The things you need to know when coming out

Are you ready to come out as bisexual? We know you’ve probably spent countless hours wondering if bisexuality best describes you– so let us be the first ones to congratulate you!

This identity is so powerful. You’re ready to be open and honest about something you value. It’s ok to start off slow– you may not be ready to tell the whole world!

We have 13 tips for coming out to help you decide who, when, and how you might tell someone.

1. Decide who, when, and where would be the safest to tell someone.

Your safety is #1. You can slide LGBTQ+ topics into your conversation to see how a friend/family member responds, and notice what environments are the most private. Having a friend who knows your location when you tell someone might help ease any anxiety.

2. Who’s the first person you want to tell?

Consider who might take the news well. This may be a best friend, a close family member, distant relative, or acquaintance. Coming out to the “easier” people first will be a great start to building your support team. You’ll then have reassurance for any people who might be more challenging to come out to.

3. How are you going to tell them?

There are so many different ways to tell someone… Will you send them a text? Say something over family dinner? Or maybe bring it up during a hike? Ideally, keep the environment neutral and remain calm so you can fully express yourself.

rainbow, lake, clouds, mountains

4. Celebrate whenever you tell someone.

No matter how small– you’ve just been completely open with someone! We love hearing about successes on our Support Community. Check out the Brag Box.

5. Be prepared for a shock.

Your sexuality is not something new to you– it’s part of you… but other people may not have expected this. Shock can cause all sorts of reactions– be prepared for any emotion, from disinterest to anger, or sadness. Remind yourself that sexuality is a completely natural thing, and that you’re better for having told someone.

6. Help them understand.

Bisexuality is not a term that’s widely understood, or accepted. Many people have misconceptions around bisexuality- check out 10 Things People Say to Bisexuals. Dispel these myths by helping people understand the facts.

7. Who can they tell?

How this truth spreads is your choice. Give clear boundaries for who they can tell. Remind them how important it is for you that they keep it to themselves, at least while you finish telling the necessary people in your life.

8. Give them time to process.

If they’re sad, or angry, remind yourself that this is their process. It’s not your fault. You were just speaking your truth and wanted to help them know you better. Do not feel guilty for their emotions, and if you find their words are hurting you– give yourself some space.

9. Address the conflict.

If someone’s reaction hurts you, check out our information on resolving a conflict, here. This can create a safe place to talk about how their actions have made you feel, and they’ll have a chance to talk about how they’re feeling.

If setting up a conflict resolution isn’t a possibility, consider writing them a letter that includes how you’re feeling, and what you would like to happen for the future.

10. If they can’t accept you – distance yourself.

It’s easier said than done, we know, but try to avoid expectations when telling people that you’re bisexual. Some people may not accept the fact that you’re bisexual, and that’s okay. But it doesn’t mean you have to try to keep them as friends. Good family and friends accept the full you!

11. Come out, again.

Although it does tend to get easier the more you tell people, sharing that you’re bisexual never stops. New people come into our lives, as do new love interests. Sometimes they deserve to know the full extent of our sexuality.

12. Check out LGBTQ+ and Bi-specific resources in your area.

Meeting people who may have had similar experiences is so powerful for feeling accepted! Finding a group where you can be fully yourself, without judgement, is a beautiful thing.

13. Join our Community

If in-person resources aren’t in your area, or if you prefer an online community, join our Support Community! Many of our other members are figuring out how to share their sexuality with people, too.

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Coming out to your parents as lesbian, gay or bisexual naturally brings up a lot of questions. How will they react? Will it change anything? Can I say it without getting upset? How should I say it? When is the best time?

Telling your parents is much bigger than them simply knowing your orientation. It is about you owning your sexuality and having the courage to say ‘this is who I am’ and not living in secret any more. If your parents are homophobic, you may want to check out this article instead.

Here are 9 Tips to help you get there:

1. First reactions are unpredictable.

When coming out to your parents whether they suspect anything or not, this is the first time they are hearing this news. You have had months or even years to come to a place of acceptance and being ready to share it. They only just found out so remember first reactions are not always lasting reactions and they will need time to process this information.

2. Determine whether this is the right time.

It is crucial that you take the time to consider your own personal circumstances when making the decision to come out to your parents. What might be the right thing for one person, may not be right for you. Your safety and wellbeing should always come first.

