I came out when I was fifteen. I told my friends first. The idea of this terrified me, but it still seemed like a warm-up compared to telling my family. I went to an all-boys school that specialised as a sports college, so a lot of the kids were the standard sporty straight kids who liked to pick on anybody who was different. I had already had run-ins with guys like that for being a spooky, creepy weirdo. Luckily, I’ve always been a tall guy and a lot better in a fight than people expected.

So, by the time I actually came out I had become too much of a hassle to bully, but I was worried that being Queer would make them think I was an easy target again. My friends were all incredibly supportive and reassured me that they didn’t see me any differently. A couple of them said they had known for a while. I wish they had told me as it took me a long time to figure out! On the bully front, the only guy who tried to bully me for being queer lost the fight he started and never tried again.

 

“She hugged me and told me she loved me and that this didn’t change anything”

 

Next, I had to tell my parents, I put this off for several days. I was afraid more of what my dad would think. I felt like my mum would be very accepting, but my dad was in the military and very conservative in many of his views, I feared he wouldn’t be able to accept me. Finally, when I came home from school one day my mum asked me if there was something bothering me. I said yes. She asked me if I wanted to talk about it. I said yes. She asked me if I was gay. I said yes. She hugged me and told me she loved me and that this didn’t change anything. She also gave me one of the best pieces of advice I have ever received. She said that being gay was a part of who I am, but that one part of me should never define me and overshadow the other parts of who I am.

 

“He loved me and was incredibly proud of me for being brave enough to be true to who I was”

 

My mum knew I was scared to tell my Dad so offered to tell him for me. When he got home later that night after I had gone to bed she told him. The next day when I got up he called me into their room, gave me a huge hug and told me he loved me and was incredibly proud of me for being brave enough to be true to who I was. I told my entire family soon after, my sister was ecstatic to have a gay brother. My aunts, uncles, cousins and Grandparents had no problem with my sexuality and they all came to my wedding.

I am definitely one of the lucky ones and I never let myself forget it. I love my family and am so proud of them. They give me the strength to face the hatred our community still faces.

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