A Coming Out Guide: Some DO’s And DON'Ts When You Learn Someone Is LGBTQIA2S+ 🏳️🌈
A few things to DO:
Listen. This means so much to them. They may have rehearsed this moment over and over in their mind. It is vital that they feel heard.
Lean back. THIS MOMENT IS NOT ABOUT YOU. It’s not a time to bombard them with unwelcome questions, lay blame, or speculate how you “should have known.” do not wonder why they haven’t told you until now. They are telling you now, that is enough.
Let them lead. If they offer to answer questions, start joking or laugh, by all means join in. If they start getting uncomfortable, move on. If you make a mistake or say something you regret, that’s okay. Apologize right away and move on.
Learn. This is an opportunity for you to learn more about your loved one, not the time to postulate or get on your soapbox. Do not under any circumstances, suggest that they need therapy unless that is something they explicitly request. Remember that it’s not their responsibility to educate you. Do your research.
Love. What they need to know is that you will always love them, no matter what. Learn how they receive love best and show them.
I promise you, they will never forget it.
A few things NOT to do:
Telling you their sexuality/gender identity could possibly be extremely exhausting, so do not add any more stress by bringing up faith. Allow them to initiate that conversation.
Do not tell anyone about what they have told you unless with explicit permission, even if you are also LGBTQIA2S+, and even if the person you are going to tell is also LGBTQIA2S+. It’s not yours. Being queer does not give you the rights to expose your queer friends’ sexuality.
Do not expect that they owe you any explanation for anything.
Do not assume that they have ever, or will ever hit on you or check you out.
Do not use derogatory language.
Do not associate certain interests and activities with certain sexualities.
Do not say “I knew it.” You may think it makes them feel seen, but instead you’re making it about you. This could indicate that you’ve associated them with stereotypes. It may make the person feel invalidated since they found it so difficult to understand themselves while it seems so easy for you.
Last but not least, do not leave the conversation without reassuring them that they are loved. ❤