When a Queer Friend Comes Out to You, Here’s How to Be Respectful

April 26, 2022

Coming out is a pretty tough decision to make. If anyone ever comes out to you, it shows that they trust you or they care about your presence in their life so much they are willing to share their most sensitive information with you. 

1. Ask how you can support them

Thank them for trusting you with that information, reassure them and then ask how you can support them. Some of your queer friends may need you to remind others to use the right pronouns or need your help to set up a date with their partner. 

RELATED: Coming Out to My Mum Didn’t Go How I Expected

2. Be trustworthy

Don’t make something that was told to you in confidence become a subject of petty gossip. You can’t just tell people they haven’t already come out to that they are queer. It’s not your place to spread such info.

3. Don’t make it about you

They weren’t intentionally holding back information about themselves from you, and a coming-out conversation is not the time to bring that up. Their willingness to share this with you means they trust and want you in their life. Don’t start asking weird, awkward questions they aren’t ready to answer. 

RELATED: 6 Queer Nigerians on What They Are Tired of Hearing From Straight People

4. Reassure your friend

Let them know nothing is going to change and assure them you still love and care for them. Unless and nothing would change that except they steal your food or something, then you’ll deck them. 

5. Ease the tension

It takes a lot of courage to come out to anyone. Your friend is bound to be anxious or worried. The best thing you can do is to ease their mind. Make a joke that isn’t offensive or ask if you can hug them.

6. Learn more about the community

Don’t turn your friend into a human queer dictionary. Read up on your own about proper terms used in the community and open your mind. Only ask them when it’s not clear to you. It shows that you support and respect them enough to learn about the community. That’s how to be a good ally

ALSO READ: The Lesbian Dating Experience: Expectations vs. Reality

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