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The Talon House

Stages of coming out


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Here are all the stages what happens with the parents and friends when someone wants to come out......... ........

First Stage: Denial

This first stage happens immediately. People can express themselves as "shocked." "I had no idea..." "This can't be."

Yourself: "I'm not really gay." "I don't dislike girls." "I've never been with a guy." "I don't think I'm gay.""I will feel straight if I have sex with a girl.""I've never had sex with a guy, therefore, I'm not technically gay."

Parents: "No you're not." "No one in the family is gay, and you're not either." "You don't act gay." "You don't know what you're feeling." "Have sex with a girl and you won't feel that way anymore." "You're confused." "You need therapy."

Wife: "You're not the man I married." "You're stressed/tired/ angry." "You're in mid-life crisis." "You're too manly to be gay." "Let's get therapy; I know you're not gay." "You have sex with me, thus, you're not really gay."

Second Stage: Anger

The second stage is a downer for those coming out. Once the trauma of coming out is over, and you think the coast is clear, the parent/wife enters the anger stage. How much anger, when they enter, and when they get over this stage is dependent of many factors.

Yourself: "I hate myself." "I hate being gay." "I hate gays." "Why the f**K me?" "What did I do to deserve these feelings?" "Jesus! Why can't I love her?" "I want to be like X!!!" "I'm such a loser."

Wife: "Why did you marry me?" "You lied to me!" "Why did you fool me?" "What did I do to deserve this!?" "You'll pay for this, mister!" "So, are you sleeping with X,Y, and Z?" "Who else knows?! Am I the laughing stock of town?" "You a******." "f**K you--oh no, you'd like that, wouldn't you?" "Couldn't you have figured this out before NOW?"

Parents: "You're not sleeping with X are you?" "Don't you know there are dangerous diseases out there?" "Can't you just be normal?" "For God's sake, don't tell anyone else!" "Why did you tell me that?" "Don't come crying to me when you're life gets screwed up!" "Why didn't you tell me this before?" "Didn't you trust me until now?" "Would you have EVER told me this? (if outed)"

Stage 3: Bargaining

Bargaining is usually a welcomed respite from the Anger Stage. But, it can be equally annoying.

Self: "I bet if I have sex with a girl, I'll find out I'm hetero." "Maybe I can get married, and have a f**K-buddy on the side that no one knows about but me. What would be the harm in that?" "If I don't tell anyone, then it's not really real." "God, if I promise to be good, will you make me straight?" "God, please make me straight. I'll do anything." "I bet if I lose weight and tone up, I'll be more attractive to girls and then I won't like guys." "I bet this will pass when I'm 20, no 30, maybe when I'm 40?"

Parents: "Let me set you up with X. If you only had a girlfriend, you'd forget about guys." "God, I'll do anything if you make him straight." "I"ll buy you a car if you don't date boys." "Maybe we were too strict. If we relax our rules, will it make you feel more comfortable and feel like dating girls?" "I bet if you had more confidence in yourself, you'd feel more comfortable with girls. I'll set you up with a counselor/prostitut e/assertiveness training class."

Wife: "I"ll forgive you if you don't divorce me." "You can have your discrete fun on the side as long as it's safe and you don't leave me." "Look, honey, I bought this new lingerie. Isn't it sexy?" "If I lost weight/had a face lift/tummy tuck would you find me sexy again?" "Dear God, get him through this midlife crisis. I'll do anything." "We can have separate bedrooms and separate lives, just don't leave me alone."

Stage Four: Depression

This stage occurs when the preceding stages did not alleviate the grief, and the loss is not yet accepted. It is the brain's last-ditch attempt at not accepting the truth.

Self: "I'm screwed." "I hate myself." "I'm not good at anything. I can't even make a baby." "Why am I here? What's the purpose of my life?" "My future is empty and hopeless." "I can't compete in the cut-throat gay world, I'm just not up for it." "I've ruined everyone's life around me, including my own." "I know I am going to burn in hell." "I want to die."

Parents: "He's hell-bent on being gay. I'm helpless." "I guess if he wants to ruin his life and make me miserable, he's going to." "I give up." "I am so sad that I can not make him straight or be interested in girls." "I don't know what else I can say or do." "Why did I have children? Such heartache." "I can't imagine a future without grandchildren. What's the point of living?" "I thought I did better than that. Where did I go wrong?"

