Coming Out is a different experience for everyone. It can happen to us - we can be 'outed' - or we can do it ourselves. Some lesbians and gay men choose not to come out. Some people come out quite early, at 16 or 17 or even younger, others have more experience of life before they decide to come out.

There are lots of factors that can make coming out more difficult or seemingly too hard for many of us. Family expectations, religious perspectives and homophobia or hatred can stand in the way of making an effort to be who we are.

Coming out can be a matter of simply acknowledging who we are to others. We all know that we are more than our sexuality, but when the world we live in makes being ourselves difficult it can seem like our sexuality is the biggest thing about us!

Talking with a counsellor can make it easier to continue the process of coming out if that is what you want to do. If you are not ready to speak to a counsellor, we have collected some tips and things to consider in deciding if it is time to come out. You can read our coming out tips by clicking here. You can also go to other sites for How to Come Out to Parents or, if you are a parent, How to Come Out to your Children.

Coming out is a process that happens over time. Because we live in a world dominated by heterosexual culture, some might say that coming out is a 'never-ending process' or that as gay people, we will always have small comings-out throughout our lives. Remember you are not alone in this process. Millions of people have already been through similar situations. Read more about Coming Out here.