Come out when you’re ready: how outing can be deadly

Beauty vlogger and makeup artist Nikkie de Jager of the YouTube channel Nikkie Tutorials recently uploaded a video titled “I’m Coming Out.” In this video, de Jager shares with her audience and the rest of the internet that she is a transgender woman. One of the more alarming points that she made in the video was that even though she was coming out, she only did so at this time because people were blackmailing and threatening to expose her. Like de Jager, many queer folks may be forced to come out when they are not ready. 

Outing someone takes away a person’s autonomy. Coming out is a deeply personal and private experience. The person might be dealing with their own feelings as well as the negative repercussions of coming out. Not every coming out experience is as wonderful and joyous as the ones seen in movies like “Love, Simon.” Many people have to deal with homophobia, discrimination and marginalization from their community as well as their families. Outing a person violates their ability to choose who they feel comfortable enough to share such a deeply personal aspect with. 

Outing a person can also have deadly consequences. Even though society claims that it has become more progressive, many queer folk are still harrased and murdered for being themselves. Someone who has been outed may feel cornered and the environment that they are in may turn hostile. Furthermore, a person who has been outed could experience depression, depending on their situation. Not every person who comes out has a safe place to go or friends to call. Hate crimes and suicide are especially rampant in the queer community. Some people who have been outed have commited suicide due to bullying. Others have been victims of hate crimes simply because of how they identify, and many trans folks have been murdered for being themselves openly. 

Coming out is a different journey for everyone. Everyone has the right to come out on their own time, no matter what, and no one should pressure anyone to come out before they are ready. A person may only feel comfortable coming out to a couple people. This should be kept private until they are out publicly. Even if a person has not disclosed their personal identity to anyone else, it is no one else’s business. A person will come out when they are ready to do so. 

 

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