There is no right or wrong way to come out, however if you’re from a south Asian family or a conservative family, you should consider how your family may react, and whether or not it is the correct time and place to come out. Your safety should come first.
When you do come out make sure you have a safety net prepared for the worst case scenario of being disowned, i.e. some money saved up to rent a room; a friend’s sofa to sleep on; a steady source of income. Before you come out you should ideally be in a stable situation, however it is not always possible. Make sure you have at least one contingency plan in place.
You don’t have to come out unless you’re ready
One thing to remember when coming out is that you don’t need to unless you are absolutely ready. In today’s society there is a lot of social pressure to come out as soon as you know and if you don’t you’re seen as being weak or lying. You are not a bad person for being concerned about your safety. You’re on your own path and are under no obligation to follow anyone else’s. You will come out when you’re ready.
You’re not alone
It may feel like it right now, but there are many of us out already in the UK. There are a number of great organisations that are helping promote visibility of desi queers.
In the Asian & British Asian community 0.9% of them identify as LGBTQI, which is roughly around thirteen thousand people according to a recent government census.
Test the water
A common way to test how your family may react is by bringing up the subject of homosexuality to see how they feel about the topic. Keep in mind that if someone reacts badly to the subject it doesn’t necessarily mean that is how your family will treat you and vice versa.
Make a contingency plan
If you come out while living at home, ensure you have a backup plan in case something goes wrong. This means making sure you are in a financially stable position to come out and are able to either rent a room or flat, or crash on a friend’s sofa if things get horrible. As with any big piece of news that will change how your family may view you, it is always good to think about your safety first as opposed to being unprepared for the consequences.
Pick the correct time and place
When planning to tell your family about your sexuality you may want to wait for the correct time and place to tell them. When you’re telling them something so important it may be best to do it in an environment everyone is comfortable at i.e. at home. Coming out in public is not ideal and harder to control how the conversation will go.