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Maren Morris came out as bisexual. Here's the truth about coming out.

Maren Morris came out as bisexual this week posting a short and sweet message on Instagram: "happy to be the B in LGBTQ+," the singer wrote. " 🌈." It comes months after her divorce filing from Ryan Hurd.

But in the year 2024, many long for a world where coming out is a thing of the past, where LGBTQ+ people can hold hands with whomever they choose, kiss their partners in public and use their preferred pronouns without explanation.

In some places around the world – particularly cities throughout the U.S. – it might feel safe to do so without a second thought. But the political climate the last several years suggests coming out won't be over anytime soon.

"Ideally, we are working to create a world without boxes or closets to 'come out of' because we would never be expected to be anything other than who we say we are," , a licensed marriage and family therapist, previously told ӣƵ. "Until that shift happens, we must intentionally choose who we wish to invite into a celebration of our identities."

LGBTQ+ people should be able to come out and assert their identities in the face of bigotry, though experts say they should never feel obligated to, especially when their safety is at risk.

Maren Morris (pictured) came out as bisexual this week, posting a short and sweet message on Instagram.

Coming out isn't just a one-time thing

Coming out is a lifelong process. You don't simply declare"I'm gay" and a rainbow halo sprouts atop your head.

"It really is almost like a matrix or a cycle, in terms of the process of coming out, which happens in so many different ways across our lives," , counseling psychologist, previously told ӣƵ.

In some ways, coming out in America has never been easier. Seventy-one percent of people in the U.S. support marriage equality, according to a  published last year. Movies and TV shows have spotlighted queer characters and storylines. More and more LGBTQ+ people hold public office. And big name celebrities like Morris, Billie Eilish and Sophia Bush are just a few examples of those who have recently talked about their LGBTQ+ identities.

ܳhundreds of anti-LGBTQ+ bills across the U.S. threaten to hinder long fought-for progress. This has also spilled out into the private sector, with brands like Bud Light and Target facing backlash for supporting the community.

Plus: "Violence has become a much more routine experience, or having protesters outside of drag shows and having places that were once very safe and welcoming and a part of a nucleus in the LGBTQ community have now become battlegrounds," Mosley says.

Why coming out is here to stay – for now, maybe forever

Visibility may have consequences; Morris has received backlash for simply previously identifying as an ally. But when someone feels safe to come out, it gives those in the closet some hope.

"During a time when extremists are seeking to silence the voices of the LGBTQ community, standing in solidarity and making our presence known is a powerful act of strength and resistance," Keygan Miller, Director of Public Training at The Trevor Project, previously told ӣƵ.

A utopia of a world without coming out may just not be in the cards for a divided society. But future generations will further embrace their identities compared to earlier ones. Gallup research shows that , with more than one in five Gen Z adults identifying as members of the community.

How to come out on your own terms

  • Never feel obligated to come out. "Are cisgender people asked about their gender, and how they express themselves? Are cisgender people asked about their sexuality as often as different genders are?" noted , a public relations professional who goes by The PR Professor.
  • Find community online if you can't in person."ܰ that LGBTQ young people who had access to online communities that affirmed their sexual orientation and gender identity reported lower rates of attempting suicide than those who did not," Miller says.
  • If you feel safe, come out when you're ready. "It creates a sense of visibility, where they can express their authentic selves without fear of judgment or discrimination," Mosley says.

What does the future of coming out look like?

Coming out the way Morris did may go away to some extent. "While I think discrimination may always exist in some form, the intensity and the effect it has on our lives can absolutely change," Kimberly Vered Shashoua, a therapist who works with queer teens and young adults, previously told ӣƵ.

Others are more optimistic. "I believe gender and sexual orientation will be irrelevant because we get to collectively choose to eradicate the fear that prevents us from celebrating all people," Brown says. "We get to create this society we dream about. The future is in our hands."

If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the  at 988 any time day or night, or .

 also provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they dial 741741.

If you or someone you know needs help or support, The Trevor Project's trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, via chat at TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting 678-678.

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