How to Support Your Friend Who is Coming Out

In this time in our society, it is extremely important to be supportive of friends in the LGBTQ community. However, this can be an awkward situation for some people because they don’t know how to be supportive for their friend and/or friends. Or they try to be supportive and then they say something insensitive by mistake. Here are some things to remember to be a great support system to an LGBTQ friend:

  1. Remember, there are environments that are homophobic towards members of the community. Given our current political situation, members of the community are facing much more negativity and fears of injustices to come. Your friend may be quite fearful coming out to their friends, family, and community.
  2. Make it clear to your friends that you respect and support the LGBTQ community. If you are not supportive of that community, then your friend may not feel comfortable coming out to you.
  3. When someone comes out to you, they have not changed. They are still the same person you are friends with.
  4. Thank them for their trust and reassure them of your continued support of the LGBTQ community. Remember how the negative impacts and reactions can play on the mental health of members of the LBGTQ community.
  5. Judgment can lead to problems. Even if you do not fully support the community, your judgment can hurt them and their identity.
  6. Hugs – they are the best.
  7. Stay private about this. It is not your place to share what they told you. Let them decide and hold the power.
  8. Also, just because your friend said they are part of the LGBTQ community, it doesn’t necessarily mean they want to be in a relationship with you in that way.
  9. Not everyone will think you are part of the community just because your friend is.
  10. Be sensitive when asking questions.
  11. Support your friend in any way possible. Here at UWM, we have the LGBT Resource Center.
  12. Study and learn about the LGBTQ community’s current happenings. The more you are informed, the more you can help your friend.
  13. Personal pronouns are very important to know.
  14. Even if you reacted badly to your friend coming out, try to make reparations. Contact and try them again.  

Please remember to love and support your friends and everyone in this world!!