Top ten ways NOT to come out

Megaphone and STOP sign

I came out, kicking and screaming, in the 1980s and early 1990s … in some pretty poor ways. Here are my top ten favourite ways well worth avoiding …

Leave your diary lying around
If you’re going to write about how attractive the women around you are, particularly your teachers and assorted authority figures, make sure you write in plain English, leave it lying around, and have a sister who is joyfully willing to assist in your coming out efforts by reading it aloud to your latest crush.

Advertise on your bedroom ceiling
Attach a photograph of your crush, blown up to poster-size, to the ceiling directly above your bed at home. This should gently introduce your immediate family to your budding lesbian sexuality, and should be no cause for concern.

Get a tattoo
Anticipate and neatly rebuff those ‘It’s just a phase’ reactions by showing life-long commitment. Get a tattoo somewhere clearly visible, such as your wrist. Include the name of the woman you’ll love forever, despite the fact that you are still in your teens.

Haunt unattainable women
Otherwise known as ‘stalking.’ Start this at a young age, say fourteen. Aim for teachers. It is excessively annoying to your victims, but if you really commit, it gets noticed throughout the staff room and playground. This is a very effective way of labeling yourself a little lesbian far and wide.

Get someone else to do it for you
Share your living space with a young man struggling with his anger management skills, let him fall in love with you, then invite your father round. In the ensuing raging debate, the astonishing fact that your father has missed all previous pointers will become evident. You are now out to your father.

Tell your mum out of curiosity
So, your dad now knows, but it would be interesting to find out what your mum’s reaction will be. Make curiosity your prime motivation here.

Make your beloved’s picture public
You’re heart-broken now you’ve left school and can no longer stalk your crush. so, photocopy a picture of her hundreds of times and attach these to the walls at your new university.

Wear her image
Pay a fashion designer friend to create clothes made of fabric imprinted with your crush’s image. This way, both the friend and the clothes can continue to spread the word.

Be contrary
Grow your hair long, grow your finger nails long, and wear a dress and make-up to lesbian events in the 1980s.

Get off with boys
Once you’ve made your sexuality clear in as many ways as you can … completely confound your audience by getting off with boys publicly, and as often as possible.

What are your hot tips on how NOT to come out? …


  1. Langman
    Posted March 30, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Get drunk at a family gathering and pull your mother to one side and sit on the couch, tearfully spilling your guts to her, until your father wanders in, sees tears, and promptly leaves. Consider job done, feel better, but don’t tell anyone else. Especially not your father. Make sure your mother can carry around this secret pain for months to come.

    Also, write a letter to your father explaining everything in what you hope is just enough detail without being TMI, but making sure the point really hits home, so that he will wander around like a grieving zombie for weeks after your mother finally feels it is the “right time” to give him the letter.

    Then, when your depressed gay coworker is crying in the back of a car next to you, make sure you hold his hand to comfort his bitter loneliness, so that he will fixate on you and pursue you for the next ten years even though you don’t fancy him in the slightest. One moment of kindness CAN become a decade of torment. Especially if you occasionally lead him on because he is the only person showing any interest in you whatsoever.

    • Natasha Holme
      Posted March 30, 2019 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      Wow to no.3. There’s a whole sitcom right there. …

      • Langman
        Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

        I know! A few seasons worth of soap opera drama!

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