What Should You Do After Coming Out?

After coming out, many gay people are left wondering, "Now what?" You might have devoted a lot of time and energy thinking about how you were going to come out to friends and family, that the day after never crosses your mind until it is actually the next day. If you recently came out and are unsure of what you should do next, here are a few suggestions.  

Join a Support Group 

Even if your friends and family were supportive and accepting of who you are, talking to other people who have had the experience of coming out is important. In a support group, you have a chance to talk about the feelings that resulted from coming out, your family's reaction, and what you want to do in the future.  

If a support group is not your style, you can turn to other places for support. For instance, you can join a gay kickball league. As a member of the league, you do not have to worry about being someone other than yourself. You also have a chance to interact with others who have shared experiences. Your family and friends are important, but becoming part of the LGBT community is invaluable. Organizations like America's Finest Kickball League are a great place to start.

Do Not Be Afraid to Date 

Coming out should make it easier for you to date people you are attracted to, right? Unfortunately, this is not always true. If you have been careful in the past to hide your relationships, dating publicly now can be a challenge. You might even feel as if everyone is watching you and your date when you are out.  

It might be tempting to stay at home or continue to hide your dates, but you should get out there and date. Chances are, most people will not care who you are dating, which means no staring while you are out. If you are having trouble approaching people, try using a dating app. The point is to overcome your shyness and anxiety so that you can one day find a healthy relationship. 

Tune Out Hurtful People 

Ideally, all of your friends and family will embrace who you are. Although those relationships are important to you, you might have to tune out those people who cannot accept you. If you have to change your phone number, filter your emails, or stop answering the door, do so. What is most important right now is how you feel about yourself.  

After you have had time to further explore this newly revealed part of yourself, then you can consider inviting those people back into your life. However, you do not have to accept anyone who is unwilling to accept you for who you are.