As someone that is coming out at the age of 26, I feel like there isn’t as much support for adults who are just starting to deal with this hard time. I wish that I had the guts to come out earlier, but I can’t change that. There are all sorts of amazing videos aimed (rightfully so, mind you) at teens to let them know that it gets better, but I can’t be alone in coming out in my mid-to-late twenties. Are there any resources for people like me out there? Videos, stories, support? We aren’t all necessarily strong-willed individuals, and that could be evidenced by being in the closet for so long. I feel like there should be a bigger community for people like me than there is. Maybe I am just having a hard time finding it?
I support EVERYTHING The Trevor Project stands for. It’s amazing. I just hope to find more cases of people like me with advice and stories of people coming out later in life. There aren’t as many ‘it gets better’ videos for that. As someone still in the process of coming out and is having a tough time dealing with it, I wish there was more support.
Letter submitted by:
Coming out is a very personal process. Everyone comes out when they are ready. Do not belittle yourself for coming out at a later stage in your life. There is nothing to be ashamed of here. Feeling safe is a crucial element to coming out. Some people wait to come out until they have moved out of their childhood home. Establishing one’s independence allows one to come out without the possible loss of one’s shelter.
There are resources for adults as they come out. Whatever your age, many of the issues are the same.
You might find the Human Rights Campaign’s “Resource Guide to Coming Out” at http://www.hrc.org/documents/resourceguide_co.pdf helpful. In addition, on http://www.amplifyyourvoice.org/youthresource/comingoutquestions you’ll find an article called “Coming Out to Your Parents: Questions to Think About” which may be of help to you.
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is a great organization, made up mostly of parents, which supports LGBTQ people and works to help parents and others to become more supportive and accepting of their loved one’s sexual orientation/gender identity. On their website at www.pflag.org click on “Get Support” then click on “For Family & Friends” where you’ll find the pamphlets “Our Daughters and Sons: Questions and Answers for Parents of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual People” and “Frequently Asked Questions about GLBT People,” which, if you’re comfortable, you can share with your family members/friends to help them become more understanding and accepting of you. PFLAG also runs support groups where parents and others can discuss questions and concerns they have about a loved one’s sexual orientation and where LGBT people can discuss issues they’re having with people in their life. On their website, you can search for a chapter near you. There is a PFLAG chapter in your area. http://www.pflag-madison.org/ 608-848-2333
Finding a community of people that understand and accept homosexuality as a normal expression of human sexuality will provide the support you need as you approach coming out. Finding that community will help immensely. For many, coming out is a continual process. There may always be a moment of “coming out”, deciding to be truthful in expressing your sexual orientation. Remember, you alone decide who you share personal aspects of your life. Again, finding trustworthy people will give you some positive experiences regarding coming out. It does get easier. You are not alone.
Although the Trevor Project is geared toward teens , do not hesitate to contact us. We are here if you need us. Know, you can always call the Trevor lifeline at 1-866-4-U-Trevor, 24 hours 7 days a week.