The 11 Best Holidays For Coming Out To Your Family and Friends

feature image via Shutterstock

Coming out is a weird thing. It’s hard to get exactly right. Plus it can be damn scary and sometimes dangerous. That’s especially true right now. So, honestly, you do you and please come out on your own terms and stay safe. But, on the chance that you do want some slightly ridiculous advice on which holidays I, personally, think are the best to come out to your family and friends on, here’s a little break from the madness that we’re living in.

Also, sorry guys, I grew up in a Christian household, so these are the holidays I know. If you celebrate other holidays, please feel free to tell me which ones are also great to come out on.

Now, you too can look forward to your entire family looking at you like this!

Now, you too can look forward to your entire family looking at you like this while you stumble over your words!

11. Thanksgiving (Fourth Thursday in November)

For some reason, Thanksgiving is always the most awkward holiday. You’re not going to ruin the awkwardness and drama by adding a little more awkwardness and drama. But, hey, if you do, the tryptophan in the turkey will have everyone asleep in an hour anyway and you can sneak out.

10. National Coming Out Day (October 11)

This seems like the natural choice to be higher up on the list, but honestly, it’s a little cliche at this point. At least you can get away with doing it on social media with a nifty hashtag on this day.

9. Easter (First Sunday after the First Full Moon after the Vernal Equinox [what?????])

Here’s what you do: write “I’m Gay” (or trans or bi or queer or whatever) on a piece of paper and put it inside an Easter egg for the Easter egg hunt. Someone at your family gathering will find it, and it will lead to mass confusion as everyone tries to figure out who the “I” is referring to in the note. Now your Easter party is a mystery party!

8. Arbor Day (Last Friday in April)

This one is pretty specific. If you want to come out as a butch, flannel-wearer, lumbersexual or other similar type, what better day than Arbor Day, a holiday dedicated to the forest and the trees?

7. Halloween (October 31st)

I mean, come on, Halloween is called Gay Christmas for a reason. It’s a great holiday for trying new things, dressing however you want and releasing a part of yourself that you’ve never let out before. The only downside is that sometimes when you come out as a trans woman on Halloween, your pastor asks you in church on the next Sunday (as you’re standing there in a dress, with makeup, painted nails and curled hair) in front of a bunch of people if “this whole thing” is a “Halloween joke.”

6. Columbus Day (October 12th)

Christopher Columbus sucks, so why not come out on his day and pull all the attention away from his genocidal, imperialist, racist ass and onto your beautiful queer one?

5. Valentine’s Day (February 14th)

Love is in the air! And that love is gay love! If you want to come out and have the best chance of getting a date at the same time, this is the day for you.

4. Galentine’s Day (February 13th)

This holiday invented by Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation is like Valentine’s Day but focused on love between women who love each other. If you’re a woman who loves other women, this day is already about you, so why not turn those one of the gal pals you’re celebrating into your Gal Pal by coming out on this day?

3. Feast of Our Lady de Guadalupe (December 12th)

We’ve talked before about how La Virgen is a very feminist and queer and Brown deity, so she’s the perfect one to watch over qtpoc as we come out. This day is for us!

2. New Year’s Eve (December 31st)

This holiday is all about new beginnings! Why not start a new beginning as a queer person? It’s also all about kissing people! Why not kiss a cute girl or non-binary person? It’s a win-win!

1. Veterans Day (November 11th)

It’s today! Carpe Diem! Seize the day! Come out right now!

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Mey Rude is a fat, trans, Latina lesbian living in LA. She's a writer, journalist, and a trans consultant and sensitivity reader. You can follow her on twitter, or go to her website if you want to hire her.

Mey has written 572 articles for us.


  1. As someone who is planning on coming out this weekend to her entire family, this is *exactly* the kind of article I needed to see today and the first smile I’ve had in awhile. Keep killin it Mey!

