Coming out to your friends can be scary, but itís also a really exciting time in your life. Revealing your ***uality or gender identity allows you to live the life you want, but itís normal to feel worried about how people are going to react. To make coming out to your friends easier, first decide who you feel comfortable telling. Then, plan what you want to say beforehand. Once you know what you want to say, announce your ***uality or gender identity in a way thatís comfortable for you. Additionally, be prepared to handle different types of reactions.
[Edit]Steps

[Edit]Deciding Who to Tell

  1. Wait until you feel ready to come out. There's no rush to come out, and you don't owe anyone an explanation about your ***uality or gender identity. Give yourself as much time as you need to get comfortable with yourself before you reveal yourself to your friends. Your coming out should be on your own terms.[1]

    • In some cases, friends or family members might be asking about your ***uality or gender identity. You don't have to answer them until you're ready. You might instead say, "I'm not really worried about dating right now. Are you seeing someone?"
    • Some of your friends might feel ready to come out before you, and that's okay! You don't need to come out just because someone else has. Your journey is different from theirs.

  2. Ask your friends about LGBTQ+ issues to see if theyíre accepting. Itís normal to feel nervous about how your friends will react. Fortunately, you can test their reactions by seeing how they respond to LGBTQ+ topics. Bring up an LGBTQ+ character, news story, or issue, then ask your friends what they think about it. See if they seem supportive or possibly judgmental.[2]

    • You might say, ďWhat did you think of Love, Simon?Ē ďWere you shocked when Cheryl came out as a lesbian on Riverdale?Ē or ďIím confused about this same *** wedding cake debate. What do you think?Ē
    • If youíre transgender or nonbinary, you might say, ďHave you read about the transgender bathroom laws? What do you think?Ē or ďHave you ever questioned your own gender identity?Ē

  3. Identify the friends you think will support you. Consider which of your friends seem supportive of same *** relationships, transgender people, and nonbinary people. Pick the people you think will be most supportive to tell first. As you tell more people, your supportive friends can be there for you as you come out to others.[3]

    • Itís possible that many of your friends will be supportive. However, itís okay if you just start with a single friend. Whatís important is that you feel comfortable with your coming out journey.

  4. Postpone telling people you think will judge or reject you. While itís not fair to you, some people may have trouble accepting your identity. This can be really painful, but itís important to remember that this has nothing to do with you. If you suspect someone will react negatively, wait to tell them until youíre ready to deal with their reaction. Keep in mind that you never have to tell them if you donít want to.[4]

    • For instance, you might have a friend whoís very vocal about their negative opinions regarding LGBTQ+ issues. Itís probably best not to tell them about your identity.
    • If youíre feeling hurt over losing friends who wonít accept you, remind yourself that true friends love you for who you are. You donít need negative people in your life, and you will find friends who support you.

  5. Make new friends in the LGBTQ+ community if you donít have support. Itís okay if you feel nervous about trying to make new friends. Donít worry about bonding with people right away. Just focus on meeting people through social events or online. Get to know them and try to make a connection. Soon, youíll have new friends who love you for who you are.[5]

    • Go to LGBTQ+ events or Meetups in your area. Set a goal to meet people and say, ďHi.Ē Over time, youíll make a few new friends.

[Edit]Planning What to Say

  1. Write down what you want to tell your friends. Think about everything youíd like to say, then jot down the ideas that seem most important to you. Pour out your heart and say how you feel about your friends. Then, revise what youíve written so that itís clear and concise.[6]

    • You might write something like, ďLately, Iíve been dealing with a lot of conflict inside myself, but recently I realized something really important. Youíre one of my closest friends, so I want to be my true self around you. I hope that youíll accept me for who I am. Iím gay, and Iím ready to live my life out and proud.Ē

  2. Use a positive tone to show that you're proud of who you are. Your ***uality or gender identity is part of you, so you have every right to be excited and proud to share it with people. Don't let worries about how people will react make you feel ashamed or like you're holding in a secret. As you plan what you want to say, keep your tone positive and celebratory.[7]

    • For instance, use an upbeat tone of voice while you're speaking. Additionally, focus on how you're sharing your truth rather than thinking of this as a dark secret.

