Someday, we’ll all be able to love who we love, bring them home to meet our family, and nobody will think twice. We’ll all be able to live as our true gender, and nobody will bat an eye. Until that time, being part of the Rainbow community often involves conversations with friends and family about who you’re attracted to and about your gender. Our society is ‘cisnormative’ and ‘heteronormative’. Simply said, most people assume others are cisgender and straight unless told otherwise. Sharing who you are outside of these boxes is often called “coming out.”
“Coming out” is different for everyone. Some people are eager to share their true selves with their friends and family. Others fear how people may react, especially in conservative or religious settings. Still others feel that they should not be required to make a formal announcement, since people who are straight or cisgender aren’t expected to sit down with folks and explain what their gender or sexuality means to them. All of these feelings are valid.
There are many reasons you may choose to come out:
There are also reasons people choose to wait, or to limit the people they come out to:
Who you share your sexual orientation or gender identity with is up to you, but here are a few things you can think about: