An Irish Lesbian's thoughts and observations…

Come Out And Join Me?

I’ve been reading a lot recently about people struggling with their sexual orientation and finding it difficult to come to terms with everything that accompanies coming out. I decided to tell you a little about what helped me…

Has being a lesbian changed who I became? Maybe it has. Did coming out mean that people treated me differently? Perhaps. I hate to sound like a constant ray of positivity because, believe me, I’m not but I have learned from my experiences so I want to help you all learn too. A few months after I came out I went to an event in Galway that had dozens of LGBT people, both young and old, there. It was strange but exciting to be thrown into this massive crowd of people that were about to surround me for the next two days. It was that weekend that changed everything for me. I was sixteen and in the presence of LGBT teens, adults, hotel staff and youth workers. I was amazed! The then President of Ireland even made an appearance. I hugged the lovely Mary McAleese while trying my damn best not to whack her with the crutches I had to use at the time. It was just my luck that I sprained my ankle the night before this trip. I have a habit of visiting A&E before most of the big events in my life… Murphy’s Law, I suppose? We exchanged coming out tales, had a laugh together and I even kissed a girl and had to totally agree with Katy Perry. The most interesting thing was that we were all at totally different stages of coming out so we could all inspire each other in different ways. Despite what their friends, parents, peers, colleagues or anyone else had said they were still here to say that life got better. Many of them even told me that they felt that being gay actually made them stronger.

What I learned from the experience was that… stereotypes in our little gay world are not as common as you’d think; they are just more visible, our community can often be overwhelmingly supportive and we are a very fashionable bunch! The best thing, for me, was that I returned home with a whole new group of friends and a new outlook on life. There’s something empowering about seeing that people are genuinely happy being lesbian, gay, bi, trans or whatever they may be. It’s almost like seeing proof that it’s okay to be you. We don’t all get to go on a big gay weekend but consider this blog and WordPress itself to be your one! Here we are all different ages, from different countries and have been through different things in our lives but we all share the unity of sharing the LGBT umbrella. It’s definitely okay to be LGBT and it’s never something you need to change. It’s simply you. I saw so many people happy in their own skin and I see that here too. I really do feel for the people who are struggling with their identity but at the same time I want to emphasise that it really can and does get better. I struggle with a lot of stuff but my identity is luckily no longer an issue for me. Feel free to comment with your thoughts, experiences or problems. I love hearing from you all!

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