Dear Gay People,
To come out or not to come out? That’s the million dollar question we all have to face eventually. But it’s a question that has no right answer. And as you ponder over this issue, it’s likely that your answer will change with each passing day. It’s a big decision to make. And not an easy dilemma to solve.
To help you in your dilemma, here is a compilation of advice on coming out from 20 openly gay people who came out, and lived to tell the tale.
1. Audi Khalid
Don’t rush to come out of the closet. It’s a huge decision. You need to think over it many times. Don’t simply buy in to the calls to be loud and proud. It doesn’t work for everyone. You have a life to lead, and should anything happen because of your decision to come out, these loud and proud slogans won’t be there to help you.
I’ve known people kicked out of their families after being discovered, their education and future now hang in the balance. You must have emergency plans in place. Only you will know when to come out of the closet and to whom.
2. Benjamin Lin
Coming out is not an absolute necessity. If you are comfortable living life status quo, so be it. Having said that, I personally felt a huge burden being lifted off me upon coming out. Each and every one of us have different reasons for remaining in the closet. Do consider if you are willing to forgo your happiness just so as to fit into somebody else’s expectation of you. Ultimately, we are the master of our own destiny.
3. Bobby Luo
For a lot of people, they are forced to live a life in hiding and in fear for just being who they are , or whom they love. Your life should be an open book. Never live a lie – always be true to your authentic self. You don’t have to please or answer to anyone , you only just need to please and answer to yourself, cos a life half-lived – is a life not worth living.
4. Darius Zee
I used to think coming out is a necessity as a life progression, until I witnessed the stories of some of the members of the community – where coming out may never be an option, at least not for the short term. My advice for them would be – come out only when you’re ready and when you know what it means, to you, to be a gay person.
But I must say, even though coming out can be a terrifying experience, it similarly liberates someone and allows that person to be truly who he or she is. I’m glad I took that step – and I find myself not having to hide anymore, at least not in front of the people whom I love.
5. Dustin Sohn
Society tries to manipulate and control every aspect of our lives by playing our insecurities and keeping us in a state of self-doubt. It tries to tell you what to wear, how to act, how to live, who to love and who to hate. And if you’re in the closet, it wants you to stay there.
We have to learn how to shut all those outside voices up and take ownership of ourselves. Don’t be afraid to live your truth, even if it deviates from the norm. Be who you are and don’t apologise for it. You don’t need anyone’s approval to exist on this earth. Society ain’t shit.
6. Dwayne Wang
Come out! It will change your life for the better and you will realise how much energy you have been wasting fighting yourself.
It is also the best way to convince people around you that gay people are no different from straight people, and to aid in the process of spreading love and understanding.
One pebble in a pond creates a small ripple, but many pebbles at once can create an overflow!
7. Gabriel Mark
I’ve always felt like you don’t really have to “come out” to anyone. Everybody else will be ready when you are. The day you feel comfortable being yourself is the day everything feels carefree.
8. Irwin Tseing
I believe that people should come out when they are ready, but if you feel like it is dragging you down from anything I would say that it is time to come out. Life can only get better if you come out. But that of course is all dependent on one’s situation, as in if you are in an area that is religiously against it or your family will throw you out, work towards getting away from that and then live your life.
9. Johnson Ong
COME ON OUT!! It’s not that scary. Live the only life you know to be true.
10. Lena Tan
Don’t worry about coming out because those who love you for who you are will accept you with open arms.
If your parents find it hard to accept, spend some time educating them and just be who you are because at the end of the day, you are the same person they have raised since birth.
11. Lokies Khan
Do take a close look around you, it has become way safer to come out today, than it was five short years ago.
People feared what they didn’t understand, but now people have acknowledged that being gay is nothing extraordinary, and that we are all extremely human. People see that our sexual orientation does not define our characters. Ask any openly gay individual if they ever regretted coming out, I’m confident that most of them, like myself, would tell you it was one of the best decisions that they have made, even if they had to struggle for a bit post-coming out.
There is still a lot that needs to be done, but as far as I’m concerned, victory is automatically yours when you come out. You just gotta claim it.
12. Nicholas Lim
Don’t be in a rush to come out. We don’t have an established social support system for those who do and then find themselves in situations that are untenable. From youths who are disenfranchised to working adults who find themselves discriminated at work to even professionals who are blackmailed, there are negative consequences.So come out when you are ready. I know it sounds idealistic and a bit naive but I truly wish the best coming out experience for everyone. Not exactly roses and rainbows and unicorns but an experience that is filled with acceptance and empathy.And that can only happen when you come out to yourself.
13. Scott Lai
No pressure on this whole closet and coming out thing. You’re not just gay, you’re a son/daughter, a friend, a student, so be the best versions of those. And be memorable, make a difference.
Whatever you do, society’s not gonna like it anyways so why bother trying to appease someone else. Be a good human being, be a good member of society and those are the things people will know you for, so don’t try to make being gay the center of your identity.
As with all things in life, make good friends, invest time and effort into building relationships; they’ll be your pillars, your wall and that’s really all you need.
14. Xzavier Shao Wei
Take it slow, come out only when you have fully embraced your own identity.
Let’s face the fact, you are bound to meet people whom will shun you off. You have to be mentally strong to face the butterflies in your stomach moments before coming out to people, and the anticipation of their reactions, fearing that they will have the look of disgust in their eyes.
Be strong, there are people whom will love you for who you are. By fully accepting and loving yourself, people will feel the conviction in you. You can’t sell something you don’t have faith in.
15. Gabriel Lu
Stay inside! Haha.
Some real advice would be the earlier you accept who your are, the less running around you have to do.
Once you learn who you are, you don’t have to run anymore. That’s one thing I’ve learnt. I’ve done a lot of running. Many schools, many countries.
16. Bryan Choong
You will be the only person who will know when is the appropriate time to come out.
But when you are in the closet, don’t bash yourself up for it.
17. Bhas Karan
The gay community is better and much more tolerant today as compared to a decade ago. Step out and take the chance to meet more people.
18. Roy Tan
Live your life authentically as a gay person. If being your true self can change even one person’s opinion about LGBT people for the better, your contribution to the community is as significant as that of any prominent activist.
19. Miak Siew
I know far too many people who struggle with being authentic and honest about who they are and lead double lives that is at the detriment of their emotional, psychological and spiritual well-being.
So many of them internalise their self-loathing and it becomes the source of hate and homophobia.
There are LGBT people of faith who have found ways to reconcile their faith and their sexuality. Talk to them.
20. Otto Fong
You can make a difference if you come out to your family – if you are financially independent, help everyone by coming out to your family.
If you would like to read coming out stories of openly LGBT people, check them out here.
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