3. You don’t have to tell them both at the same time.

If there is one parent you are more nervous about telling, you don’t have to tell them together. Start with the parent you feel safer talking to. You’ll know if it’s best to tell them separately or together so trust your instincts.

4. Pick a good time and place.

This news deserves your parent’s full attention. So make sure you choose a time that won’t be interrupted and in a place that feels comfortable for you. You are in control of this situation and its key you feel as comfortable as possible. There may also never be “the perfect time,” and if there is one, you might lose your nerve and let the opportunity pass – that’s okay, don’t sweat it if that happens and try again.

5. Be clear about who they can tell.

This one can easily be overlooked as you will be so relieved at finally telling them, that its natural to forget to be clear what you want to happen next. Decide beforehand whether you are comfortable with them sharing this news with your family or if you want it kept between you for the time being – be clear about that.

6. Their approval or permission is not required.

Try not to expect too much from your parents and wherever possible, avoid measuring the success of the conversation by their initial response. If it’s not what you hoped for, don’t despair or give up. They may just need more time. This isn’t about them. It’s about you and who you truly are. Show them that you are the same person they’ve always loved, just more honest now.

7. Questions are ok.

One concern can be a barrage of questions, especially knowing the answers can sometimes be awkward and uncomfortable. Don’t stress yourself out trying to think of every answer ahead of time. Questions from your parents are natural (but don’t feel pressured into answering things you aren’t comfortable with) and whether you have answers or not just be as honest as you can.

8. Help educate them. 🌈

Whatever reaction your parents have; good, bad or ugly, suggest they have a look at these organisations: FFLAG and BeLongTo;  They are dedicated to supporting parents of lesbian, gay or bisexual sons and daughters and have a wealth of resources nationwide. It will help educate them on all things LGB and give them the opportunity to speak to other parents for advice.

9. Talk to us.

Coming out to your parents is a big deal full stop. Even parents who have the best intentions will frequently get it wrong and say something unintentionally offensive and hurtful. Everyone’s experience is different so whether you are on the brink of doing it, have done it but are struggling or just need some support with it all, join our community to talk to one of our awesome mentors who understand completely what you are going through and get advice from others who have similar experiences…

If you would prefer the easy to read version please click here.

So you think you might be bisexual? Or maybe you are just here for fun. Either way, questioning your sexuality is a completely normal thing to do and a lot of us do it.

In fact, our research shows that over 50% of us don’t identify as fully heterosexual. And our research shows that most of us don’t identify as being 100% heterosexual. How cool is that?!

A quiz can only do a bit of the work, and the truth is your sexuality is something that will evolve and it’s normal to explore and question your sexuality. Right now, you don’t need to rush through any firm decisions. When you know, you will know.

This quiz is just for fun, and remember no internet quiz is going to be able to tell you who you are. Your sexuality is unique to you, and is a spectrum that everyone sits on.

Am I Bisexual Quiz


Thanks for taking the quiz!

If you feel like you want to talk to someone about your result, or if you feel like the quiz got it wrong, reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here.

There are trained Mentors that can offer you advice and support about this and loads of other stuff. You can also connect with other people going through similar things.

How do you know if you’re bisexual?

You’ve taken the quiz and want to learn more about bisexuality?

Bisexuality is a sexual orientation where somebody is attracted to more than one gender. Some identify as bisexual, while others use pansexual, queer, fluid, or no label at all to describe it.

This identity is so powerful. You’re ready to be open and honest about something you value. It’s ok to start off slow – you may not be ready to tell the whole world! We’ve written 13 different tips for coming out as bisexual to help you decide who, when, and how you might tell someone.

We have lots of other guides and advice below. Check out these below for some more info on bisexuality:

questioning sexuality

Am I gay? Am I straight? What am I?

New research published by Promundo in partnership with Lynx, Unilever’s leading male grooming brand uncovers what it truly means to be a modern man. The research finds that there is a ‘Man Box’ – a set of masculine ideals, that guys are pressured to conform to.

At least 57% of guys surveyed said they had been told a “real man should behave a certain way” at some point in their lives. This is preventing guys from showing their true feelings, with 48% of guys surveyed agreeing with “in my opinion guys should act strong even if they feel scared or nervous inside.”

