The hardest part about coming out

The hardest part about coming out is the uncertainty. You’re exposing a very private part of your life to the world, and you don’t really know what you’re inviting by doing so. For a lot of people, coming out is becoming more of a moment about love and acceptance. But for as many Love, Simon cases, where you have supportive friends and family, there are just as many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people who are met with hate and rejection.

It gets better” is a common phrase among the LGBTQ community, but that time between the “now” and the “later” is what worries me. Not for myself, of course. I’ve faced my fair share of hate and discrimination in life, and I learned how to handle those — although your guard is never fully down. I fear for those young LGBTQ people still in the closet who are thinking of coming out in our current social and political climate.

To be sure, it has never been more socially acceptable to be gay. Yes, Chechnya is going through a gay purge (killing, imprisoning and torturing gay men) to this day; gays in the Middle East and India face shunning and discrimination; and being out as an LGBTQ person in Latin America could get you murdered. But as far as history goes, this is the best we’ve gotten. Sad, I know.

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