Coming Out to Friends and Colleagues

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In previous articles I wrote about coming out to your family, your children, your parents, and your spouse.
Every one of these actions has their own unique aspects.
Coming out to your friends and colleagues is another ballgame.
If your family rejects you it is extremely painful, but friends can hurt you in other ways.
The worst I have seen is where a person lost each and every one of his friends.
It doesn't happen often, but it happens all the same.
What makes it difficult is the fear of isolation.
Interestingly you will be amazed by who rejects you and who stays in your life.
It is absolutely unpredictable.
I think it is the unpredictability that moves people to stay closeted.
On the other hand I can assure you that you will have a whole bunch of friends outside the closet and in my experience they are your truest friends.
People always ask how they should tell their friends, but in my opinion it is impossible to answer.
As I said many times no two people are alike and there isn't one fool-proof way to tell it to them.
On the other hand I do not think that the how is all that important.
How you tell them is not going to make a big difference and it does not have a big influence on the reaction you will get from them.
In my experience the biggest fears of coming out are unfounded.
The fact is that most of the things we fear never happen.
Good friends do not judge and if they judge they either come around in time or they were not the friends you thought they were.
In this last case you do not really lose valuable friendships.
For that reason I believe you just have to go for it and tell them.
Interestingly many of your closest friends suspect it anyway.
Despite the wide-mouthed ramblings of the far right most people do not have a problem with gay people.
In many cases even homophobes change their opinion if one of their close friends comes out.
The fact is that most people who fear/hate gay people base it on stereotypes.
The moment they realize that being gay didn't change who you are, they also realize that their opinion was based on nonsense.
It would be untruthful to claim that people do not lose friends if they come out and it would also be a lie if I told you that we do not suffer rejection from some colleagues.
The thing is that being gay is not the only thing some people use to discriminate against others - some people have a bad skin, others are from another culture, some are overweight, wears thick glasses, limps, are introverted, or are easy targets for bullies, and all of them suffers under idiots.
People can be very mean and the world is filled with sociopathic people who need to be caged.
The best thing is to ignore them and if they go too far report them.
You have the right to live your life as a gay member of society and you will be amazed to see how many straight people believe that you deserve it to be happy.
Not all people wishes to deny another his/her happiness and those who do is just not worth worrying about.
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