Kids Queer-ies: How Should I React When Someone Comes Out

Art by Ryan Thomas-Palmer.

Art by Ryan Thomas-Palmer.

Disclaimer: Much of the queer experience and queer indentity does not exist in black-and-white and it is hard for many queer people to definitively explain or categorize things about themselves or their lives. That being said, if you believe any of the information below to be inaccurate or you have other concerns regarding this series, please comment below, or contact us at

The way to react when a queer person comes out is largely dependent on the way they come out.

When some people come out, it is clearly an important and emotional event for them. In that situation, an appropriate reaction would likely be to remind that person that you care about them and support them. Some people come out in ways that are more nonchalant; they might make a passing comment about their sexual orientation or gender, or share their identity in a joke. In situations like these, an appropriate response would likely look different, such as laughing at the joke or not reacting emotionally to the passing comment.

No matter how a person comes out, it is important for the people they come out to keep that information confidential. Unless a queer person says their identity is public, they might feel uncomfortable with someone else sharing it with others, so it is best to err on the side of caution.

For more information on coming out, please listen to Episode Four of Kids These Days, a podcast by Michigan Radio and CHS.