As many of you know, Coming Out Day was October 11th. For many people, it was a day where they stepped into the light and revealed their sexualities and identities to loved ones, friends online or their communities. For others, there was a lot of pressure to come out when they weren’t quite ready. If this is you, don’t worry. You are your business and if you don’t want to share that information with anyone, you don’t have to! You belong to yourself. There is no shame in being in the closet. Some people also may have come out expecting support, but were met with the opposite.

Some parents do not take the news very well. I am lucky to have understanding and supportive family members and peers, but I recognize that not everyone shares that with me. If anyone needs immediate help, the TrevorLifeline number is 866-488-7386.

46% of homeless LGBT youths run away because of family rejection of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Some were kicked out by their parents and others faced abuse. It’s 2017 and homophobia and transphobia are still around. We are not blind. We see it every day. Sometimes, parents do not understand what is going on and they react badly. By saying that, I am in no way minimizing these experiences or saying that it’s okay just because they don’t understand – I am simply giving an explanation. Those of us in the LGBTQ+ community have most likely experienced first-hand homophobia or transphobia at least once in our lives. We know the struggles we have faced as a community and we know that our people are often in danger.

Some people however were met with love and support and that should not be overlooked. Friends and families of LGBTQ+ folks who put love before judgment set a good example. There are a lot of parents out there in the process of learning and unlearning and there is hope. These parents show that they will love their children no matter what, which should be universal. Sometimes parents with bad reactions can learn how to overcome the issue and show support for their children. There is a ton of information out there on how to be a better parent to your LGBTQ+ children. To those who have faced anger or hatred, I stand with you. You are in no way unimportant and there are resources for you as well.

Coming out can be rattling. Whether you got the reaction you wanted or not, you are valid and not alone. Your bravery will not go unnoticed. If you choose not to come out, you are also valid and not alone. Stay safe and seek assistance when needed. There will be supportive and unsupportive people in your life. The support is worth sticking around for.

Image credit: Central Pacific Conference

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