News & Articles

Coming Out as LGBTQ+ as an Adult

By Joel Davidson, L.P.C.

One often hears about adolescents or young adults coming out as LGBTQ+ earlier in life.  What about adults?  Why do some adults come out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender later in life?  What are some things adults need to consider in their coming out process?

Coming to terms with one’s own gender or sexual identity takes time.  There is no prescribed timeline for the journey of self-discovery.  For some, the “coming out” process can be very easy.  The individual might have a strong sense of self, knowing who they are and how they want to live their life.  They might have a strong support system with family and friends who know, love and accept them. They may live in a community or region that is accepting and supportive of the LGBTQ+ community, both politically and socially.

For others, the process can take a long time for a variety of reasons.  For younger adults, it might be because their home life prevented them from being open about their authentic selves.  Maybe their local, civic or faith communities are less tolerant or accepting, or they are not able to access support and resources.  For older adults, maybe coming out was not an option, they were not sure about their identity or orientation or suppressed their feelings.  Some may be in marriages or have children and are concerned about those important relationships.

Regardless of the reasons, being able to live your authentic life is important for your mental well-being.

At CFSC, we can help adults with the coming out process and address a variety of different issues you may or may not have considered to help support your journey of self-affirmation, such as:

  • Relationships with friends and family
  • Being out at work
  • Educational considerations
  • Financial considerations
  • Affirming and supportive medical care
  • Connecting with the LGBTQ+ community
  • Communal and professional resources
  • Safety concerns
  • Dating and social media
  • Mental health support

Each individual brings their own story and unique circumstances.  We are here to help you process your concerns and feelings, work through what might be holding you back, and support you through your coming out process so you can feel more confident and proudly live your life openly and authentically.

If you feel like you or somebody you care about is in need of additional support, CFSC is here for you. Please call us at 248-851-5437to get started with supportive services.