  3. Say only what feels comfortable to you. You are totally in control of what you say during your coming out. Donít feel pressured to provide personal details or to explain yourself. Decide what youíre comfortable sharing, and stick to that.[8]

    • You don't need to provide "proof" of your ***uality or gender identity. Similarly, you don't need to explain how you realized your identity unless you want to do so. What you share is totally up to you.

  4. Practice what you want to say so itís easier to share with your friends. State what you want to say aloud so you can hear how it sounds. You might also sit in front of a mirror so you can practice telling it to someone else. Keep practicing until you feel comfortable with what you want to say.[9]

    • If something feels wrong, donít be afraid to change it.
    • If youíre already out to a family member or best friend, ask them to help you practice. For instance, you might tell them what you plan to say and get their feedback.

[Edit]Announcing Your ***uality or Gender Identity

  1. Tell your friends in person if you feel comfortable doing it face-to-face. If youíre comfortable coming out in person, doing it one-on-one or in small groups is an awesome idea. Ask your friends to meet you in a comfortable, private location. Then, tell them what you practiced.[10]

    • For instance, you might ask your friends out to dinner or could invite them over to your house.

  2. Use props if you want to make it playful and fun. You get to set the mood for your coming out. If you want it to be more playful than serious, try adding props to your announcement. You might use a large banner or give your friends small items or gifts with your LGBTQ+ announcement written on them. In addition to keeping it fun, props also break the ice for you! Here are some ideas:[11]

    • Make a banner that says ďIím gay!Ē and stand under it.
    • Hand out cupcakes that say ďYour Friend is Bi.Ē
    • Give your friends eggs filled with glitter, then ask everyone to break them just before you make your announcement.
    • Sing ďIím Coming OutĒ on a karaoke machine.

  3. Come out in a text if youíre too nervous to say it in person. You might be too nervous to tell people in person, and thatís totally okay! Instead, type out everything you want to say into a text. Alternatively, send your friends a fun coming out meme. In addition to helping you feel comfortable, this gives them time to process the information and come up with a response.[12]

    • You could text them, ďHey, youíre one of my best friends, so I wanted to tell you something really important about me. I hope that youíll accept me for who I am and be there for me. Iíve known for awhile that Iím a trans man, and I want to start living my life as my true self.Ē

  4. Write a letter if you express yourself better on paper. A personal letter is an ******** way of expressing what you want to say without having to do it in person. Write or type all of the information you want to share as part of your coming out. Personalize letters to each of your friends so they understand how much they mean to you. Send the letters to your friends, then wait a few days before following up with everyone.[13]

    • Some of your friends might reach out to you right away. If this happens, listen to what they have to say and answer questions you feel comfortable with.
    • After about 2-3 days, contact friends you havenít heard from. Say something like, ďI wanted to talk to you about the letter I sent you. Have you read it?Ē

  5. Make an announcement on social media to tell everyone at once. If youíre comfortable with everyone knowing your ***uality or gender identity, posting on social media might be a fun, easy way to come out to everyone. Type out an emotional message if that feels right to you, or post a fun LGBTQ+ photo. Explain that youíre proud of who you are and hope your friends will be supportive.[14]

    • Type something like, ďI feel like itís time for me to be honest with everyone. Iím gay and proud! I hope that everyone reading this can accept me for who I am and will support my coming out!Ē
    • You could also post a pic of you in your favorite rainbow outfit, holding a sign that says, ďHey! Iím Gay!Ē

  6. Host a coming out party if you want to set a celebratory tone. If you enjoy being the center of attention, a coming out party might be the most fun way to tell your friends. Plan a party thatís as big or small as you feel comfortable with. Then, invite the friends you think will be supportive. Here are some party ideas to help you come out:[15]

    • Consider using rainbow decorations to signal to your friends that this is a coming out party.
    • Hang a banner that announces your ***uality or gender identity if that feels right to you.
    • Have a toast to give your coming out speech.
    • Decorate your treats with fun coming out statements, like ďGay AFĒ or ďWho runs my world? Girls!Ē

