Jack | 17 | Bedfordshire, England | Student
After having being an RUComingOut supporter since day one I thought that maybe I should share my story.
I suppose I should introduce myself before I get started, so hi I'm Jack! From dancing to S Club 7, S Club 8, Spice Girls, TLC and many other greats to the present day, this is my story and I hope it helps anybody struggling to come out to make steps towards being able to.
As you've read in various other stories, I (like many others) have always felt that I was different to the other boys at school. Despite both the boys and girls mixing when I was in primary school, I would get on easier with girls and found it more difficult to relate to the boys. I'm not saying that this stopped me being friends with boys altogether but I did (and still do) have more female friends than male. When I got to Year 6 that was the time in which I slowly began becoming conscious of the who I am.
"The other boys would start mentioning how "girly" I was. This continued but was never an issue as they were still my friends."
Around the last five or six weeks or Year 6 I moved from a rural area to a more urban area where the schooling system worked differently. I had gone from being one of the oldest in the school to the second youngest year group in the school.
From there, the names and comments persisted. I never felt that it was proper bullying but more of a daily reminder that I was different to the other boys.
The longer this persisted the more tiresome it became. By Year 7 (that would make me 11 at the time) I knew that I was gay (after shortly thinking I could be bisexual which even then I knew wouldn't likely be true). I had no problems with this myself as I had been brought up to know that whatever sexuality I turned out, I would always be loved. That being said, some people at my school obviously felt it their obligation to make me feel uncomfortable as the comments were still going on (you'd think that they would grow up by now but oh no). After a while I did want to leave and go to another school even though I knew it would happen wherever I went. So I put up with being called various slang names.
"Even though I knew that I was gay and was out to myself, I hadn't come out to my parents, family and friends. I didn't feel at that time that I could be confident enough (I was a shy child)."
Moving on, I made my way through middle school into upper/high school (whichever you prefer to call it). More names and comments came with new faces. Surprise surprise Year 9 and 10 had even more comments, insults and names in store for me. Year 11 is where everything became 'official'. I was in an R.E lesson (urgh, they were the bane of my life hahaha), when I thought maybe I should test the water out with one of my best friends. After being told off (again as per, even though I am usually well behaved) I wrote her a note explaining that I have had considered the possibility that I might be bisexual (even though that thought had crossed my mind around four almost five years ago). I was immediately relieved when she smiled at me and explained that she is fine with it. I slowly but surely came out as bisexual to test the water. I received a generally positive response.
Study leave came by, GCSE exams always came by. One day during July last year, I decided I was going to tell my mum that I was gay as I knew she would be fine with it. We were in the car, when she randomly said in the car "So when are you going to come out?" I was thinking "You decide to ask me the moment before I tell you?!" In hindsight I didn't have that moment where I thought I can't do this which made it easier I guess." I then said that it was funny she asked as I was just about to tell you. She was so happy that she asked if she could be the one to tell the family. I felt bad saying no so made it even easier for myself by saying yes.
There wasn't any negative responses from any of the family, although I was quite relieved I didn't have to go through the nerves of telling my dad. Luckily for me I guess, is that mum said it was obvious from when I was about 3!
Anyway, back to the story. I began telling those I had come out to that I was coming out again as the first time was to test the water. It was so nice to finally to be myself around others than my friends and family. It probably helped that I have become more confident with age meaning whenever an insult, comment or name is thrown my way such as "faggot" I just respond with "Well done, nice observation" making them realise they are not big for insulting someone but in fact look stupid (something I would never have the confidence to do years ago).
Looking back on 2012, I made four major achievements: Coming out, getting 11 GCSE's (instead of the 5 my parents and I thought I'd get), getting a great work opportunity leading to the fourth of getting a part time job to do alongside education! I was very happy to say the least.
Fingers crossed 2013 continues to go well! I am hoping to leave Sixth Form soon as I have applied to become a fashion student at college that will hopefully lead to great things for the future.