“Coming out” is the term used to describe the process of personally accepting your sexual orientation and revealing it to others. When and to whom someone decides to come out is a personal decision. It can be a freeing experience for some who find they can finally openly acknowledge how they feel and explore deep and meaningful relationships without the fear of being found out. But for others, it can be frightening and potentially dangerous; relationships and friendships may change, harassment or discrimination may occur, and some youth may risk being thrown out of home if their parents are not supportive, meaning they could lose their emotional and financial security.
Making it Better
Every student has the right to feel safe at school, and school personnel have the responsibility to create safe learning environments for everyone. Educating parents, teachers, and other teenagers about the reality of life as an LGBTQ youth is key. Many high schools in Canada are forming gay/straight alliances to create safer, more inclusive schools. To find out if there is a GSA in your area, or to get more information about how to start one at your school, check out MyGSA.ca Canada’s website for safer and inclusive schools for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) community.
If you are scared or confused and need help, or want your parents to talk to someone who can help explain what you are going through, contact PFLAG Canada (1-888-530-6777) Canada's only national organization that helps all Canadians with issues of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. PFLAG Canada supports, educates and provides resources to all individuals with questions or concerns, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Remember, you are not alone. And yes, it does get better.
References: The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC)
Sexual Health: Sexual Orientation and Coming Out
Retrieved from: https://www.sexandu.ca/lgbttq/coming-out/