How to react to coming out
A lot of people that aren't LGBT+ don't know how to react when a loved one comes out to them well this guide shows you how
“If a young person experiences same-sex attraction, nothing you can say will change that experience. However, what you say can impact whether or not that student feels safe with you and whether or not they will be willing to share their story with you.”
― Wendy Vanderwal-Gritter, Generous Spaciousness: Responding to Gay Christians in the Church
You are allowed to experience whatever emotion you do and it's okay if it's an emotional experience. Remember though that this is a terrifying and scary moment for the person that is coming out to you. I am not saying that you should hide your feelings from them, but your initial reaction should not be about you, but about them. Talk about it all more in depth later. Just breathe and stay calm. Remember that this person has not changed and that they were always this way. Just try not to freak out and if you have to wait until later.
Let them speak
I know that this is an emotional experience for everyone, but this is probably a very terrifying moment for the person coming out to you. Like I said above you are allowed to experience whatever emotion you do, but wait to really get into how you are feeling until they are done talking. Allow them to talk to you about everything because chances are they have put a lot of thought into what they would say and you want to allow them to speak with small reassuring gestures and words. After that you can try to gently talk about any concerns you may have (but try to avoid questions directly about their gender or sexuality, but focus more on the individual). I know holding your tongue at first can be hard, but it will benefit them way more if you wait.
Throw stereotypes out the window
The person coming out to you is still the same person. They do not become different the moment they come out to you. Yeah it may be a bit odd at first, but honestly after a while you will forget that they are LGBT+ and they are just your same old friend. Maybe your friend fits a stereotype and maybe they don't, but you know that's perfectly okay because they are human and still your friend. Stereotypes do not define the LGBT+ population and they should not define your view of anyone.
Continuing to be a supporter
It can be hard to know how to support a loved one that is LGBT+ even if you really want to support them. First off try to educate yourself as much as you can on the LGBT+ community and especially their particular identity in general. You may want to look at our list of genders and sexualities and their definitions here. Also you may want to look up some things that may be seen as offensive. You can check out our page on this here, but I will add a few points here. Avoid homophobic/transphobic slurs such as f*g, tr*nny, ect. is the first step. Also avoid saying terms such as "no homo," "I'm not homophobic but..." and other terms like that. Also try not to treat them differently than you did before and do not take part in any jokes, comments, and other homophobic/transphobic activities. Just be a decent human being and be a good friend.