Explore the BBC

29 October 2014
Banner - Gay Norfolk

BBC Homepage
» Norfolk
Junior Football
Message Board
Video Nation
Sense of Place
In Pictures
Site Contents 

Contact Us

Title - Gay Norfolk

Those first steps towards coming out

<<< previous

One young 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.

Gay couple

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" woman.

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.

The interesting 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."

When supporting 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.

Some parents 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 violently.

Support for young gay people in Norwich is just a phone call away.

Stand Out 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.

See also:
Message board
Contacts for support and advice

Social groups

Pubs and clubs

HIV advice website

Sex survey

Women on Women

Gay youth group
Lesbian Line

Mr Gay UK 2002 @ Oxygen

Internet links:


Terrence Higgins Trust

London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard

Eastern Aids Support Triangle

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

link to the guide

Contacts: All that is gay friendly in Norfolk

link to access norfolk
Disability Norfolk
Multi-ethnic Norfolk
link to what clubs
Where to wear your posh frocks and tiny tops
link to what's on
Find out about films and theatre in Norfolk
link to interactive
Webcams, wallpaper and competitions
link to talk norfolk
Got something to say? E-mail us with your views

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy