By B. Root
The observance of National Coming Out Day on October 11 might lead many LGBTQ people to wonder: is now the right time? Concerns about losing a job or relationships with family and friends can make the decision to come out especially difficult. The ComingOut.space website was created with the goal of alleviating some of the stress surrounding the coming-out process.
The website contains a diverse collection of coming-out stories from across the world, organized by tags that allow readers to find stories they can most easily relate to. Nate Warden came up with the Coming Out website idea in January while speaking with a friend about their shared experience of going online to learn what it meant to be gay. Warden said he searched on phrases such as “coming out” and “coming-out stories” and found the results to be unimpressive. “Because I know that a lot of people still turn to the Internet for solace as they struggle with their sexual identity,” Warden says, “I wanted to start working on a project that would ensure people find the help they need when they go through [this process].”
ComingOut.space launched on June 26 of this year, and has posted 34 stories so far. While some of the stories have an uplifting message, others are a testament to the hardships that can result from coming out. “When I set out to create the site, I knew that I wanted content that would fairly represent the process of coming out,” Warden says. “For some people, it really is a simple process with a happy ending—the ‘it gets better’ story. For others—and probably the majority—it’s a really hard process.”
Warden is in the process of registering ComingOut.space as a nonprofit in the United States, which will allow him to seek additional partnerships and potential funding. “The goal is for the site to grow enough to appeal to a global audience and to be one of the top online resources for the LGBTQ community, as well as those who might be struggling with accepting their LGBTQ friends or family,” Warden says.
However for some, now is not the ideal time to come out, and that’s okay. The significance that is placed on coming out can cloud one’s judgment and cause them to feel pressured to come out without fully considering the repercussions. We are all on our own timelines; we come to terms with our sexuality and gender identity on our own, and the decision to come out is one that we must make for ourselves. But with resources like the Coming Out website, hopefully this decision will be less difficult when the time is right.
Visit ComingOut.space for more information and to submit your personal coming-out story, either publicly or anonymously.