Leading charity The Lesbian & Gay Foundation (LGF) are marking National Coming Out Day on 11th October with a new resource outlining the ‘Do’s’ and ‘Don’ts’ of coming out as well as urging those in need to seek support.
National Coming Out Day was founded in 1988 and is observed annually on 11th October, to celebrate coming out and to raise awareness of the LGBT community and civil rights movement.
Samantha Days, Advice & Support Manager for The Lesbian & Gay Foundation, comments; “National Coming Out Day is a key date for us as an organisation, and we have been involved in marking it for over 15 years. It’s a great opportunity for the lesbian, gay and bisexual community as well as supporters to celebrate the diversity of sexual orientation.”
The new printed resource, also available online, outlines the top tips and ‘Do’s and ‘Don’ts’ around coming out;
- Start by telling someone that you trust and know will be supportive – it helps to have someone to support you through the process.
- Test the water first – perhaps start a conversation about sexuality with someone you are thinking of telling to gauge their reaction
- Get Support – We’re here if you need us through our helpline, email or face to face. You can call us, send us an email or pop in and see us
- Make sure you set aside plenty of time when you won’t be disturbed, people may have lots of questions so give them the space to ask.
- Prepare for a variety of reactions both positive and negative.
- Remind people that you are the same person they have always known and loved, be proud of who you are!
- Remember that coming out is a lifelong process – the more the you do it the more confident you’ll feel each time
- Tell someone as they’re rushing out to work, over Christmas dinner or when you’ve had a few too many. It’s better to sit down somewhere quiet and have a proper conversation with them.
- Take negative reactions to heart. Ok, so this is easier said than done, there are loads of people out there who will love you for who you are.
- Go it alone, there’s loads of help out there and every situation can be supported.
- Rush into it – it’s better to feel confident in yourself and prepared before you tell people rather than do it on the spur of the moment.
- Feel you have to come out if someone asks or ‘outs’ you. Remember, it’s you who is in control, if you’re not ready, then don’t feel pushed into it.
- Replace all of your old friends for new ones –don’t forget the friends who have stood by you.
Samantha goes onto highlight that coming out is still a real issue today;
“Over a quarter of calls to our helpline are from members of the community around the issue of coming out. The impact on someone’s mental health and wellbeing if they are not able to be who they are, is absolutely huge.
“Here at The LGF we provide a number of services including a national helpline, counselling, a group work programme and befriending, to support people on their coming out journey, which is a journey for life.”.
People are being asked to share their Coming Out stories and tips by tweeting @lgfoundation #LGFComeOut.
To get a copy of the new coming out guide resource email firstname.lastname@example.org or view the information online here. Anyone in need of support and advice can call the charity’s national helpline on 0845 3 30 30 30 or email email@example.com