Never Too Late - November 2022

Visibility Matters

How to Support Someone Who is Coming Out

On-going events: Registration is required for attendance - GBTQI+ Mens Loss Group ; weekly on Tuesday; 1:30–3pm; in-person Gayme Day; second Wednesday; 1–3pm; in-person Do learn more. Educating yourself about the community will go a long way to showing your support for your loved one. There’s a world of resources take time to relearn old habits, it is important to remember they are the same person and to treat your loved one as they are asking to be treated. Do acknowledge mistakes. Making mistakes is part of the learning process, and it’s ok. If you make a mistake, acknowledge it, apologize once, and move forward. Do not continue to apologize, as that is usually about making oneself feel better, rather than being in the moment with your loved one. Do maintain confidence. Stigma and discrimination still impact LGBTQI+ people. Outing someone without their knowledge or consent may cause safety concerns. Respect any request to keep the information private. Do respect names and pronouns. There may be any number of changes as a result of coming out, including names and pronouns. Although it may

By Sarah Bahnson , LGBTQI+ Community Liaison

Book Club ; third Wednesday; 2–3:30p; on Zoom Gathering in Himmel Park ; third Saturday; 10–11:30am; in-person Walk and Roll - Enjoy an outdoor activity with friendly people; third Tuesday; time will vary; in-person There are more events each month. Stay tuned in on the website. Don’t make it about you. When someone out’s themselves to you, remember it is about being their authentic self, and a desire to be able to be themselves with you. If you are hurt because they didn’t tell you sooner or hurt because you think they are saying something to hurt you, remember it is about them and their process, not an effort to hurt you. Finally, know that there is support for loved ones of LGBTQI+ people. If you would like support after a loved one comes out to you, contact PFLAG (formerly, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) at (520)360-3795, or Southern Arizona Gender Alliance (SAGA) at (520)345-4128. available to learn more about this community. Don’t question or doubt them. Avoid asking questions like “Are you sure,” and “Do you think it’s a phase?” Those questions can feel dismissive and create a barrier to further conversation.

So.AZ Senior Pride celebrating, supporting and uniting LGBTQI+ older adults 520-312-8923;; All in-person, indoor events require masks. Do listen. It can be very difficult to come out. Many people emotionally prepare themselves to lose many, if not all, loved ones when they do, which can be very scary. Make sure you give them the space to share what they want to share with you. As the holiday season approaches, many people are making plans to spend quality time with loved ones. It can be a time to share important things with those who care about us. Every year, National Coming Out Day in October prompts some people to make plans to come out to their loved ones over the holidays. It is an important conversation, but one that can be daunting for those coming out and those who may have not interacted with the LGBTQI+ community. For anyone who may wish to offer a supportive and non- judgmental response to someone who is coming out, the following article offers “do’s” and “don’ts” to keep in mind.

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Pima Council on Aging

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