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Coming out - some advice?

  • 05-09-2002 8:58pm
    Registered Users Posts: 2,872 segadreamcast

    Just to give you some background information on myself - I'm 15 years old and attending a comprehensive school here in Dublin.

    I have just recently come to terms with being a homosexual (don't start chasing me away with pitchforks :p ) - and I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how I should go about telling my close friends...


    - Noel :)



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,875 Seraphina

    i wouldn't go setting anything in stone yet, teenage years are a time of confused sexuality, i know i went through it myself.
    if you decide to go ahead and tell people be VERY careful about who you tell, people may accidently say something and things can spread very easliy. there's nothing wrong with people knowing your sexual orientation however 15 year old boys aren't exactly the most mature people in the world, and you probably would get abuse about it. i dont want to scare you off the idea or anything, just warning you of what COULD happen....

    i'm never any help am i? :confused::(

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,872 segadreamcast

    Sure :) you're a great help - thanks for the advice! Does anyone else have some other angles?

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,525 ✭✭✭✭ Dont be at yourself

    I would agree about being careful about who you tell - don't go telling people you've only known for five minutes, people who are immature or people who would appear to be homophobic.

    If you've got any mates left after excluding the above, just tell them. Let them know how you're feeling about it(proud, embarressed, confused, whatever) and, if needs be, remind them that you're still the same person you were five minutes ago. If your friends are in any way decent, they'll be aceepting and supportive.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,872 segadreamcast

    Thanks a bunch Nekkid - we've had our *ahem* differences on the gaming forum :) nice to see we could rise above it on a diff plateau.

    I really appreciate all the advice thus far... thanks!

  • Registered Users Posts: 166,038 ✭✭✭✭ LegacyUser

    I'd third that advice on only telling close friends or family. I remember when I first found out a friend of mine was gay, and I didn't quite know how to take it. It was a little while until I realized that it's just one small difference between people - some people have black hair, some blonde, some people are tall, some short, some people are straight, some gay...

    It's not a big deal once you've come to terms with it, but at your age things are going to be confusing enough, without bringing another factor in (though when you do come out, you can have a laugh at all your mates being really careful not to say gay-derogatory words :) )

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,141 fisty

    Sorry because this will sound real patronising but you're only 15 ffs.
    You're up to your eyeballs in hormones!
    I know at 15 I wanted to shag women/men/animals/the cushions on me sofa, usually settled for my hand though.
    Give yourself some time, I completely agree with not setting anything in stone. You could live to regret it if in a few years when the gushes of hormones stop. Call yourself experimental at this stage mate, and leave it at that until you grow up a bit.
    No offence. ;)

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,522 Dr. Loon

    Originally posted by fisty
    Sorry because this will sound real patronising but you're only 15 ffs.
    You're up to your eyeballs in hormones!
    I know at 15 I wanted to shag women/men/animals/the cushions on me sofa, usually settled for my hand though.
    Give yourself some time, I completely agree with not setting anything in stone. You could live to regret it if in a few years when the gushes of hormones stop. Call yourself experimental at this stage mate, and leave it at that until you grow up a bit.
    No offence. ;)

    I gotta agree there. Afew personal Q's... don't answer if you don't wanna, but....

    Have you been with another male yet? Have you been with a female? Do you really know for sure that you're gay? Just go with the flow for a while and make sure that you are what you think you are!

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,275 Shinji

    Backing up what Nakey, Sico etc said - just be careful who you tell. Tell people you trust and tell them discreetly - pick your moment well.

    The vast majority of people are not in the slightest bit homophobic when actually presented with the fact that a friend of theirs is gay. Sadly, some people are still neanderthal in their attitudes... I guess if you have a friend who considers your sexuality to be a problem in some way, it's time for you to find a new friend.

    The problem won't really be your friends though - it'll be people you hardly know, if the fact that you're gay becomes common knowledge. People are wánkers a lot of the time, especially in school - while if your best mate tells you he's gay, you'll be supportive etc, it's a different story if its someone you dislike or someone you hardly know.

