Some tips for coming out to friends and family - KARL HARDY

I came out to my mother when I was 15 and in high school. I’ll remember that day for the rest of my life. My friends had already known for a while, and for me the last and most important step was to tell my mom. I’m grateful that her response was open and positive, but I know that isn’t the reality for everyone.

Coming out gave me freedom and allowed me to start a new chapter in my life.

Here are some of my tips:

Choose someone you trust completely.

For me, it was my best friend at the time. She was the first person I confided in about my sexual orientation. I needed to tell someone who cared about me and would listen without judgment. It makes the process easier afterwards when someone has already given you a good response.

Remember that you can come out in stages. You don’t have to tell everyone at once. In my case, I told my friends first, and then my family. You could do the opposite, and that’s okay.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

Go at your own pace. I have mixed feelings about the concept of “coming out,” since in my opinion it should never be something you’re required to do.

There’s no point in putting too much pressure on yourself beforehand. It’s up to other people how they react. You don’t have any control over that. You also don’t have to tell everyone you know.

Find some allies.

Whether they’re your close friends and family or people on social media, it’s always inspiring if you know other people who are part of that community. They can give you unconditional support, which can be a great source of courage.

Lastly, remember that there’s no rule that says you have to come out. It’s up to each person, and the process is different for everyone. You should come out when you feel it’s the right time and not because of pressure from others.

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