Everybody takes a different journey to the same destination
Before I begin, I just was to clarify the obvious. Everybody’s experience is completely different, and I cannot begin to imagine what is playing on your mind right now. This blog post will be based purely on my own personal situation and the aftermath that faced the revelation.
When I was growing up, I suffered from homophobic abuse in secondary school which led me to deciding to study in college rather than sixth form. That is where I finally felt independent and free to do whatever I wanted to.
One of my choices was to pursue expressive A-Level subjects such as Media Studies and Drama. This is because when there is no strict guidelines and certain rules you have to stick to, you can truly show off your individual talent.
Similar to university when I chose to study an expressive subject which was Journalism at the University of Derby. For me university was where I truly discovered who I was.
Living independently and seeing life completely different, I was no longer being restraint from prior judgements or past perceptions of who they thought I was. It was really a new start and that’s when I finally opened up and talked about my sexuality. Something that I once thought was a taboo subject, it finally became a reality.
My coming out story
Growing up I never gave it a second thought. Every time I got ideas of fancying a male in my head, I would just block them out. This is wrong, you are disgusting, do you realise the backlash you will face? Knowing my family background and my own personal life would be completely in tatters due to this, I decided to not act upon or address my sexuality.
This is why it took until university for me to second guess my feelings for each sexuality. I was more attracted to males and I liked being around their company more, thinking it was ‘safer’ as I knew exactly how the human anatomy worked and what pleases us. Of course, it wasn’t just because of the science behind fancying males, it’s because being with somebody who feels like your best friend but lover at the same time is a feeling that is unmatched.
I dated women in the past even up to the first year of University where it took a night out in freshers second year with a drunken ‘fuck it’ moment to try Tinder for both genders. Despite actively seeking dates with males, nobody was aware due to me paying for Tinder premium to hide myself from other users unless I swipe right on them. Aware of the awful backlash, I decided to delete the app when I woke up.
Although the curiosity got too much of ‘what if’ and the temptation increased. Therefore, I redownloaded the app and went on my first date. At this moment in time less than a handful of my closest friends knew during this time so I didn’t want anybody around me seeing me, so my date took place in Sheffield.
It was nice, I had strong feelings I wanted to act upon but there was still a voice in the back of my head saying it’s wrong. This led to the same lad not pursuing anything further, stating that he wants a boyfriend who he can show off and meet his friends and doesn’t want to take 5 steps forward and 6 steps back having to hide away. At first, I thought how selfish and that he does not understand me but in hindsight, he was right, how can you be happy when you can’t even be truthful and honest.
As time passed, I began to accept myself more and consider all options. This was when I knew I only found happiness and was sexually attracted to the male gender.
Since accepting myself I have been lucky enough to have dated somebody going through something similar to me. During this time, we both came out to our parents, I don’t think I could have done it alone. Despite breaking up in April 2019 I thank him for everything he helped me with and going through this period together.
Since then I have been in an amazing relationship for seven months and I’m happy enough with myself to even create a blog dedicated to the incredible LGBTQ+ community I’m proud to be apart of.
Why I struggled telling people about my sexuality
This is going to be the hardest memory to relive. Only a select amount of people knows about this and it will be the first time I have wrote or even spoke openly about this topic. In 2014 I was falsely alleged to have sexually exploited a minor. I was 16 at the time of the allegations and despite it being dropped after a week, we have never been the same again.
This idea to confess came to them in their sleep, as the person inside their dream was told to confess everything that they were told, although he did not know the backlash that would come from making this statement. Highlighting the moment as playful banter, his words instead was misconstrued as highly sexual acts.
Once I discovered about all these allegations made against me, I began to cry myself to sleep, constantly remind my family that all of this is false and still have to relive this experience every time I see each family members face, it still haunts me.
There were nights I would overhear my mom and dad talking about it the allegation in bed, ‘this will ruin him’, ‘he will never have a job’. My brother coming into my room saying, ‘if you did this, I would not only kill you but would also batter you for being gay’.
Although it was all cleared within less than a week after the claims were dropped, we never have really moved on. This is why I knew as soon as I came out, all the accusations and allegations would all get brought back up. This is exactly why I never was strong enough to tell anybody in my family fearing of what would happen. This is how one false statement can really ruin your life.
Quickly finishing this period, I do not seek sympathy or wish to discuss this anymore, I’m just happy that the right outcome occurred. Within time the family has healed and hopefully this will never get brought up again and we can move on.
