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How to Come Out of the Closet: VIDEO

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A helpful guide from The Stranger on how you should tell those you care about that you are gay, and what their reaction will be if they're worth your time.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. the first time I came out, I did it while driving my friend to a barnes and nobel to buy a MIKA cd lol

    Posted by: matt | Aug 29, 2012 1:53:14 PM


  2. I came out to my dad in the car while he was driving. It gave him a reason not to look me. He let me out, drove away, and didn't talk to me for a year..

    I think eye contact is very important to interpersonal relationships. Maybe if there was eye contact the sharing of information would have been taken better? Who knows?

    Posted by: yoyo | Aug 29, 2012 2:10:05 PM


  3. if thats a true story yoyo then i am so sorry that happened to you and hope things are better...and
    yeah..about the eye contact...doubt that would have made much difference in your case

    Posted by: charlie | Aug 29, 2012 2:22:41 PM


  4. and don't think you're not allowed to have someone (or two) with you when you Come Out to those people.

    build your support system. find your allies. have 'em with you.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Aug 29, 2012 2:25:11 PM


  5. My closest friend, when I finally came out to him at 2am after a long night of entertainment and years of procrastination said, "so, now can you relax and have a good time?"

    My best friend from college, on the other hand, got up from the dinner table, exited the restaurant, and I've never heard from him, since.

    It is what it is; the Real Ones Don't Care.

    Posted by: Kile Ozier | Aug 29, 2012 2:42:50 PM


  6. October, 1979... I made an appointment/date with my parents to break the news. I was sick with worry.

    When the announcement came, including the: "I am in love with this man & I will be with him the rest of my life", my parents looked up & my father stated: Haven't you told us this before?"

    This really happened.

    Posted by: Stephen | Aug 29, 2012 3:11:39 PM


  7. I actually thought that video was lovely. From a design standpoint it was flawless (well, other than the flashing book at the end) and the message was great and powerful without feeling overtly sentimental, preachy or melodramatic.

    Excellent work all around.

    Posted by: Aedan | Aug 29, 2012 3:19:52 PM


  8. I am thrilled — THRILLED — that the comments here are the most heartfelt and tender that I have ever read on this blog.EVER.

    The video is good too — agree, graphically flawless.

    Cheers all.

    Posted by: tinkerbelle | Aug 29, 2012 5:52:09 PM


  9. That is terrible advice!!! NEVER give shocking or surprising news to someone who is driving! Isn't it obvious you could have an accident?

    If you're so concerned about eye contact do it over the phone or in a letter.

    I also don't think it should be done in public, give the other person some privacy too. And this doesn't just go for the "I'm gay" announcement but ANYTHING shocking or surprising or disturbing.

    Posted by: i could go on, but I won't | Aug 29, 2012 6:36:47 PM


  10. @this video: just. no.

    what is their evidence base for making such claims?!

    if i had done this to my dad while he was driving, he and/or i would've been dead or paraplegic.

    Posted by: redball | Aug 29, 2012 6:53:37 PM


  11. Funny, I came out to someone while I was driving too. I'm not sure if it was the first time- it may have been after I'd told my parents.

    I told a female friend that I thought I was in love.

    She asked, "Who's the lucky chick?"

    I said, "It's a guy."

    Without skipping a beat she said, "So who's the lucky Chuck?"

    That was it. No drama, nothing.

    Posted by: Caliban | Aug 29, 2012 7:18:11 PM


  12. do it in public if you think anyone is going to freak out or have a meltdown. It really is the moment of the person coming out, if brides can take an entire day to make it "MY DAY!!!" you're entitled to a fraction of a meal or trip to the zoo or whatever.

    One of the bonus perks of coming out is it helps you realize you can't please everyone so don't try to please everyone because it will make you miserable

    Posted by: MaddM@ | Aug 29, 2012 7:36:06 PM


  13. Coming out as gay these days is not just about sex but also about politics. Therefore, it's as if you have to adopt the political baggage of the gay scene in addition to no longer hiding the fact that you are attracted to the same sex.

    The problem I see with coming out is that it is often forced on people who have no interest in politics and who are not 0's or 6's on the Kinsey scale. On the former, many men see homosexuality as recreational, not political, and are thus not remotely interested in adopting the political baggage of the "I'm gay" notion. On the latter, most men out there are not exclusively homosexual or exclusively heterosexual, and thus don't enjoy the notion of confining their self-definition.

    For instance, there are many men - perhaps like John Travolta - who are attracted mainly, but not exclusively, to men. It would be incorrect for John to say "I'm gay" because saying "I'm gay" suggests you are exclusively gay. Yet you, as a recruiting community, like to force it on to people like John.

    Perhaps what we should be doing is getting rid of the unreasonable stigma. Stigma is a powerful force that has been used through the centuries by both men and women to curtail male-male sexuality. Those who oppose male homosexuality oppose it because they fear the power of male sexuality that is unfettered by the moderating influences of females.

    Posted by: jason | Aug 29, 2012 7:50:41 PM


  14. Jason,

    "adopt the political baggage of the gay scene?"

    "recruiting community?"

    "Those who oppose male homosexuality oppose it because they fear the power of male sexuality that is unfettered by the moderating influences of females?"

    Are you insane?

    I feel bad for the self-loathing. You really should just get over it. You're gay. So what? Only you think you have to adopt some sort of an agenda, and only crazy people think gay people 'recruit' others.' Etc.

    You need to learn how to accept yourself and Move On.

