October 10, 2022
Coming out is not a simple act. It is a brave and life-saving process that can be difficult for many people within the LGBTQIA+ community. For those who are closeted, it can be a struggle to keep up the act of living outside your truth. It can be exhausting to pretend to be someone you're not and to constantly worry about who might find out your secret.
For many people, coming out is the first step in living a more authentic life. It can be liberating to finally be open and honest about who you are. It can also be a relief to no longer have to hide your true self from the world. However, coming out can also be dangerous. In some countries, it is still illegal to be LGBTQIA+. And in many places, it is not safe to be out and proud. LGBTQIA+ people face discrimination and violence daily.
There is now a large body of research that shows that when LGBTQIA+ people can be open and honest about their sexual orientation and gender identity, it leads to better mental health outcomes. For example, one study found that LGBTQIA+ youth who were out to their friends and families had less anxiety and depression, and were more likely to report higher self-esteem than those who were not out.
Another study found that LGBTQIA+ adults who were out to their families had better mental health overall, including lower levels of anxiety and depression, and higher levels of self-esteem and life satisfaction. Furthermore, being out was associated with increased mental health resilience – that is, the ability to cope with stressors and setbacks in life.
These findings are echoed by other research on the topic. Overall, it appears that when LGBTQIA+ people can be open about their sexual orientation and gender identity, they experience better mental health outcomes. This may be because they feel more accepted and supported by their loved ones, or because they are no longer hiding a crucial part of themselves from the world.
This is why it is so important that our society creates change. We need to create safe spaces for LGBTQIA+ people to come out and live their lives openly and proudly. We need to create a world where being LGBTQIA+ is not seen as something shameful or wrong.