What I Learned About Coming Out

Coming out is a process, not just a one time thing and then everyone knows forever.

Just because you come out to one group of people does not mean that you are out to everyone. Some people I know agree that they may have come out to their friends, but they haven’t come out to their family or a certain family member. One person I know even told me she will never come out to her grandmother unless she has a female partner that she plans to marry because of how homophobic her grandmother is. On the other hand, she’s out as bisexual to her friends and her parents. 

Labels don’t always communicate a person’s sexuality entirely.

Labels such as straight, lesbian, or bisexual is a quick way to identify one’s sexuality to another party and identify with people of similar attractions, but that label doesn’t perfectly fit. My best friend has a similar experience going on where she identifies as pansexual, liking people regardless of sex or gender, but she feels mostly straight from the fact that she has had only dated one girl. This is why many people just identify as queer because it is a broader term meaning not being 100% anything.

Sexual identity can be defined as whatever the person in question feels it means.

There’s the constant questions of what are the definitions of bisexual, pansexual, and polysexual. One person can say bisexual is very similar to pansexual in liking both genders and polysexual is also close to the two. I would counter that idea by saying bisexual is liking both male and female, pansexual is liking personalities regardless of gender, and polysexual is liking or dating multiple people at once. The bottom line is don’t assume if a person identifies as bi that they don’t like non binary.

Sexuality and gender identity aren’t set in stone and aren’t always extreme.

The Trevor Project’s spectrum allows a person to see where the lie on the spectrum at any given time knowing that it could change as soon as tomorrow. A similar idea to this is the genderbread person.

You should never feel pressured to come out, especially if you feel unsafe or uncomfortable doing so.