“Should I tell them I was gay and face chaos?”

When I first started Uni at Manchester, I never ever considered joining the LGBT here. I was never fully out back home and found the idea of joining a bit intimidating. Instead, I quite happily sailed along through first year, but I still wasn’t very out about my sexuality. I never really thought about the gay village or the LGBT community at all. But that all changed when I went home for summer. My Mum and Dad sat me down and told me that they had started to think about arranging my marriage. My whole world fell apart! I can’t even describe how I felt. I had always planned to tell my homophobic parents that I was gay once I left Uni, but here I was, trapped between a rock and a hard place. Should I tell them I was gay and face chaos, or quietly get married and be miserable for the rest of my life? I felt so scared and alienated. I was confused about what to do. It was all I could think about. When I went back to Uni, I did terribly in class. I finally bit the bullet and told my tutors everything. Their response was fantastic. They were so supportive and understanding. They knew I couldn’t come out to my parents yet, so instead they helped me persuade my parents that I was too busy with my education to think about marriage. Thankfully, my parents actually agreed and decided to wait until I was much older. The relief was immense! It was at this point that a friend suggested I go join the LGBT. I was a bit hesitant to begin with, but I finally took the plunge and went to a social at a local pub. It was so relaxed and had a great vibe. I met some incredible people, had a great laugh and even won second prize in the quiz! Over the next year, I went to even more and more LGBT events and made some very close friends to get drunk/hungover with (but it’s not all drinking! I promise!) Looking back, I’m so glad I got involved! The LGBT peeps helped me gain so much confidence and pride in myself; pride and acceptance about who I am. And gave me some of the best parties and friends I could have asked for! I know one day I’ll have to come out to my family and yes, it does scare me. But thanks to these guys, I’ve never felt so proud and so assured to tell them exactly who I am.

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