My Sexuality

As some of you reading this will know I identify as a gay, cis man, meaning I associate my gender to that of which I was assigned with at birth and that I am also attracted to the same sex. Coming to terms with my sexuality was not as easy as some people believe, and I did not tell my family I was gay until the age of 18. Now being 21 I am fully comfortable in my sexuality, however this was not always the case.

From about the age of around 10 or 11 is when kids started to call me gay, not in a joking manner but in a way that made me associate the word with a negative context, and I was telling these people that I wasn't in fact gay even though I was not even aware of what the word meant. It wasn't until around 2 years later that I started to understand what the word meant and even though at this point I was now at secondary school the name calling became more frequent and worse, I was getting called names such as "gay boy", "puff" and "faggot"(These words still bother me to this day),  it wasn't everyday but looking back at it, it sure felt like it. Being in an all male secondary school during puberty at the time was not the best place to have to come to terms with my sexuality, and at the time I was still associating these words with being horrible and disgusting. So when I started to realise I was at least bi-sexual I did everything in my power to try to hide it, It got to the point to where these bullies had scared me into hiding who really was, to the extent where I felt like I had to date girls all the while I was  experimenting with boys (sorry mum and dad).

I came out as Bi at the age of 15 to one of best friends at the time, and she assured me that everything was going to be okay, so I eventually started telling my closest friends, those I knew could keep a secret and the weight that I carried on my shoulders became a little bit lighter. At the same time however I still kept this massive secret from the rest of the world and my family at the fear of getting rejected, because although I was coming out to people the word "gay" in my mind still had a horrible connotation. It wasn't until I left the toxic environment that was secondary school and started college where I decided that I wasn't going to hide who I was and being around new people and girls really did help.

College went on and I started to eventually tell my friends that I was gay (although a few of my friends still like to remind me that I never actually told them, whoops), again a massive weight of my shoulders, it meant that around them I could be nearly myself around them, but with years of bullying I had developed horrible self confidence issues meaning that I couldn't be fully myself at risk of being rejected and even now one of my biggest fears is that of rejection. Years went on and I managed to maintain a balance of keeping this secret from my family while at the same time being as open as I could with my friends, even with the questions from mum and her telling me that if there was anything I wanted to talk about she would love me no matter what (again sorry mum).

It was not until the summer of 2014 where I came out to my mum as bi-sexual, after a drunken night out in tenerife which hilariously ended up with my brother being pushed in the pool. She was as loving and accepting as I knew she would be, but my self doubt stopped me coming out as gay to her in that moment and I wanted when I did come out to be more of a special moment. 6 months later we get to new years and after an explosive argument with my best friend at the time I came out to my mum, not the special moment I hoped it would be but looking back I wouldn't have changed it. Still scared to tell the rest of my family I asked her to tell them, because at least if they did reject me I would not have to deal with it face to face. All my family handled it well and they all still love me (Thank God).

Fast forward to now and I have grown so much, not only in my sexuality but with who I am as a person, My confidence is peaking and I'm finally getting good grades at Uni, I have the closest relationship with my current friends and most importantly with my family, all of whom have helped me through all of this. There is the side of me which still carries this self doubt (now with a spoonful of anxiety) but i battle it everyday and since being here at Uni I have been trying my hardest to take myself out of this comfort zone I have put myself in and do more stuff that would scare me.

For a lot of people reading this, this is the first time they would have heard these stories, but I feel like now that with this platform it is important for me to share my experiences, not only for those who may be going through something similar but for those people who want to learn what it meant growing up gay and by sharing what I went through may help those to understand that for a lot of people it isn't easy, luckily for me I had it relatively easy when it came to people accepting me but I know there are many people out there who's family and friends still don't accept them.

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