National Coming Out Day

By Shane Tyas

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Every year, on October 12th, we celebrate National Coming Out Day. People are encouraged to come out as Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/transgender and feel acceptance from our peers.

But how easy is it to come out? At school, growing up, if anyone did anything slightly out of the ordinary like read a book at break time instead of playing football with the boys, they were labelled “Gaylord” or “queer”.

Schools are especially a hard place to come out of the closet, as most kids are usually prone to conformity.

Adults too, have trouble telling their friends and family that they are gay, fearing that their loved ones will look at them in a different light.

As a teenager, I found myself in a huge internal struggle, wishing I was like everybody else, and feeling slightly ashamed of myself for liking boys.

Living in Brighton for the last 9 years, however, I learnt not only to accept myself for who I was, but I had the support of my family and some wonderful friends.

Unfortunately, there are thousands of men and women in this country today who aren’t as lucky, they get discriminated against for something that is not a choice, it is who they are, and something they cannot change.

In recent years, however, there has been more support for the LGBT movement. With the Same Sex Marriage Bill passed on 17th July this year, it’s now one step further to show how much we have progressed as a nation,

Hopefully, with less tolerance for Homophobia now, people who are in the closet won’t have to be so afraid of coming out, and with the influence of National Coming Out Day, they can stand up and say they are proud of who they are.

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