Today is National Coming Out Day. That is a pretty big day for many people, whether they have come out to others or not. Sexuality is a very unique, personal layer of each individual. Coming out, is also a particularly unique aspect when it comes to individuals of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Many people question the goal of coming out to others. It’s a private issue, why share it with the world? Well, the luxury of being open with loved ones about your sexuality is something not everyone, everywhere, gets to enjoy. Prejudice, stereotype, and violence are real fears that often cloud the decision to come out to others. In a month when we celebrate both mental health awareness and LGBTQ history, let’s shed light on what it means to come out and how you can start your own coming out process, at your own pace.
Coming out is a personal process. It can happen in one moment. Or, it can take years to build up to. For others, it can never “officially” happen. Sexual identity development is something that starts during childhood and grows over time. The level of comfort one feels with their sexuality can ebb and flow over the years. Different models of sexual orientation development and coming out have been proposed over the years. Check out a few here:
Something important to consider in your own sexual identity and sexuality journey is that it’s your journey. You do not need to come out to anyone. Keep in mind that only you know what you feel more comfortable with. If you’re ready to come out to others, great. And if you aren’t, that’s okay to! Give yourself the permission to take your time and explore what you’re most comfortable with. And don’t forget to be kind to yourself in that process.
Need help navigating your sexual identity development journey? Contact me today and we can discuss your development together.