Considering Coming Out? Here’s Some Advice.

Considering Coming Out? Here’s Some Advice.

No matter how ready you are to share yourself with the world, your safety should always come first. If you have any reason to believe that coming out might put you at risk for harm, do whatever you can to mitigate that BEFORE coming out. That could mean waiting until you are financially independent, preparing yourself emotionally, or moving to a new city, town, or state. There are still many places in the world(and in your community) where the LGBTQ+ community is extremely discriminated against. Do you live in one of these places? Is moving to a safer community something you can work toward before coming out?

No coming out experience is the same. Write it all down. Get it all out. You know your journey better than anyone, and it can help to make sense of it all by journaling, writing a letter, or just doodling thoughts, feelings, events, and emotions. You may want to consider deleting or destroying it after you’ve become familiar with it. Be very careful not to out yourself before you are ready. This step can also help you discover in what way you’d like to share your story- text, phone, email, letter, etc. Whatever feels most natural to you is what method you should choose.

There’s someone out there that loves you and understands you more than others. Find this person and share your story with them first. This could be a friend, parent, sibling, or even a teacher. Maybe they’ve hinted in some way that they are LGBTQ+ friendly- or maybe they just have a connection with you that you can’t explain. Coming out is hard. Don’t make it harder on yourself. Tell someone that you can trust first.

Prepare yourself. Coming out isn’t a one time occurrence. Coming out is a lifelong process. As you begin to take the steps to come out, you’ll start to realize that we live in a heteronormative society- if you haven’t already. Coming out happens over and over, every day, in every situation. Consider asking those who you’ve already told to support you in whatever ways that they can. Lean on the support you have. Feel every emotion. It gets easier with time.

Allow time to facilitate healing. The fear of not being accepted is crippling. The truth is, that is a possibility. This is why we discuss your safety and emotionality first. There is nothing wrong with you. If someone does not accept you, do not give them a single inch of your humanity. Give them time. Do not allow them to make your story about them. Leave the situation, take some space, and allow time to put in the work for you.

Reach out: Do not suffer in silence. Lean on your support system or use your resources:

Trevor Lifeline: 1-866-488-7386 available 24/7

Trevor Text: Text TREVOR to 1-202-304-1200

Trevor Chat:

Trans Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860

As Rupaul says, “You know, we as gay people, we get to choose our family.” Keep looking for your family. We are out there. We are everywhere.

This blog post was written by former CWT intern, Krista Kennedy.

COVID-19 & LGBTQ Safe Spaces: How to Connect with Your Community Amidst the Pandemic

COVID-19 & LGBTQ Safe Spaces: How to Connect with Your Community Amidst the Pandemic

COVID-19 has affected communities all over the world. In just eight months, people everywhere have had to learn a new normal, adjust to the stress of a pandemic, and create safeguards for their families. This sudden change in our world has eliminated safe spaces and coping mechanisms, ways to connect with our communities, and security in our relationships. Safe spaces are places where we feel belonging, acceptance, and love. They are where we feel most at home. They are where we feel most ourselves. This could be a home, a bar, an area of town, a neighborhood, an event, or a restaurant. COVID-19 has temporarily taken away many of these safe spaces. 

For the LGBTQ community, some individuals may be struggling to find acceptance, security, and belonging without these spaces. Home may not be a place of acceptance or belonging. Home may actually be a place of neglect, fear, and unrest. If you are suffering during this time, we want you to know that you are not alone. Here are some ways to reconnect with your community while maintaining social distancing and CDC safety measures:

Online Spaces: We live in an age where we can connect with each other through endless online platforms. Try a new chat room. Engage with some new social media accounts or platforms. Gather some friends for an online card game or video game. Write or read blogs that interest you. Join a book club and create an inspiring theme with 3-4 friends. Send a fun email instead of a text message. Facetime or Zoom instead of chat on the phone.

Mail: This is such a fun, safe space. Write a letter! Draw a picture! Send a care package! Have Amazon deliver a gift to a loved one! It is such an intimate way to share things you enjoy with another individual. It also becomes a keepsake for months and years to come. You can write to each other on the same piece of paper or play a game via mail to add another layer of connection.

Outdoor Activities: Fall has arrived and the scorching weather is finally subsiding. Use this time to engage with your loved ones outdoors. Try meeting at a park to sit and chat, going for a walk/jog, or hiking a mountainside. Have a meal together at a picnic. String up hammocks and share quarantine stories. If you’re close to a river, pond, or lake, try fishing! Throw a football or a frisbee. Ride bikes around town. Even if you can’t get close to one another, the presence of a loved one can be felt 6 feet apart.

Do an Activity Together, but Apart: This is an area where you can get creative. Try something with a loved one(or loved ones), but do it apart. Cook or bake the same recipe and send each other photos of the result. Watch the same movie(even at the same time if you can align schedules). Try the same at-home workout. Start a house project(fire pit, gardening, lawn care) and send each other updates as you go. Read the same book and have a goal of chapters for each week.

If you are struggling to find your safe space and are considering therapy, please reach out to see if a member of the California Women’s Therapy team is a good fit for you. We are a team of female psychologists with varying specialties who are committed to helping individuals discover peace, healing, and growth during these challenging times. Couples counseling is also available. 

For more information, please reach out to Krista at [email protected] or call (805)-244-5121.

This blog post was written by Krista Kennedy.