lesbian's experience is not unusual: "All the lesbians I’ve
ever seen have short hair and tattoos, I have long hair and
look feminine." Their
comments highlight two important points. The first is that it
is essential to challenge stereotypes and represent a whole
picture of lesbian and gay lifestyles.
The second is
that many of us, even gay people, have some internalised homophobia
and so associate the characteristics of the "typically" gay man
or woman as negative such as a very "camp" man or a very "butch"
Also there are
few opportunities for people to see happy, successful gay adults
living a normal every day life in healthy relationships, so it is
not surprising that many people deny their feelings for a long time
before seeking support.
thing about coming out to others is that it is a never-ending process!
It is also a very personal issue. Some feel strongly that they need
to be out to everyone they meet. Others are very selective. For
most people the first time they come out is a nerve-wracking experience.
One gay person says "It was awful, I just couldn’t get the words
out and then once I had it felt like hours before I knew whether
my friend was going to reject me or not."
a gay person who is trying to decide whether to come out it
is helpful to remain positive, but it is unhelpful and untruthful
to tell them that coming out is always the right thing to do.
While some people are accepting, others are not.
will say "if any son or daughter of mine was gay I’d throw them
out". Luckily in many cases when actually faced with this scenario
lots of parents find that they feel differently and want to support
their child. In other cases parents can react negatively or even
young gay people in Norwich is just a phone call away.
is run by three youth workers and you can contact them on 01603
624924. Leave a message or speak to someone in person on Saturday
11am-1pm or on Wednesday from 6pm-8pm.