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Terrified to Come Out to Her Best Friend

How Does she Get Over her Fear of Coming Out?

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Best Friends

Best Friends

© David Woolley/Getty Images
Updated March 14, 2012
Dear Emily,

I am a 32-year-old closeted lesbian. However, my partner of two years is not. I am so terrified of telling my best friend. It's not that I don't trust her; I am just scared to death of telling her. I think she knows, but I guess I am still afraid of her rejection. She thinks my partner is my roommate. Every time I think about telling her I get a panic attack. How do I approach this? How do I start the conversation?
Chicken in Chicago

Dear Chicken,

When it only takes a thought to give you a panic attack, I would venture to think that you might be just a tad overly dramatic. But that's just me.

The bad news is you may never lose the fear of telling her. The good news is that you are going to push yourself off the cliff anyway. Whether you like it or not (and I gather not) you are going to tell her because the alternative sounds miserable. Sorry, there are no pills for helping you do this, just balls (if you can find any lying around the house, that is).

If fear stopped everyone dead in their tracks then everyone would be dead in their tracks. The truth is that you are not going to wake up one morning having been magically relinquished of your fear of telling your best friend that you are a lesbian. I believe anything is possible, but I also don't wait around for the second coming of Christ. Again, that's just me. Although, this is precisely what you are waiting for: becoming fearless.

Waiting for the perfect moment to tell her? There is none. In essence, every moment is considered perfect, so looking for a perfect moment is like looking for air. Have you looked for air recently? The moment you choose to tell her will be considered the perfect moment.

My suggestion is to tell her over a simple cup of coffee. It may go something like this: “This is really good coffee and you know I'm a lesbian, right?” (Your welcome. I take checks). Let me guess. It is easier said than done, right? This is an expression I can’t stand. Of course things are easier said than done! Who said this, anyway? You are not giving your friend enough credit. Care about her enough to tell her who you are.

Great strength comes from pouncing on your fear and screaming sweet freedom at the top of your lungs. A whole world can open up to you if you let it. Even if the world around you is crashing down, you can hold your head high and smile because you have been true to yourself.

This is the greatest feeling of all.

Read more of Emily's Advice in 100 Lesbians Walk Into A Bar…

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