I was 20 and at university. It was the week before Christmas and I got dumped. We’d been dating for a year and a half. He was my first love and we had just broken up. It had been a difficult, secretive and tumultuous relationship. I was still fiercely in denial about my sexuality and he was basically a big gay fog horn. Looking back, I was quite jealous of that.

My insistence that our relationship remained in the closet along with me, would eventually tear us apart. I was so afraid of coming out. Sitting in my parents’ living room, huddled in the corner, I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep, I was the walking dead. It’s not quite the image you have for your coming out moment, but as my Mum looked at me, with a worried look, my heart began to beat wildly, I knew this would be the moment. “What’s wrong?” she asked. “Ben* has gone,” I choked.

Not getting it, she replied, “That’s okay, he’ll be back after the holidays…” “No, he’s really gone,” and with that the floodgates opened. Puzzled she looked at me, and asked, “Is there something you need to tell me?” Through sodden eyes, a clammed up throat, a raging headpounding, I told her that he had been my boyfriend. She sat quietly and listened. She listened as I told her about our relationship. She listened as I blamed myself for this and that. She listened as I wailed that I would never love again. She listened as I started to make coherent sense again.

I looked up. Wondering what the response would be… And then, thoughtfully, she started to sing. “You’ve got to wash that man right out of your hair…” In that moment, my darkest moment (so dramatic) she had made everything okay. We laughed, (well I was doing that blubbery laughing thing). She knew – I mean she had known from the age of three, but telling her when I felt I couldn’t tell anyone was big, one of the most important moments of my life. It was the moment that I could start living more truthfully.

*Name changed

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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.