One startling statistic was that 30% of UK participants agreed strongly that a gay guy is not a “real man”, which makes it much harder for guys to feel like they can explore their sexuality without it impacting on their masculinity.

It’s completely normal to question your sexuality, regardless of gender, life experiences or however you see your masculinity or femininity. We’re desperate to attach labels on everything and everyone but working out what you do and don’t like sexually and doesn’t have to be so scary. In fact, we question pretty much everything else in our lives so why would our sexuality be any different?

Here are 8 things you need to know about questioning your sexuality:

1. It’s OK to question it.

You can’t control the things you’re inherently attracted to. It’s perfectly normal to question and explore your sexuality, it’s also surprisingly common. Ditch the Label research finds that half of us don’t identify as being 100% straight anyway.

2. No judging.

Explore. Explore. Explore. We can’t emphasize this enough. Exploring won’t, however, be beneficial to your self-discovery if you keep judging yourself for your actions. Deep breath. Stop thinking. Start doing.

3. Its nobody else’s business.

People love labels and for things to be clear. But that does not mean you need to rush to pick one to satisfy anyone else’s impatience, including your own.

4. It isn’t as big of a deal as everyone makes out.

Who you get jiggy with is absolutely nobody else’s business but your own. As long as it’s safe, legal and consensual – who gives a damn? The people who are most likely to judge you are only doing it largely because they are insecure about their own sexuality. The lion never loses sleep over the opinion of sheep. Be the lion, not the sheep.

5. You can be honest.

If the dreaded sexuality question comes up and you are not ready to answer it. You are 100% allowed to unashamedly say you’re not sure.

6. You are not alone.

No matter how different your sexuality may feel, there are others out there like you. Just remember that not everybody is comfortable talking about it, so talking online first could be a safe way to get the information and advice you need.

7. Talk to us.

We get it, this stuff is not always easy or straightforward (no pun intended). Join our community here and share your questions anonymously, I guarantee you are not the only one asking them.

8. The confusion doesn’t last forever.

I know right now it might feel pretty uncomfortable but I promise it does get better.

Got one to add? Join the community get let us know.

It’s LGBT+ History Month! To celebrate, here’s something we wrote about the amazing LGBT+ role model for young men everywhere: rugby star Gareth Thomas.

We’ve already covered how much of a hero Gareth is before, but we decided now would be a better time than ever to introduce this man to you and explain exactly why he should be given a bloody knighthood already.

Firstly, Gareth Thomas is a rugby hall of famer. He represented Wales exactly one hundred times and is one of their top try scorers. Not many players get to play for their country but Gareth has managed to do so in Rugby Union, Rugby League and international Sevens as well. 

Aside from rugby, Gareth has just as much impact off the field as he does on it. In 2009, he came out as gay and said that “what I choose to do when I close the door at home has nothing to do with what I have achieved in rugby” which is pretty bang on, if you ask us. He became one of the first rugby players to do so. 

Whenever Gareth has revealed anything in his life to the public, it is always with the hope of making it easier for somebody else to do the same. When he came out, he wanted to make sure that future gay rugby players could just be seen as talented rugby players and that if his story made it easier for just one young lad in a similar position then it would all have been worth it. This desire to empower others is incredibly selfless and speaks volumes about the kind of man he is.


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He was a victim of a hate crime in 2018. What was truly amazing about the aftermath is that he didn’t want to press charges. The assaulter was a young man and Gareth requested that he apologise and learn to understand the true effect hate crime has on the victims. 

A few weekends ago, he did something truly incredible. Just shortly after revealing he is living with HIV in a heartbreaking video, he completed a gruelling 140-mile Ironman triathlon just to prove the idea we have of people living with HIV is outdated. In 2019, HIV and asthma requires about the same amount of medication. Thousands of people now live healthy lives with HIV. He has now pledged to work on breaking the stigma around it and empower those in the same position. In the video, Gareth says that he was being threatened by a tabloid who said they would out this secret. So, in true legendary fashion, he released a video himself to let the world know that this is his story to tell and nobody else’s. 

