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Dear Heidi 

I am 19 and come from what you would call a rough family. My two brothers are both amateur boxers, me too. My dad is a man’s man and hates “queers” as he calls them. I have been dating girls to hide who I am. The other week one suspected when I did not want to go all the way and insulted me viciously. Honestly, I love my family but what can I do Heidi, should I risk coming out? 

Mike, Blackpool

My lovely Mike 

My heart goes out to you. First, I could never advise anyone to come out. Everyone’s coming out story is personal, only you can decide if it is right for you.

Now if you do decide to come out, I can give some advice there. It sounds like you still live at home. Have a back-up plan in case you need alternative accommodations – akt (formerly the Albert Kennedy Trust) offer help with housing to young gay people. Secondly it might be better to meet somewhere that you feel safe, on neutral ground, if you feel your father or brothers are going to react badly. You may want to talk to someone such as LGBT Switchboard before you decide how to handle things.

Remember if your family love you as much as you clearly love them their reaction might surprise you. How long can you keep up the pretence of dating girls? It is not fair on you or them. 

Love, Heidi

About the author

Heidi Gammon

Heidi Gammon is a qualified integrative counsellor incorporating CBT, Person Centered and Psychodynamic theories and has excellent knowledge in issues such as: adoption, LBGTQI+, bereavement, relationship issues, trauma, anxiety, infertility, stress and more.

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