Things to prepare before you come out

We all hope that our relatives will be accepting when we come out to them.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.  If you live with your family (or anyone else who can toss you out) and are even slightly afraid of them reacting poorly there are a few things you should have ready.

A friend.  Someone you’ve already come out to who knows the situation and can be on call to pick you up to crash with them for a few days.  Usually relatives who flip out only need a day or two to calm down and come to their senses.  Rarely will you get the relatives who refuse to see or speak to you again.  When you do you generally have some warning beforehand.  If that’s the case make sure you have a place you can stay until you find your feet.

Clothes and toiletries. Enough to last you a week, longer if you have the potential catastrophe parents.  Make sure to include at least one set of dress clothes just in case the reaction is worse than you expected and you can’t get back for a while.

Documentation.  ID, passport, social security card, insurance card, birth certificate, any other identifying documents that are applicable in your country and/or needed for school/work.

Money. As much as you can save.  If your family has access to your bank account carry it in cash so they can’t cut it off.

Numbers for local GLBT organisations.  LGBT centers, queer shelters, PFLAG, anyone you can possibly find in your area that might be able to help.  Note that if you are under 18 you may not be allowed access to adult shelters.  However, they may still have other resources they can point you toward so keep their numbers anyway.  If you are over 18 most queer youth services (including shelters) run into the early 20s.

A sense of humour.  If the worst case scenario happens and you end up not being able to go back home you are going to need this to survive with your sanity (mostly) intact.  Learn to laugh at some of the more absurd situations you find yourself in.  It’s not easy, but it does make things seem a bit better.  One from my homeless days: I had spent most of the day walking from one soup kitchen line to another and had finally gotten to the one for the shelter (which formed at 2PM for a 6PM opening).  I was wearing the vast majority of my wardrobe with what little else I owned shoved into a Marine sea bag that I’d been carting around with me for weeks.  I drop my stuff, sit on the bag, and settle in for the four hour wait.  It’s cold, I’m feeling sorry for myself, and just when I think things can’t get any worse it starts to snow.  In San Fran-fucking-cisco.  I honestly didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.  In the end I did both.  Shitty situation, but funny if looked at from the right (twisted) viewpoint.

Above all, have a plan.  It doesn’t have to be this plan, just as long as you have something to fall back on.  Nothing quite like having to flee your own home in the middle of the night with no warning.  It’s really not a situation you want to find yourself in.

2 Replies to “Things to prepare before you come out”

  1. Thank you for this post. Even though my boyfriend already moved out of his parent’s place before coming out to his family, a lot of these points are still valuable to us through the coming out process. I know your site has helped ease a lot of worry we have, and he gets so excited when he comes across a post that matches his own thoughts. 🙂 I love seeing my boy happy, and you’re one of the reasons he was able to start the whole transition.

    I’m sure your posts have helped a lot of people, so keep it up! I’ll definitely keep peeking in here to see more of what you have to say. <3

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