Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Practical advice on "coming out"

Pedophiles often feel a desire to come out -- to have their sexuality known. Here are some practical considerations.

Coming out to the world at large is very risky today for most people. But coming out to individuals is possible if done carefully.

One thing to consider is that you are placing a burden on the person you tell. If you expect them to keep this a secret, then they have to be alert to what they say to others -- to constantly monitor themselves. People who care about you a great deal should be willing to take on this burden. But consider this cost if you consider telling people who aren't so important to you.

Sound the person out first for how they feel about pedophiles who don't offend. You could give them a link to the Virtuous Pedophiles, or any of a number of sympathetic articles and ask them what they think.

Be prepared for the question, "What, are you a pedophile?" Practice a smooth "No" or "No way!" You have just as much right to say "no" as a closeted Jew living in Hitler's Germany in 1944 when asked if he was Jewish. You will surely want to use this answer if the person's reaction to the concept of celibate pedophiles was disbelief and recommending a bullet to the brain. It's a good idea to practice this even if you're not planning to come out.

It helps a lot if the person has known you a long time. They then know your character and can intuitively feel that you're not the sort of person who would molest children. If you have known your soul-mate (romantic or platonic) only a few weeks, then they know far less of your history.

People are worried that pedophiles molest children. To the extent you have children in your life, your bar should be higher on telling people. If you are the special uncle who takes camping trips alone with your niece or nephew, even people who knows you well are likely to become alarmed, even if you know nothing bad could ever happen.

Of course, if you are in serious danger of molesting a child or are molesting a child, then the situation is entirely different and beyond the scope of this post. Obviously, don't do it, and if you are doing it, stop immediately! If you can't within your current life, consider moving a thousand miles away. There are circumstances where turning yourself in to police would be the right thing to do.

It's tempting to write a long confession and hand it over instead of telling. If you really need to come out to someone and that's the only way you can do it, then I can't condemn it. But if at all possible, tell them face to face. If not, use the phone. Text messages, emails, and pieces of paper are all hard evidence. If your judgment turns out to be wrong and the person decides to "out" you to others, don't give them clear proof to show others.

One special category to consider is <romantic partners>. It is understandable if you want to get this out of the way early because you don't want to invest in a relationship which they might well end once they learn your secret. But here it is especially important not to leave any evidence. People are often hurt when romantic relationships break up. We've heard of revenge porn. You don't want their revenge to be outing you as a pedophile. If all the person can do is talk, then you can deny it and others will consider that your ex may be making it up for revenge purposes. If they have hard evidence you're sunk.

Another special category is psychotherapists. You need to be aware of <mandated reporting laws>. Once again, it is best to sound them out on the subject before admitting anything. "I understand what I say here is confidential. What are the circumstances when I might say something and you wouldn't keep it confidential?" If you live or work with children there is a higher risk, especially if you admit any attraction to them.

Finally, try to judge your desperation. It's true that if you've made a plan for suicide, it's better to tell someone who maybe can maybe help you out despite the risks. But don't post it on Facebook. Still use your judgment and start with one or two carefully selected people before you are truly desperate.

I'm not a professional and cannot give professional advice. But the advice is based on online communication with hundreds of pedophiles and my life experience.


  1. I think it is immoral to come out to anyone except your therapist or doctor, or your parents. You never know who is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Even if this person is your spouse, you might not know, as that is a secret that is as closely kept as pedophilia.

    I have told a lot of people, and it was recklessly putting people in danger of emotional harm. I could have triggered a survivor of child sexual abuse to have a flashback...Most people did react fairly well, but you just never know.

    It is like any other diagnosis or medical condition. Not everyone needs to know. The only difference is that such a revelation could be triggering to a survivor of child sexual abuse.

    And so, I don't plan to tell anyone, except maybe my next doctor. My family and my treatment team are the only people that need to know.

  2. I can't agree with that at all. We are worth as much as anyone else and should not have to hide because it might trigger someone. Pedophilia is not child molestation. Perhaps you told too many people, but not because of a danger of triggering.

    1. I do not judge others who come out, as I certainly have done that. But, if I were to come out, it would be immoral, as it goes against my religious beliefs to follow the Golden Rule. But, I do believe it would trigger some survivors of child sexual abuse, and so I am not telling anyone about my disorder except a mental health professional.

  3. Hello Ethan. As a pedophile who is out to a number of people, I can say this is all very good advise. Most of it is not only advise I'd give myself but also are rules I've stuck to myself when coming out to others. No one should ever take coming out as a pedophile lightly, but it can be done, and I'm lucky to have never had a negative experience with it.

  4. here's something to consider. if you come out to a friend, they feel an obligation not to share that information.

    if you are outed in some other way to people who know that friend, they stand to be judged by those other people for not sharing that information.

    this is a terrible position to put a person in, especially if they have been understanding and discreet.

    it is really a problem and I would love to hear other people's thoughts on it.


    1. That is an interesting wrinkle on things. Ideally, they would decide when you come out to them whether they are OK keeping your confidence, and if so they should be comfortable with that decision, no matter who finds out later. Of course it's not always simple because people are generally torn about what to do. And they may want to fit in with a peer group even if they don't share its values.

      I guess if you substitute "abuse" for "attraction", you get the motivation for mandated reporting laws. By way of the law, society is telling you that you can't keep a secret about abuse even if it is convenient for you. When it's just about attraction, the morality is very different, even if many in society wouldn't see it that way.