What to Do If Coming Out Doesn't Go Well?



You’ve managed to pluck up the courage and found a way to tell your parents and or partner the truth.


You’ve just come out, and you are gutted as it hasn’t gone well.


What do you do now?



Here are 5 tips on how to cope.



It’s not your fault

Maybe you’ve read lots of coming out stories full of sparkle and joy and were hoping to feel that euphoria after coming out.


Not everyone’s coming out goes well. It’s not your fault, you have done nothing wrong. You’re not responsible for other people’s unacceptance of your sexuality or gender.



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Be gentle with yourself

It’s a very sad time for you.


You’re probably a lot more tired than you realise as your brain has been racing through all eventualities as you’ve been getting ready to share who you really are. Give yourself time to rest.



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Find community

It is likely that you’re feeling very alone at this time and wondering who you can trust. Having supportive peers who know what it feels like to have to come out can really help.


There are loads of communities of LGBT+ people online and in person. Why not reach out and start a chat with someone? Check out The Proud Trust and Tranzwiki.



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Initial reactions can change

You don’t have to keep arguing.


Consider letting this settle and coming back to the conversation (if safe) when things are less heated.


Remember you’ve likely been thinking about and preparing for this for a long time, but this news may be a sudden surprise for your parents/partner, and you might have caught them off guard. That doesn’t, of course, excuse their hostile reaction, but it may be that over time they might try to understand and accept you.


As a counsellor I’ve worked with many clients whose parents/partner have ended up becoming more supportive after the initial reaction. This sometimes takes days or even years.



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Support is out there

If your parents/partner has kicked you out, you might be wondering where on earth you can be safe again. Is there anyone in your life who you might be able to stay with for a bit while things settle for you?


If you find yourself with nowhere to live this can be incredibly scary. Try reaching out to Stonewall Housing or AKT who support LGBTQ people in the UK who are homeless or living in hostile environments.



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For general LGBT+ support and info you can contact LGBT+ Switchboard, or, for trans-specific support there’s Mermaids.



Lastly, remember only you can decide what this coming out means to you. Maybe you’ll be able to keep living in hope that your parents/partner will start to accept you. Then again, maybe you decide things feel so bad that you choose to remove them from your life for the sake of your own mental health. You don’t have to make any decisions immediately.



Ultimately, try to do what you can to look after your own safety and mental health.



Do you want support?

If you are over 18 and living in the UK, I offer online counselling to support people like you through this difficult time. Get in touch chloefoster@sussexrainbowcounselling.com to find out more.