Sharing our stories - Owen’s story

 

MY COMING OUT

Coming out as gay was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. It was an extremely difficult and nerve-racking decision but one that I look back on with great pride that I did so.

I think that I knew from an early age that I was gay, but couldn’t really come to terms with it until I had became a lot older, around the age of eighteen. I guess the reason behind this was the fact that I was too scared and worried what people would think or say about me, which led to years of ‘suppression’ which looking back caused a lot of pain.

 All of these negative thoughts of worry and loneliness would rush in my mind. Thoughts such as my family perhaps wouldn’t love me anymore or friends might disowning me  crept in on a daily basis and thats what led me to hide that part of myself and I constantly told myself that it was a phase and eventually go away on its own, which of course it didn’t.

There were some small signs which looking back on now kind of showed I was perhaps slightly different to other boys in school. I seemed to have more female friends and found female company to be more comfortable to me than hanging around with boys. I am though now a massive sports fan!

Throughout my primary school years and secondary school I continued to hide this side of me, almost making it a priority to hide the signs and recluse myself slightly as it was easier to hide that way. These actions causes hurt and looking back now I realise how much happier and the enjoyment I could have had, had I come out sooner, but its not always as easy as that. 

It was New years eve 2018 and it was that evening that I decided to be brave and reveal the thing that had eaten away at me for years, finally telling someone the truth that I was gay. I felt like it was time for me to tell someone. I told my closest friends first, and it was the best feeling ever. The weight that had been lifted of my shoulders was phenomenal and I actually felt like I was whole again. Their reaction was equally as good. They had nothing but kind, respectful words which were so amazing to hear, and really helped make me think why on earth hadn’t I done this sooner?

It was these special friends who gave me the courage to make the next big step and tell my family. This was extremely difficult as you just don’t know what the reaction will be. Roughly a month later, I plucked up the courage and told my mum first, and then slowly other close family members. Once again, their reactions were incredibly positive and I was maybe for the first time, truly happy and felt like I could finally be me after years of being something that I wasn’t.

All of my family members accepted me for who I am and all of them being so positive is something that I have been thankful for and wanted to happen so badly. I am now a completely new person who is loving life. I am enjoying my studies, enjoying work and have met an amazing guy who makes me so happy, and all of these things I just wouldn’t have thought was possible just two years ago.

As a parting message, I would say that I know coming out is not easy and I know not everyone will have the positive reaction I did, but the truth is you just have to be you and the feeling of joy and being brave will be something that you will forever remember, knowing that there is no more hiding and you can be finally be your true self!

Just be braver than you knew!


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