How to Come Out in Rural Areas (Guide 2021)
Coming out as gay, pansexual, genderqueer or whatever is a big and challenging step for most people. If you live in the countryside, in some small village, that doesn't make it any easier.
This article is aimed at all queer people who live rather rural and are unsure how to come out in this usually very conservative environment.
But Why is Coming Out in Smaller Villages Often Particularly Difficult?
Most (larger) cities are already very open to queer people and other lifestyles that deviate from classic heteronormative & cisnormative ones.
In the village, things often lag behind in this respect. Mostly there are still very religious & conservative views, in which a gay son or a bisexual daughter from the point of view of the residents simply does not fit in at all. In addition, there are usually no or hardly any other queer people in the environment who could be seen as role models or used for exchange. You live in a small bubble where queer issues are almost non-existent.
We have summarized some points (which have been proven by studies) in the infographic below. The information refer to rural areas in Germany.
What Can I Do as a Queer Person Then?
So basically we would like to note that of course not all villages and rural areas are completely "retarded" across the board. Nevertheless, in our experience, there is a clear tendency in this direction. The good news is that even if you live in such an environment, there are ways to successfully come out.
Start with selected people!
Most of the time, you already have a sense of which person is more homophobic and which has a more open (maybe even queer-friendly) attitude. Coming out doesn't have to mean coming out to all the people around you at once. Start with people you trust and maybe even know that they don't have anything against queer people.
Enter the virtual world
If you are reading this article, then you already have access to the World Wide Web. Here, too, there are opportunities to network with other queer people or to get help with your coming out through an online counseling center.
Build a digital support network
Especially if you don't know any queer people in your area, it can help to get in touch with people in similar situations online. Just have a look at Google, you will find many small & big online communities. Also check out Facebook, there are many different groups on all kinds of queer topics, especially in German-speaking countries. If you want to get actively involved in LGBTQ+ issues, check out RainbowWarriors. This is a virtual queer youth movement for queer teens & young adults ages 14-27.
Need more tips?
You can find more general tips and information about coming out in our XXL guide: Coming Out: Everything You Need to Know. There we also explain the 5 phases of coming out, as well as tips for preparation, how you can actually approach the coming out and what happens afterwards.
Advocate for queer issues together with other queer youth & young adults.
OurComingOut.com is a project by us - the RainbowWarriors. We are a virtual youth movement by & for queer youth and young adults. As a strong team we work together to advocate LGBTQ+ & mental health issues.