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> When Did You Come Out?, Ft. How out are you?
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When Did You Come Out?
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Lindsey 🙃
post May 14 2018, 09:37 PM
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Lindspam is back momentarily (can you tell I'm procrastinating?)

I have another sub topic discussion point for y'all, this time under coming out

So as this community is largely LGBTQ+ I figured this would be an interesting topic. When did you come out? By that I mean, when did you realise you weren't straight yourself. Coming out in your own mind is harder than telling someone, especially if you battle with a lot of self doubt or self acceptance. It took me literally years from getting from the point of considering I'm not straight to feeling comfortable identifying as bisexual, god even now I still have doubts but I do believe its healthy to question yourself and your feelings. I think a lot of people assume you figure out your sexuality whilst going through puberty and I feel like people who come to terms with their sexuality whilst in adulthood or approaching don't always get the representation or recognition of their validity that they should. I felt like I was late to the party when it finally clicked for me and I was only like 16/17, theres people that go nearly their whole lives before they get that lightbulb moment and that's totally okay.

Also how far "out" are you? There's this perception that you only come out once but obvious that's far from the case so where are y'all at in 2018?

If you are one of the straight allies amongst us then have you ever questioned your sexuality? Have you ever had someone come out to you specifically? How did that go?
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Ronald McJackson
post May 14 2018, 09:59 PM
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I felt attraction to guys since I was 12 and I used to fantasise about Kenzie from Blazin' Squad when he was just wearing a towel or dressing gown or something.

I also googled 'gay sex' when I was 10 in Primary School, they didn't have filters in those days laugh.gif and pictures came up of naked guys, I didn't know why I did it at the time though. I just did it seemingly randomly.

You're right that coming out is not a one-off thing and it is exhausting as I have moved and changed jobs a lot and even lived in 3 foreign countries since initially coming out so it is an ongoing thing.

I'm fed up with having to do it again and again, I guess I don't always need to but is still frustrating as I do want to live authentically.

I didn't fully come out to myself until I was 19 though and it was really scary and a massive thing, before that I thought it would go away/be a phase.
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Maz!
post May 14 2018, 09:59 PM
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At the age of 23 as Bi, have been out as gay since 2015. There are still people who I ain't fully out too like my dad who thinks I'm bi.
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Cqmerqn
post May 14 2018, 10:03 PM
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11-15
Partially

A few friends know Iím bi but thatís about it really
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Jade
post May 14 2018, 10:09 PM
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I am straight but I guess I can contribute my two cents as I did think I was bisexual for some time and do have a story. I was extremely confused about the way I felt from the ages of about 14 to 15. I was very young and I'm generally an open-minded person and I thought that extended to my sexuality, where I could date anyone. Even now I'm sure in my sexuality, with my current boyfriend I fell in love with his personality before I had any idea of what he looked like for months. So really he could've been any gender as it was words on a screen with not a clue of what he looked like. However, realistically that couldn't have lasted long-term without any progression, but luckily this attraction extended to physically as well. At about 16 I came to realise that I was not physically or sexually attracted to girls. It was moreso the whole personality thing that I had been so fixated on. I had a girlfriend and that helped me to see that I actually wasn't into girls that way. I didn't use her at all, we got on well and I thought it could have maybe lead to something but I totally freaked out and realised that I wasn't so sure about being bisexual after all. I wasn't sure if I just wasn't attracted to her though so I gave it more time. I came to realise that I was so insecure (sooo much self-hatred, I'm really proud of myself for how much I have come on since then... leaps and bounds. <3) that I would look up to 'pretty' women and want to BE them, not be with them. It's really hard to explain but yeah I went by this label in my head for a little while and actual experience helped me to truly realise that nope, I'm definitely into guys. That's definitely not to say that you can't know you're bisexual or not unless you experience dating someone of the same sex! It was just a large stepping stone for me. Anyway, I'm rambling like crazy here laugh.gif on to coming out... I told people on Glee Wiki first and they were obviously cool with it as straight people on there were a dime a dozen kink.gif and I definitely mentioned it on here at the time as well, clearly didn't care about places where I had no real-life connections. I then told my male best friend Christian who was also going through a bisexual phase at the time (that turned out to not be a phase for him though) so I had someone who related. Then I told more close friends and the girl I dated told her close friends as well. To my knowledge it never spread any further than that in school but who knows. Anyway, I did not want to tell my parents about this at the time and I just passed off my girlfriend as a friend. But... I decided to break up with this girl and she did NOT take it well. She left a voice message on my home phone in tears when I was out and my DAD got to it before me and listened to it. I was mortified and kept crying and shaking but my dad was totally okay with it. He was so lovely and got me through that awful day when this girl was threatening me for breaking up with her. That was a really low point for sure as it was so unexpected and scary. I'm actually relieved in retrospect that he found it though because I was way too fragile to have coped with what she was saying on my own. So I only ever ended up coming out to my dad when it came to family members. I never told my mum or brother but I think my dad must have told my mum at some point. It doesn't really matter now anyway but I think it would've been difficult, I don't think my grandma for example would have accepted me being with a girl.
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J▲hq
post May 14 2018, 10:13 PM
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I was only 11 when I suddenly realised that I liked guys and it was something I seem to remember accepting/being OK with straight away. When I settled on it being only guys, I don't really remember..

