Coming out is the process of acknowledging and accepting your own sexual orientation or gender identity and then sharing this with other people you choose to.

Coming out as 2SLGBTQ+ (Two Spirit/lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/queer/or any other identity) can be a big deal for some people. It can represent a process of self discovery, a celebration of authenticity, or feel like an accomplishment.

There is no right way or wrong way to come out. Here are some things to think about:

  • Your identity is personal and just because you are 2SLGBTQ+ doesn’t mean you have to tell everyone. The choice to come out (or not) is completely up to you. It’s your life and you have the right to be in charge of this process.
  • Think about how you might want to say it and who you would share it with. Coming out can be really great or hard and painful depending on the attitudes and reactions of the people you come out to and what other supports you have in your life. You can never know for sure how some people will react but you are not responsible for their feelings, only yours.
  • If someone you care about reacts negatively, it doesn’t mean that person will always feel that way. Some people are shocked by the news and need some time to process it. Other people will surprise you with their love and support. Coming out takes courage but it gets easier every time and the benefit is that you get to live authentically and proudly as yourself.

Now that you’ve had some time to reflect on if you want to come out or not, you may want to prepare for how to do it.

  • You may find it helpful to practice what you plan to say. Sometimes, words don’t come out the way we planned so it is okay to say these things out loud to get used to how they will sound in the moment.
  • If you choose an email or letter to come out, you may want to think about how the other person will feel while reading it and choose words that will make the most sense to them.
  • Try to find a time and place to share these things that is appropriate. If you are worried about your safety but still want to come out then you may want to choose a public space like a coffee shop or restaurant to have the conversation. If you know the other person gets overwhelmed easily then you may want to choose a quiet or familiar location to have this conversation like at home.
  • Some people find connecting with 2SLGBTQ+ community helpful in this process. Talking to others who have similar experiences can add to your support system. Some people find community by attending 2SLGBTQ+ events, visiting 2SLGBTQ+ affirming spaces, or talking to other 2SLGBTQ+ people online.

At the Centre For Sexuality we offer free counselling if you’re looking to speak to someone about your identity and get help around coming out. If you already came out, and it didn’t go well, our counsellors also work with family members and friends to help them understand.