Messages to Sexual Minorities and their Family - Coming out

Coming out

“Coming out” originated from the phrase “coming out of the closet”. It describes the act that sexual minorities enclose their identities before they are willing to show their authentic self to others, as if they hide in a closet at first and come out of it.

Coming Out in Different Aspects

  • People – Sexual minorities may come out to different people, including family members, friends and co-workers.

  • Contexts – Sexual minorities may come out in different contexts, such as family, workplace or in public.

  • Being active or passive – Sexual minorities may come out by themselves actively or have forced outings passively. The former refers to those who come out in their willingness, while the latter refer to those who are forced to come out regardless of their willingness. For instance, one’s sexual identity is disclosed by others without being acknowledged or having given consent.
  • The First Stage: Coming Out to Self

    Accepting themselves as sexual minorities.

  • The Second Stage: Coming Out to Selective Others

    Disclosing the identity as sexual minorities to selective others whom they know. These people may include family members, friends, co-workers and classmates.

  • The Third Stage: Coming Out in Public

    Living a life as sexual minorities in public, meaning to disclose the identity to anyone in daily life.

Tips for Coming Out

Living a life as sexual minorities in public, meaning to disclose the identity to anyone in daily life.

Preparation INSIDE the Closet

Everyone’s closet is different. Yet, there is not a closet which is 100% safe. You’d better start earlier to prepare how to deal with situations like others’ questions, doubts and reactions to your sexual identity. With sufficient preparation, your life will not be disturbed by things unexpected and you can lead a life at your own pace.

Colourful World OUTSIDE the Closet

If you remain yourself deep in the closet, your emotions will be suppressed. This is not good for your mental health. So you may open the closet door a bit to reach out for information and the community of the sexual minorities. Get a bit relieved from stress by looking at the colourful world of LGBT+ from the door gap.

Forced Outing

If you are forced to come out, keep calm and do not make any decisions in haste. Talk to someone whom you trust and seek advice from them. You can also call the TWGHs Pride Line.

Parents, relatives and friends may also get confused by the sudden news of coming out and be suffered from different negative emotions. They can also call the TWGHs Pride Line or seek assistance from other service for sexual minorities’ parents.

Coming out and the Family Members

Not only the person who comes out feels stressed, but his/her/their family members also suffer from long-term impacts. They may have the following emotions and feelings about the coming out of their family member.

  • Being anxious that he/she/they is suffering from illness.
  • Doubting if he/she/they experienced any traumas in the past.
  • Self-blaming for poor parenting skills or not taking care of him/her/them well.
  • Worried that he/she/they may face legal obstacles in the future.
  • Being concerned about the future of him/her/them.

We welcome the people who come out as well as their family, relatives and friends to call the TWGHs Pride Line and talk to us.