I wrote a note/letter (lol, cringing at myself here) to my mum when I was 13 as a way to 'come out' but that was back when it was still a bisexual thing. I've never done a big coming out with anyone else in my family, it's not something I want to make a big deal out of. Voted "fully" because I assume it's something everyone must realise now with the Facebook updates/photos about Eurovision (not saying that Eurovision = gay @Ryan @Iz, but thinking about my social media posts specifically tongue.gif), check-ins at LGBT venues, who my closest friends are etc. and I have quite a lot of family on Facebook, I'm not making an effort to hide it. But if anyone is still a little unsure, I plan on wearing my 'why is straight the default' t-shirt during a big family holiday in a couple of weeks.
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Iz
post May 14 2018, 10:32 PM
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QUOTE(J▲hq @ May 14 2018, 11:13 PM) *
(not saying that Eurovision = gay @Ryan @Iz, but thinking about my social media posts specifically tongue.gif)


Ryan's nearly as bad! kink.gif

That may just be my lack of social media use. I don't hide it from my family.

~

I have questioned my sexuality over the past few years. I've felt small amounts of attraction to guys at times but it's come and gone whereas attraction to women has remained constant. So I could be a little bit bicurious but I doubt it would last. And to introspect myself is that thinking like that I've rationalised is a part of me wanting to be something other than 'boring old straight' when I pretty much am. And I'm happy with that, I appreciate, having had some people from here send me a message coming out to me, how difficult it can be telling people - and I know that teenaged Iz would not have wanted having yet another thing people could potentially react badly to about him.
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Liаm
post May 15 2018, 01:20 AM
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I was 11 when I realised I was attracted to guys, and vaguely knew what it meant. It was Dale from Big Brother 9, I remember being practically obsessed and fixated whenever he had his shirt off etc. laugh.gif Looking back I think I felt the same about Liam from the year before but Dale was sort of the moment I was like "ok I really like guys". There was probs stuff beforehand I didn't realise at the time, but that was when I kind of started to know. I didn't really admit to myself (or probably, more accurately, didn't realise) I was gay rather than bi until about 13-14 I think, I remember talking to Grant here on PM and we were talking about women like such closeted teens and I was like why tf am I pretending to like women lmao so I said something like "she's not my type she has a vagina" laugh.gif I guess it co-incided with both puberty progressing and going on the internet more, developing more interests in music and TV. As I encountered more types of guys in the media, at school etc., I realised what gay was and that was me - when it came to guys there were certain specific things about them that I liked, it went a bit deeper and made me feel totally different than with females where I just thought "she's pretty I guess".

I didn't come out to anyone irl (on here I just said it tbh) even after admitting to myself, for about a year I think, but it hardly counts laugh.gif I remember vaguely in a botched way coming out to my best friend at the time, which was kinda hard as he would say things like "lesbians should just be normal" but that's another story. I can't remember exactly what I said, but it was enough for him to evidently forget by the time we were year 10 about a year later. I say forget because initially I was like maybe I just was really unclear but I think in hindsight he was so self absorbed he probs did just forget and not really take it in. In Year 10 I properly came out to him and other friends, I remember we were talking about crushes and he made me guess his so I was like oh guess mine and he kept guessing all these girls I barely knew or ever took notice of, and I was like well... it's not a girl and told him who, he was just like lol fair and didn't think much of it. I had a larger circle of friends by then so came out to a lot of them soon after and felt much more comfortable with it.

