What honestly makes an LGBTQ+ person out of the closet? People are going to vary on their response to this. Personally to me however an LGBTQ person is not out of the closet until they tell their parents! I actually think this is the most crucial part of coming out.
So it doesn’t matter if you are 40, married and in a long term relationship. If you parents are alive and they don’t know you are gay or etc, you are not out of the closet! Why is this the crucial part of coming out? Well research suggests openly gay people have stronger & healthier relationships with their kids.
LaSala, Michael. “Should You Come Out to Your Parents?” Psychology Today, 12 Mar. 2011, www.psychologytoday.com/blog/gay-and-lesbian-well-being/201103/should-you-come-out-your-parents. This article discusses the progression in societies where individuals are able to come out to their family at a much younger age than in recent decades. The research suggests coming out as a kid being much healthier in homes that welcome it. The article also does go on to say reasons not to come out in homophobic homes, homes where kids would be ejected or in cases where people would lose financial support.
I am not saying you need to come out if it means jumping off a cliff. However mostly it does seem like LGBT+ individuals are not able to have healthy intimate relationships, cease living in in fear & live openly unless they come out to their parents. The hot spots socially for LGBT+ people who tend to be discrete are apps like GrindR & promiscuous sexual websites. The hot spots for people out of the closet tend to be websites like TindR or Plenty of Fish where LGBT+ people tend to be seeking more meaningful connections. Also by contrast LGBT+ people who are not out tend to engage in more risky behaviors like drug use or praying the gay away! Which of course never helps anything.
What did coming out mean to me? Well I came out in 2013 when I was attending ENSS. I told my parents when we were in the hospital with my Dad’s second wife for a routine operation. I have no idea why! At the time I was coming out with the fact I had a boyfriend and I am thankful I did come out. Except as I have told many people I was living in a small town with at the time heavy religious influences and I was subjected to homophobic bullying. So I took up martial arts as a way of defending myself! I don’t regret having martial arts as a life skill and a lot of people I know didn’t toughen up the way I did when I came out.
My conclusion is LGBT+ Individuals are not out of the closet until they tell their parents. It does not matter if their Facebook friends know, or their school friends know. If they are not out to their parents it prevents them from having meaningful relationships, creates patterns for destructive individuals and creates poorly adjusted individuals. Sorry if this blog becomes your earth shattering realization that your homophobic parents keeping you in the closet may of permanently messed up your mental health!