One thing I have noticed since I decided to make the move and come out is the lack of support in my home town. There is a youth support group but if you are 25 or older there is nothing, which to me seems extremely unfair. It is just as hard to deal with the whole process of coming out when you are over 25 as it is for those under that age bracket.
In fact for many it may seem an even harder task, a certain perception has already been established and a social network of friends who think you are straight has built up around you. You may be married or have children and the sheer weight of expectations on you now are that much greater than it can force many to recoil and avoid dealing with their true self.
I know this was part of the reason it took me so long to come to terms with being a lesbian, at first there were other reasons but as time when on the harder it became and although I wanted to make the move and come out I was just too afraid to. It’s not just fear of how those close to you will react its fear of how people within the LBGT community will view you because of your history with heterosexual relationships.
Another issue is the whole sexual thing, and I don’t mean how it works for gays and lesbians (although that is a factor) it’s the simple fact that for all intent and purposes you’re a virgin again.
Unless you live in a large city such as London, Liverpool, Manchester or Brighton where there is not only a good gay scene but a good network of support groups for all people of all ages then it’s a tough job knowing where to start and how to make friends.
You’re limited to using online dating sites just to try and find a few people to talk to who are OK with your past and willing to be your friend. I’ve been lucky I’ve made contact with a few great ladies from Gaydar Girls and this has at least given me some people to talk to who understand where I am coming from. However I think that some form of additional support on and off line is needed for people in my situation, it would make the daunting process of coming out that much easier.
In my next post I am going to look at Cardiff’s Mardi Gras which takes place on Saturday 3rd September.