Consequences and reactions

So you've told someone. You are either balancing on the edge of an erupting volcano or dancing with joy on the moon (or both!). Some people describe a huge weight being lifted from their shoulders, of feeling euphoric and giggly and childlike again.

Don't feel guilty about it - go on and enjoy yourself, you deserve it. The thrill of revealing something long kept hidden can give a tremendous sense of relief.

Use this new found energy wisely and remember that close friends and family may be worried that you have changed out of all recognition. Reassure them that you have changed - and for the better and that you are simply exploring a new, more complete you.

Most people will experience many positive reactions. For example, "We're so pleased you could tell us" or "Well we had already guessed and were just waiting for you to say something". Some gay people have also met with the response, "So am I".
If it hasn't gone too well - don't lose heart. Time is a great healer and things will get better. If you are experiencing rejection from some close friends, ask yourself if they were really so close that they couldn't support you through this. If your family is reacting badly, this is in all probability, normal. They may be experiencing a whole range of emotions including shock, grief, guilt, blame, disappointment and lots of pain.

Remember how long it took for you to come to terms with being gay. Many parents will feel a loss in some way - perhaps of future grandchildren or weddings and other family gatherings. This can blur their happiness and their love for you.
At the end of the day, your parents are still your parents and, in time, few reject their children because they are gay.

If they go quiet on you, give them time to react and the opportunity to think about what you have told them. If they ask lots of questions, it's a good sign. It may help to think of it as though it is in your interests to respond to them - they are likely to be the same ones that you have asked yourself many times along the way.

If things are so bad that you feel like giving up with the whole process of coming out, it's important to talk to someone about your fears and concerns.

It's probably better to persevere and keep going, after all, you have come this far and in many ways it would be difficult or impossible to go back now. The next person you talk to will probably give you a huge hug and say that they were relieved that you had found the courage to tell them and that they had suspected that something may have been on your mind for a long time.


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