Hi guys! And welcome back to our page!
This is a special post for us. We don’t often delve into such personal experiences in such a public way. Both of us are somewhat quite and reserved when we talk about our sexuality, now don’t get us wrong we love to talk about anything and everything with our friends, in person. But sharing these incredibly personal experiences is ironic considering the topic of post. We are ‘coming’ out all over again. This time though it won’t be as difficult or emotional as we have come to terms with our lives and we have such an incredible support network around us, that in a way, we feel invincible when we talk on this matter.
‘Coming Out’ is pretty self explanatory, this is when any member of the LGBTQ+ community opens up about how they truly feel to the closest ones around them. Now it sounds easy, right? But more often than not this honesty can cause pain, heartbreak and can even brake the foundations of the most stablest home, in the worst case scenarios that is. We, have been lucky in this sense.
There have been several studies and surveys done that can show you more in depth, statistically wise on the true impact of coming out and what it is like to live a life being LGBTQ+.
The National LGBT Survey, which you can find here states that: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/722314/GEO-LGBT-Survey-Report.pdf
“after coming out … 69% of young LGBT homeless people were rejected by their
parents and suffered abuse within the family”
“14% had experienced disclosure of their LGBT status without permission”
But let’s us not focus of the negative here. Coming out can be a wonderful, liberating and magical experience. It offers that person freedom, truth and happiness. The weight we all carried on our shoulders before living in our truths will have been lifted. So let’s get started on our stories. The reason you are reading this blog in the first place.
It’s been eight years since I came out. I was 19. Some might say this is really late to come out, but there is never a perfect time to do this sort of thing. I was more or less ‘outed’ by a family member, but never for the reasons you might think and I didn’t know this conversation had taken place until i was having this incredibly difficult conversation with my mom.
Now a few days before I found myself having this conversation we had been at a family members funeral, where a handful of people knew that I was gay already, I knew I was walking on thin ice by this point in regards to my sexuality, I’d given this thought countless times and had opportunities to come out already, but I was never ready, I don’t think you ever are. Anyway the funeral had been a nice affair, well as nice an affair as a funeral could be and I remember speaking to one of my cousins outside who had bought up my being gay and we had a discreet conversation about general things and we quickly moved on.
Never did I imagine that my uncle, the father of said cousin had around the same time been speaking to my mom. He’d been speaking to her about general things, one of these general things being me. He only needed to say twelve words to her, in which he did just that, that changed my life. Without him, I could well be in the closet still, so I raise my glass to my uncle who pushed the boat out of the dock.
“So Tony said something to me at the funeral, about you”
These are the words my mom said to me. This statement was enough to make my stomach drop through to the floor. I knew it was coming. It’s funny how I can remember this conversation word for word.
“Oh, what did he say?”
“Well he said, “So how do you feel now that Matt has finally come out?”, What did he mean?”
I remember we were stood in the kitchen in our old house and she was doing the ironing while I was drinking tea. I put my tea down on hearing these words and I felt my heart racing, I spent a good few seconds thinking before responding. My mom being the most genuine of people stopped her ironing and looked at me, but I couldn’t bare to look her in the eye, I couldn’t bare to lie to her either.
‘It means just that’ I blurted out.
‘That I’m gay’ I froze, I wanted to be sick and I just wanted to run away.
The next minute or two was a blur, but I remember we spoke. The beautiful thing was that she wanted to speak to me still, even though she now had a gay son. She was looking me in the eye while I could barely do the same back, it was a weird feeling, I felt like I should be ashamed, that I was unworthy and dirty.
We talked a little more and she was asking questions, she wanted to know more about me.
Then my mom started to cry. I feared this moment, I’d let her down, thoughts raced through my mind such as ‘Am I going to be kicked out?’ or ‘I’ll have to leave home!’ But then my mom grabbed me, and threw her arms around me and gave me the biggest hug I’d ever had off her. I started to cry too. We were both in each others’ embrace, crying and accepting the love. It was this raw, emotional and unedited moment that will stay with me forever. Then she spoke these words:
‘I don’t know why you couldn’t have come to me in the first place, I’m here for you , I always was and always am. You are my son, gay or not and you will stay my son until the day I die, I love you’
I couldn’t stop crying nor could she. For what felt like a lifetime it was one of the best moments of my life.
