How to Know If You're Ready to Come Out


Coming out is an ongoing process. However the first time you come out, can be the hardest. As difficult as it may be, it will be equally relieving and affirming. It can also mean that some of your relationships change. Here are a few steps to help you decide whether you are ready to come out.

  • Come out to yourself. It is the first all-important step that a homosexual takes. Say it to yourself in front of the mirror, in the car or on your bike - anywhere. At first it may feel a little awkward, but after awhile, it will feel empowering.

  • Know that you are not alone. There are millions of people like you all over the world. Many people have published their coming-out stories in books. Read a few to get comfortable with the feelings you have.

  • Find resources to help you as you come out. There are resources that you can contact online, over the phone and in person with friends and trusted family members.

  • Decide whom you want to come out to first. Do you feel that this person is "gay-friendly"? Have they made encouraging comments about others they know? Are you ready for their response, whatever it may be? If you are, this is probably a sign that you are ready to come out.

  • Try out conversations with those you've told in order to practice coming out to others, especially family members. Ask them to respond in all sorts of ways to prepare you for questions that may arise. If you feel comfortable, you may be ready to come out.

  • Be strong. Not everyone will respond to your news the same way. Some may ask why it took you so long, others may ask whether you want to date their friend. Some may be angry or disappointed, but remember their feelings are their responsibility not yours.

Tips & Warnings

  • Look around! You can find support in many different places. See Related eHows on finding the gay community in your area. The last thing you want to do is find yourself isolated and alone.
  • You may not want to come out during the holidays. There is already plenty of stress for everyone. When you tell people, you want them at their best, not their worst.

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