Dan Gillespie Sells | 33 | London, England | Musician
Dan is the lead singer of British band The Feeling.
Every coming out story is different.
Mine is particularly unusual I think because of my family; my crazy family. I was raised in two different households, which is not unusual in its own right. My Dad lived alone and had just myself and my older brother living with him for half of the week. The other half of our week was spent with our two Mums. At one point, along came our little brother and (other than the dog the cats, ducks, chickens and my dad's girlfriend) that was it.
Lesbian mothers were not unheard of back in the 80's but the subject was definitely controversial. We lived with the knowledge that, though we knew there was nothing wrong with our family, many people in society thought there was.
I had an inkling that I was gay at six or seven years old. I was lucky enough to know what it meant and I had always been told by the ones I loved that I could be what I wanted to be. You would think then, that that was that. Easy. End of story. But it wasn’t.
I didn't really come to terms with being Gay for many years. Though my home was a place of freedom and safety (a thing of which I am eternally grateful), the world outside was not. Television was so full of homophobic crap. Gay people in the media were only ever represented as outrageous, flamboyant and comical. Though I love that side of gay culture I never felt as though it represented me.
"School was so full of homophobia they may as well have put it on the curriculum.
Actually, the Tory government at the time literally did with section 28."
By the time I was a teenager I still hadn't come to terms with my sexuality. I knew my parents would be cool with it but that almost made it worse. Every true adolescent wants to rebel and how dull it was (I thought) to be the child in the gay family who turns out to be gay! On top of this is the fact that talking about your sexual orientation with your parents means talking about sex with your parents. Hideous! And.... on top of that, I thought that given that I wasn't even getting close to having any actual sex, it all seemed a bit futile (a bit like calling yourself a footballer though you've only ever watched from the terraces). I decided I would wait until I had a boyfriend and then it would be valid. In the end I didn't have to wait that long.
"I was in a junk shop with one of my mums and I spotted some 60's Poole pottery in egg shell blue.
As I went for it with my eyes all lit up with excitement she said,
“You've got to be gay, right?” “Yes” I replied, and that was it.
Nobody had never really asked me before. Not like that. And I realised that it wasn't just about who I wanted to sleep with. It was about who I am. I had to stop my Mum from throwing a 'coming out party' (I would have died). My brother had already had the, “Mum, I'm sorry but I think I fancy girls” conversation and he wasn't getting a bloody party!
I don't know why I struggled with it for so long. Other people in much tougher circumstances came out much earlier than I. I guess we all get held back for different reasons (I think for me it was school) but as long as we get there in the end we can all be happy.
I feel the bigotry in our society is hiding in our institutions, particularly our schools. Let's go and sort them out!
Follow The Feeling on Twitter - @TheFeeling
Dan's band The Feeling hit the road again in 2013 on their UK tour.
15 APR 2013 | Get Tickets | Cambridge, Junction
16 APR 2013 | Get Tickets | Leeds, City Varieties Music Hall
17 APR 2013 | Get Tickets | Birmingham, 02 Academy 2
19 APR 2013 | Get Tickets | Leicester, 02 Academy
20 APR 2013 | Get Tickets | Manchester, Academy 2
21 APR 2013 | Get Tickets | Glasgow, Oran Mor
22 APR 2013 | Get Tickets | Gateshead, Sage 2
24 APR 2013 | Get Tickets | Bristol, 02 Academy
25 APR 2013 | Get Tickets | Bournemouth, 02 Academy
26 APR 2013 | Get Tickets | London, 02 Shepherd's Bush Empire