My Experience by Jack Stokes
“Even in purely non-religious terms, homosexuality represents misuse of the sexual faculty. It’s a pathetic little, second-rate substitute for reality, a pitiable flight from life. As such, it deserves no compassion, it deserves no treatment as minority martyrdom, and it deserves not to be deemed anything but a pernicious sickness” that is from time magazine in 1966.
While homophobia in the UK is not as blatant as it was back in the 60’s, it’s still a widespread issue that I and many others in the community face every day. I will never forget the time a boy threatened to stamp my head into the ground, I will never forget being called a fag on multiple occasions, I will never forget how people just ignored me, turned their backs on me when I came out. I watched while nearly a third of Poland declared themselves as LGBT free zones, every day the meaningless idea that homosexuality is not ok, not normal is reinforced by words, actions, and legislation across the globe.
All these factors made me feel ashamed of my sexuality, of who I am, made me feel isolated and alone and no one should ever feel that way. At my secondary school there was a small path that everyone referred to as the, ” gay path”, no one would dare walk on it from fear of being called gay, they would rather walk on the mud beside it. This further perpetuated in my mind that there was something wrong with me. However, my journey isn’t just negative.
I came out to my parents on the 4th of June 2020 and I came out to everyone at my school in an Instagram post a few of years prior which in retrospect probably wasn’t the smartest idea. I got to experience my true friends support and love me and for that I’m eternally grateful because without their support my journey would have been much tougher, thanks to them I realised I wasn’t alone, and now my parents get to join me along that journey because coming out to them was one of the best days of my life, it was such a powerful moment, that I shall never forget.
Honestly, my coming out experience will never end, it’s not a one-step action, it’s more of a journey, an expedition of multiple barriers and every time I tell someone that I am gay I break through one of those barriers.
Despite the challenges that I face as a member of the LGBTQ+ Community I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I am gay and I am proud.
LGBTQ+ Officer, 2020-2021