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The GayYorkRegion logo: A symbolic map of the region using rainbow colours to represent the nine municipalities of Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville
Your local community connection.
Something To Consider
Even if you don't feel comfortable about revealing your own sexuality, it's always a good idea to make it clear to everyone that you're a strong supporter of equality and diversity. Always tell people that you hate all forms of discrimation including homophobia. That way, if one your friends is also gay, they will feel much more comfortable about coming out to you.
Did You Know?
York Region has an LGBT support line that is staffed by professionally trained counsellors. You can call this support line on 1-888-YORKLGBT any time you feel that you could use some help or advice. Details of this and many other free support services can be found in the Services section of this website.
Choosing The Time And Place
When coming out to a family member or close friend, pick a time when you can talk with them privately and undisturbed - a time when you're likely to command their attention. In other words, when they have time to dedicate to you and they aren't preoccupied with other tasks. One time to avoid would be when travelling in a car if you are driving or the person finding out about you is in the driving seat. Whoever is driving should really be focussing his or her attention on the road.
Equally, be sensitive to the timing in terms of the person you're telling. If it's someone close to you, even though you're hoping it won't upset them, you shouldn't tell them just before an important event in their life. For example, as they are about to sit an exam, celebrate a special occasion or when they are dealing with a difficult situation in their own life.
Lastly, make sure the emotional climate is right. Telling your parents just after they've had an argument with you, or with each other, is not a good idea. Avoid times when people have other things upsetting them or preying on their mind, for example if they've just lost their job, or they're about to go into hospital. Equally it doesn't make sense to tell anyone when either you or they are tired.
Only When You're Calm And Sober
Make a firm decision right now, while you're sober (hopefully), that you're never going to come out to anyone when you or they aren't sober. Nobody can think at their best and focus on a thoughtful and rational discussion while under the influence of alcohol (or any other substance). This should be obvious, but don't ever let your mind tell you otherwise, once you've had a few. If you think someone might receive the news better when drunk, just remember that they will soon sober up - and maybe all the faster after you've told them!
Hopefully you have the right reasons for wanting to come out to someone. Perhaps it's because you're uncomfortable about keeping it a secret from them and the fact that they don't know you for who you really are. All of this would imply that you care about this person. If so, the very last thing you should do is to use your sexuality as a weapon against them, in anger during a disagreement. It's therefore a good idea to also decide right now that you will never reveal your sexuality to anyone in the middle of an argument.
Plan Ahead
You should only come out to someone when both of you have time to spare. Make sure that the person you're telling has time to listen. Ensure that you have time to answer any questions they may have and to discuss things with them sensibly. The closer the person is to you, the longer this might take. So, it makes sense not to tell someone just as you or they have to rush off to do something else.
There's absolutely no merit in making a rash decision that you're going to come out to someone. If you're ever tempted, consider that a short delay is unlikely to make a great deal of difference. Before telling anyone about your sexuality, it's essential that you take the time to think about it carefully. You need to weigh up the pros and cons as well as deciding exactly how you should go about telling them.
Delaying The Day
Postponing the day when you will reveal your sexuality might often seem like the easiest option. But you need to consider that a prolonged delay can sometimes make things much more difficult in the end, when you do decide to tell someone.
A close friend or family member might be disturbed about the fact that you didn't tell them sooner. A same sex friend might wonder about your reasons for ever becoming friends with them, without disclosing your sexuality. They might believe it was because you were interested in them sexually but didn't want them to be suspicious of this. A relative or good friend might also be disappointed in you for not having felt able to trust them. They may be upset that you ever doubted whether they would accept the news of your sexuality.
It's often tempting to only think about 'if' someone should be told. But it's actually much better to forget about 'if' and instead to always focus on 'when'.