Coming Out

Coming out is a life long process of understanding, accepting, and acknowledging your identity as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) or a similar identity. Coming out includes both exploring your identity and sharing that identity with others. The first person you have to come out to is yourself.

Coming out happens in different ways and occurs at different ages for different people. College, in particular, is often the time in which students begin to explore their identities and come out to peers, friends, and family members. Whether you are just beginning your coming out process or are well into it, the LGBTQ+ Resource Center has ample resources and knowledgeable staff to help you through this time.

You can also find inspiration at the Coming Out Monologues.

We welcome you to visit us and ask as many questions as you want, gather as much information as you need, and build a support system within our office and among our other visiting students that can last a lifetime. We hope to see you soon!

Support Groups

Project Q

Project Q is the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center’s youth development program and safe space. The program serves lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and allied (LGBTQA) youth and young adults ages 13 to 24 in the greater Milwaukee area. Project Q is a safe, accepting, affirming, drug & alcohol-free environment where LGBTQA youth and young adults can fully identify & express themselves without fear of ridicule & harassment.

Project Q does not hold a specific coming out program, however, it holds drop in hours on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 3:00pm-7:00pm at the MKE LGBT Community Center. Visit their site for the most up to date information.

For more info, contact the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center at (414) 271-2656.

Milwaukee PFLAG

PFLAG promotes the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity.

All meetings are for sharing and caring. Periodically, we have presentations on substantive LGBT issues. We offer a place to talk freely, since we all share similar stories. We support and help each other with problems that arise. We form friendships as we grow in our understanding and acceptance.

Anything discussed at meetings comes under the umbrella of confidentiality and all are asked to honor this.

We meet on the 3rd Sunday each month, August thru May, and the 4th Sunday in June from 5:00 to 7:15pm, at Martin Luther Church, 9235 W. Bluemound Road, Wauwatosa WI.
We do not meet in July.

Click here for a map

We invite you to be a guest for several meetings, but hope you will soon wish to become a member and to support the educational work that we do for our loved ones.

We provide a bi-monthly newsletter that includes events, dates and general information to members.

We offer books for our members that may be borrowed for one month. We also have pamphlets and other reading material available to take. There is a wealth of information that can help in your journey.

Support Between Meetings

We’re here to help each other. If you feel comfortable with someone at the meeting, exchange phone numbers for sharing between meetings. If you don’t know who to call, dial 414-299-9198 and whoever is on the line will be there as a sympathetic listener.

PFLAG Milwaukee
1110 N Market ST, 2nd Floor
Milwaukee WI  53202
p: 414-299-9198

We do not meet in July.

Online Resources

Below are a variety of resources in PDF format.

HRC Coming Out Resource Guide
The Human Rights Campaign has compiled a multi-page brochure of various resources for coming out.

HRC Coming Out as Trans Guide
The Human Rights Campaign has developed a guide around coming out as transgender.

I Think I Might Be Transgender, Now What Do I Do?
Advocates for Youth offers this brochure by and for transgender youth.

Tips for Coming Out as Asexual
A writer for The Asexual Agenda offers advice on what coming out as asexual might look like.

PFLAG Sé Tú Mismo
Preguntas y respuestas para jóvenes gay, lesbianas, bisexuales y transgéneras.

Coming Out as Gay FAQ

I think I might be gay, but I’m not sure. How do I know?

Some people say they’ve always known that they were “different” in some way. When they eventually realized they were gay, many of the things they had felt growing up seemed to make sense. For others, the realization is triggered by the many changes that accompany adolescence. Some don’t recognize their sexual orientation until adulthood.

It is important to remember that, just because someone has had a crush on, or has had a sexual experience with someone of the same sex, that does not necessarily mean that they are LGB+.

Take your time and don’t put any pressure on yourself. Just know that whoever you turn out to be is okay.

How can I be sure I’m gay if I haven’t had sex?

It is possible to know you’re gay even if you’re a virgin or haven’t had a same-sex physical relationship. Being gay isn’t just about sex; it is about emotion. Just like straight people, gay people fall in love and have long-lasting, meaningful relationships. Physical attraction is just one indicator of sexual orientation.

How can I be gay?

“I don’t fit the stereotypes.” It is a common misconception that all gay people are effeminate and all lesbians are masculine. Though there are some people who fit these stereotypes, there are many who don’t. The important thing is that you be yourself.

Should I worry about HIV and AIDS?

Everyone should be informed about HIV and AIDS, not just gay people. It’s not your sexual orientation that puts you at risk for HIV infection, it’s your behavior. HIV is transmitted in three main ways:

(1) Through unprotected sex with an infected person; (2) Through sharing needles or syringes with an infected person; and (3) The virus can be passed from an infected woman to her baby during pregnancy. Be sure to educate yourself regarding not only HIV/AIDS, but also other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Should I “come out”?

Telling other people that you are gay is called “coming out.” Deciding whether to come out is a very personal decision and one that should not be made too quickly. You should only come out if you want to and if you are ready. Coming out is a big decision because, although you hope that your friends and family will support you, it is possible that they won’t. There are many issues to consider before making the decision to come out. You should never come out in anger or frustration, but instead because you love the person you are telling and want to become closer to them. If you are financially dependent on your parents, you may want to wait to come out to them. It is possible that they may react poorly and try to force you out of the house. People come out when they feel ready and remember that it is not your obligation to “come out” to anyone.