There’s no doubt that Gareth has had a rollercoaster of a ride so far. But his desire to prove that you are not defined by one individual thing along with his work to break down stigmas and empower people by owning his life and his story makes him a huge role model for us and many, many others. By being so selfless and sharing his life with total honesty, not only gives others a voice to speak out but shows that support is out there. 

Countless celebrities, role models, as well as thousands of the public have shown their support and admiration for the strength and bravery of Gareth for sharing his story. This is a man who is constantly breaking down barriers and is respected by everyone. Even England rugby fans will give the Welshman a big cheer. Wherever Gareth goes, he is completely respected by those inside and outside of the sporting industry. From Princes Harry and William, to his best rugby mates, to the LGBTQ+ community, Gareth is inspiring so many people and empowering them all to feel comfortable in their own skin. Gareth, we salute you and applaud you, you absolute hero. But mostly, we’re so thankful for the work you do to help make this world a kinder place to live. 

If you want support or need to speak to someone confidentially, you can join our community here.

For more inspiration and daily motivation, follow our Instagram @ditchthelabel.

Hi all! I’m Yasmin Benoit, a British fashion model and asexuality activist. I’ve known that I was aromantic-asexual from a young age, but didn’t come out publicly until 2017, when I decided to use my platform to raise awareness and dispel misconceptions about asexuality. It’s LGBT History Month, and I’ve comprised a list about 10 things I think people need to know about asexuality. Think I missed something? Feel free to add your own!

1) Asexuality isn’t a disorder

Asexuality isn’t a psychological disorder, nor is it a side effect of other mental health problems or developmental disorders, although there might be an overlap with some individuals. It also isn’t a hormonal imbalance, or the result of any kind of illness or physical issue. When I was younger, I used to think that my asexuality would disappear once my social anxiety and teenage insecurity went away. Now I’m a confident adult, and guess what, I’m still asexual!

2) Asexuality isn’t an attitude or a lifestyle choice

There is a difference between being asexual and anti-sex. Asexuality is a sexual orientation, not a lifestyle choice or an opinion. It isn’t the same as celibacy or abstinence, and it isn’t a way of sticking a middle finger up at sexual liberation. There are some asexual people who are repulsed by sex, but that does not mean that asexual people can’t hold sex-positive attitudes when it comes to other people, or themselves.

3) Asexual people aren’t just those who “haven’t found the right person”

If someone said to a straight man, “You’re not straight, you just haven’t found the right man yet,” it’d be both bizarre and inappropriate. That rhetoric doesn’t make sense when it’s applied to asexual people either. It suggests that people are only sexually attracted to the ‘right person,’ like their soulmate, or their other half but if that was the case, the world would be a very different place. Asexuality is a valid sexual orientation, it’s not a reflection of the attractiveness of others, or the result of having high standards and bad circumstances. 



4) The A in LGBTQIA+ stands for Asexual

There is debate surrounding whether asexual people should be included in the community, but in my opinion – and the opinion of many others – the answer is yes. The LGBT+ community is about uniting and gaining equality for those who don’t fit into heteronormative boxes. It isn’t about who you do or don’t have sex with, or whether you have or haven’t had to handle a particular issue.

Asexuality can overlap with other letters in the initials, and even if you’re aromantic and cisgender (like myself), the chances are that you can’t relate to the heterosexual experience of society very much. Isn’t that what being queer is all about?

5) There is no asexual demographic

There are asexual men, women, non-binary people, trans people, crossing all ethnicities, races, ages, all nationalities, and religious identities. We’ve even existed throughout different time periods – asexuality isn’t a new thing.

When I attended the UK Asexuality Conference as a speaker in 2018, it was my first time being around a large group of asexual people, and I was so happy to see such a diverse group – including people over 50, asexual parents, business owners, people of colour, and people of different faiths (and no faiths) from all over the world. Despite the impression that the media gives you, asexual people aren’t all white, quirky millennials who spend a lot of time on Tumblr. 

6) There is no way to ‘look asexual’

There’s a difference between not experiencing sexual attraction and not being attractive yourself, but there are people out there who mix that up. It probably has something to do with the way non-sexual/romantic people are portrayed in the media – as someone no one would be interested in anyway. This misconception is one of the reasons why I started the #ThisIsWhatAsexualLooks like hashtag, to show the diversity in how asexual people look. There is no asexual way to look or dress.

