Two Chairs

A coming out practice

One of the most revolutionary things you can do is speak your truth. When we move in the world with grace and integrity, risking vulnerability to honor the fullness of our sacred worth, we empower those around us to do the same. But coming out is not an easy process, nor is it a one and done event. Whether you have, are in the process of, or will experience coming out as LGBTQ+, this time honored therapeutic practice can be a helpful way of creatively imagining how to speak your truth with loved ones.

Set aside about an hour for this practice so you have time to engage and journal after.

This practice is best done alone or with one other fully affirming person present to witness and support you in the process. Please reach out if you would like to talk about this practice before, during or after you give yourself the gift of this time.

Set up two chairs facing each other at about 3 paces apart.

Place a favorite pillow, blanket or other soft object in one chair.

Sit in the empty chair facing the other chair.

Close your eyes and take a deep breath – in for a count of five and out for a count of five.

Imagine someone you most want to tell your story to sitting in the chair opposite you. 

Open your eyes

Speak aloud what you would like to say to them. Here are a few open sentences to help you frame the conversation.

I am thankful for you because …

What I want you to know about me is…

Some things I am worried about are…

What I hope you understand is…

After you have spoken these things, take a deep breath and thank yourself, your compassionate companion, and God (as you understand God) for giving you the courage to speak your truth.

Take a deep breath – in for a count of five and out for a count of five.

Gently move to the other chair. Hold in your lap the soft item that you placed in the chair earlier.

Close your eyes and take a deep breath – in for a count of five and out for a count of five.

Imagine you are the person to whom you were just speaking. Feel within you their love and compassion for you, even if you also feel their worry or confusion.

Open your eyes.

Speak aloud, as if you are that person, what you hope or imagine they will say in response to you. Here are some suggested starting points.

Thank you for sharing with me…

Some things I love about you are…

What I worry about is…

Can you help me understand…

What I most want you to know is…

After these words are spoken, take a deep breath and gently move back to the other chair.

Thank yourself, your compassionate companion and God for giving you the resiliency to listen with compassion.

When you are ready, spend some time writing in your journal about your “conversation” and try to capture any comments, questions and concerns you felt arise.