How I came out to my family
The last paragraph is a clear indication to why it was so hard for me to tell my family I had a boyfriend. But after my parents meeting him in multiple unplanned visits and situations including after our holiday together (just the two of us) we was spotted. Not as dirty minded as you are thinking, my mom caught me stroking his hair playfully. As I had no girlfriend for majority of my life and the fact most of my friends being girls, the questions already started being asked.
I am an honest person and I never said no to anybody asking me if I was gay, it was just nobody actually asked.
The only people who ‘always knew’ was my closest friends who watched me grow as a person and were more than supportive. Sadly it was not similar with my parents. My mom began to cry, saying this will ruin the family. Worried about not only from the previous false allegation, but the problem this will cause to the family as a whole.
The males in my family being judged as heavily homophobic I was told I would be ‘removed from the will’, ‘kicked out the house’, and ‘an embarrassment’. Constantly brought up during personal chats with my mom pleading for me to find a good girl, I couldn’t ever be fake and drag somebody along like that living a lie.
My mother has this running through her mind over the next six months, with thoughts of even ending her marriage for choosing me if I was thrown out. This led to my mom crashing her car as she was deep in thought that week about the revelation and I was constantly blamed for any situation which arises afterwards.
Speaking honest from my heart, if it was not for my supportive boyfriend at the time and the incredible friends around me, I don’t think I would be here. I cannot thank you enough. The thought of my brother or dad ever finding out was unthinkable.
The truth always have a funny way of coming out though. This happened on a night me and my best friend Jessica went out in Birmingham, I gave her my bed as I slept downstairs. Before I fell asleep my boyfriend text me ‘I love you, goodnight baby’.
My dad kindly put my phone on charge the next morning to help me but couldn’t resist looking at my phone. This is where he discovered the text. I was then ambushed with questions of who does that with mates, they do not text like that. I was then asked to take myself upstairs to see Jessica whilst my mom told my dad. We didn’t speak all day. Although when I went to the pub quiz later that day received a long text.
The texts highlighted that even if he does not entirely agree, I’m still his son. Just stating that he is old fashioned so does will not be heavily involved with it. It is a slow but improving process everyday. This is a true indication, everything gets better with time.
Since this text we are still delicate with the situation but we have moved on. I have had personal chats with my dad as he highlighted I can talk to him about everything and I finally feel accepted.
My brother was also to find out and he discovered it from my dad after having thoughts for ages even saying it to my dad. at Christmas two years prior. Similar to my dad, he hasn’t mentioned it since and it feels there has been no changes in our relationship. Despite not seeing eye to eye all the time and never really speaking, I still have a lot of care towards him and will always be my brother.
For your information he didn’t beat me up for being gay. Also I want to speak about how incredible my mom has been, making breakfast for my boyfriend, giving him gifts for his birthday and openly speaking to him and about him to me. She really is incredible and is my best friend for a reason. Below will be a slideshow of memories with my family and how we close we still are.
Where I am right now
So to summarise this article I want to address the first paragraph and reiterate what I said. my experience will have been completely different to yours, everybody’s story is different, but hopefully all ours can have a happy ending.
Three years being openly gay and I have created a site highlighting my experiences and shared so many other peoples incredible stories too. Thankfully as time has passed I can finally speak freely about the most difficult time in my life too.
Hopefully this article has shown you that the truth will always come out that is why it’s always best to be honest. By being honest to yourself it will be the only way you can truly accept who you are and can achieve true happiness.
I have overcome obstacles that at sometimes I thought was impossible, yet here I am, the happiest I have ever been. Not only am I blessed to finally have a family who accept me, I also have a loving boyfriend and a close circle of friends who have helped me throughout it all.
All I aspire to do is educate people who need it most by reliving my own personal experiences. This is why I chose to do this blog post despite it being the hardest to relive. Just rememberer one day, everything will fall into place and never tell yourself you are wrong for choosing something that makes you happy.
Proudly is a site where we want to showcase the inspirational stories of brave people willing to share their journey with the community. This is why I wanted to share mine with you too.
We all have our own unique journey to reach the same destination. To be accepted and treated as equal is all we ask from you.
Thank you for coming along this journey with me and I hope this can help somebody going through something similar. You are never alone, we at Proudly stand with all members of the community and our allies.
You have now heard my story, we would love to hear yours. Thank you x