wikiHow to Drop Hints That You're LGBT

Perhaps you're laying the groundwork for coming out to someone, you want that straight person to quit crushing on you, you want to let a certain someone know you're compatible, or you want to be publicly open about your orientation/gender identity. Here is how to suggest that you aren't straight/cis.


  1. Image titled Gay Man Running.png
    Wear clothes with LGBT+ themes. Consider shirts, bracelets, dresses, and necklaces. You might go with slogans announcing your sexuality, symbols, rainbows, or flag color schemes (e.g. black, grey, white, and purple for asexuality).
    • Make sure that any clothes are purchased from an LGBT-friendly organization. For example, FCKH8 has a less-than-pretty track record with the LGBTQIA community.[1]
  2. Image titled Young Woman Reads.png
    Enjoy LGBTQIA media. Read LGBT+ books, watch Gay & Lesbian movies, and look at pictures of pride events and same-gender couples. Allow people to see you with this media, and when they see other hints too, they'll start wondering.
  3. Image titled Woman with Bindi Talks to Friend.png
    Mention LGBTQIA topics. Bringing up the subject can place it in their minds, and their reaction will give you a feel regarding how they might respond to you coming out. Here are some subject matters to try:
    • Marriage equality
    • The Trevor project
    • LGBT+ celebrities (e.g. Ellen Degeneres)
    • Human rights
    • Things happening in the LGBT+ community
  4. Image titled Man Talks To Friend.png
    Discuss an anonymous LGBT+ friend. Frame it in the context of asking for advice regarding this friend. This will help you get a sense of the person's openness, and it will help that they are imagining their words reaching an actual person. You may choose to describe this "friend" as being exactly like you, or as being something related (e.g. a bisexual friend when you are pansexual).
    • "Dad, I'm looking for some advice. One of my friends is asexual, and she wants to come out to her parents, but she's really nervous and she doesn't know how. Do you have any tips I can pass on to her?"
    • "One of my friends recently came out to me as genderfluid. I want to support them, but I'm not quite used to the idea. I was wondering if you had any advice."
  5. Image titled Relaxed Woman Talking.png
    Compliment the appearance of an actor/actress of your gender. If you are homosexual or bi/pansexual, this will suggest that you find people of the same gender attractive.
    • "Wow, he looks really hot with his shirt off."
    • "I absolutely love her! She brings such a cool and poised presence to her scenes, and she has the most beautiful eyes."
  6. Image titled Boy Puts On Sweater.png
    Begin wearing your gender more openly. If you are transgender, you may want to start dressing in more gender-neutral ways, or ways that suggest your binary gender (if you aren't nonbinary). Try tweaking your wardrobe, cutting/growing out your hair, or messing with accessories.
    • For some people, gender and gender presentation are very different. This is okay. You don't have to dress to match gender roles if it's uncomfortable or undesirable for you.
  7. Image titled Handsome Man in Pink.png
    Allow yourself to act more stereotypical (if you had been suppressing it). If you're a closeted gay man who loves interior design, give home decor advice. If you're a girly lesbian, perhaps you want some extra glamour to look like a lipstick lesbian. A little stereotypical behavior is one way to drop hints.
    • Only meet the stereotype if it feels genuine and comfortable to you. Some LGBTQIA people match the stereotypes pretty well, and some don't. Neither way is right or wrong.
  8. Image titled Transgender Guy Talking.png
    Use gender-neutral language when discussing your relationship status. This challenges the idea of compulsory heterosexuality and suggests that you might not be straight.
    • "So, your ex-boyfriends..." "Exes."
    • "Yes, I'll bring my partner to the office party."
    • "Actually, I don't have a boyfriend or girlfriend right now."
  9. Image titled Sisters Pose for Camera.png
    Hang out with LGBT+ people. You need friends who are like you, and it'll suggest to others that you aren't straight or cis. (Win-win.)
  10. Image titled Woman in Rainbow at the Beach.png
    Love your LGBTQIA self. Your identity is a valid and important part of you. Straighten your back, stand tall, and smile. It is okay to be yourself.


  • Dropping hints, while a useful part of the process, can be confusing to people if it goes on for a long time. Be prepared to come out soon and set the record straight!


  • People may need different amounts of hints in order to get it. They could bring it up the very first time they notice something, or it may take much longer.

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Categories: Coming Out as LGBT | LGBT Identity