What coming out advice would you offer readers:

Maria & Sally

“For us, addressing shame was also really important. We had to keep reminding ourselves that this was a beautiful thing.”

Diana & Erin

“Recently I’ve realized that it’s not my job to educate people that I have a right to exist. So my advice to fellow queer folks, especially those in the South, is that you don’t have to hurry your timeline or change yourself to make someone else more comfortable. You have a right to exist. You have a right to live your life exactly as you want to, safely. If an environment is toxic, you don’t have to stay. If your family is toxic, you don’t have to be around them. There’s a reason you put on your own oxygen mask before helping others.”

Stephanie Nicole Von Schweitz

“So, I don't think there’s a certain way to come out. I think you should build that trust with closer friends, then navigate the waters with them. Then, once you have a supportive group and some practice, try someone else out. Family is a little trickier. In the end, each of us is going to have to work it out in the end. So my advice there is: get it over with. Your sexuality is just one part of your person. So let your family get all the hate or confusion out and then move on. It’s kind of like, ‘Well, we don't talk about how straight you are.’ So why would we talk about how gay I am?”

Kri

“Give yourself the space to experiment. Learn what feels right for you. It takes time. Whatever your answer is, if you're looking for it, you'll find it. It’s all totally up to you. So really do what feels right for you.”

Shawnee

“It can be very scary but it doesn't have to be and it’s totally worth it! The best advice I can offer is to find people that affirm and support you. People who like you for you is a big thing! So if you’re queer and having a hard time coming, try to hang out with queer friends. And honestly, make the best decision for you. Some people you just shouldn't come out to if it wouldn't be helpful for you. Just be yourself and hopefully you'll get the chance to come out to everyone you want to in your life.”

Darci Jaret

“I might say to keep in mind that sometimes the things that drive people out of your life are great ways to assure those around you truly support who you are.  But I always had family support. So I cannot presume to know how it might feel to have parents disown a person.”

Aspen & Hurst

“Change your community. Literally run away and try to get adopted by someone who identifies as queer or trans or preferably both.”

Callan & Leigh Anna

“I think a lot of people pressure you out into coming out, like National Coming Out day and what not, but I don’t like that. It's a lot of pressure. Especially if you live in a small town. The other thing is that you can’t leave it on the back burner and forget it. It’s important to come out.”

Kevin Miguel Garcia

“Cultivate a community before you come out if possible. This might look like moving to a city where you know there are queer people. My favorite thing is people that text or email me about coming out. I’m always open to having a conversation with people and talking about their story and process. We’re all a community for one another. There is nothing like hearing the words, “Me too” or “You are not alone.”

Christian & Brandon

“Do it on your own time. There was this thing on TV where two people were talking and they just kept saying, “Just do it!” But you shouldn’t if you’re not ready. It’s a big step. If you’re from a rural area and living there, things are harder. I was worried about the people who had said, “Good morning” to me, every day of my life suddenly not saying it anymore.”

Krystal & Brook

“Do it when it’s right for you. People tried to push me for a really long time to come out but I wasn’t ready. I don’t think that my family was ready either. I waited until it was right for me and then I did it in a way that worked for me and my family. I also think you need to come out. I just, I think you don’t realize how much it affects your life until you come out. Like I didn’t even realize how much weight it had put on me. I didn’t even realize until it was gone. I’m happier now than I've ever been. There's no comparison.”

Clay Chandler

"It’s the same advice I give to new Christians. Be still and listen. Know yourself and your timing.”

Taylor Lampe

“Make sure you have people who are on your team. And if you don’t have them, find them. Support is really important in the coming out process. Then, trust yourself and your timing. Regardless of if you come out tomorrow or in four years, it’s going to be an act of bravery. Claiming your truth, no matter when you do it, is brave. So don’t worry that you won't get to be brave if you wait a little longer.”

Alex & Kris

“My advice would be to come out as soon as possible... But, don't necessarily rush it. Because it takes time. Everyone's situation takes a different road. But coming out is the first step in being yourself and being true to who you are. That's important.”

Jes Kast

“Be really gentle with yourself. Offer a lot of compassion and a lot of gentleness. It takes time to keep arriving. We never fully arrive, but we keep arriving to the next place. It’s tempting to say, “why is this taking so long?” Just be gentle with yourself. You’re here. And praise God that you’re here now. All of creation is taking place in your rebirth.”

Allison Radomski

“Uh. I don’t know that I’m the best advice giver. I myself am not entirely out. Even in Atlanta I’m not fully out. I’m really comfortable with my sexual preference so it doesn’t feel like a big deal to me. It’s just something that feels natural. But for me just bluntly saying “I like women and men,” is the equivalent of saying your specific sexual preferences. Its awkward. You don’t just say it. So I causally refer to my interest in women.” 

Rev. Brandon Maxwell

“We live in a world where it’s ok to be gay = well, mostly. So, some like to pressure people to come out. But if it’s not the right time, it’s not the right time [to come out]. I know that if I had come out earlier, I wouldn’t be here today. If you’re 6, 16, or 60, trust the timing of your life. Trust that the universe, God, or whatever you want to name it, will guide you.”

Diamond Dumas

“I wish I had all the answers                                                                                                                                       All the dos and do nots of being gay                                                                                                                           I wish I could keep you from all the people that will break your heart                                                                     And give you armory for when they attack you for being you                                                                                   I wish I could hold your hand and that would be enough                                                                                           But out of all the times I’ve wished                                                                                                                            I’ve never once seen a shooting star                                                                                                                             And this isn’t a Disney movie                                                                                                                                   And that’s okay                                                                                                                                                           Because I’ve lived and experienced                                                                                                                             Now I know Being Gay is like Sparring in Martial Arts                                                                                             you are never prepared for when they kick you below the belt                                                                                   Just know that it’s ok to be hurt, its ok to fall to your knees                                                                                     Just know the point doesn’t count against you                                                                                                         The victory is still possible and feels beyond amazing                                                                                             when you realize that getting back up again is the biggest fuck you