Dear Sambag,

I’m a 24-year old gay guy, who’s still in the closet. I first realized I was gay when I was 14 years old. I didn’t really start accepting it till I was 21.

I’m just way too insecure to get out of the closet and I feel like my personal health is suffering from it. I know my family won’t mind it and (most of) my friends probably won’t mind it either, but I’m still scared. I guess I don’t want them to look at me differently or put me in a box.

I’m also pretty socially awkward, so I feel like even if I ever find the strength to come out of the closet, I would do a terrible job at explaining myself. I already went to a therapist to work on my social fears, but I’m still very insecure.

How can I find the strength to come out of the closet?

Hammy

Dear Hammy,

Nobody can tell you when to come out, or even how. You can tell one person at a time, do a big gathering and tell everyone, or keep it to yourself and just come out internally, even if you already know.

That last one is most important. Whisper it to yourself, listen to yourself, and be proud. You just came out. Say that out loud when you’re alone. Be who you are when you’re just being you. You don’t have to tell a soul until you’re ready, just make sure you’re always honest and comfortable with yourself. And even if nobody else knows, you know. And you matter. And how you feel about you matters.

I think that might be where some of that tension is coming from.

But I’ll stop there and let our readers weigh in. Please share your advice in the Comments below.

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Dear Sambag, I’m a 24-year old gay guy, who's still in the closet. I first realized I was gay when I was 14 years old. I didn't really start accepting it till I was 21. I'm just way too insecure to get out of the closet and I feel like my...