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Finding Your Voice: Navigating Coming Out as a Lesbian

Robyn Exton

Jan 23, 2024

Finding Your Voice: Navigating Coming Out as a Lesbian

Ever tried to decipher a romantic attraction map, only to realize that your compass is pointing in an unexpected direction? It’s like navigating the labyrinthine streets of a foreign city without a guide. But what if you’re not lost? What if this unfamiliar territory is where you truly belong?

The moment of clarity, when the fog lifts, and you understand that this journey has been leading towards accepting yourself as a lesbian, can feel both liberating and daunting.

You are not alone…

Venturing through this unexplored area can be tricky, yet ultimately rewarding. As you progress on your journey of self-exploration, you come closer to living life truthfully as your true self.

This article seeks to comprehend gender identity and sexual orientation thoroughly by delving into these matters in depth. We’ll explore these topics in detail to ensure a comprehensive understanding.

Understanding your sexual orientation and identity

Your sexual orientation and identity are crucial parts of who you are. It’s a spectrum that goes beyond the traditional binary, not just black or white.

Sexual orientation, like being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or pansexual, can define your attraction to others. But what about gender identity?

Your gender identity is how you perceive yourself; it might align with the sex assigned at birth or may differ from it. We at HER will always advocate that gender identity isn’t determined by birth biology alone.

Embracing your lesbian identity

If you identify as a woman attracted to other women, then congratulations. You’re part of an amazing community: lesbians!

The journey towards embracing this side of yourself could feel like riding a roller coaster. Some days will be exhilarating, while some might make your stomach churn. That’s perfectly normal – discovering one’s true self isn’t always easy, but it is worth it.

Understanding your gender expression — how you show your gender to the world through behavior, clothing, or hairstyle — can also be an enlightening part of this journey.

You might find yourself resonating with identities beyond male and female. Non-binary, genderqueer, and other nonconforming identities offer a range of possibilities beyond the traditional male/female binary.

The beauty is in diversity. Everyone’s experience is unique – like art pieces in a grand gallery. No single way of self-expression is the “correct” one. What matters most is that it feels true for you.

Stepping into your truth as a lesbian is like riding a roller coaster. There are highs, lows, and moments of breathtaking anticipation. But it’s worth every twist and turn because authenticity is freedom.

To start with, you need to assess your readiness to come out. Feeling ready before sharing this intimate part of yourself with others is important. Take a while for yourself or converse with someone you have faith in concerning your sentiments.

Coming out isn’t just an event; it’s a process that involves self-discovery and acceptance over time. “Coming Out: Living Authentically as Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual+” provides practical tips on understanding when one might be ready for this step in one’s journey.

Building a support system

A strong support system can help smooth the ride during the coming out process. Look around for open-minded friends who respect your identity and provide emotional intimacy when needed.

You don’t have to do it all at once either – come out at your own pace. Start by telling close friends whom you trust before tackling conversations with family members or colleagues.

Finding local LGBTQ+ organizations or joining supportive platforms like Trevorspace would also give an opportunity to meet people going through similar experiences – remember, community building is key.

Coming out to family members and friends

Revealing your sexuality to family and friends can be an emotional ride. It’s crucial to recall that responses may vary, yet most significantly, you don’t have to go through this process alone.

When it comes to coming out as a lesbian, it might take some time for loved ones to fully understand or accept your truth. But rest assured that the world is slowly becoming more open-minded towards different identity categories, including various sexual orientations.

The timing is crucial

Finding the right moment is crucial in this process. Make sure you feel ready before sharing this intimate part of yourself with others. Remember, there’s no rush; everyone has their own pace when dealing with such personal matters.

Your safety plan matters

A safety plan is essential when preparing for any possible negative reactions after coming out. Identify someone(s) who are supportive and whom you trust – they’ll form part of your ‘safety net’ should things get rocky.

Mental health struggles & self-care ideas

Just like any other significant life change, coming out might lead to some mental health struggles. It’s normal to experience feelings of anxiety or uncertainty during this time.

You’re not alone in these feelings; many people have been where you are now. The Trevor Project, for instance, offers crisis services tailored specifically for LGBTQ+ youth facing similar challenges.

Your self-care plan

Caring for yourself physically is important, but so is caring for your mind and emotions – that’s where self-care comes into play. A self-care plan will help maintain your emotional well-being throughout the coming-out process.

  • Create Safe Spaces: Make sure there’s somewhere you feel comfortable sharing openly about what’s happening in your life without judgment or fear of negative reactions.
  • Practice Mindfulness: Simple practices such as deep breathing exercises or meditation can relieve stress and bring clarity when things get overwhelming.
  • Talk About It: If possible, find someone(s) who’ve gone through similar experiences – they’re likely open-minded enough to lend an ear when needed.
  • LGBTQ+ Community Groups: Many local and online communities offer resources, such as TrevorSpace, a safe place for LGBTQ+ youth to connect with others who understand their experiences.
  • Mental Health Professionals: If you’re experiencing significant mental health struggles, consider reaching out to mental health professionals. They can provide expert advice tailored specifically for your situation.
  • Helplines: When you’re facing a crisis or need to chat with someone immediately, helplines are here for you.

Taking that first step

The process starts with understanding that coming out doesn’t have to happen simultaneously. It’s not about making a grand announcement on day one; instead, it’s more like revealing pieces of yourself over time as you grow comfortable sharing this part of your identity.

Perhaps start by confiding in someone(s) whom you trust or admire – perhaps they’ve shown open-minded attitudes or even shared their own experiences regarding sexual orientation maps and identity categories such as being lesbian, bisexual women, or transgender people.  project club could be a great distraction.

Living authentically is akin to a wild ride, with its share of highs and lows. It can be both thrilling and scary. Yet, the ride becomes smoother when you embrace your lesbian identity with self-acceptance and self-love.

You might have heard the phrase ‘living life on your own terms’. Well, that’s what living authentically means in this context – embracing who you are as a person beyond societal norms or expectations. This involves accepting yourself wholeheartedly and acknowledging your sexual orientation without shame or guilt.

Self-acceptance: The first step toward authenticity

Acknowledging oneself as a lesbian may not always feel comfortable at first due to various social stigmas. Give yourself time to come to terms with your feelings before deciding when or how you will share them. Taking that initial move towards embracing yourself is critical.

The coming out process often brings about many emotions ranging from joyous relief to depths of fear – yes, it truly encompasses a wide range of emotions. Mental health struggles are real; however, they don’t define us, nor should they keep us from loving ourselves fully.

  • Create a personal self-care plan, including activities that help you feel safe and loved.
  • Engage in community building by joining LGBTQ+ groups or organizations where people react with understanding and support to your shared experiences. This can help foster a feeling of connection as well as bolster psychological well-being.

It’s okay if things don’t instantly go how we’d like when embracing who we truly are. Challenges are part of this journey.

Online resources & helplines

If face-to-face interaction isn’t quite right yet, don’t fret. There are plenty of virtual lifelines ready and waiting when you need them most – whether it’s a crisis counselor from The Trevor Project hotline ( or peer-based forums found across the web.

These platforms provide immediate help 24/7, which is critical when mental health struggles arise during this transitional period in life. Remember: You are never alone.

In addition to helplines like and phone lifeline services from Lambda Legal, many websites also offer self-care ideas, which can be very useful, especially after sharing personal news with someone(s) important in your life.

Whether seeking safety plans post-coming-out conversations gone awry or simply needing self-care plan ideas for mental health, these online resources can be a lifesaver.


What to say when someone comes out as lesbian?

Show support and respect. You might say, “I’m here for you” or “Thank you for trusting me with this.”

Is it too soon to come out?

No one can decide but you. Consider your readiness, safety, and comfort before making that call.

What are the positive effects of coming out?

You get authenticity and freedom from hiding. Plus, it is a chance to deeper connections with others who understand your journey.

What are the benefits of coming out of the closet?

Liberation from secrets leads to improved mental health, self-esteem boosts, and potential community support from fellow LGBTQ+ folks.

Remember, you are not alone!

Navigating the emotional complexities of coming out as a lesbian can be scary, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Uncovering your sexual orientation and accepting yourself is the starting point for exploring your identity.

Connecting with people close to you, or even those from digital networks, can assist in making the transition smoother. However challenging it might be initially, sharing who you truly are with loved ones often leads to stronger relationships.

Mental health is paramount during this journey – so remember to practice self-care and reach out for professional help if needed. Be proud of living authentically in school and community settings while building bridges toward inclusivity.

Be patient with yourself, find strength within community support, and cherish every moment of growth along the way! 

Robyn Exton

Robyn is the CEO & Founder of HER. Find her on Twitter.

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