Coming Out as a Teen

It’s normal to question what it would feel like coming out to your friends and family. You might find yourself rehearsing the scenario over and over again in your mind. While the outcome could be a great sense of relief, it could also leave you questioning what’s to come and feeling as if those around you will now look at and treat you differently.

Before coming out, here are a few things to consider.

People Might Make Assumptions

Friends might make assumptions about your sexuality and encourage you to come out before you’re ready. It’s common for friends to subconsciously categorize you without fully recognizing they’re doing so, but they may not realize they’re doing it. Peer pressure can easily sway you one way, but no one knows the real you better than you do.

You Need a Support System

While many LGBT individuals who come out are accepted, others aren’t. Some people will react positively to your news, but nothing is guaranteed. If you can’t talk openly about your identity or find that you’re struggling with the decision to come out, visit the LGBT National Youth Talkline to receive anonymous help. If you’re interested in support groups or seeing what resources are available, consider finding a local PFLAG chapter, or talk to your CCP pediatrician about other steps you can take.

Keep Privacy In Mind

Whenever you share information, there’s always the risk it could be leaked to people you might not want to share with. Your pediatrician or therapist/counselor is required to keep any information you share private, as long as they don’t feel you’re at risk for hurting yourself or others.

Know That Expectations Will Vary

People may react to your news in a different way than anticipated. You may find some relationships will take time to return back to the way they were, and some could even change permanently. On a more positive note, others will embrace the news and it will seem as if nothing has changed. Be patient with friends and family and understand that everyone reacts differently.

This Is A Personal Choice

As cliché as it sounds, listen to your heart. Remember that coming out is a personal choice. You should always be the one that decides when, where and how you’ll go about sharing the news. If there’s a risk you could be physically harmed or asked to leave your household, it may be safer to finish high school or college so that you’re in a better position to live on your own.

Coming out is a process and timing is different for everyone. Consider starting out slowly by talking with other people in the LGBTQ community, adults you trust such as your pediatrician, counselor, social worker, teacher or supportive family member.