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Learn how to prepare for coming out

Coming out is an important step in the lives of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer or other. It means being honest with yourself and others and showing who you really are. However, coming out can also be associated with fears, doubts and challenges. That's why it's important to prepare well and find professional counselling services that can help you.

How do I prepare for my coming out?

There is no right or wrong way to come out, because each person is individual and has their own story. But there are some tips that can help you prepare for your coming out:

  • Find out more about coming out and the different aspects of your identity. It can be helpful to learn more about the meaning of terms like LGBTQ* (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer) and to talk to other people who have had similar experiences. For example, you can use online guides like or to get information and inspiration.

  • Accept yourself and be proud of yourself.Coming out is not a confession or an apology, but a positive message about yourself.You are not alone and you are not wrong. You are a valuable person who deserves love and respect. Try to be positive and confident about yourself and not let negative thoughts or prejudices affect you.

  • Choose the right time and place to come out. It is important that you feel comfortable and safe coming out.Decide when and where you want to come out and how you want to formulate it.For example, you can write a letter, have a conversation or send a message. You can also decide whether you want to come out to one person first or to several people at the same time. It is your coming out and you have the right to do it the way you want.

  • Prepare yourself for possible reactions.Coming out can trigger different reactions from the people around you.Some will be supportive and accepting, others may be surprised, confused or rejecting.It is normal to worry about how your family, friends or colleagues will react to your coming out.But you can also prepare yourself by thinking about how you will handle different situations.For example, you can answer questions, clarify misunderstandings or set boundaries. You can also look for positive feedback or get support from other LGBTQ* people.

How do I explain to my homophobic parents what queer is?

It can be difficult to communicate with parents who have homophobic views. Therefore, it is important that you choose your words carefully and give many examples to support your explanations.

First, try to explain to them that queer is a general term that stands for a variety of identities and sexual orientations. It is a term that recognises that people do not have to fit into the traditional categories of heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality, but that there are also many people who define themselves as asexual, pansexual, fluid or in other ways.

Also explain to them that there are many people who identify as queer and that it is important to accept and support them.

If they are not convinced, you can also give them some examples of how queer identities are accepted and supported, e.g. in the media industry, education and politics.

Be patient and respectful while trying to explain to them what queer is. It may take a while for them to understand and accept it, but you can help them by being honest and open.

What if my environment reacts negatively when I come out?

If your environment reacts negatively to your coming out, it is best to turn to someone you trust and who supports you. This can be a family member, a friend or a teacher. Even if the situation is difficult, try to make the best of it by talking openly about your feelings and informing those around you. You can also turn to professional counselling services if you need psychological help.

Where can I find professional counselling services when coming out?

If you are preparing to come out or have already done so, you may need professional counselling. This can be the case, for example, if you feel lonely or unhappy, if you have conflicts with your fellow men or if you want to learn more about your identity. There are many counselling centres in Germany that can help you. Here are some ways you can find them:

  • Use online counselling services. There are various online counselling services for LGBTQ* people in Germany that can help you anonymously and free of charge. For example, you can write an email, start a chat or participate in a forum. An example of an online counselling service is Coming out und so...!, which offers peer-to-peer counselling in which psychologically trained LGBTQ* young people advise other LGBTQ* young people.

  • Search for local counselling centres in your area. There are also many local counselling centres in Germany that can help you in person or by phone. For example, you can look for counselling centres that specifically address LGBTQ* people or that offer general psychosocial counselling. You can also look for counselling centres that specialise in certain topics such as transidentity, intersexuality or violence. One way to find local counselling centres in your area is to use the map of, which shows you different counselling centres sorted by federal state.

  • Contact your health insurance company or your family doctor. If you need professional counselling, you can also contact your health insurance company or your family doctor. They can, for example, give you a referral to a psychotherapist or recommend other help. You have the right to receive counselling or therapy that is appropriate to your needs and identity.


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