    I guess the point I'm trying to make is that "coming out" doesn't have to mean telling the world, it just has to mean telling the people that matter and keeping yourself to yourself otherwise. I really don't think secondary school is a good place to be openly gay. University is a different story... Leave "coming out" for real for a few years, for now, just do what you have to do to get it off your chest.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,199 Jimi-Spandex

    I'd also be an advocate of the Shinji/nakey/Sico idea. Tell those who you trust

    A friend of mine came out over the summer. I think he has known for a while but just waited till we finished the Leaving Cert till he said anything. If he knew when he was your age and had told us I'm sure we would have done the immature thing and completely ostracised him. Which would have been lousy and we (well at least I) would have regretted for a long time.

    As it is he told us at the right time for all of us, we were all mature enough to deal with it(well most of us). I'd not advise being openly gay in Secondary school.

    and most of all Good Luck.

    /my two cents

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,922 Dave

    I wouldn't rush into things. Dr. Loon brings up a vaild point, what makes you feel that you are a homosexual? Have you been with a man/woman etc. You are 15, I doubt theres a huge rush in letting the whole world know at this current time, obviously if i'm wrong here it would be nice to get it off your chest, and if that is the case then what sico/rob etc have said is the best way of going about it.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,648 smiles

    If you really trust your friends then you chould tell them that you are interested in other guys.

    One of my best friends spent a few months of confusion where she wasnt sure what sexuality she was, and then eventually being gay made a lot of sense to her, and she was with a few girls and fell in love with another and they were together for nearly a year. She told a few people, including some people that I personally could see freaking out over it, but because they were her friends it made them think and they became more comfortable with it. One of the girls was incredibly homophobic but she's dealt with that because she can see a real life example of how it makes no difference really.

    Funny moment at my grad, the ex-homophobic girls asks me about my gay friend and I say she's interested in someone new, she looks at me and kinda says: "Er... is it a he or a she?" A drastic change in ideas from a few months ago.

    Trust people you know and feel you can trust, but take your time, you might change your mind.

    Good luck

    << Fio >>

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,563 leeroybrown

    /me jumpsm on the caution band waggon

    As Fio says people can be very good and accept you for what you are. But Fio's friends sound like they were much more mature about it than the average 15 year old lad would be.

    Even if you only tell a few trusted friends you should be very careful about more people finding out. A lot of your friends would find it very hard to standy by you under the kind of peer pressure they would come under at school.

    And as stated above, at 15 you really can't be 100% sure what way you will swing, so don't jump into any rash decisions. One rash move could make the next few of years quite awkward for you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,872 segadreamcast

    :) Hehe, this thread is almost raising more questions than answers...

    Hopefully it will serve some use to anyone else in a similar position during the coming months...

    Now, just to answer a few of those questions :)!:

    "Have you been with another male yet?" Boyfriend wise, no. Experimental wise? Yes, but nothing serious - it was with another friend from summer who I knew was gay (and I don't mean by assumption - he's fairly open), so there was no real risk involved in telling him.

    "I'd not advise being openly gay in Secondary school."

    Hahaha - Christian Brother's School really, can you imagine the torment :P? Not a chance I'd be open in my school anyway.

    "Have you been with a female?"

    Yep... wasn't exactly a thrill-ride for me.

    "You're up to your eyeballs in hormones!"

    Yes... and that's a thrill-ride in itself ;).

    "Do you really know for sure that you're gay?"

    It's just a deep, embedded feeling that I have, if you know what I mean.

    Moving on swiftly, I don't really want to tell the whole world. Just those one or two I know best and have known for three years (or more) now.(infact, anyone who sees this and knows me in real life would realise I'm gay after reading this - my real name also being my username *ahem*)

    Really, thank you all *so* much for the tremendous advice and words of wisdom, I'll certainly be having a serious think over the weekend and forthcoming weeks about what to do and what not to do...

    Thanks again :).

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,025 yellum

    I was expecting some negative reactions when I told people. Some friends didn't believe me at first and thought it another one of my wind-ups.

    I told a small group of close people to start with to see how they reacted and how I reacted to their reactions. I knew I could trust these people to not spread the word if I asked them not too.

    Once I was comfortable with that I left a lot more of my friends know and they all reacted well. One friend rang to say well done and wanted reassurance that I wouldn't now stop listening to good music and started listening to Abba and Erasure. :) They take the piss sometimes but since I'm the one who mocks them more than anyone its fine by me.

