This article first appeared in The Age
“How do I come out?”
This is the question most often put to Rory Blundell, 20, when he gives talks to high school students about gender, sexuality and his own experience of coming out as a trans man.
Many young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students find the concept terrifying, says Blundell, but their questions are difficult to answer because everyone’s personal situation is different.
Rory Blundell, 20,says coming out can be one of the most difficult things to do for young LGBTI people. Photo: Wayne Taylor
A new app and website lets young LGBTI people anonymously ask their friends through Facebook (or email or text) if they would support them coming out, offering a way to gauge how friends might react.
The “You’re accepted” website, which can be used on any device, allows users to send a personally-composed, anonymous message to friends and family on social media, and read the positive messages they send back, including names of those who have written them.
It is a collaboration between national LGBTI youth organisation Minus 18, and advertising agency GPY&R Melbourne, which came up with the concept and developed the website pro bono.
It gives LGBTI people confidence by removing some of the guesswork in the process of coming out, says Minus 18 chief executive officer Micah Scott.
“Having just one supportive friend through the process can make all the difference,” Scott says. “And coming out can be a bit of a snowball effect – the more people you know the easier it gets.”
When Blundell, now a Melbourne University arts student and volunteer with Minus 18, was at high school, the teen told a close friend about having a crush on a girl in their friendship group.
Just minutes later his entire friendship group had found out, and at least one of his friends told the rest not to speak to him.