Callum is 20 years old and is studying BSc (hons) Paramedic Science. Callum decided to get involved with Student Life to share his experiences within the LGBTQ+ community and reduce stigma.
Being part of the LGBTQ+ community has always been a difficult subject for me to talk about around my friends and family. Until recently, I have continually kept my sexuality a ‘secret’ with the fear of how people would react, especially my family. This insecurity has also triggered previous episodes of Anxiety and Depression which has stopped me from expressing my true thoughts and feelings.
After many years of not having the confidence to tell people I was Gay, I decided to tell two of my closest friends, and the support I received was truly overwhelming. I can honestly say that without Leanne and Suzanne, I wouldn’t be where I am now, and certainly wouldn’t be writing this!
Things were looking very positive, and for the first time ever, I wanted my family to know that I was Gay. I decided to text my Mum, as that was the way I felt most comfortable, but the reply I received wasn’t what I was expecting and I soon realised this was the beginning of a difficult and emotional journey. I always thought that telling my parents wasn’t going to be easy, but what I was about to experience was totally shocking and unexpected.
That night when I returned home from a mental health launch evening, I discovered I had been locked out of my house, and at this point I was extremely scared and worried about my mental health deteriorating like previous episodes.
After staying at a friends for the night I drove home and was met by my Father, who expressed his feelings towards my sexuality in an extremely homophobic and disrespectful way. The following few days spent at home were tremendously uncomfortable, which led to me being asked to leave the house due to not ‘regretting’ what I had opened up about.
Moving out of my childhood home because of my unaccepted sexuality has been very difficult, physically and emotionally. I was offered a room at my friend’s house where I am now living. Although it has been a rough journey, I now feel completely relaxed, proud and am genuinely enjoying my independent life expressing who I truly am. I no longer have the worries of hiding anything from anyone, and my mental health is the best it has ever been.
If there was one thing I wanted people to take from my experience, it would be the fact that there is always light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how difficult the journey may be.
Coming out isn’t always easy, but it sure does feel good to stretch your wings and fly!