Every person on this planet has a right to be true to themselves, to love and be loved, and to be happy. As part of the #BeYourself campaign we hope to give strength and encouragement by highlighting various role models in the LGBT+ community such as Glenn below.
Comfortable in My Own Skin…Freckles and Scars included
Hi everyone. My name is Glenn. I’m 33 years old from Dublin. I guess for most people who read the LGBT blog that we all have something in common… which is the dreaded coming out phase at some point in our lives? By sharing my experience I can only hope this story will help at least one person come to terms with accepting themselves and their sexuality and by not making them feel alone or isolated, even though they may be standing in a crowded room.
As I write this blog, I am at total peace with myself. My shoulders no longer feel weighed down with guilt, anger, insecurities, sleepless nights, what ifs and worries. My heart no longer holds resentment towards my straight siblings, family members or friends. As why was I dealt this hand of cards and they didn’t have to play the game at all?
Beautiful things happen when you distance yourself from negative thoughts and narrow minded people. We as people are only confined by the walls that we build around ourselves and I was the king at building walls and creating problems that simply weren’t there to begin with. However, throw in some over thinking for good measure and all my worries would amplify to the point, that for years I allowed this to consume me for a very long time and I wouldn’t, nor did I want to acknowledge I was a gay man trapped inside a lie and living a nightmare that I allowed myself to roleplay everyday on an endless loop. Looking back I hated this part of my life and this was all down to fears that I created in my own mind.
My only regret is that I didn’t write a letter to a younger version of myself to tell him that everything would be ok. To stop making himself sick with worry as all my family and friends would react in a positive way and love me more as I would be a better, kinder happier version of myself and that very heavy weight spread across my shoulders would disappear with 3 little words. I AM GAY.
As simple and as quick as that…. all my pain was gone and my emotional love / hate battle with me, myself and I were over. I was finally free and for the first time in years I took off my running shoes as I was no longer running away from myself. I was now standing still looking at a clear reflection of the real me.
That day was the first day of the rest of my life. After I came out, my Dad rang the following day to make sure I was ok. He asked was I happy and for the first time in god knows how long I was able to honestly say yes. He reminded me that we only get one life to live and one chance to live it. From this point on I decided to make my life count. Life is quick and time waits for nobody. Live your life for you NOT for anybody else.
I then went on and found love. I never imagined I would ever feel that way about somebody but love had other plans for me and I fell head over heels. Many years later I find myself single and dating. I am confident in my own skin and I love myself for who I am today.
Dating in general can be tricky but in my experience it can be difficult in gay world. My advice to all would be to know your self-worth and not settle for anything less than what you deserve, just for the sake of saying you are in a relationship or depending on somebody for the wrong reasons. If you’re pretending to be happy, just remind yourself life is short and time moves quickly. Stay true to what you want and believe that one day a better love will find you when you least expect it.
Most importantly, always look after you mental well-being and sexual health. Educate yourself in this area and get an understanding of what’s safe and potentially what’s considered risky. Know your status and get regular check-ups. Be happy, be kind and treat others equally with love and respect. Life is hard enough.