Why it’s So Hard to Come Out

Lindsey Danis
5 min readOct 25, 2019

And how to build courage.

Photo by Florentine Pautet on Unsplash

“I am tired of hiding and I am tired of lying by omission. I suffered for years because I was scared to be out. My spirit suffered, my mental health suffered and my relationships suffered. And I’m standing here today, with all of you, on the other side of all that pain.” — Frank Ocean

When you have figured out that you are LGBTQ and want to come out, you will be letting your parents know that the way they have conceived of you all your life (straight, for example) is incorrect because you are ____ (gay, queer, bi, pan — whatever label you will be coming out as).

In other words, the people who have raised and parented you all these years do not know you as well as they think — at least when it comes to your sexuality.

It’s natural to not want to disappoint people, and you may think that coming out will be disappointing your parents, especially if you know your parents want you to get married, have kids, etc. and you’re not sure that you want those things or you can’t have a kid organically so need to pursue IVF, adoption, etc.

If you’re young and financially dependent on your parents, you may fear that if you come out they will punish you for instance by kicking you out of the house. The Williams Institute estimates that some 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ, so unfortunately many LGBTQ youth either no longer feel safe at home or are asked to leave by unaccepting parents.

If your identity is complex, you may worry that your family won’t understand it or won’t accept it. This is often why bisexuals don’t come out to people, because people often say things like, “okay, if you like men and women why don’t you choose one?” (when I identified as bi, people said this to me all time).

Photo by Timothy Paul Smith on Unsplash

How to build the courage to come out

“Only by speaking out can we create lasting change. And that change begins with coming out. — DaShanne Stokes”

It can be scary to confront all the reasons you’re afraid to come out, but there is power in doing so. Once you’re aware of…

Lindsey Danis

Writer. Traveler. Queer. Passionate about self employment, LGBTQ finance and the writing life. Visit me at http://www.lindseydanis.com