Tom's Coming Out Story
Publish Date: 06/10/2011
“Since I turned 19 I've been noticing more and more difference between myself and other 19 year old guys. Going out on a night out and seeing a girl that they thought was 'fit' I wouldn't be at all interested. I knew they were good looking but it wouldn't make me go and buy them a drink.
I had probably known since I was around 13/14 that there was something different about me, I could never really tell what it was until a couple of years ago. If I ever said to a girl that I liked them I would be drunk, and I would never be too interested in meeting up with them when I was sober.
Coming out has in fact been the best thing I have done in my life.
The year beforehand was a difficult year. I knew something had to happen about me being gay, the decision was to either accept or forget about it, I had been quite good about forgetting about it whilst I was growing up, to me it wasn't right, normal or what I wanted.
But realising what I was in the last year and not being able to tell anyone about it made me extremely depressed.
It reached a point where I realised I couldn't do this anymore, I was too down about everything, the first person I told was my mum, admittedly whilst I was tipsy but a drink did help me talk to her because of nerves.
It’s extremely hard to tell someone that you are in fact gay, especially someone that’s known you your whole life. I am currently going through the 'coming out' phase and each time I tell someone it gets a lot easier, the hardest art is telling the first few.
I had to tell people because I was never going to be happy lying about myself to everyone, the fact I was lying made me in particular depressed about it all.
In the end I don't think it would have mattered if everyone I knew wanted to get rid of me because at least the truth was out and I wasn't lying, nothing is that bad that the people I love and live with can't understand, and if they don't then I was prepared to just leave them alone.
I had massive fears about coming out, rejection from family and friends, because when we were all together we would laugh and make 'gay jokes' about people, I know I would as well, which always made me nervous some of the things that they laughed about, some of the things I joked about.
I think by talking to other GLBT people they all have the same thing in common, they knew they were from a young age and it got to a point growing up where you had to tell someone because you felt like you would explode if you didn't.
The coming out process is a hard one to deal with, I remember driving home from work and just bursting into tears, or even on the phone to someone, unable to explain what was happening.
Now all my friends know, and parts of my family, and I’m happy about it because I can be me, I am off to University and I am not even slightly worried about telling the people I am going to be living with because if they don't like it then I am not going to lose a friend that I never had.
Telling male friends and family members was extremely difficult, also the first couple of friends is very difficult because you can then talk to them about everything; all your fears about what others may say, but in the end I don't think that it matters, fortunately everyone has been very supportive, shocked yes, but they have been behind me all the way.
I explained to one of my closest friends that I wasn't normal anymore, and they were more angry about that than anything I had said about me being gay. There is nothing normal anymore, no one has a normal life because there is such a wide range of people.
I think of coming out as a turning point in my life, something to be happier about, something to look forward to. I have not been able to say the sentence 'I am gay' until now, it hasn't felt right because I never thought I would end up this way, but I have.
I am now happier than ever before. However, there are extremely bad days and extremely good days, somedays I return back to bursting into tears randomly or thinking too much about the future. But that’s where my friends and family can now pick me up and help me level my mood out.
It's not easy coming out and I have been lucky to have support, the few who haven't supported me I have just accepted that they might come back into my life and they may not.”
lgbt.foundation will be featuring different coming out stories on the run up to International Coming Out Day which takes place next Tuesday.
On Tuesday October 11th – International Coming Out Day - The LGF are offering 24 hour online and phoneline support, to help raise awareness of issues around coming out . You can also pop-in to see us for face-to face support between 8am and 10pm at The LGF’s Community Resource Centre. For more info visit: http://lgbt.foundation/news-articles/lgf-celebrate-international-coming-out-day/
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