THE BLOG
11/10/2015 08:24 BST | Updated 11/10/2016 06:12 BST

My Help and Advice With This Whole Coming Out Thing

Coming out is probably the most awkward, fumbling thing you could ever imagine. It's like being inside a really warm closet filled with fluffy jackets, but where all the coat hooks are stabbing at you. It's something that doesn't just happen once; it has to be done on a constant basis. And despite what everyone says, taking the leap of faith is not the only option. Unfortunately, before you read any further, you need to know that there's no right and no wrong answer. All I can tell you are the things that I have learned in my 21 years of being a booted-and-sometimes-suited lesbian. My ramblings are not the definitive answer to dealing with sexuality. All I hope is that they provide a little light relief.

Coming out is probably the most awkward, fumbling thing you could ever imagine. It's like being inside a really warm closet filled with fluffy jackets, but where all the coat hooks are stabbing at you. It's something that doesn't just happen once; it has to be done on a constant basis. And despite what everyone says, taking the leap of faith is not the only option.

People across the globe open the door into the big hetero outside world everyday. Some probably encouraged by the famous ones. The Tom Daleys and Ellen Pages, the ones jumping for rainbow joy. Others stay inside, protected by the softness of garments, but shunned by the fierce reality of not being completely honest.

Unfortunately, before you read any further, you need to know that there's no right and no wrong answer. All I can tell you are the things that I have learned in my 21 years of being a booted-and-sometimes-suited lesbian. My ramblings are not the definitive answer to dealing with sexuality. All I hope is that they provide a little light relief.

My story begins in the north, back in the bleak early noughties. I was introduced to a woman who would become a pivotal parental figure in my life. It took my mum over 40 years to find her and consequently find herself. Although despite what must have been such personal liberation, we never talked about it. She became the elephant in the room (even though she had a dyke-hairdo, a bright yellow sports jumper and stuck out like a sore thumb.)

Parents at the school gates would ask, as would friends. And I hid it for years. For me it was the embarrassing realisation that I didn't just have to come out for my mum, I had to come out for myself too.

When it came to it I never made a song and dance. I didn't run around shouting "I'M GAY" and "MY MUM'S GAY" before uploading the totes emosh video to YouTube. I didn't write a heartfelt letter or text message. It just didn't seem like me.

It took a while before I even said the words to my friends, despite spending what seemed like a lifetime in the grubby gay bars of Leeds. When I finally opened up, it all felt a little bit silly.

Now, I know for lots of people it's just not an option to not say anything. It can feel like the only path to acceptance is to be open about everything. And I know there's a lot scarier parents out there than mine. But so long as you can find peace inside the closet, don't feel you have to jump too soon.

I like to think that my bumbling awkward teenage years were made a lot less stressful with not having to carry the burden of sexuality. I like to think that my tale of hiding in the closet with the door slightly ajar worked just fine, because I wasn't ready to belt out Tina Turner whilst shitting glitter.

I think that sometimes it can all feel like ceremony, like there's only one way to do it. But I think the only solid advice there is: take as much time as you need. And when you finally do want to make that step, you'll know when it's time.