Coming out


It's one thing trying to work out who you are, but it's another thing talking to someone else about it.

What’s important is that you talk to someone when you are ready and you feel safe to do so, whether that's a parent, professional or friend.

Coming out can be a difficult time and can cause stress and anxiety. If you'd like to talk to someone at Services for Young People please get in touch using our Contact us form.

Top tips for coming out

  1. Don’t panic, and don’t be pressured. Coming out should be about you, and nobody else. You should always think about yourself, your happiness and your personal safety when making the decision to come out.

  2. Don’t be disheartened if someone doesn’t react the way you expect. A lot of misunderstanding about sexuality and gender comes from a lack of education, so try to help the person better understand what you’re going through, and be patient - these things just take time.

  3. Research! Sexuality and gender are complicated things, and there are many different labels that might describe the particular situation you are in. If a label helps you feel more comfortable, then go for it, but if you find that none of them quite fit you, then don’t worry about labelling yourself.

  4. Talk to friends who have already come out and/or read coming out stories online. Not only could this help prepare you for the actual act of coming out, but it could also help you feel more secure in your identity. You'll find links to some coming out videos below. 

  5. Don’t tell everyone in one go! Coming out isn’t a race. It often helps make coming out easier if you tell a single person you trust more than anyone else. You’ll  then have someone to talk to who knows what you’re going through and can help and advise you through the rest of your journey.

  6. Reach out to local support groups - there are general groups for LGBT+ young people, groups for religious followers struggling to balance their faith and sexuality, and many more to help you with your particular situation. SfYP LGBT+ projects are for 13-19s in Hertfordshire.

  7. Ditch the stereotypes. Stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason - you probably don’t fit into the way your identity is presented in the media, and that’s fine. Just as fine is perfectly fitting into them. Everyone is individual, and the important thing is to be true to yourself and not change how you act just to fit in.


Coming out guide for young trans people

This Coming out guide for trans young people was written by young transgender people who have drawn on their own experiences to make the process of coming out as a young trans person as easier for others.

 

Useful links

The Who Not What LGBT+ group found the following websites helpful...

The RUComingOut website has over 300 real life coming out stories written by people from all over the world. 

The Mix is an online support service for under-25s in the UK. The website provides information on everything from sex and exam stress to debt and drugs. The site has a number of areas linked to LGBT+, one of which is How to come out.

The It Gets Better Project has thousands of inspiring video stories connecting young LGBT+ people with the global LGBT+ community.


Here are some of our favourite videos about coming out:

Tom Daley born 1994
Tom was one of the first British Olympic athletes to come out and said, "In an ideal world, I wouldn’t be doing this video. I shouldn’t have to."

Elliot Page born 1987
Elliot came out as a transgender male in December 2020. "I love that I am trans and I love that I am queer. And the more I hold myself close to fully embrace who I really am, the more I dream, the more my heart grows and the more I thrive."  

Hannah Hart born 1986 Trigger warning: contains references to self-harm.
"Coming out is hard and sometimes goes badly" 

Hayley Kiyoko born 1991
Hayley Kiyoko's advice on coming out and loving yourself. 

Phillip Schofield born 1962
After releasing a statement on Instagram, TV presenter Phillip Schofield speaks out for the first time about being gay.

Proud to Play Introduced by Nelson Mandela
“Sport has the power to change the world, has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.”

Troye Sivan born 1995: Actor, singer, songwriter, YouTuber
Troye knew from an early age that he was ‘different’ and came out to his best friend at age 13 and his family, one by one, at age 14.

Connor Franta born 1992: YouTube vlogger, entrepreneur
"It’s part of me not all of me. I don’t want anyone to have to hold back who they are. It’s not a good thing."

Sam Stanley born 1992
The first English professional rugby union player to come out as gay in September 2015.