The idea that you have to put no effort into your appearance because you’re asexual suggests that people express themselves through fashion to please others. Asexual people do not have to cover up, wear no make-up, and keep their hair un-styled just because they don’t experience sexual attraction. 



7) There is no asexual personality type

Again, this one is partially the media’s fault. Characters who don’t exhibit signs of sexual desire are often aliens or robotic, unable to understand human interaction and intimacy. They’re cold-hearted, socially detached and painfully awkward, but that doesn’t mean that asexual people actually have these characteristics.

There is no heterosexual personality, a homosexual personality, a bisexual personality, a transgender personality, or any other personality affiliated with a particular identity or sexual orientation. You can be optimistic, depressive, cheerful, subdued, extroverted, introverted, and still be asexual. 

8) Asexuality is a spectrum

You don’t have to experience absolutely no sexual attraction to be asexual. Asexuality is a spectrum, which means that some people experience mild sexual attraction, like greysexual people, and those who only experience sexual attraction to those they develop a close relationship with, like demisexual people. 

9) Some asexual people do want romantic relationships

Romantic orientation and sexual orientation are not the same thing, and many asexual people experience romantic attraction but not sexual attraction. This is where terms like heteroromantic, homoromantic, biromantic, and panromantic come from, with emphasis on a romantic connection rather than a sexual one. There are also asexual people who don’t experience romantic attraction – aromantic asexuals – like myself. 



10) Asexual people can be happy

It’s an unfortunate narrative that asexual people will live loveless and unfulfilled lives, and it really isn’t true. Asexuality isn’t a problem, and it shouldn’t stop anyone from feeling confident and achieving whatever they want to achieve. I haven’t let being asexual stop me from breaking into the fashion industry, even working as a lingerie model, getting two degrees and providing a voice for the often forgotten letter in LGBTQIA+ at the same time. It also hasn’t stopped me from forming strong friendships, which is particularly important for an aromantic person.

Romantic asexual people can find love. They often date each other, and can enter polyamorous, queer-platonic and other ‘non-traditional’ relationships. Asexual people can date people who aren’t asexual and make it work. I know of asexual people who are married, asexual people with children, asexual people in happy and fulfilling relationships of all kinds, with people from within the asexual community and outside of it. Most importantly, I know that there are many asexual people who are happy with themselves. 

For more awesome content on life as an asexual, and general life goals, follow Yasmin on Instagram @theyasminbenoit

Join the conversation. Reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here.

coming out to homophobic parents

So you’ve read a few blogs or articles, maybe watched some stuff on YouTube… generally done some research on how to come out to your parents. Some have been helpful, some are downright patronizing. But all of them leave you thinking “that’s all very well and good but you don’t know MY mum or dad…”

We’ve got you covered. If you have homophobic parents but you want to come out – this article is for you.

1. Find outside support.

Make sure you have support and tell at least one adult that you trust before you tell your parents. This could be a teacher, someone from your extended family or a friend’s parent. This will give you a safe space to turn to if your parent’s reaction is hostile and help you feel stronger going into it.

2. Check out your options.

Is now the right time? Would a safer option be to wait until you move out or go to Uni? What is your plan B if the worst does happen? Do you have the number for helplines? Can you go and stay with extended family or close a friend if you need some space while your parents adjust to the news. Your safety and well-being must always come first. While it might feel scary to have to think about these questions, it’s crucial to be prepared.

3. Be clear on what you are telling them.

If you are coming out as gay, avoid the trap of thinking that coming out as bisexual first is an easier way to help them reach a place of acceptance.  Stick with the truth, if you are gay, tell them. If you are bisexual, tell them that.

4. Give time, time.

First reactions are raw, unprocessed and unpredictable. We all need time to process big news regardless of the situation. Give your parents time to adjust to this news and know that first reactions are not always lasting reactions.

5. You are not alone.

Right now as you read this article there are millions of people all over the world facing the same situation as you. Never lose sight of the fact you are not alone, you can and will get through this. Keeping your sexuality a secret can be enormously stressful. No matter how scared you might feel now, this will get easier. On the other side of that fear is relief and liberation.

