My sister was taken by surprise which I didn’t expect. She told me that she had never considered it as I didn’t seem typically gay, I explained that there are just people in this world, we all act differently and it has no relation to where we stick our bits. She didn’t want to think about my bits, and I didn’t want that either. We laughed, hugged and she forgot about her problems for a little while. It felt good but I also felt naked.

My brain began to feel weird, like it was in a panic and angry with me. I was doing something that I thought I would never do, I had surprised myself and part of my mind was desperately fighting it.

It was now late November and it was time to tell my older brother. He had been my hero until I was 16, then something happened and he lost his appeal. I know now it was because I was unable to be myself around him and all those homophobic jokes he would tell over dinner. I went over to his one Saturday, giving myself a talk in the mirror before I left

“You don’t have to say anything if you don’t want to mate, you do whatever you feel, no pressure – ok?”

It helped. Good to talk to yourself. Sometimes all you have is your reflection. I spent the day there with my brother, sister-in-law and five nieces and nephews (he really took that pressure off me!), it was nice. The kids went to bed and I knew my moment had come. Every time I went to say something I nearly threw up or laughed like a maniac.

“Ok, ok..Just leave the room, go to the loo, come back in and just say it…we have to say it…”

I sometimes refer to myself as ‘we’, not in the Royal way, more in a conscious/unconscious sense. I went, I came back, time slowed down, I felt sick and finally I said in a high nervous flutter

“I have something I need to tell you both, it won’t be a surprise, but basically I’m Gay”

I looked at them as if I had just asked a question and was waiting for a reply, they stared back at me with concern and fake disbelief. They knew, of course they did, but they didn’t realise I had been so open about it with others in my life. I explained that with all their fervent religious beliefs and the fact that I was never going to tell Mum and Dad I just didn’t think it was fair to tell them. We chatted for 4 hours, it was beautiful. He gave me a big bear hug and thanked me for telling him and said he was sorry that I didn’t feel I could have told him before. I got my big brother back that day, it felt really warm and light.

He asked me if I wanted him to be there when I told my parents, I said no, but thanks – and meant it.

Christmas arrived. I missed the annual heart-to-heart that I would usually have with my Mum on Christmas morning because I couldn’t bear to lie to her or thought I might let it slip. She missed me and it made me feel sad. It was a tense Christmas, I stayed over at my parent’s house for a couple of nights, on the last night I wandered round the house while they were all sleeping shuddering at the thought of all of it collapsing because of me. I looked at all our happy faces on display, knowing the pain behind the smiles and I wanted to smash them all, it all seemed like a lie.

“Just a couple of weeks to go mate, then it will all be over for better or worse, just a couple of weeks, we can do it…”

Of course we could, I’d already waited a lifetime.

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