Do I Need To Come Out?

It’s 2017. Times are changing. It’s the progressive era! People all around, are becoming more open minded and accepting. The world is beginning to finally look welcoming to otherwise previous not accepted members of society, more specifically, members of the LGBTQ+ community.

And with this new time, the ever nerve wracking “coming out” moments have become more and more frequent, and more often received much more positively among family and friends. It isn’t uncommon to be scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and to see your queer friends sharing their identity with their followers.

Is this path for everyone?

Don’t get me wrong. I get just as excited as everyone else when I see a heartwarming coming out post, and even though it’s 2017, putting out your sexuality on the entirety of the Internet can be quite intimidating. It takes a brave soul to put out such a post.

And while times are changing, we still haven’t achieved true acceptance of everyone, by everyone. And with the new age of technology, whatever you put out there, stays there, forever.

While I personally will always advocate for embracing and being comfortable with one’s sexuality, I know that not everyone can always do this, especially on the Internet. Many people have certain possibly conservative family and friends on their social media, and being this public about something they’d rather keep private can jeopardize many queer members’ feeling of safety.

Being quiet online doesn’t necessarily mean staying in the closet, in fact, many people openly tell people in person when asked, but just choose to abstain from it on social media. Or, it can be kept more privately, but are open and honest about it when asked, especially by anyone they may be interested in pursuing. But other than that, it doesn’t really need to be anyone’s business, as harsh as it sounds. After all, it is your sexuality, not anybody else’s. You are still embracing and loving your identity, just in a different way.

And so the question arises: do members of the LGBTQ+ community even have to publicly come out? Does there need to be a huge announcement? Is it really such a big deal? If it doesn’t affect anyone, do you really need to tell anyone?

The verdict is: it’s completely up to you. If you are a more open person and have accepting family and friends, a coming out post may feel like a huge burden has been lifted off you. Or, if you’re ready to open up, just not online, maybe a cute coming out party is for you instead. Or even, keeping it just to yourself, your friends, or potential partners; whatever you feel comfortable with is what will ultimately make you the most happiest.

But whatever you end up deciding, make sure it’s what YOU want, and not what society or anyone else pressures you to. Have fun with it, and don’t forget to add the frosting to your “I’m gay!” cake!

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Rashmi Bhoj
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Rashmi is a current 17 year old student from the Bay Area. She never runs out of things to be passionate about: Indian culture, online shopping, mental health, writing, or even gelato. Her favorite topics to write about are issues in education, feminism, and the everyday issues a teenage girl faces. Whether it's the latest music, controversial news article, or even the funniest tweets, she always has something to share.

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