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William Macaulay

LGBT Counsellor & Psychotherapist

Perth, Western Australia

Phone 0401 316 977

for enquiries or appointments

LGBT Coming Out Counselling in Perth

Coming out is to make an intensely personal decision to recognise, accept, express and share one’s sexual or gender orientation with oneself and others. For some, coming out is a fairly straightforward process, while for others it is a protracted and painful experience.

 

The Benefits of Coming Out

  • Living an open and honest life.

  • Increased self-esteem from being known and loved for who we really are.

  • Developing more genuine and closer relationships with others.

  • Reducing the stress of trying to hide one’s identity.

  • Connecting with others who are LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender).

  • Becoming part of the LGBT community.

  • Making it easier for younger LGBT people who may follow in one’s footsteps

 

Most people experience the above benefits of coming out. However, the reaction of others can be difficult to predict, and unfortunately, some people may experience some of the following challenges.

 

The Risks of Coming Out

  • Some people may not be understanding or accepting.

  • Family, friends or co-workers may be shocked, confused or even hostile.

  • Some relationships may permanently change.

  • One may experience harassment or discrimination.

  • Some adolescents may be asked to leave home or lose financial support from their parents.

 

Things to Consider Before Coming Out to Others

  • Are you reasonably confident and comfortable about your sexual or gender orientation? If not, consider seeking support from a counsellor.

  • Avoid pressurising yourself into coming out before feeling confident enough to do so. Remember that it is your decision whom to confide in, when and how to do it. You may also decide that coming out may not be advisable or necessary.

  • Timing can be important. Be aware of the mood, priorities, stresses and problems of those to whom you would like to come out.

  • Be well informed about LGBT issues so that you can answer any questions or concerns on the subject.

  • Avoid coming out during an argument.

  • Be mindful that some people may initially react negatively to what you've told them. Try to be patient and not respond defensively or angrily, as acceptance may be a gradual process.

 

The LGBT Coming Out Journey

Coming out and living openly, is not a single event, or something that takes place over a specified time. It is an ongoing journey that becomes part of the rest of your life.

 

There are three broad stages that people usually move through on their coming out journey:

Opening Up to Yourself:

This period is a process by which one accepts one’s own sexual or gender identity.

Coming Out:

This period involves disclosure for the first time to a carefully selected few family and friends.

Living Openly:

This ongoing phase involves disclosure, when it feels appropriate, to a broader circle of friends, family, work colleagues and new people that come into your life.

 

It’s important to remember that the journey from “Opening Up to Yourself” to “Living Openly” is ongoing and unfolds at your own pace.

 

Coming Out Counselling & Support

For some people, coming out to family, friends and work colleagues can be emotionally stressful. If you are concerned about coming out and would like a safe space to process your thoughts and feelings or obtain strategies for managing your concerns, please contact me to make an appointment. I'm here to support you and help.