So, the big day is here. You decided that you’re no longer going to hide your orientation and/or identity from your circle of influence. What’s a circle of influence, you might ask/ Well, that would be your friends, family, coworkers, the people that you volunteer with, the church that you attend, and anywhere else that you frequent often. There are a lot of people that are going to be aware of your “new” status, so planning how to speak out is important.
But you hit a snag as you let the news out: some people take it well, but other people do not at all. They suddenly don’t feel like they should spend much time with you. This hurts. There’s no other way to say it. The pain of being excluded hurts. You start wondering if they were just looking for a reason to get rid of you. The pain can bring in another round of depression which can quickly get out of control.
So we wanted to encourage you. After all, you might feel that coming out was a mistake. If people are going to just exclude you, what’s the point?
The truth? A lot of other people faced worse than just losing a few friends in the name of being their true selves. Before the LGBT community really gained a foothold in American media and culture, being gay could cause you to lose your job. It can still happen today — no system is perfect, after all — but before it became a mainstream, no big deal type of thing? Your life was over. Your family deserted you. You couldn’t get a job. You couldn’t live in certain places. Now there are plenty of gay people that have great real estate portfolios, party at the best clubs, go to college, lead entire divisions of people, and get to be who they’ve always been.
It’s not about the announcement. You’ll come out if you want to, and if you don’t want to discuss it, that’s also your right. But what it means to be LGBT is that you’re living the life that means the most to you. You’re doing the things that you like to do. You’re being who you’ve always been, just making the decision to include other people in the decision. Don’t give up on your goals if it means that you’re going to be happy. Don’t give up on your goals if it means that you’ll be able to date someone that means the world to you. You deserve to have the world ahead of you. Good things are heading your way.
Yes, we all hear homophobic, biphobic, anti-lesbian, anti-trans and other nonsense statements, sometimes even from the very people that we never thought we would have to correct.
But you can cope with being excluded by seeking people that do love and want you around. You can cope by knowing that there is a strong tradition in the LGBT community of rising above the nonsense and being your own person.
Sometimes it’s confronting to know that a lot of people paved the way for good things to come your way. Don’t give up on having everything that you want and more. And if someone has a problem with you because of your orientation remember that it’s not up to you to make them comfortable. It’s up to them to get used to a society that is no longer going to apologize for the things that they cannot change. They have to learn how to be accepting, not just tolerant.
That’s on them. You go be awesome!