  2. Saint Patrick’s Day for me. What a rough night. Had my bags all packed just in case I got kicked out. I didn’t. I left to go out drinking with my friends who were waiting in the get away car though. I did not want to hear my mom try to “reason” with my “life style choice” at the time.

  3. Wow, thanks for clearing up how they decide when Easter is

    (Also how many pre-Christian religions must Easter correspond with)

    • I had assumed up until now that every year a room full of bishops would get together and be like:

      “Hey, when do we want to celebrate Easter this year?”
      “IDC put in in March.”

      • Fun fact: Jesus died at Passover and so it’s the one holiday they sort of had to coordinate with the Jewish calendar – which is the reason it moves the way that it does.
        The lengthy process of deciding how this would be done was not at all short on hand-wringing – the Easter Controversy took 300 years to solve.

        I only bring it up because the thought of bearded white dudes arguing for 300 years over this brings me such joy every time I’m reminded Easter exists.

    • I think the Orthodox church decides differently, because sometimes Orthodox Easter falls on the same day as what the Greek side of my family calls “Regular Easter” and sometimes it’s wayyyy different. Like this year, “Regular Easter” was March 27 and Orthodox Easter was May 1. Kanye shrug.

  4. This is excellent and weirdly relevant. Came out to my parents on Rosh Hashana and my extended on Passover. I think those are the Jewish queer equivalents of New Years and Easter =)

    • I was just thinking about Passover. Everyone’s already thinking about oppression and the need for compassion for others. If you’re reform, you might have already gotten the orange on the Seder plate speech. And you can come out just by saying “Next year in Jerusalem with a girlfriend! Fingers crossed guys, root for me!”

    • Jewish alternative to easter egg hunt idea = write ‘I’m gay’ on a piece of paper and hide it in the afikomen?

      • My great-uncle used to only put two-dollar bills in the afikomen, so this made me think of queer as a three dollar bill. If I could do it over again I would definitely mock up a three dollar bill with Tammy Baldwin or Rachel Maddow and put that in the afikomen.

  5. I’d like to put in a formal request for a short list of ways to become more like Mey in my every day life because really, that’s all I’m trying to achieve in this world.

    (For real, you’re my hero.)

    • Take selfies like a boss would be on that list.

      Seriously, I joined Instagram and all of Mey’s selfies exude “I’ve Got This.” boss-ness

      From a very cute “I look hella cute and I know it” Got This boss-ness all the way to “HBIC I am da Boss” Got This, the boss-ness don’t need to be restated.
      It’s all there.

  6. This is fun and relevant. I’ve been considering coming out to my family when I’m home for the holidays this year. I haven’t really wanted to because (a) I’m bisexual but in a long-term relationship with a dude, and it seemed kind of… attention-seeking? unnecessary? to do so, and (b) I’ve only really come out to myself in the past few years. But now that I know some of my immediate family members voted for Drumpf, I want them to understand more fully why I’m so upset, and I kind of want to shake them up. Plus, it would feel great to have that part of me openly acknowledged.

    • DUDE if there is something in this world that DESERVES attention it is you being proud of your identity!!!!!!! I don’t know you but I’m proud of you and I hope you make whatever decision feels good/right/safe to you <3

      *please note that dude is my fave gender neutral term of endearment and i'm sorry if it offends!!!

    • I think for some voters, the threat posed to certain groups by a trump administration (I’ve ceased capitalizing his name – shows too much respect) didn’t really resonate because they didn’t personally know any of “/those/ people.” Reframing the threat from something that affects “people we have nothing to do with” to “my immediate family member who I love and care about” could really make a difference within your family.

      • Yes, exactly. I think so too.

        (I like the no caps. I can barely say his name, and definitely not with “president” in front of it.)

    • Hello from another bisexual person who is debating whether to have certain conversations with their family in the coming weeks. I tried once, and my mom’s response was, “how can you know you’re bisexual if you haven’t been in a long-term physical relationship with anyone of any gender?” Le sigh, I had hoped for more from the person who gave birth to me.

