Next week is the “National Coming Out Week,” you might expect that I am in favor of it, but I am not. Coming out involves great risks and you should assess the risk before you come out. Know if you have a support network just in case things go bad. Do your parents support LGBT issues or are they opposed to them. Assess the risk if you are coming out in school; know how much support the school administration will give you. These are just some of the factors that you should consider before coming out.Be safe.
In the New York Times article on school bullying entitled, Bullied for Being ‘Gay’ Dr. Jeffrey Fishberger of The Trevor Project writes,
Bullying and being teased for being what others perceive as “different” happens to many children. Lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered young people — or those perceived to be L.G.B.T. — have a much higher incidence of harassment at school. In fact, it’s estimated that more than a quarter of L.G.B.T. young people drop out of school because of this very harassment.It is important that you have a safe environment before coming out. The article goes on to state…
Fortunately, there are organizations that can work with your son’s school to help all the children understand the impact of their language and behavior.Here in Connecticut True Colors is a valuable resource for children coming out in school.
GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network), for example, works to ensure safe schools for all students through a variety of programs. The Day of Silence, for example, continues to grow each year, and hundreds of thousands of students now come together each year to participate. Another program, the No Name-Calling Week, provides schools with tools and inspiration to foster a dialogue about ways to eliminate bullying and name-calling in their communities.
Another resource that can be of help is The Trevor Project’s workshop program. …to open up discussions with all students about how language and behavior can affect the way an individual feels about him- or herself. A supportive teacher, school counselor or school administrator can assist in implementing these programs in your son’s school.
Remember, that once you come out, there is no going back. You can't say I was only kidding.