Quite a year…

A year ago, I came out as gay. One year on, I’m happily living as an openly gay young person, and I just had the proudest week possible. I’m going to talk you through my year in the most ‘me’ way possible…

It all started 365 days ago…

12 months on from 10th July 2016, whenever I think about the moment my secret was no longer a secret, I feel all warm and fuzzy…

As soon as I’d come out to friends, there was another question at the forefront of my mind…

The challenge was that I was on DofE at the time, and I wasn’t going to see my family until the end of the week. I rang Mum on the evening of the 11th, after a day of walking, and the only painful thing about that conversation was the fact that – in a bid to avoid sitting in/on sheep poo – I had decided to sit/squat in a really unsustainable position, and my legs felt dead enough as it was, after a day of gold DofE…

During the Summer, I spent a couple of weeks at an international Scouting event, where I soon decided that I’d like to be open about my sexuality. As well as feeling no obligation to hide myself, this meant that I had the privilege of being the first port of call for a friend when he was realising his sexuality and thinking about coming out. Talking openly about feelings and emotions is something I’ve felt the confidence to do over the past year, and this is largely down to the fact that I no longer have a big thing that I want to hide.

Between Summer and October, I decided that I wasn’t going to hide my sexuality in school. Increasingly, my appetite for people to know who I am increased. I obviously listened to Diana Ross too carefully…I wanted all the world to know…!! It came to my attention that International Coming-Out Day was a thing, so I told the world. You’ve probably read how I did that – if not, check it out here.

February marks LGBT+ History Month every year. This year, in my role as station manager of BOL Radio, I decided that I wanted to mark this in a variety of ways.

The main thing I did was creating a documentary film exploring life as an LGBT+ young person in 2017. Not only was this a great experience for me in terms of media experience, it meant that I got to know people who are LGBT+, and I got to know their stories. This really helped me to understand where I fit into the world.

I also hosted a panel Q & A about living as an LGBT+ young person, and that was not only the first time I’d been so open about my life, but it was the most open that most of the student panelists had been as well, so that was an enriching experience for all involved.

Later on in March, I did something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but something – if you asked me 13 months ago – I never would have thought I’d be confident enough to do…I’ll let the pictures do the talking…


Of course, I was dancing to this ABSOLUTE BANGER:

And that pretty much brings us to this week, in my ‘out and proud’ calendar…

On Thursday 6th July, I was extremely honoured to collect the school’s award for Outstanding Contribution To The School Community. When I received the letter telling me that I’d won the award, I thought it was going to be mainly for my work setting up the radio station, but it turns out that the first half of the speech from Rev G Rayner-Williams (who featured in my documentary) was based on my work with the documentary, and my “leaving Bishop an even more accepting school than the one [I] entered”. It meant a lot to me that this happened in my anniversary week!

The night after – Friday 7th July – was my year 13 prom. 12 months ago, I would not imagine myself having the confidence to wear a rainbow bow-tie and rainbow braces…but I did. And it makes me happy – and dare I say proud – that I’m in comfortable enough an environment to do that.

And then the next day, getting a train to London, wearing [in addition to my regular clothes, don’t worry!] my rainbow bow-tie, rainbow braces, and rainbow laces. Being part of the London Pride Parade with Stonewall was a really special way to end the year, amongst a community of people who welcome and accept anyone and everyone for who they are and who they want to be. Ruth Hunt, Stonewall CEO, spoke at the Youth Pride event I was part of before we walked the parade. She made it clear that – as an LGBT+ young person – there is nothing I have to do a particular way. I can just wend my way through life, living it how I want to live and being who I want to be…

2 thoughts on “Quite a year…

  1. Proud to have met you on your journey and immensely heartened that your year has been so positive. Well done SeB.

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  2. I’m so proud of you SeB! I well remember that phone conversation….as I knew you were away on Dartmoor when you called I thought you’d had an accident or something when I saw your number come up. I was SO relieved when you had just called to tell me that you are gay!!! To me you are a person, not defined or labelled by your sexuality, but enriched by it. Continue to embrace who you are, be proud that you are uniquely you, and never stop sharing your love of life with those you meet. xxx

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