      • Hi, friend. :) That’s rough, but I hope you’re able to have the conversation if/when it feels right for you.

    • I’m in a similar position. I identify as a lesbian but, after a lot of internal angst I realized I was in love with a man (still don’t identify as bi). I’m out to my friends, my pastor, etc. But my family I never came out to before I started dating my partner and now its just this weird thing.
      But, maybe we can do this. I believe in us.

  7. Hey Bekka. Fellow non-binary person here. I think doubts about being non-binary are super real and common, I had a lot of the same worries and concerns before I came out as genderqueer. I thought maybe it wasn’t real, that maybe it wasn’t a big deal, that I could ignore it. But I couldn’t ignore it, my brain and body and heart kept returning to the thought of being non-binary. When I stayed up all night staring at the ceiling mulling gender in my head, I knew it was a big deal. I also looked around and realized there is a whole world-a whole community (thanks autostraddle)-that supported and believed me. I also realized that as long as there have been humans, there have been non-binary genders, maybe not in the same language/wording/meaning that we are using here, but they have always existed and will continue to exist!

    Don’t feel like you have to come out to your family right away, but if you do know you got a whole lot of people behind your back, who trust you to know your body/mind/heart/gender. And that being non-binary isn’t always a linear path, sometimes we only feel it 70%, sometimes we question it hard, and sometimes we change our mind, and sometimes it’s the way we are going to be for the rest of our lives. <3

    There's a whole plethora of articles out there that can help explain what non-binary means to your family and I hope you reach for those resources, especially because coming out is hard and scary and trying to 'prove' or defend is sometimes too much to juggle with all the emotions at hand.

  8. I came out to myself on Valentine’s Day! Highly recommend because it becomes a bright day even on years when you’re single, and you’d be in good company with myself and Ellen Page.

  9. Mey, I just want to say that I feel about this article the way I felt about your Prinsesstårta article, and that is that of all the AS writers I think my sense of humor must be closest to yours. Thanks for making me laugh!

  10. Shavuot, because that’s when you’re supposed to read the Book of Ruth, and we all know that Ruth and Naomi are canon

  11. Well, this is timely. I just came out to my brother today and I’m planning on coming out to the rest of my (Trump-supporting) family soon. I’ve been avoiding phone calls from my mom for the last few days and trying to draft an email, but I’m having a really hard time figuring out what to say.

    • I hope it goes so well!! I just got off skype with my Mom in Texas and it went over better than expected for unwelcome news and I finally feel like I can breathe since the election. All the love in the world to you this weekend and feel free to reach out to me if you need someone to talk to <3

      • Thank you! I’m glad it went well for you. I’ve got something written and now I’m just trying to work up the nerve to send it. I’m just not sure if I can handle the emotional fallout of this on top of the election, but it feels like the right time.

  12. I came out to my parents one week before Obergefell was decided (definitely not planned!) and then came out to everyone else (on FB) the day of Obergefell! So that was pretty cool. And then I went to SF Pride the next day which was super awesome because a) being around loads of happy queer people and b) being a happy and out queer person around loads of other happy queer people!

    Much love & support to those who are thinking of coming out now! We’re here for you <3

  13. I really want to come out to my parents sometime soon but I’ve got a feeling that the holidays aren’t a great time for that. Has anyone here come out to their parents over Thanksgiving or Christmas? I feel like it’d be super awkward, but I hate being in the closet to them and my extended family. All my siblings and most of my friends know and every time I go home it gets harder to keep myself from just blurting it out…

  14. I really want to come out to my parents sometime soon but I’ve got a feeling that the holidays aren’t a great time for that. Has anyone here come out to their parents over Thanksgiving or Christmas? I feel like it’d be super awkward, but I hate being in the closet to them and my extended family. All my siblings and most of my friends know and every time I go home it gets harder to keep myself from just blurting it out…

Comments are closed.