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Coming Out Made Me More Confident

Coming Out Made Me More Confident

Alex Webb, 34, Deputy Director of Communications 

 

When did you come out?

1998

 

How did you come out?

I would say I came out to my best friend and parents before I truly came out to myself. I was still in denial thinking that telling them would precipitate reassurance that I wasn't gay. I even tried to claim I was trying to soften the blow. I would only realise later how unhelpful that was. The most difficult thing about it was their instant acceptance and so what mentality. It took several weeks and a visit to the doctor before I could eat again. Knowing my family still loved me was all that mattered. It did hurt later to see an email from a gay friend of my mum's claiming he'd known all along. Being speculated upon before I'd known myself made me angry. 

 

Why did you come out?

I was beset with constant worry with the fear of being gay niggling away at me. I'd had girlfriends but it just felt unnatural and wrong. Like awkward and fake. It got to the point where I couldn't eat, sleep, concentrate. The inner pressure broke me to the point of coming out. It got easier from there. But I still don't feel entirely comfortable with affection. 

 

Why do you volunteer with Pride in London?

To make a tangible difference by creating that safe space for people to be the majority for a day and explore their identity. 

 

Why do you think being out is important for the community? 

Because the more you see something, the less of an issue it becomes. Just look at the soaps over the last 20 years and compare small towns to big cities. Visibility is key. 

 

How has your life/ how have you changed since coming out?

I'm more confident and know myself. I don't think I'm different to anyone else when I sometimes wish I could go back to school and say it how it is.