How to Come Out in High School

How+to+Come+Out+in+High+School

How to Come Out in High School

(by someone who’s done it)

By Isaiah Gomez

IMPORTANT NOTE: I am by no means a “coming out expert.” In the end, everyone has a completely different

situation. You are the best judge in whether or not you should come out, and please never feel pressured to come

out of the closet, especially in high school. The following statements are my first-hand, informed opinions from

going through the process of coming out in high school.

Starting out as a freshman, the four years we take in high school really change us as people and

we also begin to find out who we really are. We are surrounded by more diversity and frankly,

more opportunities. It’s often in high school that people start discovering their sexuality –

whether gay, bi, or straight.

By discovering, I mean that people start to get comfortable with their sexuality and

acknowledge it in one way or another. For people who identify as LGBT+, most have always

known they werent straight. At least, I always knew.

It’s only now, when I reflect on my memories from childhood, that I see that all the signs were

there. But by coming out, I could start focusing on my well being, more than trying to hide a

part of myself. To help those still struggling, heres a list of four things to consider when making

the very big and very brave step of coming out.

Friends

This one might seem obvious, but by coming out you are letting the people close to you know

the part of you that you kept hidden for who knows how long. As a teenager, you can either

get good, bad or in-the- middle reactions. I suggest that once you’ve come to terms with who

you are, start by telling your friends and slowly progress from there. Of course, tell your close

friends first – the ones who you know love you no matter what. Then the rest of your buddies,

and by the end just people you meet at school. Now, Im not saying introduce yourself as, “Hi!

I’m gay!” But if the topics of love interests come up, dont be afraid to mention that you like the

same sex or are not straight; and be ready for different reactions, because every situation is

different.

If your so-called ‘friends’ leave you for a ridiculous reason like being LGBT+, then they aren't

your real friends. Trust me, so many true friends who love and support you will come alongside

you for support. Besides, losing the phonies is better for you in the long run.

Family

Now, with family, thats a completely different matter. If you know your family wont take it so

well, then I suggest waiting until you leave high school to come out verbally. By then, you’re in a

better situation to support yourself, and learn it’s okay – you’ll be old enough to make your

own decisions. Even though it’s rare, homophobic parents are still out there, and please dont

put yourself at risk if you know you have them. You are the best judge when it comes to coming

out to your family members.

Self-Acceptance

You are the best judge for whether or not to come out, and no one should ever pressure you to

do so. Only come out when you are one 100 percent sure youre ready. You have to be able to

accept this part of yourself in order to move on. If it helps, despite what you have been told,

being gay, bisexual, or transgender is an actual biological phenomenon. Science can prove that

your sexuality is a natural occurrence, so dont think that youre messed up in anyway.

Also, please remember you are beautiful, inside and out. Not only that, but your sexuality

doesnt define you. Ever. The things you do, your personality, and what drives you are some of

the things that define who you are. Your sexuality is not one of them. So once youre confident

in this part of you, then you know you are ready to come out – mentally, at least.

Aftermath

The aftermath is one of the biggest things to consider when coming out. Some people don’t

have the choice to come out in high school. To those who do, you can have a much more

comfortable experience and really make memories that count. Being open about your sexuality

allows you to discover so many amazing new friends and let’s you be more open about your

opinions toward LGBT+ rights. Best of all, by being open in high school you can help others

come to terms with their sexuality. So smile, be proud and be open.

NATIONAL COMING OUT DAY: OCTOBER 11

For more information and professional resources, visit this LGBT+ hotline.

LGBT+ HOTLINE:

http://www.glbthotline.org/