There are several stages in the process of coming out. It’s your life so take your time – do things for you and only when you are ready.
Coming out to yourself
Acknowledging that you are gay can take many years alone. Some of people have hoped those feelings were “just a phase”. In time, you’ll realise that these feelings are not just a phase and you have to find a way of accepting them and dealing with the fact that you are sexually attracted to members of your own sex.
Stage 1: Discovery – you start to question if you might be LGBTQ because of feelings you’re having
Stage 2: Acceptance – you start to accept that you are LGBTQ. Telling the first person is a sign of acceptance
Stage 3: Integration – you begin to get comfortable expressing your LGBTQ identity and living your life accordingly. Getting into a same-sex relationship is a sign of integration.
Realisation is the first stage of coming out. There is no hard and fast rule when this point is reached. For some it happens in their teens, for others it may happen much later in life.
Everyone’s experience of discovering their LGBT identity is different as is their experience of the stages of coming out. It is normal to experience feelings of anxiety and worry especially in relation to how people might react when you tell them.
Some people describe this time of accepting their sexuality as though they were riding an emotional rollercoaster. One day they felt happy and confident and ready to tell everyone; the next they felt confused, scared and relieved that they hadn’t. You may want to talk to someone who understands what this is like – there are plenty of websites and places where you can contact them for help or talk to other LGBTQ members.
So you still want to come out?
This is a nerve racking time – the fear of rejection is likely to be immense. Bear in mind that there are many ways to tell someone that you are gay.
Like this video by Connor Franta which has over 7.6 million views there are many videos to watch online that may give you courage. Connor Franta from America, Troye Sivan from Australia(5.2 million views) and Tom Daley(11.4 million views) from England have all posted videos of their stories to share with and help others.
Good luck on whatever you decide to do, hopefully coming out makes you happy and gives you a sense of relief.