This page is for those who are looking for information on identifying self, how to come out, and how to be sure that you are LGBTIQA+. Please understand that this page cannot give you tailored advice on specific cases, and it is only here to give some guidance to those who are struggling to understand what to do next.
To start with, the most important thing is that you are able to talk to someone about how you feel. Even if you are not sure if you are LGBTIQA+, there are people who will be happy to talk to you – your school nurse; counsellors; your teacher; work colleague; GP and so on. All of those people just listed are all responsible for making sure you are safe and healthy – they will provide the support that you need. Whilst it is important you talk to someone, it is also important that you do so when you feel ready, and not when somebody suspects something or is trying to coerce you into telling them something. To put this into a nutshell, it is important to talk to someone about how you feel, even if you are still not sure if you are LGBTIQA+.
If you do feel that you do identify with any aspects of the LGBTIQA+, and you are unsure whether to come out or not – again, it is important that you do so when you are ready and comfortable to do so. It can be difficult to keep the ‘secret’ of your sexual and/or gender identity, and it can also be difficult to tell people – you should not feel that you have to ‘come out’ to anyone, because it is your personal and private situation to disclose to others. If you do tell others, such as your friends and family, their responses may vary – they could be positive and supportive, or some may not react positively, there is no way to predict with full certainty what would happen. What’s important here is to remember that you will be able to get support when needed – look on the useful links page, and you’ll find that there are organisations that is able to give help if you do not feel safe in your current environment (even if you have not come out yet).
The LGBTIQA+ community is full of people who have been through the same situation of coming out, and they are able to go to their friends within the LGBTIQA+ community for support (For example, there is the Deaf Rainbow UK Facebook group!). You can be certain that you will not be alone if you reach out for help – it is important that you have a support network, and that you do not feel like you are alone. This is also the case if you are being harassed and bullied for being who you are – do not feel as if you are the one who is in the wrong, nor are you alone.
Whilst most of the stories you hear or see is about young people coming out, there are people who realises they identify as LGBTIQA+ later in life. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this – there is no age limit on coming out, nor any limits in other aspects of coming out! The LGBTIA+ community is diverse, and celebrates diversity – those who come out at 15 years old does not rank higher than those who comes out at 50 years old.
For more specific information on services for LGBTIQA+ people who may be seeking support in form of counselling or obtaining expert information and advice, please look at our Help and advice page. There is also a page of coming out stories for you to watch!