why saying "I still love you" doesn't sound as great as you think (on coming out)

Coming out to a friend or family member is hard enough. When it goes bad, things really go bad. There's always risk of abandonment, harassment, and physical and/or financial consequences. So when coming out sways positively, LGBT people usually take what they can get. From my perspective, the most common positive response to coming out are the words "I still love you". This is great--right? They STILL love me. However, whenever I hear these words, I always cringe internally. In fact, when my sister told me she "still loved me, my immediate response laced with a slight bit of snark was "Thanks, I still love you too." Which was then followed by an awkward moment of confusion in which my sister probably tried to figure out why I would be saying that to her.

Obviously any LGBT person appreciates a loving response, however the words "I still love you" and also things along the lines of "I love you no matter what" reflects on a further problem-- the problem that finding out someone is LGBT calls for a reevaluation of love towards a person. If you found out your best friend had an extra toe, you wouldn't go home and reevaluate whether you still loved them or not. There would be no need to say "don't worry--even though you have a genetic difference from what is considered to be average, I'll do you a solid and continue loving you." Gee thanks so much...

This is why I would really prefer that people start to think about their response carefully. This is a vulnerable moment for an LGBT person, so a little thought would go a long way. We've seen the response "I still love you" popularized in media, so we really can't blame the hetero society for their canned response. So here are some phrases that might convey love and acceptance better than "I STILL love you": (feel free to argue any of them, as I would love to hear your opinions and, if possible, craft better responsive phrases to coming out)

Things I'd rather hear than "I still love you" (and/or "I love you no matter what"):

1. I'm happy for you.
2. I'm glad that you feel open enough with me to tell me.
3. I appreciate your honesty, and I want you to know that I value our friendship.

In addition to any of these phrases, a hug and a listening ear are always welcome.
If anyone thinks of anymore good ones, I'd be eager to hear them!

Also on a related topic, here's more advice on how to be a good friend to someone who is coming out: How to React When Someone Comes Out

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