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Basic Version

We come out when we are ready for it. It’s important to first develop one’s positive lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender identity. This involves self-acceptance, challenging destructive myths and stereotypes as well as solidarity with LGBT people. So it’s not about applying a negative label to oneself, but about identifying with people like us in order to offer mutual support and together oppose discrimination. When same-sex love and transgender cease to be a problem, those identities may become less important.
      It’s worth preparing oneself for coming out. Here are a handful of suggestions:

1. Let’s acquire knowledge, because coming out often involves educating the people we are talking to. A few selected issues are outlined briefly below.

Homosexuality is a normal minority variant of human sexuality. Thus, (less or more visible) homosexual people as well as same-sex couples and their families are an ordinary component of human societies. A serious approach to this natural diversity of people and to the principle of equal treatment of citizens entails an education taking account of life-related needs of this sexual minority as well as legal protection of same-sex couples and their families.
      Homosexuality is an evolutionary heritage of humans. It constitutes a constant part of nature. Homosexual behaviour has been observed in many species of animals living in the wild.
  See: Internet: VIDEOS > Diversity in Nature

Based on pseudo-science, undertaken under the pressure of religious fundamentalist circles, attempts to change homosexual orientation into heterosexual orientation are hazardous to mental health and claims of “success” are distorted.

Same-sex marriages (and other legally recognized same-sex unions) harmoniously coexist with opposite-sex marriages.
  See: Internet: VIDEOS > Same-Sex Unions: Marriages and Partnerships

LGBT people bring up children with joy, dedication and success.
  See: Internet: VIDEOS > Families of Same-Sex Couples

• A growing number of religious leaders and lay followers of religions accept homosexual orientation together with its responsible physical expression.
  See: Internet: VIDEOS > Religious Acceptance of LGBT People with Their Sexuality and Gender Identity (WEBCASTS, TEXTS)

• Having a bisexual orientation means that we have a potential to love a woman or a man. Frankness as to one’s bisexuality is for some an important political issue or a question of faithfulness to oneself.

For those of us who are transgender, coming out may be connected with the process of transition to the gender we identify with to a greater extent.

The Polish labour code, Kodeks pracy (art. 183a), prohibits discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation.


  Read: Jeff Lutes, What Science Says - and Doesn't Say - about Homosexuality


2. Let’s refute unsupported claims.

Coming out isn’t about “flaunting” one’s sexuality or gender identity, but about functioning normally in society.

Sexual orientation can’t be effectively “promoted”.

The claim that professional associations, like the American Psychiatric Association, have been manipulated by lesbians and gay men so that these organizations would stop regarding homosexuality as a disorder and start affirming LGBT people is based on fabrications.

The claim that “same-sex marriages (or other legally recognized unions) threaten opposite-sex marriages” is groundless.

• The claim that legal recognition of same-sex marriage (or other union) leads to legal recognition of polygamous, incestuous or even zoophile relationships is a well-known, cunning way of changing the subject.

The claim that children thrive best when they have a mother and a father is unsupported by facts.

The claim that bringing up children by same-sex couples is harmful to the development of those children (Mark Regnerus) or influences their sexual orientation is groundless.

What we demand is not “privileges”, but equal treatment as citizens. We don’t demand more rights, but only the same as others have.

3. Let’s select a convenient time and place to come out.

4. Let’s use friendly, ordinary and clear language.

5. Let’s communicate to the people we are talking to that we feel comfortable with our sexuality or gender identity. It’s possible when we have already developed our positive L, G, B or T identity.

6. At the initial stage of coming out, let’s carefully select the people we acquaint with this important fact. It’ll be selective coming out.

7. Parents require special attention. Let’s think over what we want to tell them and prepare ourselves for questions as well as various reactions, including emotional ones.

8. When we hear a stranger making problematic remarks on LGBT people, we can peacefully react with a dose of education and come out.

9. Let’s focus on people open to arguments.

10. If relatives, friends, co-workers or neighbours accept us and care about our interests, let’s convince them to make their political decisions, for example during a parliamentary election, in keeping with this attitude.

11. If, on the basis of observation, we have a well-founded fear that coming out in the present environment would be a disaster, let’s plan it for later, for instance when we gain financial independence or move somewhere else.

12. Let’s create a support system for ourselves, consisting of people on whose help we can count in complicated situations that sometimes arise in the course of coming out. We can also use help offered by LGBT-friendly organizations (see: Organizations).