For someone who has taken the decision to come out, it is a huge step in their life. But it is a decision that requires careful consideration and thought. In the following paragraphs, we will discuss what coming out means, why it is important, and whether people still need to do it.
What Does Coming Out Mean?
You may be wondering what it means when we talk about the term “to come out”. Essentially, it is when a person has come to terms with their sexual orientation and/or gender identity and has decided to share it with specific people. It is an incredibly brave thing to do. Nevertheless, the good folk at Out Coast say that not everyone will want to come out as lesbian, transgender, bisexual, or gay. Florida and Oregon (along with a number of other states), for example, have the same or higher percentage of LGBTQ residents compared to the average number in the United States, meaning many undertook the process of coming out.
Why is Coming Out Important?
Coming out is important to different people for a variety of personal reasons. One may be that the person has finally come to terms with their sexuality/gender and decided they should tell their loved ones. Many people struggle to accept the fact that they are not heterosexual, and it takes them a while to overcome this battle in themselves. Coming out is a significant step in their life as they prepare to finally accept it.
Additionally, someone may decide to come out so they can make connections with other people within the LGBTQ community. It is important to have a network that understands your struggles and will support your journey. This is one of the reason’s a person may decide to reveal their sexuality or gender identity. Others within the community will be able to offer advice and provide ongoing support.
Finally, it is important to some to come out so they can deepen their relationship with family and friends. Hiding one’s true self takes a toll on connections with loved ones and ultimately prevents honesty in the relationship. Many decide to come out so that they do not feel like they must keep it a secret anymore, which will allow them to communicate openly with those they love.
Do People Still Have to Come Out?
Coming out is not something that has to be done by everyone, especially if circumstances are not favorable. It is a decision that is only up to the individual and not for anyone else to decide for them. Some people might follow a religion that does not accept their lifestyle, meaning they might not be accepted by their family or religious community if they reveal their true self. It could even be as simple as someone not feeling like they must come out and just continuing to live life the way they want to. Whatever it may be, a person should come out in their own time and on their own terms.
To conclude, coming out is when a person has made the decision to share their sexual orientation and/or gender identity with whoever they wish to. There are several reasons why this is important, including finally accepting that they identify as LGBTQ, building relationships among the LGBTQ community, and connecting deeper with family and friends. No one is obligated to come out as it is a personal choice, and the decision should not be forced upon anyone. It is important to note that no matter if someone openly identifies as LGBTQ or has decided to keep it to themselves, their sexuality and gender is equally important as anyone else’s.