Coming out as Lesbian ... tell them that, some lesbians in history:
Sovereign Ruled countries - Queen Christina of Sweden (1626 - 1689)
Government Ruled countries - Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir (1942 - ) (Iceland)
CEO'd companies - Beth Ford (1964 - ), (Land O' Lakes, USA)
Saved lives - Florence Nightingale (1820 - 1910)
Fought The Nazis - Major Wanda Gertz (1896 – 1958)
Conquered gigantic mountains- Freda du Faur (1882 - 1935)
Went to space (twice!) - astronaut Sally Ride (1951 - )
"Coming out [of the closet]" is a metaphor used to describe when someone tells another person about their sexual orientation or gender identity. Check out some supportive Coming Out FAQ / Advice & Support links.
Your sexual orientation entirely depends on YOU! A person's sexual orientation can be anywhere on a continuum, from being exclusively attracted to the opposite sex, being bisexual to being exclusively attracted to the same sex. An (outdated but still widely used) example of the spectrum is illustrated by Alfred Kinsey's (1948) Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale
Moreover, with time your sexual orientation can bend and flip. Many people experience their sexuality and gender as fluid, and you may feel that yours changes at different points in your life. It's perfectly normal to fully identify with one label, and not feel that way anymore at a later time and even go back to that label. Only YOU get to define your sexual orientation. And, only YOU get to define your label.
Becoming aware that you fancy someone of the same sex may cause you emotional conflict such as worrying about not being hetty (heterosexual), confusion, anxiety, and denial of feelings particularly if you are living in a religious / traditional environment or where same sex relationships are illegal. This internal conflict can lead to "passing" (attempts to behave as heterosexual) or being "in the closet" (keeping your identity to yourself).
Seek out information (safely) online or through reading, watching gay (non-porno!) movies or talk to your very close friends. It may be a phase or it may not - it entirely depends on YOU!
It is entirely up to you if you wish to come out. No one should force or pressure you to come out until you are ready. Nor should any one force you about how OUT you are.
If you are thinking of coming out to someone, understandably like soooo many others, you might be worried about:
There are many stages of coming out, for example:
Foremost, only you get to define your sexuality and you should be the one who determines when, where, and to whom you disclose your sexual identity. A positive response to your coming out, from others can lead to higher self-esteem, greater self-acceptance and can help you feel less isolated.
National Coming Out Day is an annual celebration which takes place on 11 October every year. It was first celebrated on the one-year anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for American Lesbian and Gay Rights – a date chosen to honour the bravery of LGBTQ+ individuals who decide to come out and live openly. Although it started off as an American awareness day, the meaning of National Coming Out Day is still highly relevant to LGBTQ+ communities across the world. It's a day to celebrate the beauty of being true to yourself, for having the courage to share an important part of your life with others, for celebrating those who may come out to you and raises the visibility of LGBTQ+ communities. Hugely important - National Coming Out Day isn't a day to force LGBTQ+ people to come out, or to shame anyone who hasn't done so.
The bestest coming out song!
More coming out songs to dance on the tables.
Once others know you are attracted to the same sex, sadly, you can't always control what they disclose to others about your sexual preference. Some may disclose this by accident or sincerely think that they may be helping you. However, someone may "out" you maliciously. Its not your fault that others may not accept who you are. Be careful not to let your self-esteem depend on the approval of others so you may want to re-evaluate any wounding relationships and their importance in your life.
In very rare situations, someone may even threaten to "out" you as a form of control or coercion. Such people are nasty. If that happens, without delay seek support from trusted others and or from an LGBT organisation. Always remember, you have the right to be who you are and live in peace.
Coming out is a very personal process that's different for everyone who experiences it. For some people, it may feel easy, whilst for others it is indeed a challenge. Even if you know you'll be accepted for who you are, there's often still that fear of the unknown. If you have any gay friends ask them how they did it. How you come out is your choice but figuring out how you want to come out may help make things a little easier to manage.
Try telling someone you really trust and who you think will react postively first, to see how you feel and which will gain you confidence. This could be a friend, family member, teacher... Here are some ideas for how to come out:
These are just a few suggestions. It's all about finding whatever works best for YOU.
Also do consider that a friend may suss that you are gay and may wish to support you but they don't know how to approach the taboo subject. During a recent tipsey rendezvous, a hetty (straight) friend suggested that I added this page as she had a friend who is in the closet, living in a religious country (South Africa) and she wanted to reach out to her friend though didn't know how to. I told her to drop in the conversation, to her friend, that she had had a mega fun night out with her slick queer friend (me :) to see if this would start a conversation. Though I was reluctant to add this page, as I do not wish to push anyone to come out, I hope I may have helped someone.
