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People Who Haven’t Come Out To Families Explain How They’re Celebrating Pride Month

by : Emily Brown on : 13 Jun 2021 17:27
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Not every LGBTQ+ person shares their identity or sexuality with those around them, but throughout Pride Month in June many still take the opportunity to celebrate and be an advocate for the community in their own personal way. 

Nick, an artist from Texas, identifies as gender fluid and uses the pronouns they/them. Now 17 years old, they came out as bisexual in middle school but still felt there was a piece missing, and later began to identify themselves as pansexual.

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For Nick, being attracted to someone is not about what they look like, or how they identify. It is about ‘falling in love with their heart and loving them for them.’

Pride parade PA Images)PA Images

Speaking to UNILAD, Nick said they feel ‘complete’ in describing themselves as pansexual, but after seeing what happened when their sister told their family she was a lesbian, Nick has decided not to reveal how they identify or what their sexual preferences are.

When Nick’s sister told her family she is attracted to women, they ‘didn’t take it well’. She has since moved out of the house, and the family made it clear to Nick that if they ever came out, the family would not approve. In spite of this, Nick decided to open up about their identity to their other sister. Unfortunately, however, she branded them ‘disgusting’.

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Though Nick isn’t able to be themselves with their family, they have come out to friends who are also LGBTQ+, noting: ‘I trust them more than anything.’

The teen explained: ‘They are also part of the LGBTQ+ community so I feel at home. I feel so free to do and think how I want when I’m with them because they understand. It’s a sense of freedom.’

Pride march (PA Images)PA Images

This Pride Month, Nick plans to celebrate by ‘doing what [they] do best: art.’

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Their family might not be able to appreciate Nick for who they truly are, but Nick wants to be able to show their own support for their fellow LGBTQ+ community through drawing, and maybe even selling their creations.

Claire, from Alaska, began to question her sexuality in December and has since determined that she is bisexual. She’s come out to some friends outside her family, but is ‘just not ready’ to broach the topic with her family yet.

Although she believes most of her family would be ‘accepting’, Claire told UNILAD ,she gets ‘very nervous’ whenever she thinks about bringing up the subject of her sexuality with them.

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She only came to terms with the concept herself a few months ago, after she expressed how she was feeling to a friend and was encouraged to do some research into different sexual preferences.

Claire said: 

My friend was wonderful about answering my questions and also pushed me to do some additional research but to take my time. Figuring out your sexuality isn’t something you do in a day.

So I did and that’s how I found out that I was bisexual. It’s still pretty new to me but I am happy with who I am!

Thanks to the positive responses Claire had from those who she has already come out to, she knows that while ‘nerve-wracking’, it is a ‘freeing experience’.

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She said of her friends: ‘They’ve all been very accepting of my sexuality and said that they love me all the same. It’s a really good feeling!’

Pride in London Parade (PA Images)PA Images

Claire is confident she will ‘work up the courage’ to one day come out to her family, but for now she wants to make clear that ‘bisexuality is real’.

She explained: ‘I see so many people say it isn’t, and that bi people can only be gay or heterosexual and that there is no middle when it comes to our sexuality and that’s really upsetting. It’s possible to feel attraction for both genders and to still be bi whether your significant other is a male or female.’

As Claire’s hometown in Alaska is so remote, the area doesn’t offer any Pride activities that Claire could participate in. Instead, she plans to participate and show her pride online, where she is free to be herself without facing questions from her family.

Celebrating your identity doesn’t have to be done with a march, signs or balloons; as Nick and Claire have pointed out, it can be as small as sending a celebratory tweet, or anonymously sharing a Pride-related picture. Everyone’s personal circumstances are different, but celebrating your identity is always worth doing, even in the smallest of ways.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 10am–6pm Monday to Friday, or email [email protected]

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Featured, Coming Out, LGBTQ+, Pride, Pride Month