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Coming Out When (and If) the Time is Right

Information for Teens on Coming Cut

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Coming out pressure

Coming out, or openly declaring that you are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (GLBT) is a big step for a teen. Although choosing to come out is very personal, some teens feel pressure to come out.

Well-meaning friends, partners, and even out celebrities can make you feel like you need to announce you sexual orientation to the world--even if you don't think you are ready to do so.

Coming out: Is it for me?

Though coming out can be an amazing experience, it is important to think about your reasons for coming out before taking the plunge. Coming out at any age can be challenging, but because teens tend to live with their families, there are a few unique issues young people need to think about. Ask yourself:

  • Will coming out jeopardize my situation at home?
  • Is it safe, physically and emotionally, for me to come out to my parents?
  • Do I have resources available (both emotional and financial) if coming out changes my situation at home?

Once you have thought through these questions, you might want to think about your reasons for coming out.

Here are some good reasons to come out:

  • You feel confident in your sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • You feel like you have the support of family and / or friends.
  • You are confident that coming out will help you grow and make you feel better about yourself as a person.
  • You feel like the positives outweigh the negatives, and that you can handle possible negative reactions from friends and family.

Here are some not so good reasons to come out:

  • A friend or partner is pressuring you to come out.
  • You feel like you are lying to people if you don't.
  • You feel like coming out will make you feel legitimately GLBT.
  • You think coming out will make you feel more grown-up.
  • You're mad at your parents and want to upset them.

If you think your reasons are good ones, you might decide that you are ready to come out. If not, it might seem like a better idea to hold off. Whatever you decide, make sure you have support. Teens coming out tend to have better experiences if they have someone they can rely on for help and understanding.

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