when to tell

1000 masks's picture

Everyone seems to have advice about coming out, so my question is, how do you determine whether/when it's worthwhile?

I'm out to my best friend and have been for years, and I'm comfortable talking to her about anything. I've casually mentioned that I'm gay to two other close friends, but (either because of my presentation or because they wish to pretend I never said it) it's as if I never said anything. Those three people are the only people who I've explicitly come out to.

My issue is this: I want to come out to more people, particularly my parents and two other close friends. However, they are all fairly "conservative" and I am afraid that because I have never dated anyone of either gender, they will label me as simply "confused."

First of all, I wonder if coming out is worthwhile, since I am not in any particular mental/emotional distress and am not even close to having a date to introduce to them? Second, I wonder how I should respond if when I come out, my parents/friends say, "But how would you know? You don't know what you're talking about, you just haven't found the right guy."

Should I wait until I have "proof" (a girlfriend)? I mean, the way my life is going, attending a conservative college and living in a conservative region, I'll never be in a relationship anyway. What are the benefits of coming out now?

Thank you for reading that excessively long post.

tenmilestilts's picture

I think this is the most

I think this is the most important question: do you *want* to come out? Because if you do, I think that's the most important thing. If you really want to come out to the people you mentioned, *do it*!
Two wrongs don't make a right but three lefts do!

Dracofangxxx's picture

I agree with Bookworm. Come

I agree with Bookworm.
Come out when you feel ready and when you're positive it's the right choice.
You're twisted and perverted. I like that in a person.

jeff's picture


Most people react to your coming out the way you present it to them. People who are tentative, uncertain, and nervous when coming out seem like they aren't sure, and will get questions if they're sure, but people who are happy and confident when coming out will get a better reaction.

If you tell someone you're gay the same way you'd tell them you have cancer, they'll react the same way to both. So, if you're not getting the reaction you want, you're probably not setting the stage properly.

The easiest way is to just do the cliched thing about when they chose to be attracted to the opposite sex? Ask them how many same sex people they dated and found attractive before deciding it wasn't for them, etc.

I also don't see why you need someone else in your life to validate your sexuality, for them or you.

And... What is the point of coming out in a conservative school in a conservative town? Easy. You get a rare chance to give every single person who may go on to spread bigotry and homophobia in their politics, lives, families, and communities the chance to actually meet and know someone gay. It is usually easier to be against things you never actually encounter, so you will rob them of that opportunity.

They can't be against "gays" anymore, because you've humanized it. For them to hold on to their beliefs, they actually have to test them, and be against you, if that's going to remain their position. And, for many of them, that is enough to rethink things. And in 20 years, when one of their kids comes out to them, you'll have given that next generation of gay kids in conservative families an easier chance than you were given, and that's how society changes.

If only liberal people in liberal towns come out to their liberal parents, we're only changing the hearts and minds that are more likely to already be on board.

"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." - Kurt Cobain

1000 masks's picture

Thank you for that....it

Thank you for that....it gives me a lot to think about.

About the first part, there's a quote that comes to mind.... "Am I gay? I'm ecstatic!" I'll see what I can do about trying to be ecstatic, or at least about internally mustering up at least a bit of enthusiam.

WHY_FIGHT's picture

there is no better time

there is no better time then right now. you shouldnt weight if it is that important to you. sitting and pondering on it will only give your mind reasons not to come out. you will never know how people really feel about you as a person until they actually know who you really are.
The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.