Coming Out


*Disclaimer - This is an article I wrote for Attitude Magazine, and I wrote it at 11pm on a Sunday evening after a drunken night out with work, so it might not be the best piece of writing ever!*

Coming out wasn’t really a thing I considered, because I didn’t really ever know I was actually gay. It’s like, I was confused for so long and then the night it happened (a very drunken night) everything just sort of clicked. Thinking back to it now, I find it hilarious and I’m sure everyone else involved sees the funny side of it – but the night I came out was very dramatic, and it caused quite a bit of tension in the family. Obviously, an assumption would be that the fact I told my whole family I was gay at my dad’s 50th birthday surprise party would have caused the drama – but it wasn’t. No one actually really cared because they’re family. And in our family it doesn’t really matter what you are, just as long as you can handle your beer and embarrass yourself once you have done so.

If I could have controlled the situation I would have waited for a while to tell everyone – and I wouldn’t have told my whole family straight away. But after quite a lot to drink and quite a bit of taunting from a few of the more juvenile members of my family - it just happened. The only thing I can fully remember is being sat down on a bench in my auntie’s front garden by my mum and her asking me if I was gay, then I said yes and she said she knew it and everything was okay. Next thing I knew, my brother was storming around because he knew I was upset but not why – then I told him. He wasn’t fine with it at first, I could tell. We don’t really talk about it now but I wouldn’t really be comfortable talking about girls with him if I was straight so I don’t mind. Same with my mum – I’m not really bothered about it. 

What really, really surprised me is my dad’s reaction. He overlooked the whole gay thing that night and just tried to sort me out – stop me from being upset. I remember the day after I messaged my mum when I wasn’t at home and asked her to tell him – but he genuinely didn’t mind. I was terrified for him to find out, because he’s quite a man’s man and he is very sure of himself. It was stupid to even consider that he would be mad about it because he’s my dad – not a monster.

Ellie (left) and Gemma (right) - two of my fave people ever
So, after the whole bench debacle I had had enough of the drama and ran away to the nearest shop (which was closed because it was about 11pm on a Saturday night) and rang my friend. She ended up running to the shop to find me, having no idea why I was there or why I was blubbering like a messy seal down the phone to her. At the same time my auntie and uncle were on the lookout for me, so I was found by them two and my friend. A nice double whammy of support!  I got the same speech from them as I did from my mum ‘we love you no matter what, you were silly to even think it was an issue’. I know I was, but when you’re brought up to look at love and relationships in a certain way it is hard.

My friend, Maddii, told me to go home with her to allow everyone to cool off – so I did. That lasted around an hour and I ended up going home anyway. I woke up to texts and calls from various family members asking me how I was and offering support. It opened my eyes so much; I hadn’t ever really felt like I fit in with my family before but since I came out everything seems so easy. It’s really quite strange because I would have thought it would be the opposite. I was underestimating the love and support we have for each other so much.
Me and Maddii (2013)

In the next few months I would slowly tell my close friends (with a bit of dutch courage – always) and then to a few distant friends. Then I just stopped. It got to a point when I got bored of telling people; why did I need to? Come September (I told my family in July) more or less everyone knew about me being gay, and it really only brought me closer to people. Oddly enough for me, I found confidence in myself to reach out to some of my guy friends that I was a bit stand offish with before – and I’m hell of a lot closer to them now.
The three most accepting, honest and caring people ever

In the three years I have been out now I haven’t hardly thought of anyone judging me – which is what has always scared me so much. The whole process of coming out is unnecessary for anyone, and it’s awful that people feel the need to do it – but I think it has been one of the best things to happen to me. I’m so much closer to my family and friends now – it’s comforting.

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