Some Advice


When a person first comes out it feels like a full time job having to come out over and over and over again to everyone in your life. It can be really scary, but you also sorta wish you could just put out a group text to everyone you know and spare the dramatics and effort of all the individual reveals. . And it never really stops. You come out all the time, day after day, to person after person you meet. After the first few times it gets easier, but it can still be tedious, and you still brace yourself a bit each time, wondering how the person will react. Like standing outside someone’s door, taking a deep breath, and shaking off your fear before knocking. . Years and years ago, not long after I started making the coming out rounds, I got a call from my cousin. He is super conservative, like (lots and lots of) gun-toting conservative. When I answered he said, “I’m so proud of you.” I was like, “Why?” He’d heard through the family grapevine about my big reveal. And he called me to tell me he loved me. I’m not sure I can put into words how awesome that made me feel. . Recently a friend told me that she found out her teenage niece was gay. The girl hadn’t come out to her yet, but it wasn’t a secret. My friend was just going to wait until the girl came out to her. I told her to call the girl and let her know she loved her and supported her, no matter what. So my friend did. And it went really well. . This advice is only pertinent if the person is in full come-out mode. Not if they’ve told one person and are still navigating how they want to proceed. It should be about supporting them, not about rushing them or trampling through their process throwing rainbow flags in the air. . But if someone is out, and just hasn’t gotten to your house to knock on your door, it might be worth paying them a visit instead. It might be worth eliminating any doubt in their minds that you love them. It might be an act of kindness that stays with them forever. . . **Edit to add: If someone isn't out, but you have suspicions, especially if it's a kid, it never hurts to tell a person you love them and support them NO MATTER WHAT. That can be the whole conversation, just the planting of the seed that you will always be a safe door to knock on, for any reason.**

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Dawn is a mom, writer, and designer from Sacramento, CA. She is tired.

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