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Coming Out in 2019

The New Year has always felt like an opportune time to open up and be honest about yourself and your life experiences with the people in your life with whom you’re closest — to “come out,” so to speak.

Often times, however, depending on what it is you might be considering coming out as, that process can be extremely daunting. Who do you tell your secret to? At what point does your coming out become oversharing? And how might opening up come back to haunt you?

Which is why it’s important to understand how people have shared their own secrets to those closest to them — everything from how they did it, to how they handled the reactions. As such, over the last week, we spoke to men and women who have made the difficult choice of sharing their kinks, fears or past traumas with the world.

This is how they came out…

… As a Guy Who’s Going Through a Divorce

For the newly divorced, letting the world in on your situation is probably the last thing on your grief-stricken mind. Still, you’re going to have to tell people at some point — like these three guys had to.

… As a Sex Worker

A lot of sex workers say their biggest discomfort with their career choice surrounds what other people will think of them, particularly their own friends and family. The fear of losing the people they need the most leads many to lie about what they do, or simply not to talk about it. Some sex workers, however, have found that honesty is always the best policy.

… As a Steroid User, After Coming Out as Gay

For Zander, a 26-year-old software designer in San Francisco, coming out as gay allowed him to love who he wanted without the lie. But he didn’t love himself as a man until he started using steroids for the gains, and realized his true, muscular potential.

… As a #MeToo Victim

In a world where survivors of sexual harassment or abuse often aren’t believed, under what circumstances is it worth sharing your story? For nearly two decades, Sara was reluctant to come forward about the respected history teacher who had groomed her for sex in high school. The #MeToo movement, however, convinced her that it was finally time to go public.

… As Trans When You Don’t Pass

Coming out as trans is hard enough in a world where many believe your struggle isn’t with your gender identity, it’s with mental illness. But Theo Sterngold, who came out as transmasculine, found that people — even supposed trans allies — have a very narrow-minded view of what it means to be a man.

… As Kinky — Particularly with Robots

Sam Hughes, a fourth-year PhD student in psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has known since middle school — subconsciously at first, then more overtly — that his sexual tastes skewed towards the cybernetic. As a Fundamentalist Evangelical Christian, though, Hughes’ desires weighed on him heavily; it wasn’t until he discovered a group of fellow kinksters in college that he became comfortable enough to begin talking about it.