Coming out, and out, and out

Last updated 11:30 28/01/2014

MEETING SOMEONE: It wasn't until Nicole Douglas met her ex-girlfriend at work that she realised she had to come out.

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How did you 'come out'?

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What people never tell you about coming out is that it's not just a one-off deal. You make the initial announcement to your loved ones, but what you don't realise is that for the rest of your life, you have to correct people and announce that you're gay over and over again.

You have to deal with people's curiosity and questions, you have to deal with their joking comments and their judgments.

Luckily, most people these days are decent enough to accept it and keep on going with what they were talking about, but for some reason, being gay often means that your relationship is public property and people feel that it's OK to ask you questions you would never ask a straight person.

I remember being 11 or 12 when I first started wondering if perhaps I was gay. The idea was terrifying and I struggled for years to suppress my feelings. Apparently, people at school used to whisper that I was a lesbian, and I guess they were right.

I never had a boyfriend in school and adults and my peers would always ask me why. The truth was I'd never really had a crush on a boy, I'd only ever pretended because I thought that was what all girls felt about boys, indifference.

It wasn't until my first crush on a girl that I realised what my friends had been going on about for years.

It wasn't until I met my ex-girlfriend at work that I realised I had to come out. After two months of just my three closest friends knowing I was seeing her, I wrote a letter to my mum explaining that I was going out with a girl and she made me feel awesome.

Although there were a few comments at the beginning, my mum accepted it.

I think she thought it was just a phase.

My ex-girlfriend and I broke up and a few months later I started seeing someone else.

It was only after seeing that second girl in my life that Mum started referring to future partners as "she"; I don't think she realises quite how much those tiny little words mean to me.

I'm lucky that my family and friends have always been very open-minded and less mainstream than some people.

I've managed to become a lot more involved in the LGBT community in the past few months and I've met some awesome people who have become good friends.

I still don't understand why many people are so against gay people. Whenever I hear somebody condemning all LGBT people, I'm conflicted - one-third of me feels sorry for them because their whole life is consumed by hatred for a group of people who just want to live their life as they want; one-third of me is enraged and wants to punch them in the face; and the other third of me wants to hook up with a girl right in front of them just to annoy them. 

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