I think it's up to each individual.
I just recently (with the past month) "came out" to several friends. Many of them already knew (even if they didn't know the term), and all of them were accepting. Turns out they liked me for me all along (who knew?)!
I don't feel comfortable coming out to family members. My Mom especially. She's 82 and still thinks I just haven't "found the right girl" yet. Because I've never had a steady girlfriend, some of them have asked me point blank if I'm gay. Which I found rather amusing, because they've never seen me with a steady boyfriend, either!