Reading time 10 minutes

Coming out is a big decision and you are free to do it in the way that feels right to you. Sending a text gives you complete control over what you say and eliminates the risk of getting tongue-tied or having to deal with someone else’s immediate in-person reaction. Plus, it can give the person you texted time to think through their feelings, too. However you choose to come out, you should feel proud of yourself and the steps you’re taking to own your sexual or gender identity!


[Edit]Deciding to Come Out

  1. Take time to accept your sexual or gender identity. You don’t have to fit in with stereotypes and you don’t have to give yourself a label if you don’t want to. Focus on yourself and think about what truly makes you happy and who you want to be. It’s okay if you’re still figuring it out!
    • Your understanding of your sexual or gender identity may continue to grow over time, and that is okay! You don’t have to have all the answers.
    • Coming out and making that decision is different for everyone, so don’t compare yourself with others.
  2. Choose to come out on your own terms and in your own time. You don’t have to come out to everyone at once, and you don’t have to do it at all until you are ready. Wait until you feel the time is right and don’t let anyone else pressure you into sharing your news before you decide.[1]
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    • Coming out can be a super freeing moment, but it also can be pretty stressful.
  3. Talk to other LGBTQIA+ individuals to get support. Hearing stories of how others came out can be encouraging and make you feel less alone. You may also get some ideas of what you’d like to say in your coming-out text.[2]
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    • There are also tons of stories you can read and watch online if there isn’t anyone in your life you feel comfortable talking to.
  4. Pick a supportive, trustworthy person to tell first. Whether you do this in person or through text is up to you! It can be a friend, teacher, counselor, sibling, aunt, or whoever you feel safe with. Sharing your news with just one person will help give you some extra support once you decide to share your news more broadly.[3]
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    • Try saying something like, “I have something I’ve been thinking about and want to share because I’m planning on telling my family soon. I’m bi. I trust you and could use your support.”
  5. Consider the pros and cons of coming out over text. Ultimately, you get to choose how you come out and there’s no right or wrong way to do it. Sending a text gives you control over what you say and can alleviate some anxiety about seeing a person’s response. Keep in mind that the person you tell will most likely want to meet up or call you, and eventually you will have to be prepared to see them in person.[4]
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    • Don’t let anyone pressure you into coming out in a way you’re not comfortable with. Choosing to come out is a big deal and is something you should be proud of, regardless of how it’s done.

[Edit]Telling Friends and Family

  1. Consider carefully who you are ready to share this information with. You could send a group text to your best friends to tell them all at once, or you could send individual texts. Think about who is most important in your life and who you care about knowing the true you.[5]
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    • Think about how your friends and family act toward other people in the LGBTQIA+ community. If they’re open-minded, hopefully they’ll be the same way toward you.
    • If your friends and family aren’t accepting of LGBTQIA+, consider that their responses may be disheartening. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still come out, but it can help emotionally to be prepared.

      Put Your Safety First. If you still live with your parents and depend on their financial support and are worried they may take it away or be violent toward you, reconsider telling them. Nothing is more important than your physical safety.

  2. Write a draft of what you want to say before sending the text. Take some time to word your coming-out text exactly how you want. Because it’s a text, try to keep it to 4-5 sentences maximum, otherwise, some of what you’re trying to communicate might get lost. Here are some key points you may want to try to hit:[6]
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    • Let the person know that you love them.
    • Tell them you care about them and that’s why you’re sharing this news.
    • Include the words “I’m gay,” I’m bi,” or whatever it is you need to share.
    • Ask them if they have questions.
    • Don’t feel like you need to apologize for who you are or for how you’ve decided to come out.
  3. Use a clear, positive, and understanding tone. It can be hard to come out, but try to write your text with confidence. You don’t need to apologize for your sexual or gender identity or for taking the time you did before coming out. Try texting something like this:[7]
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    • “I have something I’ve been wanting to share with you for a long time. I am gay. I’ve known this for a long time, it’s who I am, and I am learning to accept and love myself. I love you and want you to be a part of my life. I understand that this may come as a shock so I wanted to give you some space to absorb it.”
    • “Hey! So, I’m a lesbian. I’ve been wanting to tell you for a while and couldn’t find the right time to do it. You’re a big part of my life and I want to be honest with you. I’d be happy to answer any questions or get together to talk more.”
    • “I’ve been doing a lot of thinking over the last year and am finally ready to share with you that I’m bisexual. I know you love me and I hope you’ll support me. I know you might have some questions (because I sure did!). When you’re ready I’d like to know your thoughts.”
  4. Pick an appropriate time to send the text. The middle of a school or workday might not be the best time to send such an important message. In the evening or on the weekend when someone has more free time would be best so they have time to read and respond to what you wrote.[8]
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    • It’s impossible to pick a perfect time, so don’t keep putting it off because you’re unsure of what the person is doing at that moment.
    • If you want to have a back-and-forth conversation, you could always text the person and say something like, “Hey, do you have a minute to talk about something?” and then send a follow-up text with your news.
  5. Give your friends and family time to absorb your news. Hopefully, they’ll respond quickly in a positive and supportive way. Remember that their surprise doesn’t have to mean they disapprove! It took you a long time to understand yourself, and it might take them time, too.[9]
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    • Be available for questions they might have for you. Chances are, they’ll want to see you or at least talk about things a little.
  6. Be prepared for the first time you’ll see them in person after the text. It may feel a little awkward the first time you come face-to-face after sending your coming-out text. If it feels appropriate, hug them or find some way of breaking the ice. You can reference the text if you want to, or you can focus your conversation on something else.[10]
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    • If you want to talk about your coming-out text, say something like, “I’m glad I finally shared my news with you. What have you been thinking about it?”
    • If you would rather not talk about it, have another topic ready to go.


  • Remember that your identity as LGTBQIA+ isn’t a choice and there is absolutely nothing wrong with you, no matter how anyone responds.
  • If you’re having a hard time, consider seeing a therapist. They can help you cope with change and deal with the stress of coming out.
  • Remember if you are LGBTQIA+ then you should tell one of your closest friends before your parents, it may help by practicing telling your parents!


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