Coming Out Storeis - Erin

Led by You have collected some of our young peopleā€™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.
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First up we have Erin!Ā šŸ˜€

I didnā€™t even really realise I was gay until I was about 23. I come from a fairly conservative religious family, so I was very worried about how they might react. I started by telling some friends who I knew would be okay with it, so that I could have some people that would support me if it went badly with my family.

I was terrified that this would ruin the close relationship I had with my parents and for a while, that stopped me from telling anyone else, in case it got out. I finally felt ready to tell my parents, around a year or so later. I ended up writing two letters, one for my mum and one for my dad, as I didnā€™t know how to even begin saying what I needed to say.

I included lists of people they could speak to for support and books to read, as I understood that they probably would need support too. I gave them the letters separately and they took it way better than I thought they would. We disagree on a lot, especially around marriage equality and that was difficult to know that they wouldnā€™t necessarily want to come to my wedding. I met my (now) wife 6 months after coming out and we are now married for just over a year, having got married in Wales before marriage equality here.

My parents have done a lot of thinking over the last few years, and while they nearly didnā€™t come to our wedding, they did and get on well with my wife. My advice to anybody coming out is this – coming out is not something that I think you *have* to do, but rather something you can do when you feel ready, and feel in a safe enough place to do so. Knowing that I would have my friends and community to support me even if it went badly, gave me the confidence to tell my parents when I was ready to.


If you are struggling with sexuality or just need to talk to someone you can find some useful organisations in our get help page

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