Coming out as a member of the Queer community is an intimate experience that only the person who is coming out is in control of. A person first comes out to themselves, and that can be an emotional experience. After coming out to yourself, people decide when, where, and how they come out to loved ones, and society. The religious and political climate have made it stigmatizing and incredibly difficult to come out safely, and or be able to express themselves freely. However, there are so many welcoming and accepting people to support new members of the queer community.
LGBTQIA+ includes sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, and anyone who does not fit into society’s binary (i.e. intersex). According to human development experts, around the age of 5 is when gender is developed (Children and Gender Identity: Supporting Your Child, 2022). As people grow and understand the concept of gender, they are able to explore whether their gender and sex align, according to societal norms. Along with identifying gender, people also explore their sexual orientation, as many sexual orientations are supported in the LGBTQIA+ community. The “coming out” process can look like, calling someone, texting, someone, writing a letter, or talking to someone in person.
It is essential to emphasize that “coming out” is in an individual’s control. Coming out may be a difficult, scary, and overwhelming experience. Coming out may not go as planned or as one wishes and hopes. It is consequential to have safety plans and known safe people to rely on.
Local towns and counties typically have PRIDE organizations to offer support and resources to those who are a part of the Queer community. Bridgeview is located in Naperville, Illinois and Naperpride is the local PRIDE organization. If you are in this area, they are an amazing group of people who offer support, resources, and community. Finding your local PRIDE community is as easy as a Google search. If you’re looking for more support, guidance, and education – The TrevorProject also has amazing resources such as the Coming Out Handbook.
Bridgeview Clinical Services offers support groups for adults and adolescents a part of the LGBTQIA+ community to explore topics such as gender identity, sexuality, relationships, depression, anxiety, and community. They also have trained staff that can support a person addressing these issues through individual and family counseling.
If you’re interested in signing up for our support groups please email email@example.com. If you’d like to schedule an appointment or prefer to reach us by phone you can speak with Lauren or Samantha @ (630) 536-8073.
Children and gender identity: Supporting your child. (2022, October 1). Mayo Clinic.
The Trevor Project. (2023a, July 18). The Coming Out Handbook | The Trevor Project. https://www.thetrevorproject.org/resources/guide/the-coming-out-handbook/