Tuesday, 2 November 2010

It gets better... Part 2

It's easy to dish out without giving it very much thought.  Since writing my last post, I've pondered about what else I can add to the topic. 

My advice is: Don't feel like you have to 'come out' - take your time and decide when you want to make that decision.  Many people feel pressured to 'come out', but it's not a decision that anyone should take lightly.  You may be still living with your parents.  You may not want to take that risk yet - and don't feel ashamed because sometimes people have to make hard decisions and life won't always be so closeted.  You may want to initially confide in one person - and that's OK.

Everybody has their own story.  I 'came out' quite late on in my life, but I have no regrets because I did what I felt was best for me.  I can't change anything now.  The past is simply the past.  Life is too short to have regrets.

When you do take that leap, life can be so much easier.  It took a lot of effort to hide my true feelings.  It was wasted energy that could have been directed at shopping for Vivienne Westwood scarfs, quite frankly. 

If you are struggling to make a decision - Try to make a balanced decision - but always aim to be true to yourself as soon as you can because you have a right to live your life openly and honestly - and as soon as you do, your life will change massively for the better.

There are lots of charities, helplines and social groups out there.  Make good use of them if you need to. 

One final piece of advice, learn how to smile (even if you are not feeling happy).  People are drawn to smiles.

Monday, 1 November 2010

It gets better...

I love reading comments from the people that I follow on Twitter. The funny stories, bitchy comments, news stories and the occasional outrage that flows from the fingers of my friends is completely addictive.

One news story that has interested me in particlular is the 'It Gets Better Project'. The troubling spike in gay teenage suicides in the U.S. has been truly upsetting. Every gay man or woman I know has a story to tell about the difficulty of growing up and being bullied, harrassed or having to hide your true self to survive. Things do get better. I know it may be hard to understand, but it really does.

Like many, my teenage years were not perfect. I was bullied before I knew that I was gay. My effeminate manner seemed to create violent outbursts from my peers. I had very little people to turn to and I was basically an outcast until the last day I left school. I was a particularly small child for my age - quiet - and my sister was famous. I was an easy target to pick on. After the second time in A&E (for being hit over the head with a baseball bat), I knew that I had to try and get help for depression - unsuprisingly, I was on anti-depressants for several months.

I wasn't comfortable in my own skin until I was in my mid twenties. I met someone and fell in love - he knew that I was in the closet and he persuaded me to tell my family. I'd never been so nervous. With tears running down my face, I told them - and their reaction was minimal. They actually didn't care. I was 'almost' upset that their reaction was so lacking in emotion. From that day onwards I started to think about myself more and not to be worried or concerned about anyone else and their thoughts. It was massively life-changing. I told my friends - and asked them to tell their friends. I was proud and strong for the very first time.

Much of my problems in my early twenties was due to my concern about how people would react. As soon as I stopped caring about homophobia and the people that objected, my life became better. I wasn't free of drama's though. My boyfriend disappeared (literally - the police were involved - long story, another time). I had a wild time for a while - caught up for the time I missed - and eventually met the man I've been with for the last 6 years.

If you are young, gay and struggling, hold on in there. Your life is important. The world would be a very dull place without millions of homosexual people. I'm certain that the music and the entertainment industry would not be as creative without us. Don't deny the world the chance to get to know you. You are fabulous and don't let anybody tell you otherwise.