Publication date June 7, 2022

Support Your Friend who has Just Come out, the Right way

Today there are plenty of resources available for LGBTQ+ folks on how to come out. But someone who is straight, might not know how to respond when their friend or family member comes out. This gets especially tough if it is unexpected. Coming out can be a vulnerable and delicate process. If they decide to share their identity with you. They are asking for support during this process. But what if you say or do something wrong? Don’t be afraid, here’s how you can support a friend who has just come out.

Pride month

Source: LiveAbout

Say the right thing!

Always follow their cues before responding. If your friend casually texts you and tells you he’s gay. That means he doesn’t wanna attract attention to himself. So in a situation like this don't start planning a party for him instead just casually text back, but keep aside the extra big hug for the next time you see them IRL. Always read the room before responding.

If they sit you down and share the news with you, then you should understand the seriousness of the moment. It takes a great amount of courage to go public with a piece of news like this. Keeping it simple can go a long way. Saying phrases like “I’m so proud of you for sharing this” or “I’m really happy for you!” can really help your buddy who just came out.


It is very important that during the coming out process you let your friend express himself/herself. Coming out is all about starting a new life with their true identity. At that time the best strategy is to give them space to talk. Let them tell you who they really are. And always validate their identity by using the terminology they choose- ace, bi, queer, gay, nonbinary, or anything else.

Ask the right questions!

If your friend is ok talking about how they got to this point, you can ask sensitive questions. If you ask the right questions it will communicate your interest to your friend. But you must avoid any overly personal or invasive questions. Let your friend be in control of what he/she wants to share. Questions like “How are you feeling?” or “How can I support you right now?” Respect their boundaries. The questions you can ask your childhood friend will be different from the questions you would ask your colleague. 

Be respectful!

Your friend has involved you in a conversation sharing intimate details of his/her identity, and this could very well be a very scary time for your friend. Thank them for extending this huge honor! And always be within your social boundaries. Follow your friend’s lead and follow through on curious and excited inquiries about private things. Do not assume they will share every private detail with you, let them lead. 

Also, consider asking them if they have come out to other common friends or their family. Do not assume if they have come out to you, they are also ready to come out to the rest of the world too. And if you are the only one they have come out to, then respect their confidence. Always use the right pronouns when speaking with them. It is especially important when you are around mutual friends. So the best thing would be to double-check what pronouns your friend would like you to use. But never move on assumptions or you might put them in an awkward situation. 

Offer resources

If it seems to you that your friend might be struggling, then offer some resources. Any resource might help them like LGBTQ+ support groups, helplines, or even some TV shows. Make sure they understand you are with them in this difficult time. Queer or trans support groups can help your friend vocalize their identity easily.

Do you have a friend that needs support right now? comment down below.

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