While coming out of the closet is one of the hardest things for a person to do, you’d be hard-pressed to find an individual who down the road regrets it.
Sure there may be regret expressed over the way some people in their lives reacted, but you will never come across someone who wishes they still were keeping their identity secret. While there may be some (less and less) instances where it is prudent to not broadcast your orientation, your interpersonal relationships with family and friends isn’t one of them.
5 Reasons to Come Out
1. You will feel a whole lot better about yourself. Hiding and/or lying about your identity does damage to you. Keeping your “deep, dark secret” does damage to your psyche, whether you’re gay, bi, queer, hetero-flexible or any of the other variations along the spectrum. Keeping it a secret is damaging you on a subconscious level, even if you’re unaware of it. Keeping it bottled up is telling yourself what you desire is wrong and bad, and by extension so are you. It’s not a binding identification, you can be gay today and straight tomorrow if that is where your heart leads you, but remember there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being gay or bi, and the sooner you accept that, the happier you’ll be.
2. The lies and/or withholding of information about you and your life is damaging your relationships with your family and friends, and you’ll find that after the initial bumps that might occur upon your initial revelation, your relationships are stronger for it and you can go about building an honest life in which your friends and family can fully participate in.
3. Freed from the shackles of your invented persona, you will be a happier, more confident and attractive individual, able to be yourself and no longer worrying about setting off people’s “gaydar.” You’re also going to discover that you’ve been setting it off for the people in your life for years, which for long after their revelation will still make you chuckle.
4. You will find someone who loves you who you can love back. Without self-imposed constraints, you can go forth as a fully formed individual who has taken charge of their lives, find “the one” and live happily ever after (hopefully). For those who haven’t yet made the leap, it’s very difficult to have a fulfilling long-term relationship with someone who already has. In year five of a relationship, it becomes a real issue if your partner has to vacate the house or pretend to be a roommate who sleeps in your guest room. If you cannot come to grips with who you are to yourself and the world, particularly in this day and age when the repercussions for doing so are significantly less severe than they have been in the past, you are diminishing your attractiveness to a potential partner.
5. You’ll be making it easier for the next ones in line. Have you noticed how it’s much less of a big deal to come out today than it was in years past? It’s because of all the people who made themselves visible before you. It’s easy to marginalize and demonize those “others” when a person doesn’t realize that they already have people they know and love who are GLBT, who are “normal” and want the same things that they do: safety, security and to be loved. Seriously, do it for the children, who until recently grew up picked on and thinking they were the only ones who bore their burden. Things are changing for the better but not fast enough and suicide is an epidemic among GLBT-identified youth.
Be proud of who you are!