Coming out: embracing my bisexuality
Ryan Cleary, star of Survival of the Fittest and The Bi Life, talks openly about the struggles he had from a young age, feeling attracted to both the men and the women that he saw on TV.
By 15 years old, Ryan understood that he was bisexual, but he felt guilty and kept it a secret. He didn’t feel he could talk openly to his family or friends. By 17, Ryan was starting to show signs of depression and, in a bid to help, his mum confided that she knew he was interested in men. She assured him:
“I’ll always love you; you’re my son. Nothing’s changed.”
Coming out can be difficult and will be a different experience for everyone. Stonewall, the LGBT rights charity, advise that it "may take you a while" but "the main thing to remember is to not put pressure on yourself and to only come out when you feel ready."
As Ryan says: "You know best who you are and you know what is best for you.”
If you’re feeling anxious about your sexuality, Ryan’s advice is to:
Talk to someone you trust, if you can. It'll feel like a massive weight off your shoulders to express how you really feel.
Don’t doubt yourself. You know how you feel, who you are attracted to and who you really are.
Always stick by what you believe. Don’t let other people try to persuade you that you’re someone you’re not.
Where to find support
You should not feel pressurised to label yourself or your sexual orientation. If you do feel you’d like to come out as gay, lesbian, bi or pan to others, and are safely able to, you can find support on how to start conversations, and further advice, at Stonewall.
It is always good to speak to someone you trust about the issues you might be facing, no matter how big or small. It can be hard talking about sexuality, relationships and mental health – everyone finds them challenging at times – so if you are experiencing difficulties, don’t feel ashamed or different, and don’t feel you have to hide away from it. You can also find help on a range of issues at Young Minds.