As this bittersweet moment was simmering down, she then goes to me in a serious voice ‘You do know you’re going to have to tell your dad, right?’
Then I simply had to plead with her, coming out to a straight man was even more a frightening experience than the one that just occurred. So she kindly agreed to ‘break the ice’ and to do it when I wasn’t around, I allowed her to do this.
It was two days later when we were alone in the house together again, and she brazenly said, ‘So your dad knows’. I shuddered. ‘When did you tell him?’.
‘On the night the other night!’
‘So he’s known this whole time and hasn’t said anything to me’
‘Well I went into the living room and just said ‘You know Matts gay, right?’ and he just shrugged his shoulders and went ‘So what”
I went up to my bedroom and cried. Nothing bad was going to happen to me.
So my coming out experience was slightly different to Matt’s. There was no family gathering or occasion and definitely no accidental outing from a family member. In all honesty, I don’t remember what age I was when I came out as Bisexual to my mum and brothers. I was openly Bi to pals and pretty much everyone but my immediate family a long time before I had the guts to actually come out to them too.
How did it happen, you ask? Well I’d never really been lucky with love at this point and I was dating someone, thinking it was going incredibly well, when in reality, not so much. So I’d been at work for the day and the breakup happened which triggered after work drinks with some friends and had a little too much to drink. I remember thinking that I wanted to go out and party with friends but needed to change out of my work clothes to do so.
Well on my return, I was in a bit of a drunken state, feeling quite emotional. My mum let me into the house and saw me looking distraught and immediately asked “So what’s wrong?”, a question I wouldn’t want to answer given the circumstances. This evening, however, Dutch Courage must’ve taken hold of me and I asked if we could have a minute or two alone to chat (away from my older brothers). My nerves were so bad that I genuinely sobered up in the time it took us to walk upstairs.
So we had the conversation and I told her everything. As much as it pained me to do so, it came out like word vomit. She listened the whole way through and didn’t say much, something which scared me at the time (that I now know shouldn’t have as it was just her processing the info). I remember asking after I’d said my piece, “so what do you think?” to which she replied jokingly “Doesn’t that just make you a bit greedy?” with a smile on her face, followed by “it doesn’t change anything, you’re still my baby and I love you just the same”. She came over, gave me a hug and I cried on her shoulder for a bit and no words were uttered for a minute or two.
After the bit of silence, I was shaking like a leaf but summoned the courage to go downstairs and tell my brothers. I thought at the time (similarly to Matt’s experience) they’d be the worst to tell, being two straight men. It was the complete opposite though, they couldn’t have cared less.
I’d worried for nothing and been very blessed to have such a loving family. Not everyone has this experience though sadly and our hearts truly go out to those who haven’t been so fortunate in that sense.
So these are our Coming Out stories. As you can probably tell, we are lucky to have such loving and accepting families. These moments are so important and critical in building trust in your relationships with those around you. From these moments we have connected with those around us on such a deeper and more emotional level, bonding us ways which are now inseparable.
For some though, they might not be so lucky. We have heard of absolute horror stories when it comes to some individuals coming out, the worst leading to their completely avoidable deaths. Our hearts go out to those affected in these terrible ways, but what can we do to help?
The first is to become more educated, watch a documentary, read a book or god forbid speak to someone who is LGBTQ+. Opening up conversations and even your mind can lead you to become more accepting in ways you never thought were possible.
The second is to become an ally. This doesn’t mean you have to go and protest or run in marches, but this can simply mean befriending someone, accepting them for who they truly are.
The third is to actively fight for justice for LGBTQ+ people. Protest, donate and be part of that community.
IF you are reading this and haven’t come out yet, don’t in any way feel that National Coming Out day is your only chance to come out. Come out when you are ready, you’ll sort of know when. There’s no pressure.
So this is us. Only a small part and if you have taken the time to read this all the way to the end, thank you. We love you. We see you. And I think you now see us.
Thank you once again, we love you.
Have the best day,
Matt and Mik 🙂 xx
PS – If you are struggling with coming out or with your sexuality there are tonnes of resources online that can help you. If you want to speak, our door is always open.
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