How to Come Out at University

People can be total jeb-ends sometimes. But don't worry, we've got your back. Coming out, whether you’re doing it during freshers’ week at a liberal university or as a toupé-wearing Tory, is a tremendously brave and usually terrifying thing to do

Feature by Kate Pasola | 18 Sep 2015

While UpWorthy would have you believe that coming out is seriously THE most heartwarming, mind-blowing thing you’ll see this week(!), truth is we don’t live in a high-production-value viral video, and some people are total bastards. Here’s Deviance’s guide to coming out at university, ft. advice from a bunch of glorious grads and students.

We’ll start with the total bastards:

Sure, the baby boomers have finally got their head around the fact that it’s not okay to bend their wrist at people à la Ricky Gervais to imply potential gay-ness. And yes, the word 'queer' has been reclaimed from school bus bullies. But unfortunately, closed-mindedness still lingers like a societal fart. Take reassurance in the fact the world – especially the part you live in – is commando-crawling its way towards some sort of equality. Pretty soon, that perfect-arse who thinks sexuality is fodder for an impromptu stand-up set will be left outside alone with fewer pals than Anastacia circa 2004.

Binning people

Some people won’t be able to get their head around your decision. It’s not your job to teach them tolerance, and it’s not your fault if they aren’t able to accept you. Hang out with the people who do accept you. They’re good’uns, them ones.

Cracking funnies

If the ignorance is coming from a friend or family member you don’t want to lose, encourage a little humour into the situation. Jokes are a pretty useful device for helping people desensitise themselves to these sorts of things, as long as you’re comfortable with it, of course.


Some people find it really handy to whack a label on themselves. It’s a shortcut which helps people to align with certain groups, activities and circles. That said, it can also be stifling to live up to a label, especially if the one you’ve been using (or the one that’s been stuck on you by well-meaning pals) doesn’t comprehensively reflect the sexy intricacies of your youthful brain. If you don’t fancy the permanency of a label but want to come out to someone, just drop some facts or handy hints into conversation which indicate your sexual preferences. They’ll get the gist. Eventually.

Reinvent yo’self

To adopt a very stale aquarial metaphor, moving from a cloying high school or small town to a gorgeous urban metropolis is like being dragged from a tiny fishtank and flung into the ocean. But it’s an ocean where none of the other fish know you and where you’ll meet starfish and seahorses and sea cucumbers. Also, in this metaphor, you can suspend the laws of the land and transform from a clownfish into a crustacean and NO ONE gets to tell you otherwise. Be the crustacean you’ve always wanted to be.

...but don’t worry if you’re not sure who yo’self is yet

You may well have done a heap of soul-searching and arrived at a destination of multichromatic sexy-fun-times (congrats!). But also, you might not have got round to that yet. If so, don’t worry that there isn’t a fully formed identity to rush into once you’ve come out. To share the experience of a top notch lady I know, “I remember being like, ‘Oh my god, now I’m a lesbian what am I going to wear?’” Her answer? “Obviously just wear the same thing, dumbass. You don’t have to dress like other lesbians. Though that is fine too. Rock that plaid girl.”