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Hello. I’ve known I was pansexual for a few years now, but I don’t know how to come out to my family and friends. I’m afraid they won’t accept me, but I really want to get it over with instead of hiding it. Any idea’s on how to go about telling them?
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I’m really glad that you wrote to Ask Trevor with your question. Coming out to family and friends is a very personal decision and everyone has a different time when they are ready and it feels right. It’s totally your decision and if you feel now is the right time, that’s absolutely fine. If it is not the right time, that’s fine too! What is most important is that you feel safe and comfortable telling the people who you care about. There are many positives to coming out – It can let people in your life know about an important part of your life, it can help you to feel less alone, meet new friends, as well as possibly meet people to date. In trying to figure out whether or not to come out, it can help to ask yourself some questions including: What does it feel like keeping this part of your life a secret? Does it cause you a lot of stress worrying about people finding out? Are you worried that if you told your family or your friends, you’d be unsafe physically or emotionally?
The first overall step would be to decide when you feel you are safe and ready to talk to your friends and family about being pansexual. Some people are fine just saying their sexuality while others find it better to ease into the discussion by first talking about a LGBT actor or character in a movie, book or television show and see how the people in their life react. It will might be helpful to rehearse a few scenarios in your mind about their reaction. What will you do if they react to the news well or badly? Doing this could possibly help you come up with other ideas as well.
Your family and/or friends may have many questions about your sexuality and may need time and help to become more understanding and supportive of you. Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is a great organization, made up mostly of parents, and supports LGBTQ people and works to help parents and others to become more supportive and accepting of their loved one’s sexual orientation/gender identity. The Human Rights Campaign websight is also an excellent source of information.
We also have an excellent website called TrevorSpace that is similar to facebook. There, you are able to meet young people just like yourself with similar questions and stories.
If you have any questions in the future please feel free to use Ask Trevor again or The Trevor Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR, TrevorChat, or TrevorSpace. We are always here for you!