First, we want to reassure you that we aren’t advocating for anyone and everyone to come out of the closet about their sexual orientation or HIV status before they are ready.
These are personal choices with long lasting consequences that only you know if you are ready to handle. But, the science is clear on the benefits of coming out. In short, you will be happier. A team of researchers from the University of Montreal have joined the chorus of scientists getting into the weeds of our mental health and sexuality.
“among their sample of 87 participants, gay and bisexual men actually had a slightly lesser chance of depression and anxiety, along with lower stress levels (as indicated by cortisol and 20 other biomarkers) than heterosexual men”, after coming out.
“Perhaps most significant, though, was the secondary finding that they hadn’t even been searching for: In their study, lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals all tended to have lower stress levels and a smaller chance of depressive symptoms if they’d come out to friends and family than those who’d kept their sexual orientation a secret. “Coming out,” the authors write, “may no longer be a matter of popular debate, but of public health.”
Currently, there are no studies on the effects of coming out as HIV positive, but as PrEP becomes more accepted and guys understand that Undetectable equals Uninfectious, we are hoping that stigma will subside and men will be able to come out safely to their partners, friends and family.
If you are thinking about coming out, here are some great tips.
10 things to consider and think about.
Before you go, we would like to (re)introduce you to Dr. Ron Holt.
Dr. Holt is a board-certified psychiatrist, motivational speaker, author, and facilitator who resides in San Francisco, California. He is the author of the #1 international best selling Amazon e-book PRIDE: You Can’t Heal If You’re Hiding from Yourself. Ron is passionate about issues relevant to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) communities and is a leader in the LGBTQ happiness and mental health world.
The good Doctor has a YOUTUBE video series about coming out that might help you and those you love. CHECK IT OUT