“So, when did you know?
How did your parents react?
Are you sure it’s not a phase?”
On introduction, members of the LGBT+ community get asked the inevitable questions about their coming out stories. As well as some ridiculous and intrusive questions, such as my personal favourite, “So, how do two girls do “it”?”
We all have our unique stories, some incredibly difficult, some easier than others. However, good or bad, funny or emotional, they all share similarities. Our coming out stories shape us into the individuals we are today. They help us grow, make us stronger, they mould us into our true authentic selves, to be the happiest versions of ourselves.
When the word ‘gay’ first came to my knowledge, it was presented as a bad word, as disgusting and wrong. My brother is gay. He would go first for the tutu and fairy wings in our fancy-dress box when we were younger, despite my dad’s disapproval. I always looked up to him for having the courage to be himself. When I moved up to high school, the boys would tease me, telling me that my brother is gay, that he “wasn’t normal”.
I defended him, not knowing if he was or not, however he always denied it throughout the time he was bullied. The bullying got to the point where he had to move school. What was meant to be a fresh start actually turned into the same situation, and he had to move back. It seemed to me that wherever you go, being gay was something to be ashamed of.
My story is very different to my brothers, surprisingly.
Like many people I know, my coming out story involved being obsessed with two fictional characters. I remember finding my brother’s Skins box-set when I was 15, with the dramatic and racy story lines- I was hooked. But it was two particular characters from the second generation who changed my entire view of myself and my possible future.
The series follows the characters of Naomi and Emily, two individuals exploring their sexuality and ultimately falling in love. I watched these two girls, and I wanted to be them. I wanted what they had. From then on I was obsessed! I could not tell you how many times I have watched the episode where Naomi and Emily finally ‘get it on’, how many hours I spent watching fan made YouTube videos, or reading cast interviews. I could no longer deny it, or hide it from myself.