David Tobias, Volunteer at London Friend
What was your experience of coming out as an LGBT+?
It was very scary. And took quite some time to get up the nerve to do it. I did it in stages, starting with friends, then sisters, the parents. The period after coming out to my parents was uncomfortable as they weren't sure what to say and needed time to process this news. But time heals and over time it has become a non-issue with the parents, but was never an issue with friends or my sisters.
What was the definitive moment in making this decision?
A broken heart. I was heart broken after being dumped by a guy I was dating for a while, and I had to talk about it, to get it out so that I could feel better. I didn't want to have to deal with it alone.
What questions do people need to consider before coming out?
♥ What support do you have, in case it goes badly, but even if it goes well, it will be a tough/different time in your life, and support can be crucial.
♥ What price are you paying to stay in the closet? Is your soul managing?
♥ Are you perhaps catastrophising the outcome, will it logically really be as bad as you fear?
What are your favourite books/art/films about coming out?
Beautiful Thing; Maurice; Loggerheads; Queer as Folk (both US and UK versions); It's a Sin; The Golden Girls (sitcom) episodes about gay characters coming out.
Based on your individual experience what advice would you give to someone wanting to come out?
Do it when the time is right for you. But don't wait too long, the closet is an unhappy place to be and you're better off outside it. Try to have some support (friends, support group) and don't do it if you feel you're too vulnerable to violence or homelessness until you have been able to find a safe place to be. In most cases I suspect we spend too much time and energy fearing an outcome which never really happens, and it's better than feared in our heads.