What It's Like To Live In Fear Of Being Found 'Out'
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Politics and Activism

What It's Like To Live In Fear Of Being Found 'Out'

The people you come out to matters.

lgbtq pride parade

What is is like to only be out of the closet to a few select people in your life? What's it like to be out to everyone but one person? How does it affect your relationship with the people you're not out to? Let me start by saying, everyone comes out at their own pace, on their own time.

Coming out is not something everyone has to do or should do.

Some people are not in circumstances where they can come out to certain people, if at all, and sometimes it feels like a better decision to keep a person in the dark rather than lose them completely. There are usually no dance numbers and glitter rainbows that come with coming out, but there is crying and anxiety about how the person will react, and if they'll still want to be associated with you.

Location matters

"I am completely out on my campus, it's somewhere I feel secure in that if someone disagrees with my lifestyle, I never have to see them again. At home with my family, however, is a different story. I told my mom first, then my oldest sibling. I recently told my other sibling despite the fear he would tell our father. Being around people who knew you before you out made it harder to come out in the first place. I made a conscious decision before I went to college that it would be the place where I could live my truth, so everyone who knows me knew right away." Where you are matters to an LGBT+ person. Not everywhere is a safe place to be yourself, and the people around you won't always accept you. It can be tough for a person to gauge whether or not it is safe to come out, but it is always their decision.

The people you tell matters

"When I was only out to one or two people, I lived in constant fear that I would get a call from a family member saying they had been informed of my sexuality and either wanted me to pray it away, or wanted nothing to do with me anymore. Now that I'm out to everyone except my father, I live in constant fear that one of my brothers may tell him. When I decided to live my truth, but not let everyone know, it created distance from the people I decided not to tell. It's a distance that is very obvious that comes with a decision.

Do you risk making the distance greater by saying something, or do you accept the way the distance is? It's a difficult decision, and there's no right answer. The only thing to do is wait for a time when coming out is unnecessary. Nobody has to come out as straight, so maybe someday there doesn't have to be a big crying confession about one's sexuality. Or secrets kept from certain family members about one's lifestyle. It's easy to not tell anyone and live a lie, but it's much harder to tell only certain people and live honestly in only certain places."

The people you come out to matters.

To an LGBT+ person, not everyone can be trusted with information that can be sensitive, so the person matters. A strong support system is important to anyone and it's important to have people around who support you and don't disagree with your lifestyle.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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