I'm fully out now as I put on the poll, I came out properly at sixth form (by posting from Ask.fm, iconic xx) and it kinda spread through the school. The next day going into school was mad, all my friends were like sat in our usual place and made such a fuss, and people from outside our group were like aw I saw your tweets, respect etc., I didn't get anything bad because pretty much we all got on at sixth form because all the awful chavs had gone. I doubt everyone thoguht the same but they didn't explicitly show it to me, and I didn't lose any friends, so it was fine. Since then I haven't hidden it on social media etc. so everyone just kinda knows. I've never actually sat down with any of my family and told them, I told my sister on facebook before I actually came out but she is gay too laugh.gif They just know from Facebook, any family who don't have it I assume know from other family members telling them. When I meet new people obviously when you don't hide it it just comes out at some point like I'll point out x or y is hot, or whatever.
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JosephAvery
post May 15 2018, 03:52 PM
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I realised when I was 15 (almost 16, so 2013), and came out to my best friend and sister quite quickly, although I remember quite vividly texting it to Jahq first laugh.gif I came out to a few more friends a few months later, but it wasn't until 2016 that I came out to my parents, and it wasn't really intentional either lmao (long story and one I don't particularly want public kink.gif). I'm still not fully out, but I've reached a point where I don't really care who does or doesn't know now. I'm sure a few family members know already (my auntie knows and I'm not sure she can keep secrets x) so I don't really care now.
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cantthinkofaname
post May 15 2018, 04:25 PM
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I came out first at 20 in early 2011. It took me about a year to fully come out as I just told my friends at first and finally about a year later I told my mom who took it really well (not that I expected anything else, I was just afraid of telling her because I knew I'd bawl like a baby.) But like some have touched on already it's not really something you just do once and then it's over with forever. As I don't quite fit what many consider to be "stereotypical gay" I have to come out of pretty much every new person I get to know. So far I've come out 3 times at work and I haven't even changed jobs since I came out lol.
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Jay ☆
post May 15 2018, 05:15 PM
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It dawned on me that I wasn't straight at around the age of 12, the year 2000. I was very much in denial about it from the word go - to myself and to others. Bullies at my school, who I can only assume sensed that I "wasn't like them", directed insults/slurs at me for a few years. So, my pathway towards self-acceptance was certainly stunted during that time. I really spent a lot of time wishing the feelings I had would go away. Section 28 was still a thing in those days. Even though at that young age I wasn't fully aware of that legislation, I had certainly sensed that talking about LGBT issues in school, to teachers, was a no no. I felt like I had to tell teachers that I was being bullied because school had become unbearable/felt unsafe, and I even informed them of the names I was being called. However, there was no discussion about whether I might be gay and any offer of support or guidance in that sense, and that was because they couldn't. They could only tackle the bullying without really getting to the root of the problem. I also didn't feel like I could talk to my parents because they'd expressed homophobic views.

By the time I was 15 (and had moved schools, and settled in nicely with a good group of friends) I was feeling more at ease with the fact that I liked men. However, I was willing myself to believe that I was bisexual. I came out as bi at that age, to a couple of close friends, but eventually it was common knowledge. In hindsight, I wish I hadn't used that word as a safety net. A fear of rejection and not being ready to fully accept myself as being gay, prevented me from having the nerve to come out with that label. As well as Section 28 (that was only just coming to an end by 2003), I would say there was a lack of LGBT representation/role models in the media - certainly for teenagers, so there was no one to look up to for me, to make me feel more confident in myself. Coming out as bi felt like a relief to an extent, because I was sharing an aspect of my personality... but it was shrouded by being treated like I was some kind of novelty, someone that my classmates were fascinated by, more so than they were particularly accepting of it (bar my very closest friends). Anyway, I'd regard that as being my "testing the waters" coming out. I'm sure my closest friends may have known I was just being cautious by saying bi, but were thankfully polite enough not to force me into a label I wasn't yet comfortable with owning.

It wasn't until 18 that I was accepting that I was gay. I didn't knowingly meet anyone else who identified as LGBT until I was 17, and I made some like-minded friends. I would say they were ultimately the people who helped me to become self-accepting. At 18 (in 2006) was the stage I came out to my parents. That went terribly, but that's another story. They softened eventually and although it's not been 100% plain sailing... well, I live with them, so they must be accepting of me. I'm honestly glad I didn't have that secret hanging over me for any longer than 18, because by that age it was really eating away at me that my parents openly had different expectations of who I was. At that point, I was ready to be my authentic self - regardless of what my parents thought about it, I just couldn't hide that aspect of me, the friends I had, the places I visited or the interests I had.

