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Coming Out

Photo courtesy: BBC

With the current publicity surrounding one of the new characters in EastEnders coming out, it is perhaps inevitable that the twitter trolls and those who have no original thoughts should bombard the web and social media sites with their insane anger.

OK, first question to ask them is: What the F@ck has it to do with you?

This will undoubtedly stump them and they’ll struggle to come up with a coherent answer, usually they babble about religion or some such nonsense but fail to answer the question ‘…what is it to you?’

The answer is trolls: NOTHING.

You are not involved in my life at any level. I’m not seeking your permission. I don’t care what your religion thinks and I certainly couldn’t give a flying f@ck about you.

However, being confident in your own mind is one thing but what, as in the situation in the EastEnders storyline, where Johnny Carter (played by Sam Strike) and Danny Pennant (played by Gary Lucy) kiss in Walford Square and are spotted by someone.

Is it time to tell family and friends?

Are you going to deny everything?

Can you avoid what you perceive as the consequences of being gay?

All these concerns are relevant and it is with some degree of admiration that the EastEnders writers found a way of delivering this life-changing moment for young Johnny.

So, what to do if you are coming to terms with your own sexuality or are still confused about it. There are a number of online sites you can visit that will be helpful as well as positive about your situation. You don’t just have to log on to one… there are hundreds… all roughly saying the same thing:

•If you’re asking questions about your sexuality, then maybe you’re just not ready to give yourself a label. That’s alright. Working it out takes time and is completely normal.

•Nobody knows what makes someone gay, lesbian, bisexual or straight. You don’t choose your sexuality. It’s not due to your upbringing or the people you hang around with. Sometimes it just ‘is’ – like your hair colour or your shoe size.

•Being gay, lesbian or bisexual is normal. You haven’t done anything wrong. Unfortunately, some people feel threatened by things they don’t understand and say or do things that are against people that aren’t straight. Because of this, you may be tempted to keep quiet or pretend that you’re straight. The trouble is, you can’t hide your feelings forever. What’s more, why the hell should you have to? You have a right to be proud of who you are.

Coming Out is a BIG THING for a gay boy or lesbian. For some it is easier than others but, as you will have seen from the situation that Tom Daley and others have found themselves in, being open and honest makes you feel better about yourself. If you are happy in the closet – fine, no one has the right to drag you from it. However, if you are unhappy about your situation and wish to change it, there are people, organisations and friends out there who will offer support.