[Edit]Handling Different Reactions

  1. Expect your friends to ask questions. Your friends are probably going to have questions, so decide what you're comfortable addressing. Don't feel pressured to answer any questions that make you uncomfortable. However, it's helpful to provide answers to topics you're open to talking about.[16]

    • For instance, your friend might ask, "How long have you known you were transgender?" You might say, "I realized I was really a guy when I was 3-years-old, but I haven't felt comfortable talking about it until now." Similarly, a friend might ask, "Are you sure you're gay?" You could respond, "Yes, I'm definitely attracted to guys."
    • Gently refuse to answer questions that are too personal. Letís say your friend asks about your *** life. You might say, ďIím glad you want to know me better, but thatís not something I feel comfortable sharing. I hope you understand.Ē

  2. Give your friends time to process your coming out. It's common for your friends to feel shocked, even if they're super supportive of the LGBTQ+ community. This doesn't mean they're pulling away or don't accept you. It's important to give them the time they need to think about what you've said and decide how to respond. Let your friends have time to think things over.[17]

    • Some of your friends might immediately reach out to you, and that's awesome!
    • If your friends go quiet for a few days, give them a little space. After a few days, touch base with them to see if they're open to talking. You might text them, "Hey! I just wanted to see how you were doing. Wanna chat?"

  3. Donít take negative responses personally. Unfortunately, some people may react negatively when you come out. This can be super painful, but itís important to remember that they arenít really rejecting you. Their reaction is about them, so try to separate yourself from it.[18]

    • Take a break from people who are making you feel bad about yourself.
    • If someone says a nasty comment to you, respond with something like, ďIím sorry that you hold that kind of hate in your heart,Ē ďIím sorry you feel that way,Ē or ďItís not okay for you to say these things to me.Ē

  4. Ask your friends not to tell anyone else if that's important to you. You have the right to decide who knows about your ***uality and gender identity. Your coming out should be on your own terms, so tell your friends what you're comfortable with them sharing. This will help you control your own story and decide what labels apply to you.[19]Advertisement


    • Say something like, "I'm telling you this because you're one of my closest friends. However, I'm not ready for everyone at school to know, so please don't tell anyone else," or "I'm planning to come out to different people at different times. Please don't discuss this with anyone else because I want to tell them in my own time."

  5. Focus on the positives because your identity is something to celebrate. There may be some difficult moments during your coming out process. Try not to let these issues get you down. Instead, think about whatís going right in your life and how awesome it will be to finally live the life you want.[20]

    • Make a gratitude list to remind yourself of whatís going well. Write down 3-5 things that youíre grateful for every day, then re-read your list when youíre feeling down.
    • Surround yourself with people who support you so youíre not worrying about people who are negative.
    • Donít forget about online forums! If youíre not feeling supported in real life right now, look for pro-LGBTQ+ friends online. Youíre not alone!

  6. Recognize itís okay to change your label as you grow. While some people instantly know their ***uality or gender identity, itís okay if it takes you a while to fully understand who you are. Give yourself permission to be who you are on the inside, even if that means coming out again to the same group of friends. If theyíre the right friends for you, theyíll support you every time![21]

    • For instance, you might think that youíre bi***ual at first. However, you might later discover that youíre gay. Similarly, you might think youíre nonbinary but may decide that youíre actually transgender. Itís okay to re-label yourself!

[Edit]Tips

  • Make fun plans for the 2-3 days after your coming out because it may take your friends time to process what you've said. Instead of sitting around worrying about their reaction, have some fun!
  • If you havenít accepted your ***uality or gender identity yet, you may be more likely to take negative reactions badly. Reach out to the LGBTQ+ community for support and to help you learn to love yourself. It also helps to see a counselor.
  • Donít blame yourself if someone wonít accept you. Your ***uality or gender identity is part of who you are, and you have every right to live your life on your own terms.

[Edit]Warnings

  • See a therapist if youíre feeling anxious or depressed over being LGBTQ+ or over the responses from your friends. Your therapist can help you work through your feelings and learn to love yourself. Additionally, theyíll help you build new friendships, if necessary.
  • Get help immediately if someone threatens you with violence. While itís totally unfair, some people can be cruel.

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