Craig | 23 | West Midlands, England | Photographer
I came out when I was 17 in a less than ideal way. However, I came out of it stronger.
Coming Out is one of the biggest things a gay person will do, regardless of the reaction it gets.
"Once you are out you feel a huge weight has been
I came out during a vodka induced emotional blackout which lead me to phone my mom and scream "I'm Gay" down the phone to her. I hadn't rehearsed that and I don't suggest doing it this way! I think the way that I came out made it worse for my mom because it was so brutally blunt. I didn't break it to her at all gently. Telling other people wasn't as bad though. I told my older brother and he was nothing but supportive. My sister said she already knew. Telling them brought me closer to them than anything. They really helped me in terms of giving me advice on how to cope with my mom's reaction.
"It's important to remember that support might be closer than you think."
Me and my mom weren't the same for about 18 months, which was horrible for both of us because we were the closest a mother and son could be. We barely spoke and any time we did speak we argued because of the fact that I was gay. It was really hard during this time to remind myself that it wasn't my fault.
Being gay isn't a 'fault' in the first place, let alone anyone's fault. Being gay is part of life. The attraction of the same sex. Simple chemical reactions within the body burdened with the implications of a faulted world.
When me and my mom began to talk and understand each other it became about me reassuring her and getting her point of view into the correct focus as opposed to arguing. We eventually got there, hence my idyllic life I have now. I have only spoke in detail about my Mom because that was where my struggle was. I told my Dad and I got my good reaction. I got the hug and, "your still the same to me", that I really was not expecting from him. People sometimes go against your expectations.
The one concern that both my parents shared was the sexual health side of things. They immediately assumed because I am gay I would get Aids. No matter how outdated the assumption may be that gay automatically equals Aids, it doesn't take much to reassure them. Just tell them that you know the risks and are being safe. If you need to get away from the stress of being around your family because the gay talk is just too much just spend time with your friends. I found my friends to be a great source of support. Even if it's just for a few hours, being around people you can talk to freely and openly really helps. Just meeting someone else that is gay is also a huge help, because they will know exactly what you are going through.
"No matter how big or small the struggle is, you will
definitely come out stronger on the other end."
It might just need a bit of time. Don't be too shocked if you end up having to give support to people (in order for them to understand what you're telling them)instead of you receiving it! If you do end up Coming Out you can always rely on someone for support, be it a friend, a partner or even a colleague; perhaps even an anonymous online forum. There's always someone out there to help you.