Before coming out, a lot of LGBTQ+ people are waiting for “the right time”. Like it’s a proposal. Although, it kind of is, when you think about it; a proposal to accept us.
“Dad, would you do me the beautiful honour of being a good parent even though you helped conceive me?” And hopefully, they’ll say, “Yes, I do”.
But you don’t need a cake saying “HELLO MUVVA, I’M GAY!” or Ke$ha to phone your parents and tell them, because there is no right or wrong way, and there is no right or wrong moment. (Actually, we take that back, your mum doesn’t need to know you’re a bottom the same day that her sister died).
If I could’ve chose my coming out, it certainly wouldn’t have been having my dad find profile on FitLads (because I left the family PC on). But it did help rip the bandaid off.
My dad acted like he was OK with it, but there were a ton of things he did that still made me feel like I hadn’t been accepted; he’s just not the kind of man who can hide his expressions very well.
But as I got older it was so obvious to me how relaxed and comfortable my dad became with my sexuality; he’d tape anything about being gay on BBC iPlayer, would no longer bat an eyelid when I told him I was going on a date, and even wished me good luck when breaking up with a guy I had been dating.
So sometimes they need time to adjust and learn, and they need us to give them a chance to do that.
I’m totally aware of how lucky and privileged I was to have a dad that just didn’t like the idea of it, and not one that would get violent over it. Which is why nobody can tell you when to come out, because they don’t know your life. But if you’re safe and in a place of privilege, we do have somewhat of a duty to live authentically and extinguish stigma about being LGBTQ+.
So to those whose only fear is judgement; take the leap and surround yourself with people who accept the real you. To sportsmen who are worried about the opinions of their teammates and the chants on the pitch; claim your space and make history. To married men scared to break up their family; living a lie isn’t fair to them or to yourself.
To everybody waiting for the ‘right moment’, it’s now. Because coming out often won’t be perfect, it might be messy and it might be a work in progress when it comes to your existing relationships, but ultimately the act of coming out is still a necessary one.
Necessary for your own freedom, and happiness. Necessary to further progress the world to a utopia of equality. And necessary for you to walk, run and fly – without the weight of the world on your shoulders.
For anyone looking for further advice on coming out, you can contact us on social media for advice, or you can contact the LGBT helpline on 0345 330 3030.