If you search way way into the depths of byharrison.com, you’ll find a post where I briefly touched upon my experience of coming out. But today I thought I’d give you the full story. Grab yourself a coffee, we’re in for a long one.
Today’s post kind of comes in reaction the video at the top of this post. The creator & genius behind Miranda Sings, Colleen Ballinger recently posted a video, telling the story of how her best friend came out to her. After watching this video, It really touched me and made me think how NOBODY should ever feel like he did, about coming out.
So here goes. Here’s my story…
From as far back as I can remember, I always knew I was different. I was never like the other boys. I didn’t like playing football or any kind of sport for that matter. I wasn’t into the whole rough and tumble thing… I think it’s safe to say I was soft. All I was interested in was dressing up, having a pram & getting my hands on a pair of heels. Yeahhhh, It was pretty obvious I think. I always knew I was different, but clearly back then you’re too young to know what gay even is.
It wasn’t until Year 5, so aged 10 that I fully knew what it was. At the age of 10, my parents announced they were getting a divorce. I remember being in school and the other kids asking me about it. The bell went for lunch and my teacher kept me behind to ask how I was. Visibly upset (probably due to the fact I just wanted to go and get my sandwich on) but nevertheless, upset, my teacher gave me a hug. And that was it, I was gone. The teacher I had always looked up to, in awe of and actually fancied… gave me a hug!! From that moment forward, I knew I was gay.
Jumping all the way to Year 7 so now the age of 12, I was in a new school. I had moved up to secondary school and was now a very little fish in an incredibly HUGE pond. Unfortunately for me, now we were all that little bit older, everyone knew what being gay was. And even more unfortunate for me, people were staring to guess I was gay. I remember on one of the first day’s of school, I got asked if I was gay. I felt like my whole world had just fallen apart. I knew I needed to surround myself with as many people as possible and build up some form of barrier from these ‘gay’ questions. Day 1 into secondary school I met my then ‘best friend’. He introduced me to his twin brother, who in turn introduced me to his best friend and from that moment forward, we had our friendship group. Or what would now be called a ‘clique’. Slightly unfortunately, we were the drama types. The ones who loved the drama, loved the fashion and loved a gossip. We genuinely thought our lives were one big episode of The Hills. Lauren Conrad, eat your heart out. So yeah, the clues were amounting.
Year 8 came around pretty quick and that huge pond was getting just that little bit smaller. I plucked up the courage to come out to my friends and Bisexual. At this stage, being Bi was the easy way into the gay world. Year 8 also saw the time I HATED the fact I was gay. I was growing up, people were asking if I was gay, I was hating the questions, yet all this struggle was internal. From the outside, I had to slap on a smile, work on my come backs and build up my reputation to make me untouchable. Year 9 was soon around the corner and that hate of my sexuality amounted even more. So much so, to the point of me getting a girlfriend. Life was about to become verrrry difficult.
At this point in my life, I’m in Year 9. I’ve become a big fish in a big pond, my confidence has built up and I’m soon becoming more and more popular. In my head, again I’m still Lauren Conrad from The Hills, the school corridors are my catwalk and Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten is the theme tune to my life. Internally though, the struggle is still real. By now, I’m a little bit older and without going into detail, I’ve done my fair bit of ‘experimenting’. Enough to know what I like. However, I’m still hating the fact I’m gay. Day by day, it’s getting harder and harder. That’s when my ex-girlfriend came along. Now before I get started with this, I want to say I did (at the time) genuinely think I was in love. In hindsight, I think I was with her to hide from my true self. 6 months had passed with my ex, she was head over heels, we had lost our virginities together and we were the story book couple…. apart from the fact I was gay, I didn’t want to be in a relationship and I just generally hated life. Other than that, yes, quite the story book couple. We soon split & I went back to my life of secrecy and self-loathing.
Jumping quite a few years now, all the way up to the age of 17-19. These were the good years. The first person I ever, comfortably said ‘I’m Gay’ to was my best friend, Kate. She knew the whole ‘Bi’ thing and we had discussed that many times before. But one day, the first time I ever said ‘I’m gay’ was whilst we were going round a roundabout (random). She said “I thought you were bi” I said ‘Nahh, I prefer men, I’m definitely gay” and that was that. Nothing else was said, no issue was to be had. It was just accepted. Around the age of 19, I then told a few other friends, again, a few shocks and surprises, but all completely accepting and comfortable. Still, by this point I was yet to tell the family… that comes next.
Moving to a cold, dark night of December 2013. Tom Daley had just announced on Youtube he was gay. This was it, this was the perfect time to tell my family. My mum and younger brother were sat at the dining table. I was getting ready to go out with Kate and the conversation goes a little something like this: “Oh Mum, have you heard Tom Daley is gay?”. Mum replies “Yeah, I saw that, I kind of knew he was anyway”. This was it, this was the moment. “Oh, well guess what, me too!!”. Not going to lie, she was pretty shocked. I don’t think mum was surprised I was gay, I think she was just more surprised that I had actually said it. That the words were actually coming out of my mouth.
With that, the days that followed saw me approach the rest of the family and repeat the same story over and over again. They were all super supportive and felt the need the reminisce over the times that I would wear heels and pretend I had long hair… yep, born a queen!
I think the reason I wanted to write this post was to help and show you guys that it’s not always a walk in the park, but It sure as shit will get better. In the video at the very top of this post, Colleen recalls her best friend coming out to her and starting the conversation with “You’re gonna hate me. I know it, you’re gonna hate me”. NOBODY, not anyone should EVER feel like that! And if someone does hate you because of your sexuality, then quite frankly, they need to be shot. You could be gay, straight, fat, thin, a chicken or a frickin alien for all I care. You do you!
It really is okay to be who you want to be. As long as you’re not offending or harming anyone, you have the right to be who you want to be, love who you want to love and enjoy what you want to enjoy. I hope you’ve enjoyed this rather long (1420 words to be exact) story time & I hope it allows some of you to get to know me better and maybe it might even help someone with their own coming out story!
In the words of Jessie J – Just be true to who you are!
| Harrison |