Guest Post: Chelsey’s Coming Out Story
In the honour of pride month, I have decided to include guest posts for the remainder of the month. The first LGBT post is written by dear friend, Chelsey Thomas on how she had came out as a “gay little welsh girl”. (Her words , not mine).
My names Chelsey and I’m a 21 year old gay little Welsh girl. As it’s Pride month, Taiba thought it would be a nice idea to post something in relation to it. Here goes:
I’ve been ‘officially out’ now for about 2 years – by that I mean I was 100% sure I was gay and wrote a coming out status 2 years ago. It seems really ridiculous to have to ‘come out’ but I’ve always felt that there’s a stigma around being gay. I first started to accept maybe I liked girls when I was 16/17 but wanted to keep it to myself until I was absolutely certain as I knew that coming out would follow with questions I wasn’t sure enough to answer yet – “What’s it like being gay”, “How do you know”, “How long have you known”, “How many guys/girls have you slept with”, “What is lesbian sex” etc. Looking back now, I’ve always liked girls even from a young age – I was a bit too into Shakiras music videos if yanno what I mean. At the time I had a lot on my plate and figuring out my sexual orientation was yet another thing for me to deal with. I had quite a few friends/acquaintances that would tease me saying I ‘seemed’ gay and honestly it just made me too stubborn to even acknowledge that might be a possibility.
I guess when I was younger I did have girl crushes but convinced myself that it was strong admiration? I’m not really sure how that is but being gay just never crossed my mind.
When I was 16 I started realising what I was feeling I . when I was around certain females and started to accept it. One stressful night I ended up arguing with my Mam over major developments in our family life and it led to us both having a bit of a breakdown and staying up until 3am getting everything off our chests. This was the night I finally admitted to myself that I might be gay and was the first time I said it out loud. Mam asked me how school was and I burst into tears. I wasn’t scared of what her reaction would be as I know she’d never turn her back on me, especially about something I have no control over. I guess I was just scared that saying it out loud would make it real, and I still wasn’t sure what was going on with me. l told her I had been crushing on a girl in school, that I had had a crush on her since I was 13 but had ignored it and been lying to myself this whole time. Her response? “Oh my god, I can’t believe you! I thought something was actually wrong. So what if you might be gay?” I wasn’t worried what her response would be but it was still a huge relief to hear her say that. We never really discussed it after that but I didn’t mind as it gave me time to figure myself out.
When I was 17 I came out to my then best friend and I was absolutely terrified. By this point I had tried dating guys and even almost had sex with one but couldn’t bring myself to go through with it, it just felt wrong. We were walking through a lane back to her house, it was dark and the street lights were on with no one at all around. When I told her she literally made me stand in the middle of the street and shout it repeatedly until I was shouting it at the top of my voice. How we didn’t get arrested I do not know but oh my god it felt amazing. I got it off my chest, literally. Not long after that I came out to my Uncles girlfriend – we’re very close. She ended up living with us for a year so keeping secrets from her was basically impossible. We ended up sharing a room for this period of time and it was like having a big sister. I would stay up at night talking to her about girls, she secretly tried to find me a girlfriend like I didn’t know what she was doing, we’d watch films and she’d make me blush by pointing out every attractive female on screen, ever. At this point I knew I definitely liked girls, but I sometimes kinda liked guys too, so I thought I might be bisexual. It was great but only 3 people knew and I still didn’t feel like I could satisfyingly be myself.
A year later I left school and went to college in the city, and honestly it was the best decision of my life. I was the only person from my school so it was a completely fresh start. Being around new people allowed me to completely be myself and be who I wanted to be from then on. I faced no judgement, no questions, no comparison to how I was a year ago. When I met new people I would openly admit I was gay/bi. It’s strange because whenever I met new people I was completely confident and open but whenever I saw someone from school/my home town I would avoid the topic because it made me uncomfortable? I think it’s because I was still trying to reach 100% certainty, and still hadn’t told my family yet.
A year into college I was totally sure I was not straight. My Dad found out at some point and just rolled with it – that man is so chilled he’s basically horizontal. I honestly have no idea when he found out, he just figured it out at some point, accepted it, and didn’t think it was something that needed to be discussed. On NYE, a week after I turned 19, I decided I wasn’t going to hide it any longer. I went upstairs and wrote a lengthy coming out status which I then posted at midnight. I headed downstairs but was stopped halfway down by what sounded like a herd of elephants, and was tackled to the floor by my Incles girlfriend and my Aunty. They were very proud of me and couldn’t contain their joy. When I rejoined my family, my Dad and Uncle were a bit clueless as to why all the women were screaming. I told them I was gay and had just publicly come out. My Dads response? “Oh, yeah I know” and he continued smoking his cigarette. My Uncles response? “Yeah, I like women too” and he nodded enthusiastically and went to pour another round of jägerbombs.
The post was greeted with nothing but positivity. My Nan, being accustomed to me being fraped often, called my Mam to see if the status was true. My Mam handed me the phone and I reassured her it was all true. Her response? “Oh right, ok then love…. Are you still coming for dinner, Sunday? I bought Yorkshire puddings specially.” I was so overjoyed. I absolutely love Yorkshire puddings.
At Sunday dinner the only people who didn’t know were my Grandad, Aunty, and younger siblings who were too young to understand or care. All the adults bar my Grandad were congregated in the kitchen and the topic inevitably arose. At this point, my Nan was half a bottle of wine in so I knew it was going to be interesting. As I re-announced I was not a heterosexual my Aunty began to cry. I was rather shocked at this as she’s one of the most open-minded people I’ve ever known. She got upset because she always imagined me growing to have a husband and children. My Mam and I told her I had no intention of having children, having siblings 10.5 years younger than you and 5091839202 baby cousins is enough to put anyone off children for life. My Nan then stepped in and reminded her that adoption was always an option, or even a sperm doner if ever I did change my mind. With hearing that, my Aunty quickly dried her tears before coming over and giving me a huge hug and reminding me that she loves me and that as long as I am happy, she is happy. At this point, my Grandad could hear the racket and shouted to my Dad to see what was happening. My Dad turned to him and said “They’re just talking about how Chels is a lesbian, is all mate”, and with that I heard by name being called into the living room. I walked up to my Grandad and he asked me if I was gay. I told him I was. He took my hand in his, tapped me on the shoulder, and said “Well good on ya, mate”. And with that he gave me a quick cwtch before turning back to Ice Road Truckers.
And that is the story of how I came out.
My family honestly couldn’t have handled it better. It didn’t seem like a big deal at all. 2 years have passed and everyone knows at this point. Since then I have finally become certain of my sexual orientation so I no longer feel uncomfortable discussing it. I’m not bisexual. I‘m a lesbian but prefer referring to myself as just ‘gay’. Coming out as bi, for me, was a way for me to be able to come out as not heterosexual while still giving myself time to figure out what my sexual orientation was and I’m now confident enough to say I know.
I feel like my family have helped with normalising being gay. My youngest siblings are ages 10, 7 and 6 and they know I’m a girl that likes girls, and they understand that people can’t help who they love. I once asked my brother (way before coming out) what he would do if I came home with a girlfriend. His response? “I’d say ‘nice’ because it means you found someone that loves you”. He was 6 and I have it on video.