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To Sam

Being Gay and coming out

Dear Sam,

I am an almost 13 year old boy and I am gay.

It’s been a big realisation over the past few months and it has been tough, but coming out to my family was great.

They were all so supportive of me and it made me feel welcome and warm as I was scared at first they wouldn’t agree with it but they were happy for me.

I just have a fear of being bullied over because I am gay. This sometimes scares me.

I’m trying to pluck the courage up to speak to the LGBT+ teacher in my school. She’s friendly but it’s hard.

You probably won’t see this, but I hope that someday I can be free to be who I want to be.

Peace and love, Me

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Understanding your sexuality can take time but eventually you might feel certain enough that you want to tell people. For LGBTQ+ people this is often called "coming out". How people react when you come out will be different for everyone but it's good to remember that it can be positive as well as negative. Bullying can happen for any reason and it's always wrong, but if you're worried about being bullied because of your sexuality it's good to talk to someone at school.

Many schools have a teacher who is there to represent the LGBTQ+ community within the school. You probably won't be the only person at your school who’s gay and there may be people around you who are ready to support you. Taking the step to talk about it at school is different than sharing it with family, so it's okay to wait until you feel ready - there's no rush to tell people.

Talking to someone when you're feeling nervous is hard but if you prepare what you want to say before you go it can take some of the pressure off. It's great that your school has a LGBTQ+ teacher that you can talk to, so perhaps you can make them the first person you speak with. Writing down some points you'd like to say can make it easier when you do have that conversation.

Sometimes starting the conversation can be the hard part. It can help to arrange a time to do this, so that you don't have to wait for it to naturally happen. A good thing to do might be to write a note or send an email to that teacher asking for a time and place when they are free so you can talk. Having this appointment means it's something you can work towards and focus on.

And remember, you can always talk to a Childline counsellor.

I hope this advice has helped, I'm really glad you felt able to send me a letter. Take care.

Sam

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