Writing Guide Part 3

Family, Friends, and Relationships

Welcome to part three of our six-part writing guide series designed to help you write your story for our next book. So far we’ve covered the writing parameters as well as aspects of your law enforcement career that you should consider including in your story. If you haven’t read the first two guides, we recommend doing so first before starting this one.

secretsOur coming out is the one most common experiences we share as LGBT people. I don’t care how old you are, the common conversation among LGBT people I’ve witnessed is the exchange of stories about how we struggled through coming out – who we told first, how did it go, why we waited so long, important people who supported us and those who didn’t. These are all of the aspects of the coming out process that our readers are most interested in. They may seem mundane or boring to you, but remember our audience. Our readers include people who are struggling with coming out, straight allies who want to understand the experience, and college students who are using this book as a text in order to learn about the LGBT experience. The core of our purpose for this book is to help closeted LGBT people find a way out. The best way to do this is to provide examples of how others did it.

For this section, think about your experience telling your family and friends and consider these important questions:

When did you decide to come out and what prompted you?
Who did you first tell and how? Why them?
How did you tell your family and how did they react?
How did you tell your friends? Did you get the kind of support you expected?
What mistakes did you make? If you had to do it again from the beginning, would you do it differently?
How did you first same-sex relationship come about?
How did working in law enforcement impact your relationship?
If you were not “out” at work, how did you manage your relationship?

The fear of rejection is one of the most common and powerful forces that keep people from coming out. As you write this section, imagine sharing your story with a group of people who desperately want to come out, but who are afraid of loosing their family and friends. You might want to offer advice now or you can include it at the end of your story. In all cases, you perspective and advice is important, so think don’t be shy.

Next month we will talk about religion and reconciling faith with sexuality.

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