What should I say when someone comes out to me as LGBTQ+?
Last Updated: 08/17/2020 at 5:49pm
Tim Van Rheenen, M.A., LMFT
Marriage & Family Therapist
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Top Rated Answers
If you let them know you accept and love them for who they are, you will make a difference for them. Make sure they know you're there to support them and they can talk to you about anything they want to share with someone. Never push them to do things they don't feel ready for - like coming out to their family or anyone else - and make sure theh feel loved. I'm sure you can be an amazing support for them!
You should be proud that they felt comfortable to come out to you, and accept them and make sure they know you love them just the same before and after them coming out.
In my experience, when I come out to people I want them to accept me. Just tell them that you're okay with that, that it's cool.
You could offer them a friend to talk to about how they are feeling, they probably feel scared to open to to certain people and they feel comfortable telling you, offer your ears and heart
Generally, acceptance is a good idea. Since that person came out to you, it shows that they trust you and see you as a great friend or family member or co-worker, whichever it may be, who you will support no matter who they are. So, because of the value of trust they feel towards you to tell you their gender/sexuality, letting them know that you support them is a good idea- it helps them feel more freedom and helps you accept a little more that they are LGBTQ+. You can remind them that you’ll be there and maybe give them a hug or something.
Being LGBTQ is something that many people may experience ridicule for. Its important to make a loved one feel safe if they choose to confide in you with this information, and let them know that you take them and their identity seriously. Offer them your time, and listen to what they have to say about it. If you're unsure about how you feel, or have trouble understanding what they're trying to convey, ask them to explain further. You may voice concerns, but be sure to do it in a respectful and understanding manner. Being kind and rational is very important when speaking about such a sensitive topic, especially if this person feels you're important enough to them to share it with. Making them feel safe and loved it definitely key.
There's no rule book for this sort of this, for example, if they identity as 'gay' go to section 4, box 5... If someone chooses to come out to you as LGBTQ+ then firstly, that's a huge milestone for them and they obviously feel safe enough to disclose that information to you, they trust you, so be honored and return the favor by being their if they need anything. They might already have dealt with their identity and be totally comfortable and they are just telling you as a matter of conversation, but if they haven't, and they aren't then these are big steps for both of you. Don't judge, go forward with an open mind, honor the trust they've placed in you and just be there for them, be nice, kind, supportive - be you!
Don't be completely dismissive of them. They chose to come out to you because they trust you. Things not to do or say include: "But you don't have a crush on me right?" (That only applies if both of you are the same gender.) Don't go telling people, UNLESS they give you the okay to do so. Make sure you know who they're out to so you don't accidentally out them in front of people who may or may not be as accepting as you are. Ask for pronouns if they come out as a different gender. Don't say things like "I always knew." Say something like, "You're my friend and you being LGBT+ doesn't change the fact that I still love you as my friend. Thank you for trusting me enough to come out to me."
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