Speak Out: Did You Ever Regret Coming Out?
A few days ago, openly gay actor Sir Ian McKellen sent out a tweet celebrating the 30th anniversary of his coming out as a gay man. In the tweet, McKellen declared that he’s “never met a person who’s regretted coming out”, saying that life “begins to make sense, when you are open and honest.”
I’ve never met a gay person who regretted coming out – including myself. Life at last begins to make sense, when you are open and honest. Today is the 30th anniversary of the BBC radio discussion when I publically said I was gay. So I’m celebrating!
— Ian McKellen (@IanMcKellen) January 27, 2018
McKellen’s life certainly went well after that declaration. The thespian has had a storied career, even gaining mainstream recognition through his involvement in genre movies like the X-Men series and the Academy Award-winning The Lord of the Rings movies. He’s also been nominated twice for an Academy Award — one for Gods and Monsters and another for The Fellowship of the Ring.
But coming out isn’t always a happy occasion, and can be fraught with a lot of anxiety and drama. Just underneath McKellen’s tweet is a reply from @emvinno saying that he regretted coming out to family because he “did it wrong”.
I regret coming out to my family, I totally did it wrong, I got all anxious and made excuses like “oh uh my schools always been open to the idea so I guess it changed me” no it didn’t, I fell in love and I couldn’t stop that love. I feel like I need to come out again or something
— ごみ/ HAPPY BDAY PHIL! (@emvinno) January 27, 2018
There’s also the fact that for a lot of LGBTQ youth, coming out could often result to abuse or homelessness. In a study by Lesley University, it was discovered that 50% of all teens get a negative reaction from their parents when they come out, and that one in four teens are forced to leave their homes after coming out to their parents. Understandably, this may not put coming out in a favorable light to these young members of the LGBTQ community.
We want to know from you guys if you’ve ever regretted the decision to come out. Did you ever experience the rejection mentioned in the Lesley University study? What advice would you guys give to young gay teens thinking whether it would be a good decision to come out? Share your advice and stories in the comments section below.