Coming out is the phrase used to describe the process of someone who is gay, bisexual or transgender being open with the people around them about their sexuality or gender identity. This can be a difficult process for people and they may be worried that others will treat them differently once they know. Even though it can be scary, most people feel coming out is very important as it means that they can be honest about how they feel and not keep an important part of their life hidden.
One of the very first steps of coming out is acknowledging to yourself what your sexual preferences or your gender identity are. This may sound really obvious, but for lots of people admitting to themselves that they are gay, bisexual, lesbian or transgender can be hard for lots of reasons.
It could be because they have been brought up to think that being one of these things is wrong, or because they are worried about being teased or bullied. If you are not sure if you are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, you may find it helpful to talk to someone you trust about your feelings.
Remember, if you are not sure of how you feel about your sexuality or gender identity, there is no hurry to make your mind up or tell people. Coming out is a very individual thing and it is important to do it in your own way and in your own time.
Where can I get further support?
LGBT Bucks Website
LGBT Bucks aims to inform Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people about services in and around Buckinghamshire. It includes national and local information, as well as practical tips and advice.
For lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people in Bucks
Terrence Higgins Trust
For further information on support services in Bucks, you can also click here.
Need to speak to someone?
If you need further advice, or if this page hasn’t answered your questions then get in contact with your local bSHaW Sexual Health Clinic for a friendly chat.
Call 0300 303 2880 to book an appointment or use our service finder to locate your nearest clinic.