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Coming Out



So you’re thinking about coming out of the closet, and whether you decide to jump out, or step out you would or could be wondering what to do.  This is a simple guide to help you on your way to making decisions.

What is coming out?

“Coming out” is the time in which a person personally accepts their sexuality or gender identity and reveals their feelings to friends and / or family.

Am I Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Trans?

Many people at some stage of their life have had feelings or wondered about their sexual or gender identity.  Sometimes these feeling go and sometimes they don’t.  Whether the feelings stay or not it is not you’re choice, you either have the feelings, or you don’t.

The only person who can decide if you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or anything in-between is yourself.  If you are attracted to the same sex or you feel your gender is wrong you will know, and you will have had the feeling for a while.  The first step is to acknowledge you’re self as that and be happy with yourself for that choice.

If I’m Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Trans does that mean I’m not normal?

If you’re heterosexual does that make you “normal”?

No! Everyone is normal in their own way.  Some people think that lesbians are big ugly dykes, gay men are into glitter and girly things, that bi’s are greedy and trans people wear dresses and look weird.  We’re not!  We’re just regular boys and girls, males and females, men and women, who are into the same things as everyone else.

So no, if you’re Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans or any other orientation you are a normal person.

Should I come out?

Firstly the decision is yours, and nobody should force you.  Remember it is your right to say as little or as much as you wish, when you want to.  No-one has to feel as though they should come out to anybody or everybody. It is an individual choice.

If you feel scare, worried or just need a bit of help contact someone for support e.g. the Student Union, AberPride or a LGBT Helpline.

The pros and cons of “Coming Out”

Just a few of the good and bad points about coming out:

The Good

The Bad

You don’t have to hide, and there are no secrets and less stress.

Stress increase if someone takes it badly.

You can be honest with yourself.

Others might not like your honesty.

It can bring friendship and family bonds closer.          

Some people may not want to know you once they find out the truth.

You get to meet new people and make new friends.  

Current friends and family may react badly.

In the end it is up to you to make the call right for yourself.

Stages in coming out

  1. Come out to yourself.  Before coming out you need to be sure of yourself and be happy with the identity you have chosen.  If you are unsure it is better to get support.
  2. After coming out to yourself, you may wish to come out to others in your life.
  3. Some people join LGBT groups such as AberPride to create a social or friendship group for support.
  4. When you are comfortable you may wish to tell friends and / or family members.
  5. A lot of people then come out to the world by living their normal life in a positive and open way feeling comfortable not having to lie about their sexuality.  Some people also go to LGBT pride events, and marches which celebrate the diversity of sexual orientation and gender identity.

How do I come out?

Be prepared!

Decide how to come out, this may be different depending on who you come out to:

Things to remember:

Eight bad ways of coming out

  1. Mum, dad this is my boyfriend - this might seem like a good way of coming out but your parents might then always see that person as everything they hate about you being gay.
  2. Coming out to friends by kissing a guy in front of them - this could make people feel uncomfortable and alienate yourself from a group. I am not saying don’t kiss people, but as a way of coming out it can be bad.
  3. Tell someone on the motorway - you don’t want to be out and proud in a pile up!
  4. Taking a guy or girl back to your house if your not out (this generally is bad if it’s your parents house!!) - it is very hard to explain the trailing clothes up to your room door.
  5. Take out a newspaper ad - your parents might not want the entire world to know before they do!
  6. Walk into a room with “Sorry girls, I suck cock” or “Sorry boys, I like the furry cup” on your t-shirt - this will definitely give you away
  7. Coming out to parents in an argument – “you turned me this way” – they didn’t!
  8. Don’t come out after you’ve been drinking – it is better to think clearly.

Is coming out final?

Nothing is ever final. You will always meet new people and at some point you may want to come out to them.

By coming out you are opening new avenues to meet other people.  You never know who your friends and family know. 

So whether you are in the closet or not just remember be happy about yourself!

Tell who you want, when you want to!

Help and Support

Whether you’re a member or a non member, whether you are out or in the closet, AberPride will be there for you. You are welcome to come and join us at a social, or ask to talk to one of us privately for advice.  You can contact AberPride at  

The Aberystwyth Student Union Student Advice and Counselling Centre is also available.  The centre offers support, and advice in a safe and confidential space.  You can contact the centre at or though the guild website at:

The following links have a lot of useful help and advice on coming out:

Coming Out
Staying Safe
Lesbian FAQ
Trans FAQ
Male Safe Sex Guide
Female Safe Sex Guide
Sexual Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Your Rights at Work
Help Lines
LGBT History
Other University LGBT Group

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