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What Can You Expect When You Come Out Later in Life?

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If you've come out as gay later in life, you know that it can pose it's own set of challenges. Like your friends and family treating you different.

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There are some very relevant and important shows on TV right now that detail the interesting journey of showing your true self later in life.  Such as Transparent or Grace and Frankie.  The latter deals with how two older men come out as gay.  It makes you wonder how someone can live so long without being their true self?  I’m not saying that in a judgmental way.  I think that it’s awful to not be able to identify as your true self for so long.  I can only imagine how hard it is to come out, especially when friends, family and colleagues only know you in a certain way.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad thing.  But it can be hard for them to adjust their idea of who you are.  And while you can’t live by someone else’s opinion of you, it can add to your stress.

 

 

Some Woke People Weren’t That Woke

You might be surprised to find out that some of your friends who always claimed to be “totally woke” aren’t.  They may have claimed to be very supportive of the gay community, but they might be uneasy about you coming out.  Prior to you coming out, they just had to say they were supportive.  Now they actually have to show it.

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Some Friends Change Their Behaviour

Some of your silly friends may change their behaviour.  They might wonder if you’re secretly harbouring feelings for them all these years.  If they’re your true friends, they will get over it and get used to it.  And if they don’t, well that’s their loss.  A wise friend of mine always said that if your “friends” change when you change, or are going through something, they were never really your friends.

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Some Friends Will Be Angry

Some of your friends will be angry with you for keeping such a big secret about yourself.  They might even say – I thought we were best friends and it turns out that I barely knew you.  Which is a huge overgeneralization for them to say that.  But you have to be prepared for your friends to react in all kinds of different ways.

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People Will Tell You Why They “Always Knew”

You also need to prepare yourself for those friends who insist that they always knew.  And then start listing off the reasons they always knew you were gay.  These reasons might range from your interests and hobbies, evne to the way you dress or walk.  It’s their own misguided attempt at showing you they accept you for who you are.  And attempting to keep their egos in check. Don’t let it get to you.

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Friends Will Introduce You to Their Gay Friends

Sure your friends try to set you up with people they know all the time.  But now that you’re out, they will try to introduce you to anyone they know who is gay.  As if you’re going to struggle to find someone to date.  They are just trying to help.  Don’t be offended either.  Having more friends and meeting new people definitely doesn’t hurt.

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If You’re a Parent, it’s Very Complicated

If you’re a parent and you come out later in life, it’s going to be complicated.  You will have to figure out what to tell your children and that isn’t easy.  Nor is introducing them to the people you date.  It could be a good idea to speak to a child psychiatrist about how to talk to your kids.  You never know how they’re going to react, and it’s always good to be prepared.

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You May Finally Change Your Appearance

For years you may have been dressing in a way that you don’t like.  Or you have a haircut you hate just because you feel it represented who you are.  But now, you’re finally free to show your true colours through your looks.  Do this for yourself, though, and not for anyone else.

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It Can Be Hard On Your Parents

While it might not be fair, keep in mind the affect your coming out will have on your parents.  They are from a different generation and they might not be as comfortable discussing homosexuality.  Again, it’s not fair, but they also have to figure out their feelings about the new you.  Give them time, and keep in mind that it’s hard for them as well.

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You’ll Distance Yourself From Hetero Friends for a While

You will likely distance yourself from your hetero friends for a while.  You need to dive into the gay community, as you’ve been missing out for decades.  This means you will naturally distance yourself from your heterosexual friends for a while because you need time to build a different friend group.  That doesn’t mean that all your friends have to be gay, but you’ll want to experience all that the gay community has to offer.

Older Relatives

You Just Don’t Tell Some Older Relatives

Unfortunately, we all have relatives that might not be as accepting about your true self, as others.  So you might end up not telling them.  It’s up to you, though.  Live your truth.

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You’ll Feel Like a Virgin Again

If you’re just coming out now, then you likely don’t have that much sexual experience in the way that really maters to you.  You have to learn how to be good in bed, as a gay person, and that can be daunting.  Especially since everyone you meet already knows what to do.  But that will make all your first experiences kind of exciting, don’t you think?

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You Inspire Others to Come Out

Don’t be surprised if your coming out inspires others to come out.  You may have friends or family members who just didn’t want to totally feel alone if they came out late.  And now, you’ve shown them they won’t feel that way.

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You Have to Learn to Ask Women Out

You’re so used to being asked out, but now you will have to learn the art of asking women out.  You have to learn to identify when a woman is interested in you.  You knew when men were interested as it was obvious, but it’s a whole different art with women.

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You’re The “Late in Life Lesbian”

Within the gay community, you will be known as the “late in life lesbian”.  It’s kind of like being the new kid in town, and it’s your senior year.  Everybody already knows everyone’s business.  Like who has slept with who and everyone is fascinated by you.  You will likely feel like a deer in the headlights.

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You’ll Feel Like a Weight Has Been Lifted

But it will all be worth it, as you’ll feel like a weight has been lifted off of you.  After all of the obstacles that will come with coming out late in life, you’ll end up feeling happier than you ever thought you could feel.  You will realize that going through the process of coming out, and all that comes with that, is so worth it and you cannot believe you waited so long.  In a sense, you will feel like your life is finally starting.

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