Mark | 39 | Cambridgeshire, England | Bank Worker
I’d known I was gay from a fairly young age but never had the confidence to do anything about it. I moved out from home when I was 24 and thinking back now there’s so much I could have done but
didn’t. I just bought the odd magazine as I didn’t have access to the internet. I still felt that I would be
letting my family down especially my parents who I’d always got on well with.
"To be honest I think I was letting myself
I then met somebody who I just clicked with; I knew this could last but it that was the case at some point I had to tell my parents. I wanted them to meet him. I was now 27. I decided I must tell them, but what you want to do and what you feel you can do are not always the same, I bottled it. There was no way I could tell them. Two years (!) later came the moment when I told my sister. She was having her 40th birthday party at her house and in the style of EastEnders thought it would be an ideal time to make a scene.
Well it wasn’t exactly a scene as such it was just I had a bit too much to drink and just thought why shouldn’t I be able to bring my boyfriend along.
I’ve always got on really well with my sister so she was the one chosen to be told first! I just went up to her and asked if I could have a private word. We locked ourselves in the bathroom and I said, ‘I’ve got something to tell you’, to which she replied, ‘are you gay?’. Bit of an anti-climax really but it got the job done. We both had a cry and a hug (and some more wine).
"It was great to tell someone, I felt I had achieved something."
My next job was to tell Mum and Dad; my sister offered to come with me but I thought, ‘No, I’ve got to do it myself’. A few weeks passed and my sister had been over to my house with her kids to meet Jason and they all got on really well. I had still put off telling my parents but the more I spent time with Jason the more I knew I wanted to stay with him forever and there was no way I could not come out. I’d been round my parents and as I was leaving I said I had something tell them and could I come back the next night. That next day was the longest ever but eventually the time came and I had to tell them.
I just came out with it ‘I’m gay’ – they were both upset, they cried, I cried then I ran out (it’s getting all EastEnders again!). I drove off and parked in a lay-by, I needed to gather my thoughts, what had I done? I text Jason to let him know, he’d never pressured me to do it. I still saw my parents after that but it was never mentioned, it was all a bit awkward. After a while my sister asked us round to her house. As we drove up we knew that my Mum and Dad where there, what where they going to say to Jason? I still don’t know if my sister had been working in the background to settle things down, but it all went really well. (I think my Mum might have had a drink or two). I’ve now been with Jason for 13 years and we’re both 40 this year. There have never been any issues with my family about being gay; Jason is just treated as one of the family. I don’t hide being gay from anyone, I’m out at work and some of my colleagues are gay too.
"It’s great to go to work on a Monday and talk about what you did at the weekend and not have to make excuses because you don’t want to reveal who you really are."
All people are different gay or straight, they don’t have to fit a certain list. Neither of us has ever been to a gay club, that’s just not us. Don’t feel that just because you are gay there are some things you have to do, being gay should just be part of you not all of you.