How to Come Out on Social Media

Should You Come Out on Facebook or Twitter?

Social Media Apps
Jason Howie

It used to be that coming out meant you had to actually tell everyone in your life that you were lesbian, gay, or bisexual. You had to tell your best friend, your college roommate and Aunt Vivian. Going to events like class reunions were met with a bit of anxiety, not knowing how the people you grew up with were going to respond to your sexual orientation.

But now, with social media like Facebook, it’s quite easy to come out to about everyone in your life without making a big deal about it. But should you come out on Facebook or Twitter?

Should You Come Out on Facebook?

Whether or not to come out on Facebook or other social media is a personal choice. If you are under age 18 and still live with your parents, it probably makes sense to have a conversation with them before you out yourself to the world. Although some people have reported that they’ve come out to their parents via Facebook or even a text message, I still recommend that people come out to their parents face to face, in a conversation, no matter what their age.

Consider People’s Feelings

Before you change your status can come out on Facebook, consider your friend’s and family members feelings. Will anyone feel slighted or put off that you came out in such an impersonal way, rather than telling them yourself? Consider the people close to you and who would want to hear it directly from you before you broadcast to the world.

Job Security

Likewise, if you work for an employer who could view your sexual orientation as a hindrance to job performance, you might not want to be quite so out on Facebook. Or at the very least, set your privacy settings so that only your friends can see your posts.

How to Come Out On Facebook

If you’re in a relationship, it’s easy to come out on Facebook. Just update your status to “in a relationship with,” “married to,” or “in a domestic partnership with.” Pretty easy.

How can you come out on Facebook if you’re not in a relationship? You can come out by sharing information and links to stories of interest to the LGBT community. For example, you can link to some of the stories published here on Lesbian Life that interest you. You can like different LGBT causes or personalities. A big fan of Melissa Etheridge, The Indigo Girls, and Rachel Maddow? Ding! Ding! You’re probably a lesbian.

You can also change your picture to one that says it. A cute pic of two girls kissing might mean one thing when a straight man uses that as his profile pic, but when a woman does it, it says to the world, “I am lesbian or bisexual!” Add rainbows to your profile. Like different LGBT political organizations.

Take advantage of National Coming Out Day and note something in your status that indicates you’re LGBT. “So happy to be gay today!” should be about all it takes.

Dealing with Peripheral People

What do you do when conservative Uncle Jack sends you a friend request? You have never actually come out to him and you’re quite sure by the “marriage=1 man + 1 woman” bumper sticker on his car how he feels about your sexuality. In a situation like this, you have a few options. You can accept his friend request, but not allow him to see any of your posts. Or maybe you’re up for the challenge and want him to have a glimpse into the LGBT world. If so, so ahead and let him in. Just be sure to monitor his comments. It might be upsetting to your friends to see homophobic rants on your page.