Someone came out to me! Now what?
DO thank them for trusting you enough to share this with them.
DON’T say, “I always knew”.
DO ask who they’re out to or who they are okay with knowing.
DON’T out them to other people without their permission.
DO involve their partner in social activities as you would if they were straight.
DON’T suggest that this is “just a phase”.
DO ask how you can best support them.
DON’T say, “I still love you”. This suggests that you love them despite their identity.
DO tell them you love them if appropriate for your relationship.
DON’T tell them that they should have told you sooner.
DO ask for their pronouns if they haven’t told you.
DON’T ask them if they are sure.
DO educate yourself by reading about their identity.
DON’T tell them that you will probably mess up their new name/pronouns. This suggests that their identity is a burden to you.
DO ask appropriate, non-judgmental questions.
DON’T ask probing, invasive questions.
DO be conscious that many people live and work in environments that are unsafe for LGBTQ people. If you think this may apply to your friend, ask if they have a safe living and/or work environment.
DON’T use religion to judge or condemn them. If you have a religious relationship with the person, this may be a conversation they wish to have, but your initial reaction should be one of support (which can include religious support if appropriate).
DO commit to challenging homophobic/transphobic statements you hear others making.
DON’T deny their identity or suggest that they are confused.
DO respect their privacy. It is up to them when, how, and if they wish to tell others.
DON’T bring up stereotypes about their identity.
DO remember that while their LGBTQ identity isn’t all that they are, it’s an important part of who they are and not accepting it means that you don’t accept them.