22nd December 2014, I came out at the age of 19.

In 2008, I started to find girls attractive, I was 14. I tried to tell myself that it was normal to find people of the same sex good looking. Then I then began to have feelings for girls – I didn’t act upon it as I was terrified of what others thought.

I don’t think I told anyone for years. I had a hard time at high school anyway, not really fitting in, getting bullied, so I kept it to myself during the whole of high school. This was so draining. I first told my friends at college in 2012, who were very supportive.

I felt like I would never tell my parents or family as it was too much. I tried to hide the fact I was gay, even to myself. I tried talking to boys, trying to force myself to be straight. I wanted to be ‘normal’. I tried dating boys, but I never felt anything for them, which made me feel horrible, I tried so hard to be someone I wasn’t.

This all made me very anxious and depressed, hiding the biggest part of myself from everyone, everyday. It was making me fall out with my parents, creating arguments for nothing, because I was so irritable.

One night I broke down crying in my bed, I couldn’t take it anymore, the weight on my shoulders was too much. My heart hurt. I told my my dad and siblings in a Facebook group chat – it was less pressure than in person. They were all very supportive and said it was fine. My siblings called me brave which made me feel so welcome.

I told my mum in person. She asked me why I was crying, that I should feel so much better now it’s out, and I did. I was crying with relief, I had finally been accepted for being 100% who I am after hiding for so long.

My advice for anyone else struggling to come to terms with their sexuality is, don’t ever be scared to be yourself. You are who you are and no one can change that.

I came out when I was ready and so should you. Don’t force yourself out, don’t let anyone force you out. Take your time to come to terms with it yourself. You don’t need to change yourself for anyone.   

Everyone who loves you, will still love you.

You are one of a kind.

You deserve to be yourself.

Chloe Donald

Twitter – @ChloeDonald_

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