Day 4 – The first person you came out to and that story
Barry: I often tell the story that I never really came out. I just had boyfriends and gradually people just realised. This question has made me realise that isn’t strictly true. I guess if you really analyze it, the first person I came out to would have been Gary, a local kid a couple of years older than me that used to hang out at the skate bowl. I never uttered the words ‘I’m gay’ to him once, though I’m sure he knew when we were kissing and later having what I thought was sex that I was probably somewhere on the homosexual spectrum.
In terms of having open conversations with my family, my sister Nicole was the first person to pull me aside and tell me it was OK to be gay and that everyone would still love me if I was. I remember blushing a little bit and shrugging it off, and then spending the next few days delighted that someone has phrased it in such a way. (Remembering that at high school my nickname was ‘Access’).
Even though she gave me the perfect ‘in’ to say the words out loud, it was my other sister Andrea who heard them first. Not because it was particularly newsworthy, just that Nicole has been spending lots of weekends at my flat and had witnessed the various bed-hopping that was going on so it wasn’t necessary to say anything to her.