    Some reacted in funny ways, one friend I forgot to tell due to telling everyone fatigue got insulted and thought I'd didn't want him to know or something.

    Another friend couldn't come to terms with the fact that I lifted weights and drank pints, which means you have to be straight. He remembered I invited him to a concert ages ago, and wondered was it for other reasons.

    The easiest was to tell your friends is probably on a one to one basis and just be totally honest. Depending on the people being open in school could prove quite stressful, but then so is hiding who you are.

    Fair play BTW for making the decision to tell people at such an early age. It took me far too long to do the same.

    Have you decided when to tell your parents ? Thats always fun. ;)

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,872 segadreamcast

    Originally posted by yellum
    Have you decided when to tell your parents ? Thats always fun. ;)

    Let's not go mad now :D. That is waiting until college - it simply has to.

    Cheers Yellum, I just realised that by coming out here - I've came out to pretty much everyone I 'know' on IOFFL and whatnot, always nice to know I'm not alone in the boat. :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,127 STaN


    I came out around your age ... (16 or so ... 5th year)

    I knew i was gay since a very early age.. Its something most people know. I had my first gay experience when i was 12 or 13 and i stayed over in a friends house. We were sharing the same bed and we started fooling around. Although we didnt have sex it was at that stage that i knew for sure that i was gay and that i prefered this to anything i could get up to with a girl. ( yes i was with a number of girls while i was a teenager)

    How it happened was i told one of my close friends whom i had known since the start of second year to see how he took it. Well admitidly he wasnt very enthused and this put me off a bit. So for a month or two he was the only one to know about me.

    After that I managed to tell a new guy to the school who i was hanging around with and i knew this guy was sound and was a very close friend. He was cool about it and supportive, although we did drift apart later on (which i will tell u about further down).

    Over the next few weeks more and more of my friends got to know... me admitting it while drunk being one of the main reasons :D . One of them was particularly interested in this and every day asked me a drove of questions... How do u know? Do you not fancy girls? Do you fancy all fella's? etc. Eventually he admitted that he was bi-sexual although he only admitted it to me becuase he didnt have the confidence to face up to the fact that his friends might learn about it, and worse still his parents. I felt sorry for him. We nearly kissed one night when we were out in a pub (yes underage drinking :cool: ) but i didnt becuase i knew that he would just bottle up and it would probably wreck out friendship.

    But after that some of my friends started telling their friends and soon after, pretty much the whole senior cycle knew about it. I wasnt impressed at my friends for doing this although it was a fantasy of mine that every1 would know and that i would meet a guy that i liked and was also gay becuase he had heard that i was 'out'.

    With every1 knowing i wasnt to sure how to handel myself.. should I act openly or keep to myself? I kept pretty much to myself to the general public but i didnt mind talking about it with certain close friends. One of the reasons i did this was becuase i wasnt sure how people in my school would take it, would i be bullied, beaten up, slagged, made an outcast etc. None of these happened thank god but there were the infrequent comments my the lowlifes a.k.a TROLLS. But these were easily brushed off because i knew that my friends would stand with me IF anything happened (and they told me this).

    I will admit though that i did loose some friends over this and it wasnt always clear sailing. What happened was that people i hung around with were hearing that i was gay from other people and not from me directly and this created a kind of rift (so i saw it) so i wasnt sure how theyd react, so i was kind of afraid to comfront them, so i became quite shy for a while. I lost allot of friends this way, but i was happy with my core group and we got along great and had loads of fun. If i only had known how stupid not hanging around with them was at the time, things would have been allot different, but well learn from out mistakes it seems, so learn from mine. :)

    After christmas of 5th year i got a job in Roches in Blanch. I met some new people and made some new friends. I worked with a girl claire and we used to spend hours chatting cause we'd be bored out of our minds and one day she eventually asked me was i gay. I said yes and she says, that another of our friends that i knew from work was also gay and fancied me. I was excited at this because I had only been with one guy before. So we went out one night alone and sparks flew etc etc. We ended out becoming boyfriends of over 18 months.

