Coming out can be one of the hardest things lesbian, gay and bisexual people have to do. That’s why a new website called rucomingout.com, launched in March, is acting as a resource for people in the closet and friends and families of those who have come out.
The site features a stories section, with new people sharing their or their friends’ coming out experiences every month. It already includes 25 stories with writers from Britain, Spain, Sweden and Australia and posts from public figures British soul singer Beverley Knight and Team GB Olympic canoe hopeful Matthew Lister.
Lister outlines his struggles with coming out to his best friend, a fellow canoeist, saying: ‘I was petrified that it would change our relationship. Greg is a proper “lad” and I was convinced that everything was going to go downhill once I had talked to him.
'So I did what I knew best and went to a quiet bar in Nottingham where it was two for one deals all night on cocktails and got us both completely ratted.
'When I finally decided we were both at a level of inebriation I blurted it out. He hugged me and told me that I was still “his Matty” and that it would change nothing. I had a good cry and one final cocktail to celebrate before heading home.’
The stories on the site range from poignant to hilarious.
Norman, an office manager from London, recounts his mother’s reaction: ‘I heard a knock on the door. It was my mum. She popped her head through the door and asked gently, “Does this mean you like dressing up in women's clothes?”. I grinned, “No mum, that's a transvestite!” “Ohhh, ok”, she said and closed the door.’
Project coordinator and youth worker Wayne Dhesi says of the website: ‘I wanted to start this project as I felt that there was a real need for a new, honest and unashamedly proud home for the coming out experience.
'We have started to challenge stereotypes and preconceptions as well as fulfilling our main aim of providing support to those who are currently going through the coming out process themselves.’