6. Shame is a liar.

If your parent’s reaction is to try and shame you for your sexuality. Please know that shame is a liar. What it tells you and how it seeks to make you feel is distorted bulls***! The whole process of coming out of the closet is going against the shame that plays a part in keeping you hidden and in the dark. Your sexuality and shame have no place together. Your sexuality is normal and there is nothing wrong or bad about loving who you want to love.

rainbow umbrella

7. Homophobia sucks.

Coming out to your parents can be a scary prospect. Add a dollop of homophobia on top and it’s downright petrifying. Bottom line is: homophobia sucks!

It sucks because we don’t choose our sexuality.

It sucks because we live in a society that places one sexuality as the norm at the expense of any other.

It sucks because life can be tough enough without experiencing ignorance and hatred towards something you are powerless over.

It sucks because your family might miss out on the chance of loving you because they can’t see past their own fears based on ignorance.

8. Talk to us.

Everyone’s experience is different so whether you are on the brink of doing it, have done it but are struggling or need support with it all, join our community to talk to one of our awesome mentors who understand completely what you are going through and get advice from others who have similar experiences…

9. Join your local LGB Community 🌈.

There is nothing more powerful than being around and supported by people who get what you are going through. Don’t deprive yourself of the opportunity to find belonging. We can’t choose our family but as life unfolds, we can choose our friends. You get to come home to the people who love you for you, regardless of sexuality.

So, if you are wondering how to tell your parents your gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual or transgender, that’s how to start. Your journey is just beginning. If you need any further help, you can join our free, anonymous community.

It’s finally here! It’s been 12 long months since Otis, Maeve and Eric last graced our screens, and we have been missing it like mad here in the Ditch the Label offices. In case you haven’t seen it, the Netflix series is a tour de force in everything sexy and awkward about teenage life, and this season the jokes just keep on coming. But it is also one of the most representational shows on any streaming service or TV channel, and Season 2 is no exception to this. Here are the biggest 7 of all the things we can learn from the awesome show. Watch it. Now. We give you permission to binge it. 

1) It’s perfectly normal to question your sexuality 

Questioning your sexuality is something that a lot of young people go through. You can’t control the things you’re inherently attracted to. It’s perfectly normal to question and explore your sexuality, it’s also surprisingly common. Ditch the Label research finds that half of us don’t identify as being 100% straight anyway.

For more on this, read this article


2) Asexuality is a valid and perfectly normal sexual orientation

This season is the gift that keeps on giving with the introduction of an asexual character, in the form of musical theatre fanatic Florence. Surrounded by peer pressure to have sex and convinced her lack of interest in it means she is broken, she panics.  

Asexuality doesn’t get a lot of visibility in mainstream culture, making it quite a widely misunderstood sexual orientation, with many wrongly characterising it as a mental illness, a hormone disorder, or an inability to get anyone to date. Asexuality is a sexual orientation like heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality. 

Asexuality can also work in tandem with another sexuality. This is when someone is asexual, i.e. having no sexual desire, but pursue romantic relationships and companionship.

To find out more about asexuality, check out this article with all you need to know.

3) Self harm is not the solution

One of the most tragic story lines of the season was Jackson’s fall into his anxiety over the pressure to perform in the pool. It sees him struggle so much under the mounting pressure from all aspects of his life that he turns to hurting himself to free himself from his obligations. 

Self-harm is often used as a way of dealing with things when they become too overwhelming. It may seem like a good idea at the time, but self-harm can be incredibly dangerous and can have unintended consequences on your health. You can find 15 safer alternatives to self harm here.

If you feel like you need someone to talk to about this issue, join our community here for access to one to one confidential support and advice from one of our trained Digital Mentors. 

4) Sexual assault can come in many forms 

Aimee’s story in this season took a turn when she was sexually assaulted on the bus on the way to school by a man who masturbates on her. Whilst some series deal with sexual assault on some level, here we can see a series treating any and every form of sexual assault with the level of seriousness it deserves. It shows just how any even like this can be incredibly traumatic, and that we shouldn’t be looking at sexual assault as some of form hierarchy, where a certain amount of criteria need to be fulfilled for the victim to be upset. 

If you are dealing with issues around this and need someone to talk to, you can speak to one of our trained Digital Mentors here in confidence, and we will always listen to you.

