Coming out is unfortunately still a thing that loads of LGBTQ+ people feel the need to do, because, well, being straight and cisgender is still seen as "the norm". Hopefully, one day, it won't even be necessary to have to explain to people that your gender identity or sexuality is different from what they expect. For now, it's still very much 'A Thing' - and certainly not a one time thing, either.
But what happens when you come out to your female friends. Are they always supportive, or do they sometimes get a bit weird/homophobic? Here, queer women who also identify as lesbian, bisexual and pansexual explain how coming out impacted their friendships with straight women. If you're a straight person reading this: some of the below are masterclasses in how not to act when your pal comes out to you.
1."When I started being more confident about saying it out loud, it was a trip. We could go from talking about gory details of our masturbation habits to trying anal for the first time. But as soon as I mentioned I liked ladies, a lot of my girlfriends would clam up or freeze. I never got any direct 'well don't hit on me' responses but they might have if I hadn't been dating my now-husband."
2."I only really 'came out' to a couple of people. I just kind of slipped it into casual conversations with others. Most of them were completely normal about it, but one girl asked if I'd ever had a crush on her and got kind of annoyed when I said no (even though she was straight)."
3."Two got awkward, but I knew they were homophobes long before I knew I was bi, so no surprise there. The rest didn't care one bit. I'm not [friends with them anymore]. One I see once a year at another friend's birthday party, the other one I haven't seen since graduation."
6."They were all happy for me. It took me a while to get over my impostor syndrome, so when I was finally comfortable enough to claim the identity for myself, they were more proud of me than anything. I also don't fuck with bigots. I'm very picky about the kinds of people I allow in my life, and anyone who'd be uncomfortable with a queer friend would not be my friend to begin with."
7."I’m bisexual. To my high school friends: two got really weird and thought I wanted them and stopped talking to me, two basically shrugged and said it was cool, and the other two, who were already out as bi, hugged me and we went out for food. To my [uni] friends: one made some unrelated transphobic comments (?!), most of them made an, 'OK cool' sort of comment, and one immediately tried to set me up with her lesbian friend. I don’t think any other times that I’ve come out to people have been remarkable in anyway. More, 'wow, really? I wouldn’t have guessed' sorts of comments than I’d like to hear, because wtf is a bisexual woman supposed to look/act like, you know?"
10."When I came out in high school I had three friends who were very supportive and we're still friends now. Most said they didn't care, but our friendships deteriorated. They just weren't interested in maintaining a friendship after I came out. And then there was a handful (spilt between girls and guys) that were extremely homophobic. They spread rumours, vandalised my locker, stuff like that."
11."One of my friends of five years hugged me and said 'I’m not hitting on you or anything, it’s just a hug'. Thanks for the clarification."
12."My friends of all genders all know just because of stuff I've said during random conversations. The only time it ever came up as a question was when we'd been discussing a guy I'd got with and a girl I liked messaged me. A female friend (it was a girls' night out for a friend's 21st) asked if I was bi. I said, 'yeah' and that was that. All of my friends are cool with it. I know I'm lucky to have such a good group of friends."