June marks Pride Awareness Month in honour of the Stonewall Riots. This series is about highlighting personal stories of those in the LGBTQ+ community.
My name is Ilan, I am 27 years old and I work as a Graphic Designer. I first came out when I was 20 to my 3rd year housemates. I went to visit my then-boyfriend for the weekend and on my way there I messaged them telling the truth after telling them I was just going home.
Coming out was quite easy as everyone “knew” so it wasn’t a shocking conversation to have when I returned to my uni house share, but it was a relief for my boyfriend to begin visiting openly. I generally feel uncomfortable around straight men, more so of an older generation, since I anticipate they’ll have a problem and make bigoted comments. I was refused entry once into a Wetherspoons before after bouncers made comments on the way I was dressed. I can’t know or say for sure but it definitely felt targeted. Other than that, there has generally been no traumatic situations for me.
To anyone feeling anxious about coming out to their friends and/or family, take comfort in the fact that there’s a huge community online of people who’ve gone through the exact same thing as you. If you don’t get the reaction/welcome you deserve from your family, there’s someone out there that will understand and often it’s these people that become your family further down the line.
In terms of someone I admire, Lil Nas X is the stand out example in my mind; he’s openly gay in a homophobic industry and is confident enough to troll those who hate on his sexuality which I always admire!
What is the one thing you’d like to ideally like come out of pride awareness month?
Normalisation and more representation in the media of queer love/relationships like in series such as Heartstopper and Sex Education.
You can find out more about Pride Awareness Month here.
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