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COMING OUT Adam Greene, 25 year old hairstylist from Lurgan tells us his story.

“After telling my family I felt invincible, I didn’t care who knew; I was out, happy and proud...” When did you first realise you were gay? When I was very young, I can remember being in primary school and always feeling differently towards boys than I did to girls. I didn’t fully understand what it meant until I went to secondary school. Did you tell anyone at the time? I did have a friend in first year that I trusted, he was going through the same thing so we had each other to confide in. When did you actually come out? I struggled a lot throughout my school years, being bullied severely, and had been “going” with girls right up until I came out. I was unsure for a long time about how my life was going to change, I had basically become depressed because I knew I was living a lie. I had literally no self worth and I had tried a few times to end my life. Eventually I took control, realized that this was MY life and I should be able to live it as I want to. I came out on the 13th November 2010. How did you do it?

was wrong. I blurted out “Jess I’m gay”! I couldn’t believe I’d even said the words. She looked at me and laughed, “so what, as long as you’re happy” she told me. It was as if the weight of the world had lifted off my shoulders - I was instantly happy! I knew that now I needed to tell my parents, I didn’t want them hearing from someone else. That Friday night at about 10pm I tip-toed into the sitting room, my mum was there and I burst into nervous laughter. “I’m gay mum”, I ‘d said it. She went from laughing with me to crying. She sat for a few minutes looking at me, then she grabbed me, hugged me and told me to never be afraid to be me, even if other people don’t like it. Mum told dad, he came to me and asked me was I happy, because as long as I was happy, I was still their son and they will always love me. What was your friend’s and families reaction? After telling my family I felt invincible. I arranged a night out with my friends the Saturday night. During the pre-drinks I just came out with it, “I’m Gay”. Everybody looked at me with shocked faces. A few had questions which I answered, then we got on with our night, they all accepted me for being myself. How has coming out affected you?

I’m quite close to one of my sisters, ultimately she was my best friend and I trusted her completely. I was so nervous, I eventually just sent her a text message saying “you need to come home, I need to speak to you”. The twenty minutes it took her to come home seemed like a lifetime. She came into my room and was frantically asking me what

Coming out has altered my life significantly, but I can honestly say I’m thankful for it. It was the best decision I’ve ever made for myself. Thankfully I’ve no regrets about coming out, I live my life how I want to and I’m not afraid to be myself. I can’t be anything more than what I am, and I won’t try to be.

What advice would you give to others thinking about coming out? Just do it. You’re never alone when it comes to it, surround yourself with good friends and just explain how you feel. Talking is the best thing to do. Like I say, you only have one shot at life so why not make it the best possible. There is a massive LGBT community now in Belfast that offer a lot of help for anyone who is going through what we all in turn have went through. Any funny stories about when you came out to someone? I think I had it pretty easy coming out compared to others, that was until it came to my granny. I’m quite close to my granny as she was my only living grandparent. I had no idea how to tackle this, there was a generation gap, she was from a different time to me. My sister had just found out she was pregnant, so we were both feeling like “how are we going to do this?”. My sister thankfully said she’d tell her. So we went to visit my granny, knowing full well what was ahead of us. My sister made us all a cuppa and just turned around and blurted out “granny I’m pregnant”. Tea was spat out and my sister quickly followed with “but it’s ok because Adam’s gay”. I was mortified, I didn’t know where to look. We had hit this woman with a double whammy and I thought she was going to pass out. After some quick explaining she was grand. After that she turned into a bit of a Cilla Black/Paddy McGuinness combo, everytime I went for tea she was trying to get numbers of any guys she knew who she thought might swing the same was as me.


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