4 Myths About Coming Out

4 Myths About Coming Out

Coming out can be an awesome experience. But it isn’t one that every teen is ready to dive into before graduating high school, or even college.

Sometimes teens feel pressure to come out based on myths about what the experience will be like.

Here are 4 common myths about coming out LGBT teens need to know before they make a decision about whether or not they want to do so:

1) You owe it to the queer community to come out

I know, I know, the more people come out, the more visibility the community gets and the more normalized and less scary LGBT folks seem to the haters out there.

But you don’t owe anyone anything, especially at the expense of taking care of yourself.

2) You will instantly find that special someone when you come out

Yes, it is true, coming out will definitely make it easier to find a partner. But just like there are lots of single hetero teens, there are plenty of single queer ones.

 Dating is complicated for a lot of people and simply being open about your gender identity and sexual orientation doesn’t automatically erase all the other layers of the romance game.

3) You will never be happy if you don’t come out

It is really important to feel good about yourself, and keeping who you are inside can do a number on your mental health and increase stress and anxiety. But it is unfair and inaccurate to assume that no one can be content doing so. Some people are indeed able to have full, connected lives without sharing their sexual orientation or gender identity with others. Of course, if you feel like not coming out is holding you back from happiness that is another thing.

4) If you are dealing with depression it will go away once you come out

We can add to this list, insecurity, anxiety, anger and just about any other emotion you can think of.  Sure for some people, coming out lifts a huge burden and can make them feel great. But if you have underlying mental health issues, you can’t assume coming out will instantly solve them.

 Often professional help is going to be the best way to do that.

If you are feeling hesitant about coming out, it is crucial to think about why you do and don’t want to, how you feel when you imagine coming out, and what some of the possible outcomes may be.

I really wish it weren’t true, but there are some legitimate issues that can come up after coming out, and they are important for teens to consider. Here are a few:

  • You might encounter transphobia or homophobia.
  • Your friends and family might treat you differently.
  • You might lose friends.
  • Your parents might kick you out and you could be homeless.
  • People might feel uncomfortable around you.
  • You might be asked a lot of personal questions.
  • Not everyone will be understanding or accepting.
  • You might lose financial support from your parents.
  • You might experience harassment or discrimination.
  • People might tease or bully you.

So while coming out is great for a lot of people, if you are considering doing so because of one of the 4 myths above, it is really important to think about how doing so may really affect your dad to day life.

Ask: Dr. Nerdy!

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