Next up in our series* of coming out stories we have a young person with a very positive tale to tell. ?
I have a very supportive and loving family. Even though I knew that I was afraid they would reject me when I told them I was gay because I’d had a girlfriend. I made a choice to move out of home before I told them in case they rejected me – at least then I wouldn’t be homeless and I was living somewhere else. I told my sister first and it was so nerve wracking – I did it over the phone. She said it didn’t matter, she loved me and did something I’m forever grateful for.
She asked did I want her to be with me when I told my parents. It took about 3 hours to mutter I’m gay but they were too engrossed in Coronation Street to hear me. She said for me “He’s trying to tell you he’s gay” and they still waited until the ads to ask me “Are you sure?”. I said “yes, I wouldn’t be telling you if I wasn’t”. My mum said “As long as you’re happy” and my dad said “We are going for a walk”. I was petrified leaving with him and he said “It’s a shock but we love you, you’re our son”. He then asked me did I watch the match on the weekend and I said “Come on now Da, gay’s don’t want football and we laughed”.
It gave me the courage to do a whirlwind tour telling everyone I loved that I was gay. Only one of my friends took it badly and we stopped being friends – no loss there when 99.9% of the people who mattered to me hugged me and said they loved me. I felt such relief and pride at my family and friends for their attitude and encouragement. My advice to anyone coming out with be have faith in the people you love – to most it won’t matter and to those it does, well, they don’t matter.
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* Led by You have collected some of our young people’s coming out stories for #BelfastPrideWeek that they kindly agreed to share with everyone along with some advice for other young people who might be in this stage of their life.