Coming out is when someone tells someone else their sexual orientation or gender identity. Most of us are brought up to think that everyone is attracted to the opposite sex and that our gender identity will match our physical body (or the gender we were assigned at birth). For people who this is the case, they very rarely need to come out, as who they areattracted to matches what is seen as ‘normal’ and how they feel inside matches what society sees as being male or female. These people may not even consider themselves to have a sexual orientation or gender identity because it’s not labelled as ‘different’
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, however, have to make the choice to either publicly ‘hide’ how they feel or tell people their sexual orientation or gender identity. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people come out at all stages of their life and to varying degrees. For some it will be essential for them to live fully as themselves, whereas for others it might be that they only come out to themselves.
LGBT Youth Scotland has worked with LGBT young people to create two coming out guides to help you think about your sexual orientation and/or gender identity. There is one for trans young people and one for lesbian, gay and bisexual young people.
Both can be downloaded by clicking on the images on this page.