Over the past 12 years, there's been some occasions where I've come out all over again, for instance when I lived away from home and had housemates who I became close with. I've never come out to other members of my family, because I don't see them/talk to them often, unfortunately. I'm sure my Aunts/Uncles/cousins on my mum's side must know; I doubt my mum has kept that hidden. Although I don't think my grandparents ever knew. No idea if any of my dad's side know!



In summary(!) -

How old were you when you realised you weren't straight? 11-15
How "out" are you? I'm out to everyone I'm close to (who I know in person), and everyone I'm friends/acquaintances with online is aware! Not sure if that could count as "Fully", but "partially" feels too limited... so I would say "mostly". I voted Fully though because that feels closest to the truth.
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Suedehead2
post May 15 2018, 09:21 PM
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QUOTE(Jay ☆ @ May 15 2018, 06:15 PM) *
It dawned on me that I wasn't straight at around the age of 12, the year 2000. I was very much in denial about it from the word go - to myself and to others. Bullies at my school, who I can only assume sensed that I "wasn't like them", directed insults/slurs at me for a few years. So, my pathway towards self-acceptance was certainly stunted during that time. I really spent a lot of time wishing the feelings I had would go away. Section 28 was still a thing in those days. Even though at that young age I wasn't fully aware of that legislation, I had certainly sensed that talking about LGBT issues in school, to teachers, was a no no. I felt like I had to tell teachers that I was being bullied because school had become unbearable/felt unsafe, and I even informed them of the names I was being called. However, there was no discussion about whether I might be gay and any offer of support or guidance in that sense, and that was because they couldn't. They could only tackle the bullying without really getting to the root of the problem. I also didn't feel like I could talk to my parents because they'd expressed homophobic views.

By the time I was 15 (and had moved schools, and settled in nicely with a good group of friends) I was feeling more at ease with the fact that I liked men. However, I was willing myself to believe that I was bisexual. I came out as bi at that age, to a couple of close friends, but eventually it was common knowledge. In hindsight, I wish I hadn't used that word as a safety net. A fear of rejection and not being ready to fully accept myself as being gay, prevented me from having the nerve to come out with that label. As well as Section 28 (that was only just coming to an end by 2003), I would say there was a lack of LGBT representation/role models in the media - certainly for teenagers, so there was no one to look up to for me, to make me feel more confident in myself. Coming out as bi felt like a relief to an extent, because I was sharing an aspect of my personality... but it was shrouded by being treated like I was some kind of novelty, someone that my classmates were fascinated by, more so than they were particularly accepting of it (bar my very closest friends). Anyway, I'd regard that as being my "testing the waters" coming out. I'm sure my closest friends may have known I was just being cautious by saying bi, but were thankfully polite enough not to force me into a label I wasn't yet comfortable with owning.

It wasn't until 18 that I was accepting that I was gay. I didn't knowingly meet anyone else who identified as LGBT until I was 17, and I made some like-minded friends. I would say they were ultimately the people who helped me to become self-accepting. At 18 (in 2006) was the stage I came out to my parents. That went terribly, but that's another story. They softened eventually and although it's not been 100% plain sailing... well, I live with them, so they must be accepting of me. I'm honestly glad I didn't have that secret hanging over me for any longer than 18, because by that age it was really eating away at me that my parents openly had different expectations of who I was. At that point, I was ready to be my authentic self - regardless of what my parents thought about it, I just couldn't hide that aspect of me, the friends I had, the places I visited or the interests I had.

Over the past 12 years, there's been some occasions where I've come out all over again, for instance when I lived away from home and had housemates who I became close with. I've never come out to other members of my family, because I don't see them/talk to them often, unfortunately. I'm sure my Aunts/Uncles/cousins on my mum's side must know; I doubt my mum has kept that hidden. Although I don't think my grandparents ever knew. No idea if any of my dad's side know!
In summary(!) -

How old were you when you realised you weren't straight? 11-15
How "out" are you? I'm out to everyone I'm close to (who I know in person), and everyone I'm friends/acquaintances with online is aware! Not sure if that could count as "Fully", but "partially" feels too limited... so I would say "mostly". I voted Fully though because that feels closest to the truth.


What makes that story far worse is that Section 28 wasn't some ancient piece of legislation dating back decades. It was only introduced in 1988, It came the year after the Prime Minister of the day gave this speech to her party conference.



As recently as the early part of this century it was still official Tory party policy to oppose repeal of this vile piece of legislation. David Cameron made his support for retaining Section 28 a major part of his election campaign in the 2001 election. Theresa May also supported keeping it.

Your story helps to illustrate what a ghastly, hateful and damaging piece of legislation it was.
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Jay ☆
post May 15 2018, 11:31 PM
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^ Such a deplorable action to take, and like you say it's shocking to think how recent that is in British history. Although I only learned about Section 28 sometime after it was abolished, it's sad to think how it contributed to my formative years and how it undoubtedly contributed to the struggle LGBT kids faced. Thank goodness that's gone. Obviously things aren't idyllic for every LGBT youth in school even now, but the support is there at least.

That video is pretty terrifying, she sounds full of contempt - and to think people lapped that up as being the right thing to do... the mind boggles. Not to mention this happened during a time that gay men really didn't need to be further marginalised, while the AIDS/HIV crisis was ongoing. What a horrible period of time.

Thankfully time has marched on. Although it's certainly concerning that the two most recent Prime Ministers also shared those beliefs to be right at one point (and even if they may have ultimately changed that view point now, having ever had it at all... I just don't understand the rationale).
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Ronald McJackson
post May 16 2018, 12:08 AM
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QUOTE(Liаm @ May 15 2018, 02:20 AM) *
I was 11 when I realised I was attracted to guys, and vaguely knew what it meant. It was Dale from Big Brother 9, I remember being practically obsessed and fixated whenever he had his shirt off etc. laugh.gif Looking back I think I felt the same about Liam from the year before but Dale was sort of the moment I was like "ok I really like guys". There was probs stuff beforehand I didn't realise at the time, but that was when I kind of started to know. I didn't really admit to myself (or probably, more accurately, didn't realise) I was gay rather than bi until about 13-14 I think, I remember talking to Grant here on PM and we were talking about women like such closeted teens and I was like why tf am I pretending to like women lmao so I said something like "she's not my type she has a vagina" laugh.gif I guess it co-incided with both puberty progressing and going on the internet more, developing more interests in music and TV. As I encountered more types of guys in the media, at school etc., I realised what gay was and that was me - when it came to guys there were certain specific things about them that I liked, it went a bit deeper and made me feel totally different than with females where I just thought "she's pretty I guess".

I didn't come out to anyone irl (on here I just said it tbh) even after admitting to myself, for about a year I think, but it hardly counts laugh.gif I remember vaguely in a botched way coming out to my best friend at the time, which was kinda hard as he would say things like "lesbians should just be normal" but that's another story. I can't remember exactly what I said, but it was enough for him to evidently forget by the time we were year 10 about a year later. I say forget because initially I was like maybe I just was really unclear but I think in hindsight he was so self absorbed he probs did just forget and not really take it in. In Year 10 I properly came out to him and other friends, I remember we were talking about crushes and he made me guess his so I was like oh guess mine and he kept guessing all these girls I barely knew or ever took notice of, and I was like well... it's not a girl and told him who, he was just like lol fair and didn't think much of it. I had a larger circle of friends by then so came out to a lot of them soon after and felt much more comfortable with it.

I'm fully out now as I put on the poll, I came out properly at sixth form (by posting from Ask.fm, iconic xx) and it kinda spread through the school. The next day going into school was mad, all my friends were like sat in our usual place and made such a fuss, and people from outside our group were like aw I saw your tweets, respect etc., I didn't get anything bad because pretty much we all got on at sixth form because all the awful chavs had gone. I doubt everyone thoguht the same but they didn't explicitly show it to me, and I didn't lose any friends, so it was fine. Since then I haven't hidden it on social media etc. so everyone just kinda knows. I've never actually sat down with any of my family and told them, I told my sister on facebook before I actually came out but she is gay too laugh.gif They just know from Facebook, any family who don't have it I assume know from other family members telling them. When I meet new people obviously when you don't hide it it just comes out at some point like I'll point out x or y is hot, or whatever.


It is really scary doing that though, depending on who it is. For example I go to some exercise classes where most people are in there 40s and above and I would never just blurt it out, I did tell a lady in my salsa group a year ago though as she was asking if I had a girlfriend. It just doesn't really come up in my exercise classes and there's not really that much talking anyway as we are exercising.

If I'm in my friends bar or something then most people there know I like guys already so I am more open to telling guys they're hot (even if they're straight tongue.gif )

When I worked in Greece I never told my employers or the Greek people I worked with as I didn't know how they would react and it wasn't any of their business as my employers were assholes anyway.

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