Coming out to your friends, family, or the people you like may be terrifying. However, it is also one of the best and bravest ways a lesbian, bisexual, gay, or transsexual can stand up for who they are and come of age. However, while it may be one of the most important decisions of your life, it’s still essential to do your due diligence and protect your mental health and your safety before you come out to anyone. This is especially true if you’re coming out in a conservative environment such as the one we live in here in India.
Before you come out, it would also help if you were able to assess your immediate cultural environment and figure out the kind of reaction you might get and prepare for it. There are different implications of coming out in India depending on the reactions of the people you come out to and their actions towards you as a result of what you tell them.
Coming out will be one of the most liberating experiences of your life. You will feel a burden getting uplifted and a sense of accomplishment that comes with it. Even then, it’s important that you shouldn’t feel guilty about letting go of the burden you’ve been carrying and experiencing the sense of relief it comes with. In addition, you should be realistic and understand that not everyone will react positively.
Here are some negative reactions you may have to deal with from people around you after you come out: blame, shock, guilt, grief, disbelief, pain, and even disappointment. While these are some of the emotional reactions, there are others more physical. Let’s look at them.
Lack of financial support
One of the main implications you may have to deal with when you come out is losing the financial support you once had. Sometimes, parents just aren’t supportive or accepting of your decisions. For a youth or adolescent who is still under the care of their parents, this can prove to be a very difficult implication.
When the people you’ve been depending on refuse to give you the support that you need financially, you may be forced to look elsewhere. Even then, getting work in order to support yourself as a teen or youth isn’t easy.
Discrimination from the society
While India’s laws don’t ban homosexuality, they also aren’t as effective when it comes to discrimination. Once you come out publicly as LGBTQ, you are likely to face discrimination from members of your community. Discrimination may come with violence, unfair punishment at school, unequal treatment at the work place, snide remarks about your gender or sexual identity or other unfair actions.
Development of a coping mechanism
Coming out doesn’t mean everything you face will be negative. Sometimes, there’s the positive effect of getting stronger by developing a coping mechanism. Understand that people treating you opposite than what you expected is awful. And, people will never stop being unfair because of who you are and there’s not a lot you can do about it. The best thing you can do for yourself is concentrating on what rewards you.
What you can definitely do is try to influence behaviour. Rather than trying to control the volatile reactions of the people around you to your identity by always fighting back. Find out what you can do by concentrating on positivity instead.