Watch this sweet youtube video about coming out with over 10,000 comments.
Sometimes, coming out might not go the way you hope or expect. My beloved Mummy cried for and, I hid in my bedroom for THREE Days much to Daddy's bewilderment (I didn't tell him as he was an old-skool army man). It took a very long time for Mummy, as I think she was so sad I wouldn't give her grandchildren, but, in the end we had a great understanding. Do allow whoever you tell, time to assimilate this information. Even if someone doesn't know how to react or doesn't react well at first, they might still be able to support you later.
If your parents or a parent has taken your coming out badly:
If you've faced bad reactions to coming out, you will still get support from the many people who do accept and love you, particularly those in the LGBTQ+ community. Looking on the brightside, a positive response to your coming out from others can lead to higher self-esteem, greater self-acceptance and can help you feel less isolated. Attitudes towards LGBTQ+ people are changing, so negative experiences with coming out are becoming less likely to happen in time.
Wow, Generation Z - you are so brave coming out in social media! Personally, no way would I have filmed Mummy's reaction to my coming out to her, even though I thought she had hinted it to several times - it was a disaster! A heart warming coming out TIKTOK compilation
These are just a few coming out FAQ. There is a wealth of advice online for you. Stay safe. In bocca al lupo (In the mouth of the wolf - an Italian idiom originally used in opera and theatre to wish a performer good luck prior to a performance).
It is shocking that 70 countries still have national laws criminalising same-sex relations between consenting adults and censoring gay online content. Are you living in a country that awfully monitors your internet activity e.g. "Lesbian [searches]" "gay [searches]"? ...
BTW - Gay Googling In Censored Countries
When I was growing up, I had so little exposure to sapphic / lesbian media and, no gay friends to hang out with and they "mother" me. It was still a taboo subject. Bravo, that there is now more LGBT exposure "OUT" there, particularly online. Yet it is still shocking that 70 countries still have national laws criminalising same-sex relations between consenting adults and censoring gay online content. Are you living in a country that awfully monitors your internet activity e.g. "Lesbian [searches]" "gay [searches]"?
Private Web Searching: heads-up on incognito browser mode vs VPNs (Virtual Private Networks)
Incognito Searches = don't trust! Please consider using a VPN which stands for Virtual Private Network.
Incognito (Private) Searches - All modern browsers (like Chrome, Safari, Firefox...) offer an incognito mode for private browsing. Incognito mode is a private window in your web browser where you can browse the web without a record of your history being saved on your DEVICE. After your private browsing session in incognito mode ends, no cookies or other traces of your session are saved in your browser. That means that anyone else using your device (like family and friends) won't be able to see which websites you visited or what you searched for in Google. But while your online activity isn't saved on your device, the websites you visit, your ISP ( Internet Service Provider), search engines, other companies and governments can still track your behavior when you browse in incognito mode.
A VPN (strives to) encrypt (conceal) YOUR internet traffic/ web searches and (strives to) disguise your online identity - this makes it more difficult for third parties / government censorship to track your activities online (in democrat countries your traffic /searches could be seen as legal but for certain governments it as illegal).
NO WAY I am supporting the use of VPNs for terrorists / illegal activity / false news. I DO NOT see searching "lesbian" / "gay" content as illegal and it is incorrect to steal data from that search. Alas, I can't recommend a tight VPN. In the past, I have worked for a mega lovely independent VPN company Hide My Ass in fab Soho, London, (I loved that they were truly trying to protect GOOD freedom of speech & internet search, and, my mega lovely work colleagues were truly passionate on this). Hide My Ass VPN are now part of AVG, and as I no longer work for them and I can't vouch for them. If you are living in an internet censored county consider using a trusted VPN.
Coming out as Lesbian ... tell them that lesbians:
Won Nobel Prizes - Selma Lagerlöf (1858 - 1940)
Wrote great poetry & novels - Gertrude Stein ((1874 - 1946), Alice Walker (1944 - ) ...
Made great art - painter Rosa Bonheur (1822 - 1899) & sculptor Emma Stebbins (1815 - 1882) ...
Made great records - Opera Singer, Sigrid Onégin (1889 – 1943) & The queen of the Blues, Bessie Smith (1894 - 1937) ...
Broke sports records - Martina Navratilova (1956 - ) ...
And, sooo hard, fought for Women's Rights - right to vote & equal pay e.g UK
You are not alone! Discover inspiring sapphic artists, musicians, scientists, sportswomen...
Shining a light on galvanising lesbians who made significant marks on history.
Lesbian rights are progressing - find out how it's changing for the better