LGBTea & Cakes

LGBTea & Cakes is a magazine-style Movella jam-packed with original LGBT+ themed baking recipes (such as "pride flag shortbread", "transgender blender" and "pansexual pies"), general LGBT+ related advice (including coming out tips, identity definitions and dealing with bullying). A single Q&A page will also be included and updated regularly with your questions, so please comment both baking queries and/or LGBT+ related questions and I'll post answers as soon as I can. [REGULARLY UPDATED]

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6. Coming Out - When Is It Safe?

Coming Out - When Is It Safe?

​Coming out...it's one of the most frightening and rewarding experiences that an LGBT+ individual can go through. While you're "in the closet", so many thoughts are buzzing through your head; will my parents/carers accept me? Will my friends stick by me? Will I get bullied? These are all questions that pose two kinds of answers - the relieving one, and the distressing one. Only once you come out will you truly know the answers, but there are ways of knowing if it's safe for you to come out, and this is what this page is all about.

​Discussing the topic of sexuality or gender can seem embarrassing when it comes to parents/carers, regardless of whether you're straight, gay, transgender, genderqueer or any other identity on the planet. The idea of talking about relationships, sexuality and gender identity can be uncomfortable for a lot of people, so don't feel like you are abnormal for feeling this way. To establish whether it is safe to come out to your parents/carers or not, you should consider the information in the following points.

​Are they obviously homophobic or transphobic? If they frequently use homophobic or transphobic slurs, then they are probably homophobic/transphobic although they could just be uneducated on sexuality and gender identity and therefore not be empathetic towards the LGBT+ community. Trying to educate them subtly without letting on that you are LGBT+ is a way of determining this; if they were just misunderstanding the LGBT+ community, then they should begin to show some empathy and maybe stop using these slurs, but if homophobia/transphobia is etched into their beliefs, then they would most likely dismiss what you say and continue to insult the LGBT+ community. (To see a by-no-means-complete list of offensive slurs towards the LGBT+ community, just skip to the end of this page.)

​The general attitude of your friends towards the LGBT+ community is always vital to working out if they will support you when you come out. If they use homophobic or transphobic slurs, then they either think (somehow) that it's cool, or they really are homophobic/transphobic. Similar to the advice about parents/carers, try to educate your friends or tell them that it's wrong to use those slurs. Also observe their general behaviour; do they criticise or bully others based on their sexuality or perceived sexuality? Do they rely on stereotypes to make judgements, and call effeminate males "gay" and short-haired girls "lesbian"? Do they use the word "gay" to mean "bad" or "faulty"? It's important to try and work out their attitude towards the LGBT+ community.

​It's also useful to ask your parents or friends directly what they think about the LGBT+ community. You could try asking;

​- What do you think about (insert sexuality) people?

​- What do you think about (insert gender identity) people?

​- My friend came out as gay the other day. What would you do if you were in my situation?

​It's ok to make up scenarios like that last point, as that way you won't raise suspicions about your own sexuality or gender identity.

​The best test of their beliefs around the LGBT+ community would be to express your support of it. If you were to say something like "I hate homophobia, it's so narrow-minded" or "I support LGBT+ rights", then your friends' or parents' reactions will tell you how they feel. They may say "me too" or "homophobia sucks". Then you know it's probably safe to come out to them. However, if they were to say "ew no, they're all a bunch of faggots" or "trannies are disgusting", then you know that it's not the best idea to come out to them. In fact (regarding your friends) do you really want to be hanging around with people like that? It's something to consider.

​Lastly, if you believe that someone may be homophobic or transphobic, or you can't tell what they believe, then you need to consider the following;

​- will I be likely to suffer from bullying if I come out?

​- will I be kicked out of my home?

- will my parents be hostile towards me?

​- will I suffer from physical or emotional abuse at home?

- do I have a back up plan if any of the above happen?

​If you choose to come out and things do go wrong, then please contact someone who can help you. If you are being bullied, tell a teacher or someone you trust. If your teachers are also being hostile, then you should call the non-emergency police and report it because this is more serious. If your parents become hostile, emotionally or physically abusive, or try to kick you out, then you should call the non-emergency police to report the abuse or talk to a trusted adult. If you feel unable to talk to anyone you know, you should consider talking to helplines such as Childline, Samaritans, etc. Don't suffer in silence.

Homophobic, Transphobic and LGBT+ offensive slurs;

- Tranny (transphobia)

- Faggot/Fag (homophobia)

- Shemale (transphobia)

- He-she (transphobia)

- Using "it" or incorrect pronouns (transphobia)

- Poof/Poofter (homophobia)

​- Dyke (homophobia, specifically towards lesbians)

​- Lezzer, Lesbo, or Lezzie (homophobia, specifically towards lesbians)

​- Fairy (homophobia, usually towards gay men)

- Queen (homophobia, usually towards gay men)

​- Batty Boy / Bummer Boy (homophobia, specifically towards gay men)

​- Bent/Bender (homophobia, although occasionally adopted by the LGBT+ community to describe themselves, similar to the adoption of the word "Queer". It is still an offensive slur so be careful how/where you use it.)

- Gaysian (homophobia, specifically towards gay Asian men)

​- Shirt Lifter (homophobia, specifically towards gay men)

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