Gentle reminder that extremely excited, "Oh my gosh this is amazing!" responses to someone coming out can be a bit overwhelming, especially if there are loads of people all responding that way. Sometimes what we need is for people to just be really chill about who we are.
For me at least, the goal is for society to progress to the point where people don't have to come out, and where people's sex / gender / sexuality is just ordinary info about them, like their shoe size or whether they have detached earlobes.
In that ideal (for me at least) society, learning that someone is (for example) bisexual wouldn't be responded to with horror or with excitement. It would just be casual. That's what us being normalised looks like. No extremes of response either way.
We don't live in that society yet - we're very far from it - and in this society, where LGBT+ people are still so mistreated, some people do want those hyped up, very vibrant positive responses to coming out. I can understand that. So maybe the best thing to do, if someone comes
out to you, is to let them know that you're really glad for them that they feel able to come out, and if they're excited you want to share that with them, but if they need you to stay chill you can do that too. Give them the choice of what kind of positive reaction you give them.
So this thread isn't about saying we should never respond with very excited, loud / very visible positivity to someone coming out. That can be exactly what some people need. But please check with people first, 'cause some of us need a much more casual, chilled response.
People's excitement can feel very overwhelming, even if they're supportive. But for me, the main thing is that it still feels othering. No-one gets excited about straight people (*tries very hard not to joke about that*) so if they're over-the-top excited to find out that someone
is LGBT+, it still feels like we're being treated as different. And it still treats us coming out as this big Event, when some of us just want it to be a casual thing we can slip into conversation without it being a Massive Thing for days.
Please just check with people before you start gushing about how amazing it is, how brave and inspirational we are for coming out, and so on. Including celebs - they can get particularly extreme and overwhelming responses to coming out. Let people have the option of casualness.
This applies to other LGBT+ folks too. I know we can be very excited when we find out that someone else is LGBT+, especially celebrities we follow. But it's still about them, not us, and we should still check how much excitement they want about who they are.
Some people want/need to hear that who they are is amazing and to be given loads of hyped-up support to make up for the absence of support they've dealt with so far in life.
Some people want/need to hear that who they are is cool, and then move on and go get pizza or something.
Regardless, what responses they have to deal with about their own sex / gender / sexuality should be at least partially up to them. Ask them what they need from you; don't just overwhelm them with excitement without checking if that's ok.
Part of equality, for me, is the option to be treated as utterly mundane. That sounds funny, but it's true. My gender and sexuality literally do not matter and shouldn't be treated as awful OR special.
(It's ok if you're LGBT+ and feel differently to me.)
I want to talk openly about my gender and sexuality, but in a way that is casual, not a way that gets any kind of extreme response, positive or negative. I need that.
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