Matt's Coming Out Story

Queersay+Branding2.jpg

To celebrate National Coming Out Day and the return of Queersay we reached out to our community to see if they would share their stories with us. We received some lovely personal stories and now, with their permission, we are sharing them with you.

Here is Matt’s story for you!

You are a combination of all the things that you have ever been or done, not just the latest thing.
 

For me, the ability to be yourself is a fundamental human right. It’s a cliché I know, but we literally have a one-time shot at this life, so to spend it in hiding for me just seems such a wasted opportunity. For a lot of people coming out as LGBT+ is one of the most memorable and important days of their life. Almost like being born a second time but this time being able to recall every detail.

Matt+Hollingsworth.jpg

I remember the day I came out very well. It was June 2003, a Friday night, and after dinner I sat down with my wife on the sofa and explained that I had realised why I had been so depressed these past few months, and that it was that I had realised that I was gay. Just two words, “I’m gay”, unlocked a maelstrom of events.

Within two weeks I had told everyone in my life. My parents, my two sisters and my brother. All of my close friends. And work. What on earth was I to do at work? On the Monday morning after barely any sleep over the weekend, I trudged in to the office and asked one of the directors for a word. I explained that I was going through a marital break-up and that I may need some time to get things sorted over the coming weeks. I didn’t hold back in telling her the reason why; after all, if I could tell my wife I was gay, then telling anyone else would pale in comparison.

I learned a lot of things over this period. Firstly, that people don’t judge you on one thing alone. You are a combination of all the things that you have ever been or done, not just the latest thing. Secondly, that people will take a steer from you on how to react to things. I believe that if I had acted sheepish or guilty about coming out, then people would have played this back to me. But I was steadfast in my convictions. After all, I was the one who had taken this momentous decision to disrupt every single aspect of my life in one go. And finally, I truly learned the value of unconditional love. When I told my parents, they both simply hugged me and said that they didn’t care who or what I was, so long as I was happy. We all cried.

Queersay+Branding.jpg
Simon Hatter