Appreciation and Respect
When you use WELCOMING OUT to invite others to come out, it can still happen that a coming out totally surprises you. There can be many reasons why you would never have expected it with individual people.
Nevertheless, no matter what you thought or did before, take a coming out seriously. Even if you don't understand or comprehend it at first, acknowledge and respect it.
Ask if you may ask
Whether coming out surprises you or not, you will probably have a lot of questions. This is absolutely understandable and will happen to the vast majority of people. And yet, not all questions are appropriate at all times. This can have different reasons: Maybe the questions are too personal or intimate. Maybe you could answer some of the questions yourself after a moment's thought; maybe your counterpart has had to answer the same questions a thousand times in previous coming outs; but maybe your questions are not a problem at all. You can't know, that's why: Ask if you may ask.
No third-party outing
A person has come out to you. Now you want to go out and tell more people because you know they will react positively too. That would make a lot of things easier, wouldn't it? And yet it's not a good idea! There might be good reasons against coming out that you don't know about.
And anyway: The decision when and how and to whom a coming out takes place is solely up to the person it concerns. The only exception is if you have explicit permission to tell others.
Test the water before jumping
If a person has their WELCOMING OUT, it is a strong indication of that person's openness for the queer community. However, this is not necessarily evidence of an accepting approach to your coming out. Therefore, you should first carefully feel out whether the person actually has an open attitude before you have your coming out to them. We want to make it easier for you to come out, but we cannot guarantee that every person will deal with it flawlessly.
Acceptance doesn’t make experts
WELCOMING OUT creates a low-threshold symbol so that people can make their openness and acceptance towards lgbtiq+ people visible. Even though this symbol stands for openness, it does not automatically mean that the person wearing it has a lot of knowledge about queer issues and lifeworlds.
Our goal is to facilitate a dialogue from which all participants can learn and benefit. But if you don't feel like having a longer conversation, think again about whether you want to have your coming out to a person who labels themselves WELCOMING OUT as you might expect some follow-up questions in addition to a positive reaction.