Am I Gay? Coming Out To Others
Your teenage years can be a time of discovering who you really are. What things you like, what things you don’t like, who your friends are, what you want to do with your life and figuring out your sexuality.
This article is also available in Welsh – I ddarllen y cynnwys yma yn Gymraeg – clicia yma
Are you unsure about the feelings you’re experiencing? Then don’t worry. Meic is here to help.
Am I gay?
If you fancy someone of the same sex, it may mean you’re gay, but it doesn’t mean that you definitely are. It’s not unusual to be attracted to someone of the same sex at some point in your life. Being gay would mean that your feelings would be more than just a crush.
Don’t feel pressured to decide whether you are gay or not. Give yourself time and space to explore how you feel. As you grow older your body and emotions are going through huge changes, this is all part of growing up and learning who you really are. But this can be confusing and difficult at times. At the end of the day, it’s you who knows yourself best. Don’t let people tell you it’s a phase when you know it’s not.
When you first find out that you’re gay it can be really frightening and confusing, but being true to yourself is important. Start by actually saying that you are gay. Looking for help in coming to terms with this is one of the best ways to make sure that you feel comfortable and happy in your own skin. This is a great start.
If you want to talk to someone further about this then you can call the Meic helpline (details below) where one of our advisers will be able to help. You could also visit Stonewall Youth, a website which tries to help young people understand the issues around their sexuality.
Coming out is when you tell your family and friends that you are lesbian, gay, bi or trans. This experience can be different for everyone. It might take you time to feel comfortable and confident enough to talk to people about this. Most people want to be honest about who they are, especially to the people that they love, but don’t feel that you have to tell everyone. This is your choice. It’s up to you who you want to talk to about being gay, and you decide when you feel ready to do this.
Think about who you want to talk to first. This should be someone you feel will be supportive, such as a family member, friend or a trusted teacher. This person can then support you to tell other people in your life. Be aware though, things may not stay quiet for long, so think carefully about who you tell and the possibility of it being shared before you’re ready.
RUComing Out has some great tips about coming out and shares coming out stories on their website.
How to tell people
Naturally this can be an awkward conversation to have. Talking to anyone about sex and sexuality can be awkward whether you are heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, asexual etc. It makes sense to sit down and talk because you can answer any questions straight away. Once you’ve started it will become less awkward to talk about it, and once you’ve told one person it will become a lot easier to tell others.
If this really isn’t something you feel you can do, then there are benefits to using email, text or a letter too, even to family. This can give someone time to think about what you’ve just told him or her and understand it a little before they react.
At the end of the day, there isn’t a right or a wrong way to do this, it’s just what you feel works best for you.
If you’re worried about your sexuality or coming out to family and friends, or if there’s anything else that’s worrying you, then contact Meic. Our friendly advisors can help. Call (080880 23456) text (84001) or chat to us online.