Coming out is always hard, especially if you’re not sure how people are going to react. Doing so during COVID-19 times can be even more complicated. But it can also be a lot easier than you thought. It all depends on your situation and your family.
If you’re not quite sure whether or not your family members would be supportive of you being LGBTQIA+, then there are also ways to approach the topics without directly saying you’re queer first. You can strike up a conversation about something you read, show them a video you thought was cool, or talk about a newspaper article. This could offer you a way to see how they react to queer issues before taking a step to talking with them about it directly.
The most important thing is to be safe. If you are really worried or know they aren’t supportive, then maybe right now isn’t the right thing to discuss these issues or come out. This situation isn’t going to last forever, and maybe it is better for you and our mental health to seek out the support you need online and then when things go back to normal you can build a support network outside the home to be there for you when you do come out to them or have these conversations.
In the meantime, there are endless amounts of great resources and groups online that you can seek out to be yourself and talk about your identity. These places will be invaluable for you if you think it’s too difficult to come out right now.
If you do decide to come out during lockdown, then make sure you have some of those people or groups set up to contact if things get tough. Make sure you have a good network around you to help you if you need, even if it’s an online helpline, a friend or a group. Just make sure there is a place which you can go to to talk about it, because often we need that to vent.
Sometimes parents and family members also need their space to breathe and think about things, so even if they aren’t initially receptive, give them some space and maybe give them some links or information brochures. Sometimes they need their own support, so if there are any parent groups in your area, tell them about them.
Just remember that there will always be people out there that will support you, and that you are never alone. There is a community out there that will accept you with open arms.
- Make sure you feel safe enough to come out and that you have a support network in case they don’t take it well. Try to identify a family member that might be more accepting than others and approach them first.
- Think of whether it feels better for you to do it in person, in writing or via messages. There is no right or wrong way to come out!
- Consider whether or not this is the best time to come out, and whether it’s worth doing when things have shifted a bit more.
- Find resources online, get support from support groups or helplines – there are always people out there that will support you, so don’t feel like you’re alone in this!
The COVID-19 Survival Guide is a project in collaboration with Fox and Owl, the creators of The Trans Teen Survival Guide, on what it means to be a young trans person and how to deal with topics such as gender dysphoria, hormone blockers, surgery and more. They also run My Genderation, a film project that celebrates trans lives and trans experiences.