    Posted by: Ryan | Aug 29, 2012 8:37:14 PM


  15. Ryan,

    Yes, recruiting does occur in the gay community. Gays need to recruit people to their concept. I'm not saying they stand on corners handing out flyers but they do it in other ways.

    What do you think "gay bar" means? It's a form of recruitment. In reality, there is no such thing as a gay bar.

    A lot of it has to do with money. Follow the money trail. There's money in recruiting.

    Posted by: jason | Aug 29, 2012 8:57:34 PM


  16. You don't have to make any grand announcements. Just live your life openly. After observing your likes and dislikes and comments, for example: while watching a Patriots game you say: that Tom Brady sure is a hunk. Your friends and relatives will ask you: Are you gay? You simply answer, of course.

    Posted by: andrew | Aug 29, 2012 9:59:11 PM


  17. Why do people keep responding to Jason? The gurl's pussay has been in the heat for straight cocks ever since she had her first popsicle. Being out-competed by natural women; her pussay suffers a life long drought as indicative through most of her frustrated rants.
    o btw, Jason and Rick are the same person, just under different wigs.

    Source: Misogyny 101

    Posted by: Malaysian Ho | Aug 29, 2012 10:17:49 PM


  18. MALAYSIAN HO: AAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    thank you :)

    Posted by: redball | Aug 29, 2012 10:33:27 PM


  19. Coming out was one of the most amazingly liberating feelings I've ever had. I couldn't imagine being back in the closet. Everyone I am close with knows, and I don't at all care if others find out. What an unbelievably free experiment and highly loving.

    Posted by: FoxHill | Aug 29, 2012 10:57:02 PM


  20. Actually, one of the best moments of my entire life was my "official coming out" and I'll never forget that day. I TRULY just felt happier from that day forward. There's something about facing this world and saying "Yeah, I'm gay...and?" that made me take a huge weight off my shoulders. Many gays I know relate to that feeling. Couldn't replace it.

    Posted by: Jordan | Aug 29, 2012 10:58:20 PM


  21. It'salways fascinating when closet cases justify not being closeted, when they really are. I mean if there's no shame in being in the closet, then own up to it. They'll say a played out one liner like "I'm not really closeted. It's just, no one has asked me if I were gay"
    Your reubbtal in that situation should always be
    "well, have you and do you EVER censor yourself from anyone knowing you're gay?"
    and the answer 99.999% of the time is yes. That's closeted. Slice it anyway you want, but call a spade a spade.

    If I see a guy who I think is attractive, I'll point it out, with coworkers, or friends, and if strangers overhear it..so be it. Same as many of my hetero male coworkers constantly point out females they think are hot. That to me is equal footing. Me having a picture of my partner and I on my desk at work, just as my straight coworkers do of their significant others...that's equal footing. Me wanting to hold my partners hand in public, and doing so, just as thousands of straight couples we pass weekly who do so, is equal footing. I can't ever imagine censoring myself with an inner monologue that says "Op! wait..don't do that or say that, it might reveal you're gay" That would be one exhausting, and miserable existence for me. But if that's your deal, hey, that's your deal. Just don't expect everyone to respect it and worship that closet you -choose- to be in.

    Posted by: Mario S. | Aug 29, 2012 11:04:42 PM


  22. @ Mario S.

    Preach it! You nailed it. I dated one closet case and it truly was the most ridiculous time/person/relationship ever. Unhealthy doesn't begin to describe that lifestyle, and yes, being on the down low IS a lifestyle, that takes colossal effort, thinking about every little move you make or thing you say, and frankly I'd rather just have the full on conversion and become "hetero"

    Posted by: Dynex | Aug 29, 2012 11:06:43 PM


  23. After years of playing a different part...a role if you will, all to appease those around me and THEIR happiness. I decided, my life is short, it's meant to be lived for me, and there's nothing more pathetic in life than being a sell out and/or living with regrets. That I owe my one life and my one shot at happiness to MYSELF.

    I decided to have a coming out process, and make that announcement with those around me. And I can truly say from the bottom of my heart, the very second those words were vocally expressed out loud "I'm gay" I sincerely felt more happy in my skin, my life and my existence. That's just my personal story. But it had a profoudn impact on me feeling like I had a rebirth, and was true to my integrity and true to my soul. Just saying the words, and coming out, made me feel more at peace with myself. I hope everyone can feel that sense of peace, and that goes for all those struggling LGBT youth who can't come out today, but should consider coming out one day. They owe it to no one, but themselves and the peace of mind that comes with.

    Posted by: 2Dads | Aug 29, 2012 11:11:57 PM


  24. I've always said, you don't know who you're true friends and loved ones are until you come out. More than it being a feel-good moment for me, coming out was truly one of the most enlightening experiences I've ever had.
    Everyone who proved themselves to be true genuine friends throughout the years didn't care, and actually ENCOURAGED me being who I am unapologetically. The ones who had hiccups, moments of shadiness, were the ones who took issue with accepting me being gay. It was the biggest blessing I could ask for. To actually have a test that figures out who your TRUE friends are, and who's just a fake friend using you for convenience or who they want you to be? That's what we all want to know. I can't be friends with someone who doesn't accept me for all of me, not just the part they want me to be.

    Posted by: Beach Dave | Aug 29, 2012 11:18:24 PM


  25. I work for a very liberal NPO. I never had to 'come out' at work. people just figured it out for themselves and not one person was judgmental or negative. I wish everyone could have the same positive experience I did. Of course, coming out to my mother and sister wasn't easy, until they both said "Yeah, and...?"

    Posted by: Brian | Aug 29, 2012 11:21:12 PM


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