- October 10, 2017
Post submitted by HRC Staff
Ahead of National Coming Out Day, HRC's Bisexual, Pan, Queer and Fluid Employee Resource Group offers these important issues to consider when you come out. The advice is based on their experiences.
The bisexual, pansexual, queer and fluid community includes people who are emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to more than one sex, gender or gender identity though not necessarily simultaneously, in the same way or to the same degree.
While we are using queer and fluid here to refer to sexual orientation, queer is also a term people often use to express gender identity as well.
Coming out is different for every person. For bisexual, pansexual, queer and fluid people, coming out can present some unique challenges. Check out HRC’s resource guide for coming out as bisexual in English and Spanish.
1. People will often expect you to come out over and over, and more than once to the same person.
"I'm a transgender woman but before I transitioned I dated many women and was out to my friends as bi but when I broke up with my ex it was like my friends forgot I was bi. I had to come out to many of them again and explain to them that I was still bi and that it hadn't gone away. Then again when I transitioned I explained to them it wasn't my sexuality that was changing but my gender -- I was still bisexual." - Laya Monarez
2. Many people will need to have explained what being bi, pan, queer or fluid mean.
“Being queer can mean different things to different people, so be prepared to explain what it means to you. For me, being queer means that my sexuality isn’t fixed and that it can change during different periods of my life. If you identify as queer, this doesn't suddenly change or shift based on who you date.” – Kaitlin Lawson
3. Remember that your identity is a journey.
“Labeling yourself may be overwhelming, and it's important to remember that labels aren’t permanent. Don’t feel that you have to commit to anything forever. Your sexual identity can change over the course of your life. Being fluid is a real thing.” - Anonymous
4. Bisexual, pan, queer and fluid people face phobia from both the straight and gay community.
"I've lost count of how many times someone has questioned my bisexuality. I get questions when I'm dating someone, and I get questions when I'm single. That isn't how it works - my identity as bi is intrinsic to myself. #stillbi" – Madeleine Roberts
5. It's OK to be afraid, but know there is a community waiting to support you.
“I knew I was bi at a very young age and the thought of coming out to even my closest friends and family was intimidating. When I immersed myself in the queer community, I met so many supportive and accepting folks, which allowed me to feel more empowered in my own identity. If you don't know of any bi, pan, queer or fluid people in your area, there are numerous national and local organizations that can help connect you to support groups in your community.” – Chantel Mattiola
We all have unique coming out stories and every journey is different. But we all have the same desire to live openly and authentically. From all of us in HRC’s Bi, Pan, Queer, and Fluid Employee Resource Group, we encourage you to live your truth and know that there are resources available to you when you decide to come out. You’re not alone.
To learn more about National Coming Out Day, visit hrc.im/ComingOutDay.