5) Understanding STIs is the best way to prevent them

It’s hard not to crack up at the opening episode of Sex Education Seaosn 2, with entirety of Moordale High imagining they have got airborn chlamydia. Yeah, it was hilarious, but it also raises some important questions about STIs. If you have any questions about them, you can always talk to your GP or nurse practitioner. 

6) Only you know when you are ‘ready’

Yeah we know you’ve probably heard this one from every teacher you’ve ever had and your parents as well, but it is so true. Being ready for sex is entirely down to you. It is not down to whether your pals are doing it, your other half wants you to or any other reason. It’s your body, it’s your rules. 


7) Talking about sex is key

It can be pretty embarassing to talk about sex, especially when it comes to things you might not know about or awkward problems that come up. But whether you go to your partner, a friend or a family member, talking about sex is the best way to get those questions answered and problems sorted. It’s like they say, the birds do it. The bees do it. Even educated fleas do it. We aren’t saying go and have a chat with your nearest pigeon, but there will be plenty of people in your life who have experience in this area that would be discreet about it.


Coming out as lesbian, gay or bisexual can be difficult, there’s no point pretending otherwise. However, many people have really positive experiences coming out and often regret not doing it sooner.

It’s really important, however, that you take the time to consider your own personal circumstances when making the decision to tell people close to you that you are lesbian, gay or bisexual. What may be right for one person, may not be right for you. Your safety and well-being should always come first.

Although the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans communities have many things in common and frequently align themselves with one another, the experiences of exploring your gender identity and coming out as trans can be very different to being open about your sexuality.

If you are looking for tips on coming out as trans, why not check out this guide written by Lewis Hancox?

Top 11 tips for Coming Out as lesbian, gay or bisexual:

1. Don’t feel pressured.

Everyone should come out in their own time. You may feel under pressure to tell those close to you that you are lesbian, gay or bisexual before you are ready. Don’t. Coming out is about you and no one else. If you start to think about pleasing others you will lose sight of what is really important – your happiness. Focusing on yourself and what’s important to you will ultimately make those you’re close to happier as well.

2. Don’t label yourself if you don’t want to.

Although you may feel ready to come out, you may not feel you fit any particular ‘label’. Using terms like lesbian, gay and bisexual is absolutely fine, but never feel forced to identify as anything. Listen to your feelings and go with them! If a label helps you and feels right then great. If it doesn’t then don’t worry.

3. You don’t have to choose between your faith and your sexuality.

Most religions have groups for their lesbian, gay and bisexual followers. Go online to find a group near you. Having faith and being gay are not mutually exclusive!

4. Read how other people came out.

RUComingOut has over 300 real-life coming out stories as well as interviews from celebrities. Most people who come out go through the same anxieties and they experience very similar fears. Hearing how things turned out for others who were

5. Tell one person.

When you are ready to come out (you will know when the time feels right) – don’t think you have to tell everyone straight away –  it’s not a race! Choose one person who you trust more than anyone else – a friend, sibling, parent/guardian or teacher.

As soon as you’ve opened up to the first person things will seem a thousand times easier and clearer for you. It’s an age-old saying but talking really does help. You’ll also have someone you can talk to and ask advice from when coming out to others.


6. Forget the stereotypes.

When gay people first started to appear on TV and in the media, the stereotypes that were common were those of effeminate camp men and butch women. Some people still think that every gay man and woman have to fit that stereotype.

Others may feel that the stereotypes have flipped and gay men should be muscular and have beards while lesbians should have long blonde hair and wear lots of makeup!

The truth is, stereotypes suck and we all know they do. Being lesbian, gay or bi does not have to define you. If you’re camp, great. If you’re butch, fantastic. If you like going to the gym, good on you. If you prefer a good film to a good run, amazing.

Growing up (and discovering your sexuality) is all about finding out who you are, what you like and how you want to be and it’s an exciting time!

7. You’ll be protected at school, college and university.

Every school, college, uni and even workplace has a legal obligation to ensure that every one of its students or employees is treated fairly and offered the same opportunities. Many schools realise the importance of making sure their staff are trained to tackle homophobia when they see it.

Lots of schools even have their own LGBTQ student groups where students can meet and make friends. You should never feel pressured to join a group like this, but you may find that you meet loads of other people who have been, or are going through, similar experiences as you.

