“I knew for sure that I was gay at 13, after binge-watching Queer as Folk (both the UK and US versions).
In 2nd Year Art, I told three close girlfriends and they were completely supportive. One of them was that stereotypical straight white girl and asked me the MOST awkward and inappropriate questions. Although they all said they wouldn’t tell anyone, they definitely did, though no one actually said anything to me or let on that they knew. I was okay with everyone knowing to be honest.
Three days before I started in 3rd Year, I called my mam into my room. I wanted to tell her and be 100% out before going back, so I could go into my Junior Cert year with as few deep inner struggles as possible. She sat down and I just said it. She asked me why I thought so, not in a negative way but more because she wanted to know my thought process. After I explained myself she said, “Well, so am I”.
My mam had been married to my dad since the year before I was born, but by this stage, they were sleeping in separate rooms and clearly never getting back together.
I hugged my mam and she cried a bit and that was that. She told my dad for me because I couldn’t bear to tell him, not because I was afraid, but because my dad is an extremely socially awkward person and the conversation would have been far too much for me.
I did tell my sister, I went into her room and just blurted out, “Heya, just so you know, I’m gay” to which she replied with a smile, “OK” and that was it.
From then on, I only ever came out to people if they asked and I never had any issues in school, due to me going to an extremely diverse and accepting school in Adamstown. Although I may have felt alone in secondary school, I really wasn’t and since leaving school, I’ve realised this when multiple people from my year group and close friend group also came out as queer in one way or another.
Going to university showed me just how many LGBTQ+ people are out there too. The world is a lot more diverse and in the grey area than it may seem on the surface. I don’t think I would do anything differently in regards to my experience. I was lucky with my experience so I tend not to give people advice based on my coming out.
Someone told me once that coming out is like leaping into the abyss, not sure of how far down you’ll go or if anyone will be waiting at the bottom to catch you. But there always is someone at the bottom, always. Everyone I’ve ever spoken to has always landed their leap with loving people by their side. If in some unfortunate circumstances it was not their family and friends, it was a new family and new friends who would love and accept them for exactly who they are. Sorry for the MOUNTAIN of CHEESE there lol, but I always feel the need to share that fucking amazing metaphor!” – Daz
“I was 17.
I felt like I wasn’t connected to my friends because of my secret. I decided I needed to do something about it. I felt quite confident that my friends would understand me but it still was scary.
I asked all my friends individually to join me for a late evening walk in the park near our school. Each of them expected only me and him or her to be there. They were surprised to see the dozen of people turning up.
I didn’t talk much. I told them I’m gay in a few words. Not much background or explanations. The response was neither enthusiastic nor phobic. Most of the guys and girls just said: Ok, noted.
A few weeks later one of those guys started gossiping around about me and got quickly excluded from the circle. I was the first in our group of friends. There were two more people to come out in the next few years.” – Ma
“I have never hidden myself. If anyone asked I told them.” – Jason
“I came out NYE 99′-00′,
I first came out to my dad who was very accepting and understanding which was a relief. I came out a few days later to my mother which was hard as we were close. She wasn’t happy and we stopped talking for almost 6 months. I’d walk in the room and she would walk out. However, we sat down and chatted and then she became ok with it over time. Now, we are even closer and she loves to meet my partner’s when I have them.
My sister thought it was a phase but now gets it isn’t. My brother has always been ok with it, as my Catholic side of the family and the Church of England side of the family.
The only things I really lost were a group of friends, but hey there loss, not mine.” – Simon P