Ask the Aunties: Coming out in school

Coming out at school can require a huge leap of faith—as well as a support network to help if you face stigma, bullying or fallouts with friends. So, when is the right time to come out?

In this episode of Ask the Aunties, gay agony aunties Lee Gray and Karnage Kills offer advice to a young LGBTQ+ person wanting to start a student group for queer classmates. The pair share their experiences of coming out in school—and what they got up to in the “drama room.”

The dilemma: coming out at school

The dilemma, sent in anonymously by a student, says: “Me and my friend are the only gay people at school.

“Do you think we should set up an LGBTQ+ group? It would mean outing myself so I’m not sure if I’m ready.”

The response: “Take over the school”

“Start that group, take over the school,” says Lee. “That’s what I wanted to do when I was at school because I knew I was gay for a very long, long time.

“I actually feel like it’s the best thing that you can do because if you and your friend are gay, there might be other queer people in the school who need that support group.”

Auntie Karnage, however, disagrees: “Secondary school is not the place. Kids are very mean and when you come out, you can’t go back in.

“When I was at school I was never out of the closet and I used to fight a lot to make sure I never got bullied.

“There was one kid that was out and at that time I knew I was gay but I wasn’t saying anything.

“He was out and everyone used to bully him severely.

I’m so thankful I waited til I left school because when you’re older, minds are more mature. I feel like school maybe isn’t the right time.”

Auntie Lee says that: “I would refuse to let the ignorance take over.”

“Go to your teachers, go to the people that are looking out for you and say ‘I have this idea.’

“Make your group child,” he concludes.

If you are a student or a teacher and need help or resources on coming out as a young person, check out Just Like Us for insights and advice.

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