What To Expect in the Years Following Coming Out of the Closet

Congratulations, you are out of the closet! Whether you are out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or any other beautiful sexual orientation or gender identity, you have likely done a lot of internal work to embrace your authentic self as well as external work in coming out to others. That takes a ton of courage! Take a moment to just soak that in and appreciate how it feels to be unabashedly YOU!

Your growth as an individual, and as a friend, family member, co-worker, and partner will all develop in their own ways over time. The combination of factors is endless, and it may feel a bit daunting to know how to respond as you encounter new experiences throughout your life. Think of the following as a little toolbox or cheat sheet for handling life as an out LGBTQIA+ person.

The Future Unknowns of Coming Out

You Will Come Out More Than Once

You May Encounter Disrespect

Others May Not Understand

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Throughout your life, you will come across those who may not understand or may not agree with who you are based on cultural or religious beliefs, or simply have never met an LGBTQIA+ person. This may present in seemingly benign ways such as microaggressions (“…but you don’t look queer…”) or tokenization (being put on the spot in a group setting to speak on behalf of your community). It can also present in much more obvious ways in the form of cruel statements or actions.

What I want you to remember is that it is not your responsibility or the purpose of your identity to make people comfortable or to help them understand — it is for you to be who you are.

You May Experience Bullying

Smaller Social & Family Circle

Benefits of Coming out of the Closet

Purer Relationships and Authentic Living

Feeling comfortable in your skin is really leaning into all of the different traits that make you YOU — the light and the dark, all of the nuances, every little discovery of likes and dislikes. When you step into who you are, THAT is authentic living!

This has been one of my favorite things to watch with Connor as those initial years of self-loathing turned to self-acceptance and then self-love. Not only has our relationship become deeper and more real and connected, but he has been able to form friendships and relationships with others as his beautiful, authentic self.

Better Social Circle

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When you have the opportunity to spend time with those who love you and affirm you, your social interactions will be so much more fulfilling. Connecting with other LGBTQIA+ people and being part of a community can not only be a game changer, but it can also be life-saving.

Increased Self-Esteem

Alleviated Anxiety

A Chance to Raise Awareness

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Advocacy work is a fabulous way to continue your growth as well as support others on their journey. You can volunteer for your favorite organizations, share your story, or have real conversations with others debunking myths and stereotypes to name just a few ways you can help raise awareness.

Access to Relevant Help

If you need some one-on-one support, I offer that too! Click here to set up a time to chat.

If you’re not quite ready for one on one time, my digital course, Learning to Just Breathe, will walk you through the four pillars — Embrace, Educate, Empower, and Love. You will be a pro at supporting your child through the coming out process in no time!

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