Ah, coming out. A rite of passage in any young (or old) queer person’s life. It can be pretty simple to just view it as a single moment. To separate life into a before and after of that split second you boldly leaped from that closet to shout that you were here, you were queer and all that jazz. Alas, that’s not how things work. While general tolerance levels are rising at pretty pleasing rates, being queer is still something that’s definitely not seen as the norm. So if you’re that way inclined, you’ve got to prepare yourself for the fact that coming out is something that you’ll never stop doing – be it in a professional environment, a family one, or those nights at random bars when you realize there’s a blonde chick snaking her hand up the inside of your leg, and ho-LY SHIT this is getting awkward. Here are a handful of ways to help make that transition a little more seamless:
1. The Name Drop:
The most simple, yet also most effective method I’ve encountered yet. Observe: “Hey Haz, what’s on the agenda tonight?” “Oh, not much! Just hanging with ____!” “Oh, Haz, who is that?” “Why that’s my boyfriend, silly!” Easy as that. Might give way to a slightly raised eyebrow/suddenly look realization, but that’s about it. Note that it generally helps to actually have said significant other in your life when employing this strategy to avoid future awkwardness. Also note that this is probably not a strategy that should be employed when it comes to the parental units.
2. You could get culinary about it:
3. Hashtag it:
I once came out to approximately 500 Facebook friends via updating my relationship status. Quick, painless and guarenteed to get you a fucktonne of Likes, and maybe a share or two if people are that overly invested in your emotional wellbeing.Extra points if you can work Instagram into the mix somehow.
4. The Hint Drop:
Here’s where you drop subtle hints and hope like hell that present company will be able to pick up the rest of it and run with it. Like
- “Oh yes, I’d love to get married one day, but you see…”
- “Well, I’d totally go donate blood with you BUT…”
- “White iPhone’s just look so much better okay?”
- “Man I miss Gossip Girl!”
5. The After School Special: You know how it is: camera lens goes a bit glossy and moody, instrumental music swells up in the background. Emotions get a little too heated. Before you know it you’re right in the centre of your very own Dawson’s Creek moment:
Gauge reactions and general perceptions amongst those before moving forward. Bring tissues. Have an exit strategy/tequila ready. Things could get messy.
6. The YOLO:
Why slink out of the closet when you can tear out of it with the fanfare of a small marching band? This is where you disclose your sexuality by tongue-lashing the nearest same-gendered person. It’s easily the most enjoyable of all the options, and perfect suited for those nights-out with random people from high school you haven’t seen in years. Entertainment points purely for the shock-factor.
7. If you’re feeling creatively inspired, why not try for a poignant and touching meme that could well go viral:
9. The Heartwarmer:
When Justin came out towards the end of Ugly Betty, the audience let out a very collective “NAWWWW!”
I mean statistically the odds of this happening via slow-dance with your gorgeous boyfriend at a close family member’s wedding are pretty low, but still, a young gay kid can hope right?
10. …or you know, you could just be totally upfront from the start:
In all seriousness, coming out is a massive moment in anybody’s life. Feel free to do it in whatever way you see best/whenever you think it’s right. It’s going to be the most terrifying thing you ever do – but also the most liberating. The above points should all be taken with a grain of salt, particularly as everyone’s situation is totally different. It helps to make light of things because for the majority it is a genuinely difficult thing.
So be proud, kiss that boy (or girl) and know that no matter how it might go, or what people might say? Things are changing. They’re changing fast and we all get to a part of that. That’s a pretty rad thing.
Words: HARRISON CARTWRIGHT.