College can be a wonderful time to explore your interests, likes and dislikes. You get more freedom in college than you did in high school. College is the first major step into adulthood and living on your own, if you have that luxury. There are numerous students, both male and female that have desires, and not all desires are like everyone else.
So what happens when your desires transcend to the gay side of life? Let’s be honest, most of us who are gay know early on in life. Some may go out of their way not to be, but at the end of the day there is no denying it. So what happens if you make this discovery while on campus?
This can be a sticky situation. There are so many factors to think about. When you live in the world today you know it’s not as simple as announcing
“Hey, I’m gay everyone!”
Some will be all for it and accept you regardless. Still, others will show their true colors and think differently about you. There are some that will deal with this in a very dangerous and deadly way. Coming out on campus is not as simple as one would expect.
What should you do?
Pick a place that is private and safe to come out to those that care about you. I would not choose a social media page to do. I know that many have done it this way, but in my opinion this can turn dangerous. So you might want to steer clear.
When you do tell your friends, pick those who you trust beyond anything. In other words, don’t just go up to a casual acquaintance and own it. If your friends really do love you, you will find that they will be okay with it. In fact, it can be a great bonding experience in some ways. Announcing you are gay should not affect your friendships in any way. If it does, you need to seriously rethink who is a friend and who is not.
What about the family?
The same rules apply. If your family really does love you the way they say they do, they will accept you no matter what. Give them a chance with the information. Don’t just assume that your family will not accept you. Chances are that fear that lies within is there for no reason. So give them that same chance that you would want.
If they react badly, give them a specified period of time to get over what they need to get over. Once that period is over, sit down and talk to them. Listen to what he or she has to say, don’t just write them off. Think about how you would want to be treated and give them the same value in return.
If they do come to accept it, than that is great. If they don’t, than you may need to put distance between you. Coming out of the closet is difficult enough, you don’t need to have negativity continuing to block your path. You may need to put distance between you for a good while. Give yourself permission to set the boundaries. This of course is left up to you individually. The space that you and the other person gets may be a good thing. It may give each of you time to get some fresh perspective.
When you and the other person cross paths once more, be it a friend or family member, if his or her views have not changed, than maybe you need rethink how important he or she is in your life. As a gay woman or man you need to have positivity, safety and comfort around you. You don’t need to have narrow-mindedness and prejudice.
If you do decide to cut the ties, than do it a positive fashion. Be the better person and let them know that “you are sorry that he or she feels that way.”
Killing someone with kindness is the best way to stay ahead of the prejudice.
Remember that when you come out of the closet, you don’t want your actions to bring more hate into the mix.