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I'm Coming Out (I want the world to know)... Well at least a few people

Hi all,

I wanted to share with you my coming out story. As a bit of background about myself I am a Londoner born and raised, in my late 20's and of South Asian descent. Oh and I am also Muslim. The South Asian part and the Muslim part are the reasons why I came out so late in life. It's not the done thing in my culture and religion. For a long time I struggled with my identity, trying to reconcile my religion and sexuality. Also trying to figure out how being gay in a culture that opposes gay people so much would impact my life.

The first step towards me coming out to people was to come out to myself. I spent years trying to suppress my inner feelings and not focussing on my sexuality. So this was hard for me, to let my guard down even to myself and finally admit that I was gay. I was basically in denial until this point, and it was only when I looked in the mirror and uttered the words to myself that I finally accepted it. As for reconciling my faith and sexuality... well thats still a work in progress, and I doubt very much that I can make the two see eye to eye, but I will continue trying. After I came out to myself I had my first kiss then several sexual experiences. Life was ok, but I was still discreet and my friends still didn't know. It was getting to be a bit lonely, and I knew the next step would be to tell someone else. Someone I knew, as telling the random people from Grindr etc wasn't really cutting it.

There had been plenty of times when I just wanted to tell friends, but I chickened out. I felt like a fraud and that I had been lying to them this whole time. But events happened that made me want to tell someone. V had joined the office. He started off by telling people that he was gay. The acceptance he got was great, we are all young and forward thinking so was a safe environment for him to do so. My best friend, Lady, was excited too. She even said to me 'finally I can have a gay bff, so I don't have to rely on you anymore.' At this point she thought I was straight (but deep down she knew that I wasn't, but kept up pretence just for me). At that point I wanted to blurt out 'you already have one!' but I didn't. Anyway a year went by. I had gotten closer to V and we quickly became friends. He would tell me stories of him and his bf and it made me feel that I would want that someday too.

I had known V for over a year now. We went out to a coffee place he really liked. I remember this day vividly, but to spare some details we were walking back to King's Cross station. At a set of traffic lights I had this sudden urge to tell him that I was gay and to have the talk. I don't know why, but I really felt like saying something. My heart was pounding out of my chest. I felt like I was going to faint. Somehow I kept my composure, and just as I opened my mouth to say the words, nothing came out. For some reason I was frozen. I couldn't speak. I wanted to so desperately, but just couldn't say it. I spent so long not telling anyone, denying to others and keeping it a secret that my own instinct was to just stay quiet. But I couldn't stay quiet anymore. I wanted to have someone to talk about my feelings. I'm quite a private person, but I wanted to tell at least one person. A person who would know what I am going through and hopefully accept me. V was that person for me. We said goodbye and we went home. After getting home and having dinner I sat down and started to write a message to V. It explained that I wanted to tell him something, and that I hope he would still consider us to be friends after. I told him. I typed the words 'I am gay' and sent the message. Quickly I saw the two blue ticks that he read it and waited for the response. He was fine, in fact he was hoping I would come out. This was it, I told someone, and the world didn't end. It was such a relief.

The next day he rushed into the office and took me outside. We chatted about it. I told him my fears, hopes and implications in my life for being gay and muslim. He was so understanding and I can only thank him for giving my the courage and support that he did. I will cherish that for the rest of my life. It has made our friendship stronger. My next task was to tell Lady. She was literally my bestest bff. We had been through so much together. Telling her felt like I was finally revealing who I was. It also felt like I was a fraud in our friendship again. Like I was just a shell of the person she thought she knew.

I told her over dinner. In fact it was over her birthday dinner and night out I had planned. We have a thing where we give each other lavish gifts on our birthdays. A night out instead of a present as memories last forever, but an item of clothing etc doesn't. It was her night, but I decided that I wanted to tell her, and I knew if I didn't I wouldn't find another opportunity like this where we were alone again. She was so happy I told her. Saying that she always knew and was just waiting me out. I told her about my fears that she would be upset I lied to her, but she completely understood my situation. It was the best response I could hope for.

So there we have it, the two people in my life who know the truth about me. I can honestly say it was the best decision I ever made to tell them. I knew they would support me, and I knew most importantly they would accept me. It has made us stronger as a group and its so common between us to talk openly about it. I have yet to tell other people, but for now I'm happy with just them knowing.

I have now decided that in the future I will let people know that I am gay from the get go. Like when I get a new job, move to a new place etc. The only people who would be difficult to tell is my family. Maybe one day. But then again maybe not. Who knows?

For now I know I am happy, and thats the important thing :).



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