Looking back I remember liking my first boy at the age of nine or ten. Although, at the time, I can’t say I recognised that feeling for what it was, as growing up in Wigan in the early 1990’s being gay wasn’t something that was talked about positively; if was discussed at all.
It’s probably fair to point out that at around the age of starting high school I must have been the only person in the world who didn’t know I was gay. In fact, it took me until I was maybe twenty to begin to accept my sexuality and be okay with who I am.
More than anything else; what I needed, craved almost, growing up was a person who could have acted as a role model or a mentor to me. An openly gay man who had been through the struggles and challenges that I was experiencing to whom I could have turned for support and advice.
I had so many questions, so much to learn and needed a safe place to be able to do that. But more than anything else I needed to be around other young people like me so that I could see that being gay was perfectly natural because I was so, so scared.
Terrified, if I’m honest, that there was something wrong with me. Why didn’t I like girls? Why wasn’t I the same as everyone else? Why wasn’t there anyone else like me?
Little did I know the number of other people I had been to school with who would also later come out as LGBT. Little did I understand that being gay is simply a natural part of who I am.
Knowing and understanding that fact is a powerful realisation for me, as I believe it is for many, LGBT people. It’s taken me a long time, and a lot of talking and soul searching, but it’s been a journey well worth taking because I am so, so much happier now than I ever have been before.
I only hope that in future if we, if society as a whole, can be more open and honest in talking about sexuality then children and young people will have a shorter and easier journey to that understanding than I have.
A response to the WordPress Daily Post prompt.