In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Tuesday I’ll be posting interviews, opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx/WOC community since I am Latinx.) Welcome to Queerly Not Straight! Enjoy and leave a comment below if you have a suggestion for what I should cover next.
Every holiday, and especially during this quarantine, could be the moment that your loved one comes out and tells you the truth about who they are. Whether it be the truth about their sexuality or their gender, knowing what to say or how to act when this important LGBTQ+ moment comes is….well, important. This person, this loved one, matters to you. And you matter to us, dear reader.
To help you along, here are a couple things that you can do this Christmas (or New Years) if your loved one comes out and tells the world, aka you, who they truly are. And why is this article necessary? Because everyone needs a little help sometimes and maybe a queer person can give this article to their loved one to help them process and understand the game changing news their loved one might have just shared.
1. Listen to what they have to say.
Revealing your truth is no easy feat. So when your loved one is giving you that truth, make sure to listen. Don’t interrupt, don’t ask for explanations mid-way through their confession, and don’t brush them off. This is an important moment that they want to share with you because they love you and feel safe in telling you their truth.
2. Reassure them that you love them.
One of the scariest parts of coming out is the thought that your loved one won’t love you anymore because of who you have revealed yourself to be. Reassure this person that they are still loved to the moon and back. Say the words, make them real, and you will see the relief wash over this person almost instantly.
3. Ask them what you can do.
With so much anxiety in the build up to this moment, many times our newly revealed members of the LGBTQ+ community haven’t thought past this moment. They were preparing themselves for the worst and the worst has not come. This is your moment to ask them what they need. It’s an opportunity for your loved one to gather their thoughts, come to the realization that everything is ok, and that they can ask for more.
4. Know that this isn’t about you.
Guilt is going to be an inherent part of coming out to your loved one that you are LGBTQ+. And we’re not just talking about the guilt your loved one might feel at holding this part of themselves back. We’re talking about the guilt you might feel in that they didn’t feel comfortable around you to tell you sooner. You must remember that this isn’t about you. It’s about the other person and when they felt ready to speak their truth.
5. Give them the biggest hug.
Coming out to a loved one isn’t an easy thing to do. It’s exhausting and emotional taxing, especially the days building up to the revelation. And the person who has revealed who they truly are, well, they’re tired and a bit overwhelmed. So, give them a little comfort. Give them a hug, if they’re comfortable with that, or offer to sit with them and listen to whatever else they have to say.
Coming out is a momentous moment and one that sticks with us long after. We hope these tips have helped you out, dear reader. Have a wonderful Christmas, holiday, or New Year. And good luck to everyone coming out. You’ve got this! And if you need any assistance, we hope this article helps!
Queerly Not Straight posts every Tuesday with opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.)