10 Ways NOT To Come Out

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 labelling 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?

Natasha Holme is author of Lesbian Crushes and Bulimia: A Diary on How I Acquired my Eating Disorder.



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