

Let Go of Expectations

People you come out to might not react the way you expect. You will probably find that some relationships take time to settle back to what they were. Some might change permanently. Friends and family members — even the most supportive parents — may need time to get used to your news.

Identify Peer Pressure

Coming out is your decision and your decision alone. Even if other people you know have come out or if you've come out to some but not others, no one has a say in when, how, or who you come out to.

Think About Privacy

You might have friends who are mature enough to respect personal, private information and keep it to themselves. But whenever you share information, there's a risk it could leak to people you might not want to know.

Therapists and counselors are required to keep information you share private — but only if they think you won't hurt yourself or others. If a counselor thinks you might harm yourself or someone else, they are required to report it.

It's a Lifelong Process

Coming out is a lifelong process. If you choose to come out, that's important to remember — and not be discouraged by. You will make new friends, family, meet new partners, and join new companies throughout your life. If you choose to come out, then you will have to do it countless times.

It may get easier as you become more confident and social attitudes progress, but sometimes it may be as scary as the first time. Always put your safety and well-being first.

Coming out is a personal choice. Take time to think about what's right for you.

Источник: https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/coming-out.html

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