On the last day of Pride Month (June), rapper/singer Lil Nas X came out in a post on his Twitter account. The singer most famous for his mega-hit "Old Town Road", posted a snippet from his music video for his song "C7osure" with the following caption
"some of y’all already know, some of y’all don’t care, some of y’all not gone fwm no more. but before this month ends I want y’all to listen closely to c7osure."
Of course, him coming out was met with mixed emotions from displays of support & encouragement to hatred and negative reactions. Unfortunately, this is the reality for a lot of young people who come out as LGBTQ. Family & friends may feel disappointed or angry about the decision and take it out on the person when in all actuality they are just looking or love and acceptance.
As a friend of a person who identifies as LGBTQ, it is your responsibility to stand by them and treat them no differently than before. Their sexual orientation does not change who they are as a person. They may face discrimination from the outside world so its nice to have a friend around that will stand beside them and be a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on or even a person to keep them encouraged and uplifted up.
Be Proud Of Them
Coming out is hard because of the mixed reactions from people. When your friend gains the strength and courage to come out, one of the best things you can do is let them know you are proud of them. Some LGBTQ people hide that side of them for so long, they begin to forget who they are. When they do finally come out, they can begin to live in their truth and be the person that they truly are. Let them know that you are proud of them for deciding to be 100% themselves.
We are taught the "Golden Rule" in pre-k, "Treat others the way you want to be treated". Respect your friend by respecting their decision. That means trying not to say things that may be offensive or insensitive. Comments like "That's gay" or "No homo" may hurt their feelings or make them feel uncomfortable. Try not to use comments or phrases like that. But also remember they would like boundaries too. You may be curious about things, don't be afraid to ask but if you sense your friend is not comfortable with your questions or concerns wait until the time is right to bring that stuff up.
Remember that your friend is still human and they have feelings. Be supportive and treat them the same. If you were friends before knowing, you can still be friends after. If you are an LGBTQ youth or know someone in need of help coming out, accepting themselves, struggling with issues related to their orientation or are just looking for answers to your questions, visit www.TheTrevorProject.org