How to Deal With Rejection From Family After Coming Out

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Coming out can be a risk and isn't always a pleasant experience, especially if you've been rejected by your family or friends. How you deal with this situation can make all the difference in leading a healthy same-gender loving lifestyle.

The following tips can help you deal with the potential aftermath of coming out.

Will My Family Reject Me If I Come Out?

Not everyone is comfortable with same-gender-loving people in any form (being gay or bisexual), which makes coming out to others a risky choice. To most, the rewards far outweigh the backlash from a not-so-comfortable family member. But first, you must get to that stage of self-acceptance.

Many of us tend to assume that an openly homophobic family includes everyone. Often times, we don't give all of our family members an equal chance at communicating their comfort level. We either shut them all out or let them all in depending on the response of those in which we look for the most acceptance (usually our mothers, fathers or primary caretaker).

Some family and friends will accept you for who you are. They may not vocalize it right away, but they will once they've had time to process your revelation. This may be a cousin, sibling, uncle, aunt or several people. If you choose to confide in one, confide in them all. Don't let the rumor mill do the job for you. You'll inevitably lose some loved ones in the battle, but continuing a relationship with those that love you unconditionally is a beautiful experience.

How to Deal With the Pain of Rejection If It Happens

It can be devastating when someone you love (and thought loved you) rejects you because of your sexuality. This is one of the main reasons why the gay teen suicide rate is more than 30 percent of all teen suicides. Don't become a statistic! People reject others based on their own fear or comfort level. These feelings are their issues, not yours.

Most gay men experience some emotional pain after coming out. Know that there is a loving support network out there for you. It may be the previously mentioned gay-affirmative family member or friend or a newly formed family of other gay people. Surround yourself with these accepting and positive people. Talk through your pain even if it is difficult. Confiding in others with similar experiences can be very helpful, and releasing your old coming out wounds will greatly help move on to a healthy and fulfilled gay lifestyle. This takes time and a lot of forgiveness of yourself and others, but the liberation is well worth it. Find a support network and someone who can help you through this tough period of your life. Ultimately, only time and some work will heal your wounds. Let the pain out so you can move on.

What to Do If You Don't Have Gay Friends or Resources Around to Support You

Many gay or questioning men feel lonely and afraid after they come out. When you come out, you may feel like you are the only inhabitant of a remote island with no chance of escape- longing for someone to help me and understand your pain. Don't wait to be rescued. There is help only a phone call, chat, or click away.

Many GLBTQ people (both questioning and out) turn to gay community centers for support programs with professionals available to help you. The atmosphere is open, confidential and friendly. Most gay centers also have a safe and anonymous crisis helpline. If there is no center near you, call their helpline for assistance.

Some gay men also turn to discussion forums on the net, creating an online family. Be wary of negative comments and advice. Turn your back on any negativity or judgments against you--you've had enough of that. Also, be cautious when meeting others online. Your safety should always be your top priority.

Some gay men also get professional help to guide them through the aftermath of coming out. Find a gay-affirmative therapist to help you heal your pain. Seeing a therapist doesn't mean you're crazy or mentally ill. The right professional can greatly accelerate your healing process, helping you develop a new perspective on life and ultimately a new beginning. 

What to Do If Your Parents Kick You Out

There are thousands of gay teens living on the streets. Some ran away and others were forced to leave. If you find yourself homeless with nowhere to go, seek help immediately. Keep a gay community center helpline number with you at all times. Explain your situation and wait for a referral. Not all places have resources for gay homeless youth, but there are organizations like the Ruth Ellis Center that can help. Choose an option that is safer than the streets.

What to Do Next If You've Experienced Rejection or Pain After Coming Out

A painful coming out experience may seem like a regrettable move at first; but, if dealt with correctly, the emotional roller coaster eventually becomes a cleansing process. Steer clear of substances, such as drugs or alcohol. They only numb the pain temporarily, leaving you with the same pain, perhaps a worse situation, and a bad habit.

There is a healthy and fulfilling future waiting for you. Once you find a safe environment and positive support system, start to develop your new life goals. You have a choice in what kind of person you want to be and who you want to become. Many gay men go on to have families, including stable relationships and children. Being gay or bisexual does not define who you are, it is merely a part of you. Others may see this as a deficiency on your part, but again, that's their issue. Your sexual and emotional feelings are normal and you are not alone. Now create a new life, defined by you.