It always makes me giggle when someone asks me how and at what age I came out. As I never really had to. I may as well have been born adorned in a rainbow flag, shooting side eyes at my dad’s hair style/fashion sense, and wearing placenta as a shawl. For me, coming out was a concept completely alien to me as there is no shadowing the fact that I am gloriously gay.
I can’t even begin to connect as to how difficult it has been, and still is, for people to come out to their family & friends. I had it very easy and I’m grateful and more for that. My dad was probably the only hurdle I encountered. I think it is generally the father that needs to… get over it, essentially.
He tried to tell me it was a phase. But I’m not sure how he ignored the following signs…
1) The five years I was absolutely obsessed with Barbie, Cindy, My Little Pony, Polly Pocket, and Sylvanian Families.
2) Aged four I insisted to dad that Wolf from Gladiators was my boyfriend (Don’t ask- I literally don’t know what I was thinking), to which he corrected me saying “No, I think you mean he’s your hero”. To which my response, quite adamantly was, “No. He’s my boyfriend”.
3) Kids at school had to write a letter to their favourite famous person. Whilst most kids chose The Queen, I naturally wrote to my wolfman declaring my love. Daddy was delighted when I brought that home. I assumed when he burnt it this was the method that all fan mail took, as the same ceremony would happen at Christmas with my letter to Santa, up in flames, up the chimney to be swept away to its destination. It’s only poetic to a point.
4) Aged four, I wanted to be a pop star. Guess who? Uh-Oh. Madonna! I asked if I could make my own pop video, so dad filmed me frolicking in a frock with mums pearls and granny’s long black wig to “Like A Virgin” and “Cherish”.
5) I always wanted the girls toy Happy Meals from McDonald’s. On one occasion, dad clutching my Barbie meal bumps into a business associate in there who says to him, “I thought you had a son?”.
6) My first record was Cher- The Shoop Shoop Song
At school I adopted a “deal with it or don’t” attitude. If anyone did have a problem, it went over my head. I think because I was so open and impervious by negativity it kind of left any “haters” nowhere to go.
If someone said “GAY” as I walked past, I would assume they were merely being observational. Any gossip I heard about me I just banked as “column inches”.
Most of the time people were too busy picking their jaws up off the floor as I confidently mince past with my shirt unbuttoned from the bottom revealing my belly button piercing, bronzed cheek bones and clutching my books American high-school girl style, headphones on blasting something Sugababes.
I think being a born and bred Brightonian made things easier too. As a young boy growing up with an abundance of gay people around you (in my family too), I never knew or thought of there being different preferences, or “boxes”, if you like. I never knew sexuality was such a big deal. What a wonderful world that was.
How it all changed as I emerged into adulthood to then be seeing and hearing of parents disowning their children, hate crimes, people living lies and keeping secrets for years. Humans don’t seem to have harnessed the ability to just “be”. There is constant questioning and requirement for tedious justification.
It should be nobody’s business, worry, or concern as to who we share our heart and body with. It should not be a question. It should not be a thought. I wish for a world where one day there are no coming out stories, because no one will care. A world where sexuality will be accepted as easily as to recognise the moon from a star. Unfortunately I believe my wish is akin to wishing for world peace…
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Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you'd like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.