A young adult male coupleWhat is coming out?

The act of “coming out” usually refers to the process of someone informing close family and friends that they are not heterosexual.

For some people, this is an easy process because of the support system behind them. Other times, coming out can be the scariest and hardest thing in a person’s life. There is no right or wrong time to “come out”, it’s up to the individual’s personal attitude and readiness to embrace their sexuality.

How do I support someone who came out to me?

Be supportive. It is okay to ask questions, but they may not want to talk about it more because people have to come out repeatedly. This can be exhausting.

Use gender neutral language. Instead of asking if a boyfriend or girlfriend is coming to an event, you can ask “Is your partner coming?”

Do not out them. Unless you are 100% confident that someone is out, do not share that information with anyone. It is not up to you to decide if someone is open about their sexuality or gender identity.