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'Coming Out' Is Just The First Hurdle

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I left it 28 years to come out to my family.

That might sound late, but I’d wager that it’s possibly about average, accounting for those of us who come out early, and the silently significant bulk who tragically never do.

If I hadn’t started writing for an LGBT website, I might not even have done it then. But the work came as a welcome prod in the right direction, at a point when I was teetering on the edge – although, admittedly, relishing in being passive about getting the task done was becoming my forte.

Like other queer people I’ve spoken to, I found the most helpful thing for actually getting the coming out process over with was having a reason to go for it. So I took my new job as a sign, and sent my parents an email explaining my part in the LGBT community. (The idea of coming out by email may sound funny, but actually, more queer people come out ‘at a distance’ than you’d think – it avoids having to sit through it, and allows everyone involved space too.)

“Thank goodness you told us!” came the responses that gushed into my inbox. I was overjoyed and relieved and felt incredibly lucky – not only to be born into an accepting country but an accepting and loving family too.

then it struck me. I actually have to go and see these people and live my........

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