    What i learnt was that to always to be truthful to yourself and not to lie about your sexuality to any1, even your parents! Of course your relations are another story and dont really need to know, but when you are young you will want the freedom to bring people back to your gaf to hang out and to feel free to let people stay over. Thats it really. Im sure theres more but i gotta go cook the dinner ;)

    btw im 19 now and every1 i know knows im gay and it's great.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,872 segadreamcast

    Nice story Dave - and an inspiring one too ^_^.

    Now, if only you'd had a McDonalds like me today - you wouldn't've had to cook dinner :p !

    ", even your parents!"

    One step at a time - eh? I seriously can't see me telling my parents before I sail away to college ^_^ personal reasons and all that*.

    "I knew i was gay since a very early age.. Its something most people know."

    Yeah... you just tend to know these things as such. Hard to explain in detail really.

    Ah well, thanks for the story - a real confidence boost :)

    *= The personal reasons aren't normal personal reasons and are vaguely depressing to read about and sound like a cry for attention - hence I really wouldn't go into detail here.

  • Registered Users Posts: 166,038 ✭✭✭✭ LegacyUser

    Well i hold my parents when i was 15.

    It happened after allot of my friends knew, and i was a bit more comfortable about it.

    TBH, they actually found out accidentily. What i did was write a letter (corny i know), and my mom accidently found it when i was cleaning my room. She sat me down, not having told my dad and we talking things over.

    It was REALLY uncomfortable and i felt like i just wanted to get out of there. I was also angry that she found my letter. I was a flurry of emotions and kind of avoided eye contact for a few days afterwards not knowing how to behave. My mom told my dad after a few weeks and after we had talked some more and cleared up a few things on, like not to tell my brothers and sisters until they were older.

    Parents dont understand these things. You may want to read up on it. Have you been to out-house? They have loads of things for you to read, you can also meet other gay people of your age group there and talk things over etc.

    But if your parents are REALLY bad then dont tell them. Anything less and do because it is worth it. Thats up for you to decide. Maybe you could leave them a discreet letter explaining how you feel and how this doesnt change the person you were 5 minutes before you told them. Or maybe tell 1 parent who your closer too than the other. Its a judgement call but worth it. Personally i hadnt planned on telling them until i was in college. -
    I'm only starting college now and to have waited this long would just have been crappy for the past 3 years when i went throught it all... went out on the scene, met my boyfriend, had people stay over etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,745 swiss

    Fair play to ya NoelRock. I didn't come out myself until about a year and a half ago. I remember the first person I told, I was a bit drunk (and I fancied him :o *cough* let's hope he doesn't read these boards).

    After that, I decided to be careful in who I told. For a couple of weeks, I told a few trusted friends, who were supportive and told me it was no big deal (actually it was quite funny - I would take someone aside, have a very serious look, and say that I have something to say - they would normally assume it was something really serious and then when I broke the news it was like "oh right - *shrug* ")

    Then one night, after going out with a group of friends I decided to announce it to the group. Their reaction was mixed, most of them were surprised, to say the least, but it was supportive.

    I have experienced some anti-gay sentiment among my friends. I usually brush it aside, and privately they tell me that they have nothing against me personally, but that they think it is immoral.

    As for parents, well that was the toughie. I said it to my mother over dinner, and she spent 5 minutes trying to persuade me I was straight. She was also worried about me getting HIV (don't you just love the stereotypes :rolleyes:) . Since then I haven't mentioned it to her once. After that I decided not to say anthing else to any of the rest of my family. I'm sure I'll get around to saying it to them when I'm around 80 and and on my deathbed :).

    Again, I would just urge you to be cautious and tell one or two of your close friends who you trust not to spread it around. It didn't bother me, but when I came out to my friends, for a while afterwards some of my other friends who I didn't know so well asked me privately if "the rumors" were true. A lot of people swore blind that I was straight (because I am straight acting - unless I'm going out to niteclubs ;) ) until I explicitly told them otherwise.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,127 STaN

    Hey swiss wanna meet up? :cool:

    .. hope all this has helped noel

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,745 swiss

    Hey swiss wanna meet up?
    Er, sure. Check your PM's.

