The Buzz

Coming out

Telling someone and coming out

Coming out just means telling someone that you are lesbian, gay or bisexual.

People come out for all different reasons, but mostly people just want to be honest about who they are, especially with the people they love.

Coming out can be hard and you might feel scared, excited, worried, relieved and confused – maybe all at once!

You shouldn’t feel rushed or pressured into it. There isn’t a right or wrong way or time to do it because it is different for everyone. When it feels right for you, then it is the right time.

It’s also completely up to you who you tell and when. For example, you might want to tell your friends, but you might not be ready to tell your family. Or you might want to tell your mum and dad, but you don’t want people at college or work to know just yet. That’s fine.

If you’re not ready to come out, check out the RUComingOut website. It’s designed for LGBT (Lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender) people who aren’t out yet and it’s full of stories and support from other people who have been through, or are still going through the process of coming out.

If you’re thinking about coming out, this guide from Stonewall could help answer some of your questions. And this article from The Site has some great tips too.

Homophobia and bullying

Unfortunately, some people can be nasty or cruel to people who are LGBT.

Prejudice is a feeling of dislike or judgement against a person or group because of things like their race, sexuality, gender, age or religion.

Prejudice against people who are lesbian or gay is called homophobia, and prejudice against trans people is called transphobia.

Being bullied for being LGBT could mean being insulted or called names, or it could be more serious, but it’s always wrong.

You have the right to express your sexuality and your gender and you shouldn’t be bullied or discriminated against for it.

Have a look at this video in American Sign Language (with subtitles) from the It Gets Better project. Find out more about It Gets Better in the next section.

We have loads of information on the Buzz to help if you or someone you know is being bullied.

In the next section, we’ve got links to more organisations that can help.

Where can I find support?

Stonewall is a charity for lesbian, gay and bisexual people, and they have a website full of information for LGBT young people. Visit Young Stonewall for information about homophobic bullying, equality at school and in work, discrimination and equal marriage. You can also find advice about coming out, and opportunities for you to help other LGBT young people.

The It Gets Better Project was created to show young LGBT people who are being bullied, or are struggling to cope, that they are not alone — and it will get better. Check out the hundreds of inspiring messages and videos including this video in American Sign Language (with subtitles).

The Albert Kennedy Trust is a charity that supports LGBT 16–25 year olds who are made homeless or are living in a hostile or abusive environment. If you or someone you know needs help, you can get in touch with them here.

PACE is a charity that promotes the mental and emotional health of the LGBT community. They have a free counselling service for under 19s.

ChildLine is a free, private and confidential helpline for children and young people. Friendly counsellors will take your call and listen about any issue and you don’t need to tell them your name. Helpline: 0800 1111 (24 hours). You can also contact ChildLine by email or online chat. They also have some helpful advice about sexuality here.

Young people’s health charity Brook has a confidential text and webchat service called Ask Brook.

Need some more help?

Would you like more help, or do you want to ask a question? You can email us (youngmember@ndcs.org.uk).

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National Deaf Children's Society

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Helpline: 0808 800 8880

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