>i know i’m gay, i have done for a while. I’m 17, how do i tell people? i want to tell people i’m just too afraid of the confrontation

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Thanks for asking this question. I get asked this quite a lot.

The first thing I would suggest is don’t look at it as a confrontation. I know you are worried that the people you tell may be angry with you, so I understand where this fear of a confrontation comes from but try not to look at it that way. If you expect a fight or a negative reaction then you may find one.

Always remember that if a person has a problem with it, it is their problem not yours. A homophobic person is insecure about how your sexuality makes them feel. It has nothing to do with you.

Coming out is a very personal thing and it is never easy to do.

One of the most important things when coming out is to have a wingman or someone you can lean on for support. Start with one person who you are close to who you believe will be supportive.

Find a place you feel safe like your favorite spot or hangout. Go out for a coffee, do your best to be calm and start with “there is something I would like you to know about me”. The wording is important I think. Not for them but for you. saying “I would like you to know” rather than “you need to know” or something similar removes the implication that your about to tell them something bad. Thats the way I think about it anyway.

After that it is up to you. When I came out I told my mother first and then we told my father together. That made it a lot easier but I always took the attitude that if people found out I didn’t care, but I wasn’t going to go around saying “hi I’m Shannon and I’m gay” to everyone I met.

Being gay is only a small part of who I am. It’s not my sole identity.

If you are worried about your family kicking you out or cutting you off then it may be wise to wait until you have moved out or have some measure of independence.

Finally, if you have a boyfriend don’t spring that on people straight away. When you tell them you are gay they will have questions and you will need to be able to work on that together first.

In any case, whatever you choose to do always remember that there is a whole community out there waiting and cheering for you. You will never be alone as long as you reach out.

Your going to be amazing!

X
Shannon