VP Education

Vice President Education

claudia2.shaw@northumbria.ac.uk

 

National Coming out day! My story!

National coming out day!

 

My coming out story isn’t all that exciting, but it’s still a big part of my life. It’s the day / days when I openly accepted who I am. I remember the day that I first admitted to someone close in my life that I was gay, it’s a pretty funny story actually.

I was 17 walking round town on a first date with a rather camp lad, no offense intended if you are reading this but I promise it ties into the story haha. So I was walking around Newcastle city centre, when out the corner of my eye I spot my sister, she worked in town so at the time I thought nothing of it and continued walking. In all honesty I was more focused at this point on how terrible the date I was on was going and determinedly trying to find a way out as soon as possible. So I did what seemed to be the only option for someone trying to avoid further conversation on an awkward date, I suggested we go to the cinema.

The cinema is great for a whole host of reasons, great entertainment, great food and most importantly it’s a noise free zone, so began my masterplan to silence my date and get to the all-important time of night when I can make the excuse to go home because I’m “Tired”. #Yawn.

It was going up the escalators in The Gate towards the 1st floor where I now spotted my sister coming down the other way.

This led to her insisting on chatting and introducing herself to my chatty flamboyant companion who I was already awkwardly distancing myself from. I knew that the jig was up so I asked my sister to chat to me at one side. She asked straight away was I gay, I told her straight away as an instinct reaction yes and of course the only logical reaction was for my sister to burst out crying and make a scene explaining that she had no idea and get emotional that she wants me to know she’s there for me.

Shouldn’t it be me getting all emotional? XD 

 

We had a long conversation about life, about my parents not knowing at the time and only a couple of close friends being aware. I remember that every time I told someone new my heart would race and I would feel terrified and excited at the same time. It was amazing to take some of the weight off my shoulders but also scary to make a potential new leak to my parents and family about it. Anyway jumping back, I’d left my date standing alone outside Nandos for a good 25 minutes now so I had to go back and awkwardly hang out with him for the rest of the day. I don’t remember much about that date really to be honest, bar what I’ve already said. But I think he got the message that things really weren’t working out. Sorry pal </3

 

Afterwards I chatted with my sister on multiple occasions about it and she became my first real honest connection to the true version of myself, it was about 6 month later that I finally came out to my parents in a much less dramatic way…..

 

Basically my mam asked me if I was gay when we were driving home from somewhere, I said yes then 10 minutes later my dad asked me if I was gay when I got home and I spent 20 minutes laughing at how they had planned this out and then just told him yes too.

Interestingly enough at this exact moment was the second that all gay slurs and common Geordie phrases got thrown out the window. To call anyone a puff or any remark of that kind was now not part of the household, it was almost like over the space of a single conversation my family had now realised that saying these things is not ok. Since the moment of realising I was gay it was all about supporting me and challenging anyone who makes homophobic remarks, things that would normally be said in passing with little thought now had been questioned automatically and corrected. This was my proudest moment of my parents/family I guess, the moment that they started thinking about how things are done/said. This really meant a lot, to know that they supported me and more than that, supported that people don’t change just because they are LGBT*.

 

So there it is, my coming out story and a little bit of how I felt along the way.

 

I like who I am, I like who I like and I love those who have supported me.

 

Also never forget.

 

Cheers,

 

Karl

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