LGBTQIASupporting Someone - Coming Out

Supporting Someone: Coming Out

27 June 2023

When they come out, be the rock they need. Learn the dos and don'ts of providing love, acceptance, and understanding.

Emma Doran

Emma Doran

Counsellor @ uHub Therapy Centre

When someone decides to “come out” and share their sexuality, it can be a daunting experience for that person. They may have been thinking about coming out to you for quite some time, and are scared that the response may be negative. If a loved one comes out to you and shares with you their sexuality, the most important thing is to show acceptance and non judgement.  

Here are some do’s and don’ts if a loved one comes out to you



  • Listen quietly and carefully, don’t interrupt what they’re saying.
  • Thank them for being open and trusting you.
  • Reassure them that you love and accept them and that nothing has changed.
  • Educate yourself- if you are unsure about terminology or something that they have said , do some research and don’t be afraid to respectfully ask questions, they will appreciate that you are trying to learn.
  • Give them comfort. Comforting words or a hug go a long way and for some people they will be scared or anxious so this may be appreciated! 



  • Be judgemental.
  • Use phrases such as “are you sure” – phrases like this can be invalidating. The individual may have been questioning their sexuality for a while and this phrase can be harmful and cause anxiety.
  • Say things like “I already knew” or “I’m not surprised” again these phrases can invalidate the personal journey that person has been on.
  • Make inappropriate comments or jokes or ask invasive questions.
  • Do not share their sexuality with anyone else. They will tell other people if and when they are ready it is not yours to share. 

Be a source of comfort, understanding, and acceptance for your loved ones. Let's make Northern Ireland a place where everyone feels celebrated! 

This video below shows more ways in which you can support someone who comes out to you. 🌈💙



Get Inspired Further

coming out experience

Guest blogger, Ronan Hamiliton, shares their coming out experience and how it meant learning who their close friends are.

questioning your sexuality

The realisation that you may have feelings for someone of the same sex can create a whirlwind of worries. 

coming out when married

Waking up to who I really was, finding my own true self and more importantly - accepting my own true self, was one of the biggest pieces of work I've ever taken on. It’s also one of my proudest achievements.


If you are experiencing distress or are in a mental health crisis please contact
Lifeline on 0808 808 8000


“The more we share,
the more we have ”

Get Involved WIth Find Help NIJoin the Conversation


Add your organisation
or business to the directory

askBecome A Member Today!