    Back on topic, I would just like to reiterate that IMO it is best to be cautious in telling everyone. I think you know that already Noel since you seem to be pretty well aware of things and won't get something like this go to your head. What I mean is that sometimes one can get caught up in telling people and be a little more open than is sometimes perhaps wise.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 52 ✭✭✭ goose

    its easy to deal with when people know from the start. they dont have any preconceptions about you.

    unfortunately its the people you already know. i first told a friend when i was bout about 6 months, it didnt go to well. and now a year and a half later, most people i know, know about me.

    some dont stay in contact much anymore. most are cool.

    but be careful who you tell. i think if a friend of mine came out to me when i was 15, i dont think i would be as cool /mature about it as i would like to think i would be...

    good luck anyway.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,590 lordsippa

    I just recently told a close friend who's a bit of a homophobe <"it's unnatural" etc> that i'm REALLY a bisexual. I'd mentioned it before but he never believed me. Until I finally gave him examples of some of the guys i've met <not yet gone out with or done a lad>. He sometimes makes the odd joke but he's pretty cool with it. Which was a relief... But I doubt he would have been as cool at 15 or if he hadn't been prepared.

    Perhaps mention that you're not sure and such. Build it up a bit.

    Incidentally I've just changed school. One big reason being that in my old one I just couldn't bare hiding my sexuality so I'm being open from the start this time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,872 segadreamcast

    Originally posted by lordsippa

    Incidentally I've just changed school. One big reason being that in my old one I just couldn't bare hiding my sexuality so I'm being open from the start this time.


    I was just telling a friend in u2u that I was considering moving school too if the reaction didn't go well in general - it seems like a good idea, Junior Cert will be over, and I can make a fresh break for it.

    Thanks to everybody for the responses so far - subtle hints, I've been dropping them for once, and it seems as though the message is starting to hit home for some of them - so it won't be much of a surprise as such.

    Thanks again for the advice thus far - and your comparative stories prove a source of inspiration. If there's any more advice or whatnot - I'd love to hear it...

  • Registered Users Posts: 166,038 ✭✭✭✭ LegacyUser

    As said in previous posts, be careful who you tell. It's important so that people won't chase you with pitch forks! Some people would. One more thing, don't dwell on the fact that you're gay, just enjoy your life and do what you feel is right unless you feel that stabbing someone in the eye with a pen is right :D

    I've just used my actual post username, so I've just come out to some people... oooops :)

    Let's have party

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 539 Yurmasyurda

    Tiredness..... :o

    That was me above.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,872 segadreamcast

    Originally posted by Unregistered
    unless you feel that stabbing someone in the eye with a pen is right :D

    Oh but it is...

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,964 memphis

    Do not rush into telling the world, I would also say that you should be very careful.

    Personally, I reckon at the age of 15 you are confused, all teens go through it, I know I did. Coming to terms with your sexualilty takes time. I'm not says that you are not gay, but saying that you may not be, or you may be bisexual.

    Give yourself time to accept and maybe even experience your sexualilty before you go blurting it out to everyone that you are gay.

    Donno if that was much help, but I do try!!!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,127 STaN

    When your gay, you know it tbh

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  • Administrators, Business & Finance Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 32,414 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ DeVore

    Oi! Swiss, Dave! No nookieing! Back in yer closets! :p

    Seriously though, I'll n'th the "be really careful" thing because that genie doesnt go back in that bottle.

    I wouldnt tell my parents if I were you , certainly not till college as you say. In fact I wouldnt tell anyone at this juncture but then I'm not you.

    One thing I would be very careful about is meeting someone for intimacy. Frankly, dont, unless you know them. I've a fair number of gay friends and their scene seems fairly lively and fun but its also potentially predatory. It also might not be for you (at least one of my mates is totally turned off by the thought of gay sex, and yet is pretty much 100% gay), so like the other posters I'd say be very very careful about it all. Any form of sexual interaction is illegal at your age too, which is something to bear in mind.

    Why do you feel a need to tell anyone? I know people want to come out of the closet etc but I think if you are really cool with it you'd just be comfortable with your sexuality and tell people if they ask.

    One last thing, dont dismiss the idea that you might just be going through a phase. Not all women turn all guys on you know! (Jesus I have a hard enough time finding any that turn me on, I'm really picky hahah). So give both sides a chance rather then forcing yourself into either one...

    Good luck.