Hey everyone! My name is Sean. I am a therapist here at Wellspring and I just wanted to introduce myself and do a little video on three tips for coming out as gay/LGBTQ in the South. I grew up gay in the south and I know what it's like to be in an area that's not so accepting of who we really are. And this is one of the reasons that I became a therapist; so it's very important to me.
The first thing to know is safety. Please don't let anyone pressure you into coming out when you are not ready. You get to control when, where and to whom you come out to. It's your life. You make the choice. A lot of times people can be in a very unsafe situation, it could be loose their job or get kicked out of their home. If you are in that situation, please do not come out. Don't feel pressured to come out. You will know when your ready.
Number two: identity. Your taking a huge step forward by coming out as gay or trans and that is cause for celebration. It can be very liberating. You're living closer to your truth and who you really are. Which is great. But it's also good to remember that your sexual orientation, your gender identity, your gender expression; that's just one facet of who you really are. You are coming out and changing your life, but you are still the same person that you have always been. And it's good to keep that in mind. You have always been that person. You're learning, you're growing, you're changing, but you have lots of interests, lots of passions that go beyond your sexual orientation and gender expression.
Number three: time. As I was saying it's very liberating to come out. You are living your truth. Sometimes people may have a negative reaction. They may be shocked, they maybe surprised. Just give them some time and space. They will probably come around. And then give yourself time and space to adjust to your new situation.
Keep in mind that you are not alone. There are a lot of great resources out there; especially online. It is kind of hard to connect, sometimes especially in small towns and rural areas. But there are so many great things out there especially online on social media. There is a website called The Trevor Project that is great. They have a lot of amazing stuff. Also, all of the therapists here at Wellspring are accepting and affirming and we would love to help you and talk to you. You can make an appointment with us at our website WellspringRenewalCenter.com or give us a call (501-265-0046) and we would love to help you and be there for you.
Thanks and have a great day!
P.S. I've also written about The Benefits of Working with a LGBTQ Therapist.