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Should I Come Out in College?

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Should I Come Out in College?

Gay Friendly Student Housing at the U of Vermont

Image (c) Jordan Silverman
Question: Should I Come Out in College?
Answer:

A lot of people decide to come out in college. Often it's a really good experience. But just like coming out at any time, it's one that you should give some thought to.

There are a number of reason young people decide to come out in college. Here are a few:

  • Many college are openly welcoming to GLBT students. This can be a big change from a teen's high school experience.
  • Being away from home and your parents can seem freeing.
  • College can be a time of self-discovery.
  • Teens with homophobic parents, or who go to school in hostile environments may not feel safe coming out until they leave home.

For John, one of my former students, the rational to come out in college stemmed from a few of the reasons mentioned above. "I grew up really religious and went to a religious school," he said. "Coming out wasn't an option there. So I looked for a college where I could be openly gay and that was going to be totally different from my high school."

If you think college might be the right time for you to come out, like John, you might want to pick a GLBT friendly school.

About's guide to lesbian life has some great tips, as well of a list of schools on her site.

Coming out at any time can be challenging. So it is really important to make sure you feel ready to do so. But a lot of people find that the benefits of being out make the challenges worthwhile.

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