Wife: "My life is over." "I will never love again." "I will never trust again." "How on earth will I cope?" "My future is empty." "I now feel nothing--for anyone." "I want to die."

Stage Five: Acceptance

At long last, we reach the final stage of acceptance. If achieved, depression lifts and anger subsides. This doesn't mean that we forget the sadness and anger, it means we don't feel it anymore.

Self: "I'm gay." "I'm gay, and that's fine. Now what?" "I'm proud of who I am and the person I've become." "It's alright not to marry and have kids. I can contribute to society anyway--in other ways." "I am more than gay. My sexuality does not define me. I am 3-dimensional and have interests." "It's time to find a boyfriend." "It's time to get on with life."

Parent: "OK, he's gay. I hope he finds someone who makes him happy,." "Have you found a boyfriend yet?" "How are you doing--really? " "I love you." "Be sure to tell X [boyfriend] hi for me." "I want you and X to come for dinner." "Tell me all about him." "I'm so proud of you." "I'm so happy for you." "You know what? His being gay isn't that bad. It's not like he's a murderer or dying or anything. Now, THAT would be tragic."

Wife: "He's gay, but he's still a good person/father. " "I need to let go." "I need to have a life." "Life goes on." "It's OK, we'll get through this together." "This is not a reflection on me--this is his issue." "That's the way he is; he needs to be happy." "I wish he'd figured this out before we got married, but sometimes it doesn't happen that way." "OK, my husband is gay. That's a reality. Now, what do I do?"

One thing to remember--or recognize--is that frequently we come out to others when we have gotten to

Stage 5: Acceptance, ourselves. And, sometimes this has taken us years to do. Thus, we can't be impatient with those closest to us who just found out. It would be great if we could rush them through to the Acceptance stage, but we can't. The best we can do is anticipate these phases and help them adjust to this information, just like we adjusted.

Lastly, this isn't advocating coming out. Many men get to the Acceptance stage, and do not share this information with anyone. And, there can be compelling reasons for doing so. Thus, this piece is not meant to get everyone to Stage 5 and then bring as many of your closest people around you through it too. Rather, it's offered as one theoretical perspective on how people deal with what they perceive as a "loss" and if it's helpful in your situation, then it was worth writing down. Again, most people may not even go through a particular stage at all, and some may go through each one of them.

Any comments guys??

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  • 5 years later...
This one page story speaks to the poster's topic. This is a difficult time because most parents do not really want their kids to become gay. This the first story that I actually got into print. I was in a coming-out magazine for middle and high school students and if you can believe this, funded by the Canadian government.

I think that the worst thing is that today if a kid feels just a little bit gay he is forever pigeon-holed as gay...

Kaleb’s Dilemma by Larkin

I have been daydreaming a lot more lately.

The idea of trying to make a friend and getting rejected is almost not worth it to me.

So, I hide inside myself.

Tasha is so good at sports. Girls like him too. It all seems so easy for him. Maybe if I hang out with him a little bit might rub off on me. I think I’d like to be friends with him but he’s always challenging you.

If you are not perfect, he will zero in on you. Surrounded by other boys, he extends his hand straight out and lets it comically fall at the wrist.

Making a stupid face he says, “You know, he’s so gay!”

All the boys laugh and I pretend to. Is he talking about me? Does he know something about me?

One boy vying for Tasha’s approval says, “I know who is, Terry Moore is. He keeps lookin at me all weird.”

The boy crosses his eyes and imitating Tasha, says. “He’s totally gay!”

He does a silly walk in a circle and the others all laughing, start pushing him. I quietly fade out of the group. What if I am gay? At the very least all those boys would hate me.

I know Terry Moore. He's in my English class. Terry is friendly enough and pretty smart.

He comes up to me and says things like, “Kaleb, what’s up with you today?”

Maybe I should be friendlier to him? He’s not at all like Tasha and his friends. What if he is gay? Does that mean I am gay just because I am friends with him?

At lunch, Terry comes up to me and says, “What’s up with you today? You look bummed out.

His calm voice is easy to listen to.

“Kaleb, why don’t you and me hang out?”

I smiled and said, “Ok.”

I don’t know if I am gay but when it comes to friends, maybe it doesn’t really matter.

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