Yes, it is coming out day here in the land of the free, home of the brave. If anyone reading this decides to tell someone today, know that your lesbian sisters are here for you. If the fear and reasons not to tell someone feel too great, we are also here for you. NO JUDGEMENT. This stuff is not for sissies and you are loved either way.
I liked Anu’s concept of “assuming the best” as a powerful context from which to react. But what does it take I wonder to mentally make that leap and assume that someone will be a supportive parent, sibling, friend…? (To do “the right thing”) If they are not supportive, how will you respond to them in a powerful way that protects yourself, yet doesn’t make them wrong?
Sometimes making someone else wrong and being angry may feel like the most powerful stance at the time. (We’ve all felt how good self-righteous anger can feel.) Go there in the moment if you must — sometimes it’s all we can do. But remember the high road, which is the knowledge that we have all had time to adjust to our new identity. Shouldn’t we offer someone else the same courtesy? This doesn’t mean we lose our center of power. In fact, when genuinely embodied there is no more powerful place from which to speak.
What has worked for me in tough situations like this is validation. You can validate the person without agreeing with them, “Yes, I know how hard it can be to see someone you love in a new light. You may feel as if you don’t know me. I struggled with this myself in the beginning, but I assure you I’m the same person. This is just one aspect of me and it feels good and right… and I want you to know that I’m happy.” (Or something along those lines…)
Of course if they could be happy for you, that would just be the icing on the cake, but give them some space and time. If there’s a religious reason you might say that you had to do a lot of soul searching yourself, but you realized (for example) Jesus actually never spoke out against homosexuals… (but I digress!) I have found that engaging in a debate (religious or otherwise) with the person at this time will not be productive in any way. Simply tell them that they are entitled to their beliefs as you are to yours, and that you will pray for them. (Sorry I couldn’t resist that last prayer bit, say what feels authentic to you!) The most important thing is to stay within your power center which comes from a place of unconditional love, not a place of shame or blame.
“Gender preference does not define you. Your spirit defines you!”