A message from Steele…

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With it being LGBT history month, we wanted to make sure that we are showing our support! Personally, I have no issues with my sexuality now. And I suppose I’m quite lucky that I have amazing friends who couldn’t give a shit about who I’m attracted too, and a family who don’t really care as long as I’m happy. But I know its not always that easy. And it certainly hasn’t been an easy journey for me to get here! 

Paige previously posted the ages we were when we came out. I was only 13. And it was in 2005 (I think!). I was embarrassed, I felt a bit ashamed, and I spent a large portion of my time being anxious about it. Coming out was a difficult choice for me, but I’m extremely stubborn, and didn’t wish to conform to something I did not want to be! (And I also got a bit fed up of being dragged to shitty school discos, and friends trying to palm me off on a lad who’s friend they were trying to get with 🙄). I came out as bisexual for a while, as I thought it may of been an easier transition and less of a ‘big deal’ for friends. But I was wrong. Totally wish I had just came out as a raging lesbian to begin with, and in the end I’m sure I put a bold announcement on Bebo as I got fed up of hiding it (showing my age now haha!).

I was bullied a lot at school for it. It probably did not help I had an alternative fashion sense and music taste but there we go! At the time, none of my peers had come out, it was something I had never seen much of on TV, and it wasn’t really spoken about. I think my first introduction to what it looked like to be in a lesbian relationship was seeing Willow and Tara on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or a lesbian kiss on neighbours! Apart from that it was snide comments and camp hand gestures seen on various people who were generally just taking the piss out of gay men! So at the time I kinda felt like the only gay person in the world! Its lonely and confusing right? I vaguely remember feeling isolated and a bit left out as I was ‘different’ to everyone else.

I wrote a letter to my older sister about the feelings I was having, and hid it in my room with the plan to give it to her later on that day. Unfortunately, my parents found it. They had a weird and awkwardly blunt confrontation about it with me, and told me it was just a phase. Hmm, cheers then! (Here we are almost 14 years later and the love of boobs has prevailed 😜).

This really hurt my feeling at the time, as it made me feel like there was something wrong with me. Looking back, that defiantly was not okay. But at the time I didn’t know how to vocalise my feelings without raging at the world so kept it in.

Luckily, my sisters were nothing but supportive, and I spent a lot of time staying with/living with them over the next few years. However I struggled to accept myself, as I didn’t feel anyone else did. I went to counselling, anger management, and was given a school key worker (who had piercings and liked Metallica so she was instantly cool to me and I felt a bit less like a weirdo!).

I struggled with the confusion of finding a close friend attractive, with those feelings not being reciprocated (and luckily was let down gently and kindly!). I struggled with self harm for a long time.

Going to college I found life a lot easier. You could be who you wanted to be, and by then I had found a girlfriend. And at this point, I kind of seemed to care less about what people would think about or say to me. I vaguely remember reaching a point at around 15/16 where I just thought ‘fuck it’. And I haven’t looked back since. I realised I had my friends who accepted me, I met other gay people at a group at college, and I went to my first gay pride events! I suppose it helped that at the time I had a mohawk, piercings, and probably looked a bit angry so people probably just thought better of trying to insult me. Not that I’m a violent person, but I had perfected snippy comments by then so the shouting of “Oi you fucking lesbian” by a group of lads was normally given the response of “Yeah, but who’s the one with the girlfriend here”, and I’ve just managed to brush it off wth comedy to the point where I don’t care nor experience it anymore. And at 26, I don’t get it at all!

If I could go back to my school age self and have a chat, I would probably tell myself to ignore those mouthy dickheads, spend more time replying with sarcasm instead of taking it to heart, and reveal that actually, a few of those who name called and taunted me turn out to be massive gays themselves!!

Theres not really a point to this rant. I just stumbled across a fantastic article made by StonewallUK on coming out. I wish I had seen this was I was younger! If you haven’t seen it, its a questions and answers guide on ‘Coming out’. Click here to be redirected to it.

I’m definitely not a loud and proud lesbian,  I’m very much established in who I am and I feel its just a part of me but doesn’t define me. However I know some people definitely identify their sexuality with who they are. So whichever you are, just be HAPPY. Don’t ever be ASHAMED! And as long as you can accept yourself, things will start feeling a lot easier from there 💜

 

 

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