Scott McGlynn grew up in a small town in South Wales in the 1990’s. In his debut book, OUT, he recalls his battle against homophobia and coming to terms with his identity through self-acceptance.
As he grew up, the treatment from his bullies stayed with him, and had a negative impact on his schoolwork. He is keen to speak out for those who are still struggling with acceptance. An autobiographical story, Scott relives those adolescent years and strongly believes that bullying is still a major problem in schools because of social media today.
We caught up with Scott for a chat.
ON: Briefly, what inspired you to write your book?
Scott: I always enjoyed writing, I have my own blog which I love, and writing a book is always something I wanted to do, I wanted to tell people my story and hopefully help others. So writing my own book was a great option for me to share the world with.
ON: When did you realise that your experiences could be a book?
Scott: I did a lot of research on the genre of my book and there are not many out there at all. That inspired me to do my book even more on true life coming out experience and dealing with the real life struggle I went through to accept myself.
ON: You titled the book OUT. How did your relationship to that term and that title change over the course of writing?
Scott: When I was writing the book I knew I wanted to call it “OUT”, it makes the book more attracted to people. Some people thought it was a horror book because of the way it looked as well, so it got people guessing, I did have a few different ideas about the cover – originally it was going to be the LGBT colours, then I was going to do it all black with white writing, but cover now with the door slightly open with light fits perfect with the hole book.
ON: Was it challenging to reveal so much of yourself in this memoir?
Scott: I’m really comfortable with myself and have accepted who I am. I knew if I wanted to tell people the whole truth I had to be completely honest and tell my story. In a way it felt like therapy, I did get emotional bringing up the tough times in the past.
ON: Were there moments when you worried about exposing so much of your personal life to the world and the reaction it may get?
Scott: I felt it might go 50/50, I knew the book would help others. But then I was thinking it could go bad and get hatred from it. Over the last month, since the release date, it’s all been positive. I have a lot of people message and email me saying how they can relate to me.
ON: Is there any words of advice do you have for teens facing a similar situation as you?
Scott: Be yourself and don’t change for anybody! Remember there’s people out there to talk to who have been actually through the same things you have. I was in my little bubble and didn’t embrace who I was, instead I just went into hiding.
ON: If there’s one message you would give bullies of the LGBT community what would it be?
Scott: Stop making others feel like shit! Bother with your own lives and stop wrecking others!!
ON: Do you have any advice for coming out?
Scott: For me it was all about timing, You know when it’s the right time to come out, for me it was very close friends, my sister, then when I found someone I loved and could see my future with I told my parents. Everyone’s different. You may feel you’re living a double life “saying your with so and so” but really you’re on a date with a guy or girl. Just be safe and tell someone where you’re going if you’re meeting someone for a date or anything.
ON: Do certain social groups get bullied more than others?
Scott: Honestly everyone gets bullied for something, If it’s your sexuality, hair colour, religion anything, Stick together in school to make it enjoyable as you can.
ON: What would you would like to say to your childhood bullies today?
Scott: Social media for kids today is terrible! The things people message me about for advice and what I’ve seen it’s crazy. When I was in school MSN was the only thing I had. Now with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram so on you can’t escape from people. If you are getting bullied through the social media I say make your friends list minimum and make your profiles private. If any bullies contact you on social media block!!
ON: Would you have done anything differently if you could do it again?
Scott: I say I would have spoke up for myself more. But in a way if didn’t go through what I went through, I wouldn’t be able to help others which is my goal in my life.
ON: What were your biggest learning experiences throughout the publishing process?
Scott: Hard work and time. My publisher is in America so it was a lot of late nights and emails. But we got there and I’m proud of my book.
ON: If you hope readers can get one thing out of reading your book, what would it be?
Scott: Knowing everything is going to be OK!! When you’re 11 years old in high school and your life everyday is getting bullied by verbal abuse you think is this all your life it going to be like? I promise everyone it is not like that at all, it does get better and you will be amazing!
ON: What’s next for you?
Scott: I have a few events coming up, which you can see on my Facebook page, TV and radio shows. My goal is to go around schools all over the UK and meet and speak to pupils struggling through school from getting bullied.
You can purchase OUT from Amazon.
For further information: scottmcglynn.net