Coming out as gay
I think I was about ten or eleven when I thought I might be gay for definite.
I was more attracted to girls than I was to boys.
I think I've always been a tomboy,
dressed quite chavvy, tracksuits, hoodies, that sort of thing.
At the time there was quite a few people accusing me
and I didn't want to say, "Yes, I am, get over it."
I just kept it inside me.
I felt physically scared to come out, even to my friends. Anyone, really.
It felt like every night I'd just go home and cry a lot
because I didn't know who to tell, if they'd hate me or not.
And it just basically ruined my life at that time.
My mum was asking lots of questions like,
"Why are you crying? What's wrong?"
"Tell me, I'll understand." "No, you really won't."
At that time I was still quite young
and to me I thought it was a bad thing to be different from everyone else.
It just got to the point where I couldn't keep it in any longer.
I literally just felt like I wanted to scream it, basically.
And I had a really big thing for one of my mates
that I'd known for four years,
and she was moving to Australia.
I was shaking, crying, I didn't know what to do, basically.
I was stuttering, the words wouldn't come out of my mouth.
I said, "Basically, I think I like girls."
"I think I might be gay."
"And I really like you, basically."
And she turned round to me and said,
"You need to get over it because it's never going to happen. Leave me alone."
I felt like I'd released it, obviously.
It had been eating away at me for God knows how many years
and it was all out in the open, but only to her,
so I felt a bit wary, "Who's she going to tell?"
"Is it going to get spread?"
Funnily enough, she didn't, she kept it to herself,
so I had another job of telling the rest of them as well as her,
but it wasn't as bad because obviously I liked her
and the rest of them were just really good mates.
She did move to Australia, she moved for six months, I think.
She's back now and we're really good mates still
and she completely understands.
After most people knew, especially my family,
it just felt like a weight had been lifted.
All this pressure had been building up
and I just let it out and got rid of it and felt great.
Of course I knew deep down all along but I was just never ever...
It would be a little voice inside my head saying,
"Come on, who are you kidding?" Then, "No, no, I'm not."
"No, I'm really, really not. Seriously. Look at her. She's hot."
Then when it came to secondary school
it was just a constant question of, every single day, "Are you gay?"
and I was like, "No, no, of course not"
until I turned to my friend Sarah
and I was like, "I really need to talk to you."
She was like, "What?" And then I came out with it.
I was like, "I really think I'm bisexual."
I just thought...
You don't think "gay" because it's like, "I can't say that."
"If I say I'm a bit it will be fine, then I can work my way into it."
She was like, "No, you're not." "What? Yes, I am."
She was like, "Who are we kidding, Alex?"
"We've all known for ages, you're gay."
And then I was just like, "What?"
And it was like everyone knew, apart from me, all that time.
It was good.
It felt like I'd just vomited up this horrible secret
that had stayed there forever,
but in a good way,
like a banging headache and once you throw up then it's gone
and you're like, "Ahh!"
That sort of built up a confidence. I was like, "Yes! No one cares."
Until the upper year found out.
There was one time they went out of their way
to nick a salmon just to throw it at me in the middle of a corridor.
But no, it was really, really bad
and one time I ran into the boys' toilets in hope of finding an escape
but no, you just get pelted with bits of wet tissue over the doors
and then they'd leave and then I'd look around the cubicle,
"Alex has bummed this person."
Just graffiti all around, it was just everywhere.
As soon as the Year Elevens left it became a lot easier
because my year, they were fine with me, really.
They did eventually get used to the idea
because they finally realised I was like,
"I do not find any of you attractive."
I'd just started secondary school.
When everyone around you was like, "Ooh, girlfriends,"
it never really interested me.
Then you've got all the older guys coming in from football and everything
and it was like, "Ooh, hello. They're quite interesting."
In our society everything has to be heterosexual.
You're taught heterosexual sex education
and you have this idea that your parents assume you'll be that way
and give them lots of grandkids.
It can be quite scary, the fact that you've then got to work out,
"OK, I'm not going to do this. I'm going to be different from everyone else."
I told my close friends.
I was scared shitless, really.
It was just like, "Oh, my God, how can I do this?"
It was quite scary because you don't know how they'll react.
As human nature is, you instantly think they'll react horribly
and go, "No, go away. Leave me alone, freak."
But none of my friends were really like that so I was quite lucky.
It was quite nerve-racking
but it was such a good feeling once I'd told them and they did accept me
and it just proved to me that I was a normal person
and that people can still like you.
I told my mum when I was about 15
and I had just been quite recently depressed and almost suicidal.
My mother kept shouting at me, "Why don't you tell me what's wrong?"
"Why can't you talk to me?"
Up until recently at that time we had been quite close
because I'd always thought I could tell her everything,
but this was the one thing I'd felt I could never tell her.
I literally thought she'd throw me out and disown me,
which is probably the biggest fear of every homosexual.
She took it rather well.
She cried a bit because she was relieved that...
It was more happiness tears than upset. She was relieved I'd told her.
When she accepted me I was quite shocked.
Eventually, when I came out of the shock,
I was quite relieved and happy that I could be a normal person now,
even at home.
Family, it's a strange experience
because everyone is different
and not all people's parents are accepting.
But if you have the support of your friends and people behind you,
you always can do it and it often comes out better than you think.