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LGBTQ+ Mental Healthcare

Coming Out

Some of the most difficult and important decisions in life for LGBTQ+ youth and young adults relate to coming out to parents, family, colleagues and friends. Research shows coming out and living authentically reduce suicidality and decrease biomarkers associated with stress (blood pressure, cortisol, adrenaline, e.g.). Living one’s life honestly allows for greater self-esteem, closer relationships and connection to the LGBTQ+ community and resources. 

Yet feeling safe to come out is different for everyone and entails a level of privilege not necessarily available to everyone. It can be difficult and intimidating to guess how people are going to react. 

A first step for individuals is to come out to themselves, to be honest about who they are and not feel a need to hide behind a secret identity. Lifting this weight from their shoulders, it becomes easier to meet other people with similar feelings and ultimately has a positive effect on all aspects of life.

While there is no right or wrong way to come out, it is important to know there is support for doing it the way that makes the most sense and leads to the most personal comfort and ease. 

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