Coming out isn’t always easy. It’s when a person decides to reveal an important part of their identity to someone in their life. For many LGBTQ people, this involves sharing their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
Explore what coming out means to you with tools and guiding questions.
As a young person, learning about your own LGBTQ identity and coming out in a heteronormative and cisnormative world can be challenging. To help with the coming out process, there are some key things for you to think about and consider as you begin to share your identities around sexuality and gender. This is not prescriptive, and your coming out journey(s) may skip around or return to other parts of the list. No two coming out stories are exactly the same; your coming out will be shaped by the supports that you have in school, at home, or in your community, and the privileges you hold in other aspects of your identity.
The Human Rights Campaign has resources to help you come out and live openly at home, at work and in your community.
Coming out in order to live openly isn’t something you do once, or even for one year. It’s a decision that we make every single day of our lives. Every coming out experience is unique and must be navigated in the way most comfortable for the individual. Whether it's for the first time ever or the first time today, coming out can be an arduous journey. It is also a brave decision to live authentically.
Becoming familiar with terms used by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and other sexual and gender minorities (LGBTQIA+) can help you be more inclusive in your daily life. In this glossary, you will find terms relevant to the health care and identities of LGBTQIA+ people.