For some it’s a struggle.
But sometimes you make it into more of a struggle than it needs to be. I spent years worrying and agonising over what my friends would think, would they still be my friends?
What will happen with my parents? My brother?
It was always there at the back of my mind. And it just got worse the longer I left it.
But you know what, I needn’t have bothered. I worried myself for nearly 9 years since I knew I was gay until I told my friends…and no one cared. It was just another thing, like one is the fat guy, ones the player, ones the old man already, I’m just the gay one. It was one of the best moments of my life when my best friend immediately gave me a hug and said “this changes nothing”.
It’s just a massive load off the mind, you can talk about it, joke about it, tell stories. It was fantastic! It sounds cheesy but it is true that your friends will always be there for you whenever you need them.
Families…they’re more complicated.
You can’t choose them.
Telling my brother was just a stepping-stone before telling my parents.
He wasn’t bothered but did handily offer to be the “physical block between you and dad giving you a few seconds to get to your car and escape”!
That filled me with confidence. At last when I did tell the rentals I got kicked out the next day and not immediately, to spend the next 10 days living in my car and at my friends place.
The difference with my parents was that my mum worried what people would think of me, as soon as she talked to people and realised they don’t care, she didn’t mind either. She was just worried about me.
Dad on the other hand worries what people will think of him for having a gay son. Somehow it reflects badly on him.
It’s been a year and a half since I told them, the majority of that I spent in a relationship, and it’s never been brought up again between dad and I.
I don’t have to hide anything anymore. I don’t have to worry.
The worst is over, he calmed down within a couple of weeks and things have settled into a (usually awkward) truce.
But I don’t have this weight at the back of my mind anymore, I don’t have to agonise over anything anymore, I can just get on with my life.
I’m not going to lie it was one of the scariest moments of my life coming out to my parents but I was unbelievably happy afterwards, even with temporarily being kicked out the house!
You spend months, years whatever worrying over it…and suddenly you don’t have to anymore! What’s done is done, people will react how they react and you just need to make the most of how they respond.
Coming out to friends is the best thing, if it does damage the friendship, then that’s their fault not yours and they weren’t really your friend if your sexuality somehow changes things.
And this is one of the main reasons I’m getting involved with the Forum, I want to help people who might be going through a similar experience to what I went through, to tell them actually it’ll be ok and there is no need to worry.
Those who actually care about you just want to see you happy. Trust them and, trust me, life will be fantastic after!