How to Write a Coming Out Letter

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Coming out in a letter is a good option for people who express themselves best in writing. Writing can also help you organize and present your thoughts without distractions, lip-locking nerves, an overload of emotion or interruption from your family members.

Tips for Writing a Letter to Come Out to Friends and Family

These suggestions can help you write a coming out letter to family or friends.

Don't be short on words. A letter is a great way to purge emotions and express your feelings at the same time. Let your thoughts flow freely. Try freestyle writing, where you write without stopping for a certain length of time. Then reorganize your thoughts to make them more coherent.

Forget about the rules. Your coming out letter isn't a term paper, and there is no standard format to follow. Organize your thoughts without dwelling on spelling, grammar, or structure.

Write about the past, present and future. In your letter, express how being in the closet has made you feel and what it means for you to come out. Talk about your vision for the future and how important it is to have their support.

Don't make assumptions. You know your family best and may anticipate a certain reaction, but they may surprise you. Keep in mind that each member of your family may process the information differently. So, in your letter, be sure to express yourself without attacking.

Dispel myths. Your letter is a great place to educate your family and friends. Clear up any myths, stereotypes or misconceptions they may have about LGBTQ people.

Follow up. Writing a letter is a very personal way of communicating. However, you should follow-up and have a face-to-face discussion with your relatives.

Reinforce your thoughts. During your face-to-face time, reiterate the thoughts and feelings expressed in your letter. Make a bulleted version of your letter and keep it on hand. That way you can reference it just in case you freeze during your person-to-person talks.