Sexual orientation refers to a person's emotional, physical, spiritual, intellectual, and sexual attraction and how they express it. Gender identity is how a person understands, definites, and/or experiences their own gender, regardless of anatomical sex. Transgender is an umbrella term used to refer to people whose anatomical sex does not reflect their self-identified gender. Sexual orientation and gender are separate; gender is an identity of self and sexual orientation is an identity of relationships. People often spent months, if not years, figuring out their identities. Sharing with their others can be difficult, especially if you're not sure how they will respond.
Someone who is coming out feels close enough to you and trusts you enough to be honest with you. It can be difficult to know what to say and do. Start with a statement of support, not of judgment. (more)