So my friend is LGBTQ and is scared to come out and tell people she is. She’s afraid her family or friends or anyone won’t accept her. Help please.
Thank you so much for being there for your friend, and for reaching out to me with your question! It is great that she felt open to sharing this important part of herself with you.
Our sexuality is an integral part of who we are. When we have to hide that part of ourselves from others, we miss having people know our true selves.
Deciding who to come out to and when is a big decision. Once she’s feeling ready, she should start with another friend or family member she trusts, who will be understanding and supportive like you. She might be surprised to find that more people are open and supportive than she first expected. These coming-out videos might help her build up the courage she’s looking for: 8-coming-out-videos-that-have-melted-our-heart
Each person she comes out to will probably react differently… For those who take the news hard, it might help to give them a little time and space. They’re working through the same feelings she did – she’s just ahead of them in the process. As a friend, you can be there to support them (and her) throughout the coming out process. They may have questions for her (and you) – this just means that they are open to knowing and working through the news. Encourage her to be open and honest with them.
If her family seems to be having trouble accepting her, she can connect them to organizations like the Human Rights Campaign or Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG),which have local chapters where they can find support. We R Native also has a great fact sheet for parents of LGBT2S youth: FamilyAcceptance.pdf
Unfortunately, some people in our society may be violent toward people they perceive to be different. Whether at school, work, or just hanging out, harassment and abuse—whether verbal or physical—should not be tolerated. Call the National GLBT Hotline at 1-888-THE-GLNH (843-4564),the National GLBT Youth Talkline at 1-800-246-7743, or the Trevor helpline at 1-866-488-7386.
Thank you for being an ally and supporting your friend!