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BCW’s guide to coming out for the holidays

This Thursday’s American Thanksgiving celebrations kick start the holiday season for many, and there’s hardly a fledgling queer who isn’t considering ruining grandma’s turkey dinner by making ‘that’ special announcement over the dinner table.

Barry Church-Woods

Coming out for many is a rite of passage, and the beginning of a newer, fuller, more fulfilling life.

Sharing this very personal part of yourself with your loved ones at a family gathering is a surprisingly common first step, and it’s important to get it right.

We’ve all seen that terrible clip of the family disowning their child for being gay and though its unfortunate that being yourself can be a reason to jumpstart hatred for some, I genuinely believe that coming out is one of the greatest things you can ever do.

In my life I’ve come out as gay a thousand times. You know how we boyz like an encore.

trouble-smI came out to my mum by calling her in tears when I broke up with the love of my life (an accordion playing Freemason with bacne and a fondness for headbands).

I came out to my sister by introducing her to the love of my life (a terrible actor who would later leave me for a z-list pop star).

I came out to my girlfriend when she walked in on me hanging out the back of our favourite waiter from the local bistro we went to on a weekly basis.

I came out to my boss by talking about my husband at my interview.

Each and every time, it had a meaning.

When I was younger, it was about becoming myself. As I got older, it became about visibility. About making sure that people knew, so I could call them on their bullshit. About standing up for myself and for others when that tit at the water cooler was making faggot jokes.

I’m lucky.

I live in Edinburgh, a relatively cosmopolitan liberal city in a forward thinking progressive country. Now when I mention I’m gay no one bats an eyelash.

So, if you are thinking about sharing this very personal part of your life with your loved ones this week, Stonewall have produced a handy guide to the process. It’s geared towards young people, but a lot of it is applicable to all.

And remember, it can go really well…

I however have a few more creative ideas if you’re feeling confident:

As you sit down to dinner say ‘ This looks great. I’m really hungry because all I’ve had to eat today was cock’.

Ask to offer grace, and use the following ‘ Lord, we are thankful for the food we are about to eat, and the love we share around this table. Please bless my family and friends during these precious moments and can I get a HOLLA FOR “DIS HOT ASSED SAUSAGE JOCKEY? HOLLA!!! Amen.’

The ladies among you might want to try the subtler ‘Have you seen anything good on TV? I’ve really been getting into watching Ellen…..’s wonderful tits’.

And if you’re feeling really brave call them the night before: ‘Hey mum, how’s the prep going? I’m just calling to say if you need any help with the stuffing I’m always happy to have my hand inside a nice bird. In fact I’m doing it right now. Would you like to talk to her?’

If you’d like less offensive ideas, check out Buzzfeed’s 41 awesome ways to come out to your friends and family.

No matter if, how and when you do it, I wish you nothing but love, happiness and support.


Enjoy this?  Why not read Barry’s other coming out opinion piece The Cult of In-ing and then scroll down and subscribe to make sure you don’t miss out on any more of his spectacularly crass references like ‘hanging out the back of the waiter’?


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