8. Think about the positives.

It is very easy to let the anxieties and fears around coming out completely take over the experience. But remember, coming out is one of the most amazing things you will ever do. You will finally be able to be your whole self and it WILL change your life.

Those butterflies you feel in your stomach – see them as excitement rather than nerves!

Here are some lessons you may find useful that Max Hovey learnt from coming out.


9. Some people do have negative experiences.

There’s no point denying it. That’s why it’s important that if you decide the time is right for you to come out, make sure you have a safety net if things don’t go to plan. There is support available if you find yourself feeling lost or alone.

10. Give people time.

You may have had years to get to a place where you are comfortable with being lesbian, gay or bisexual. Just think though, those people who you will be telling will have a split second to give you a reaction. Give them a chance to digest the news. It may come as a complete surprise. Surprise and shock doesn’t mean disapproval from them.

They may have questions, so pre-empt what these could be and be prepared to support them too. They may need your support as much as you need theirs!

11. Start living!

You will be amazed at how free you will feel once you have come out. Obviously, the experience is different for everyone and at times it may not go as well as you’d like.

Just remember that you are doing the right thing, you are allowing yourself to be who you were always meant to be and this means you can start living YOUR life! Remember to create that safety net around you though, just in case things don’t go exactly to plan.


Can we guess where you are on the gender scale? Take the quiz >>

Wayne Dhesi is a youth manager at UK-based LGBT charity, Stonewall. To find out more about his work follow him on Twitter.

Take our Sexuality Quiz

You’ll be amazed by this one. Answer 11 short, simple questions in our sexuality quiz to see if we can figure out where you are on the sexuality spectrum.


So, how’d you get on? There’s no need to panic if you got an answer that maybe you are questioning. If you’re answer wasn’t what you thought it might be, that’s completely OK.

We all know this is just a bit of fun, because we can’t possibly know everything about you.

Sexuality is a spectrum, and it can be one where it can take a really long time to know where you sit. If you’re confused about your sexuality or want to talk to a trained mentor – click here to visit our community.

Next Steps

If you took this quiz just for a laugh, then it’s super chill. If you took it because you are questioning your sexuality, then there are some things you might want to have a think about. Check out some next steps ideas below:

1) Think about where you want to go from here

So if you have taken this quiz because you have been questioning your sexuality, this might be a good time to have a little think about where you want to go from here. Just because you’ve maybe gotten a result you didn’t expect, it doesn’t mean you should come out to everyone in your life straight away.

Take your time with it, and think about where you want to go from here. You might want to take a bit to sort your own head out. Try thinking about where you want your life to be in a years time. Will you feel comfortable being out? Do you want a relationship? Thinking about where you want to end up will always help with planning the journey.

2) Get some advice if you need it

Sometimes, we just can’t go through things alone. If you feel like you don’t have anyone in your life to talk about this at the moment, that’s completely OK. You can speak to one of our trained Digital Mentors in confidence here.

3) Come out to yourself

If you have been questioning your sexuality, the most important step you can take is to come out to yourself. By this we mean you need to realise that maybe you are gay/bi/ace/pan or any other sexuality, and that that’s completely fine. That you are who you are.

Try looking at yourself in a mirror, and saying to yourself ‘I am *insert sexuality here*, and that’s OK. Because I am also strong, smart, funny, independent, kind, caring, loving, and beautiful’. You are who you are, but you are so much more than your sexuality as well.

4) Look for others in your community

A great way to build up towards coming out, if that is what you think you want to do, is to find some other people within your community that you can learn from, talk to and be supported by. We all need our tribe.

We aren’t saying you should get rid of all your old friends and family in favour of this, but getting help to navigate this side of you is going to be important to understand it, and to get support if coming out doesn’t go so well.

Try following a few people on IG and Twitter, try learning about Pride in your area, or even find a local LGBT+ hobby group to join.

Coming Out

Once you’ve come to terms with your sexuality, your attention might be turning towards coming out to friends and family. Being open and honest about who you are might be really scary at first, but it also might be the most liberating experience of your life.

Need advice on coming out? Check out these awesome articles below!

For confidential support and advice on coming out, speak to one of our trained support mentors here.