Chris | 24 | Brighton, England | Police Staff
Coming Out can be scary and sometimes feel quite lonely but I hope that my story will show you another side; a side that is positive and that has a happy ending.
When I was growing up I knew I was different. I had a great group of friends that I went around with and a great family that I was close to but at the back of my mind I always knew that I was different to all of them.
I started experimenting with guys at a young age. Nothing too serious really, just messing around with a friend after school and during holidays. We never mentioned it to anyone else and nobody ever found out. My mate is now happily settled down with his girlfriend and we are still good friends to this day. At the time I put it down to being curious about sex and just wanting to experience different things, but as time went on I began to realise that it was more than just curiosity and I began to notice that I was starting to be attracted to a guy in my class, other guys in school, out and about and on TV.
All this happened between the ages of 11 and 15 although I finally accepted that I was gay when I was 16. I think I waited because I was still at high school and scared of people’s reactions. I feared what people's reactions would be and thought I would get bullied.
"I didn’t have any gay friends and knew of no
other gay people I could turn to for advice."
I spent my time at school and college pretending to be someone I was not. I was lying to family and friends about where I was going and who I was meeting, sometimes putting my own safety at risk when meeting people who I didn’t know and not telling anyone what I was doing.
The first person I Came Out to was my best friend when I was 17 and finally feeling comfortable with who I was to start telling people. We went to a local pub and I sat her down and explained what I had been going through, At first she was a little bit shocked and upset, not because I was gay but that I had not told her before. I was so relieved. Over a period of a year I slowly began to come out to more and more friends, with each of them being really supportive.
I didn’t get into my first proper relationship with a guy until I was 18, we met online and started to message each other and decided to go out for a drink, we got a long and spent 6 months together, he built my confidence up and introduced me to gay bars and clubs, places that before I was too scared to go into. I started to make friends with other gay guys and was given the opportunity to experience new things and learn from other guys experiences, I can honestly say that it was the happiest I had been up to that point.
I finally decided to come out to my parents the day after my 19th birthday, I had been out with my best friend and decided that I was finally going to tell them, when I got home, I sat my parents down and said there was something that I needed to tell them.
"Once I told them I was gay, they revealed that they had always
known but were pleased that I was finally able to tell them."
A few months after telling my parents that I was gay, I met my new boyfriend, our first date lasted 12 hours and is a day that I would never forget. I introduced him to my parents and they got along really well, he assisted me in getting a job within the police where I still work today dealing with property that is seized for evidence in court cases.
We got engaged after six months together whilst on holiday in Majorca. We have now been together for five years, bought a house together and in July 2011 we had our civil partnership which was attended by both our families and friends. It was the happiest day of my life.
If someone had told me when I was 16 that within eight years I would own a house, be working for the Police and be married I would never have believed it! I have an amazing set of friends and a wonderful family who have supported me throughout everything.
"Coming Out was possibly the scariest thing I have ever done, but
it also turned out to be the most amazing thing I have ever done."
Follow Chris on Twitter - @Mr_ChRiSsI_X