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National Coming Out Day: Jack's story

We asked some of our volunteers to share their coming out story for National Coming Out Day. This is Jack's story.

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By Jack Stephens, Welsh Government

Jack with the PRISM network, and DCMS Permanent Secretary Sue Owen, at Pride in London 2018

Jack Stephens works for the Welsh Government. Jack volunteers for both the Welsh Government LGBT+ network, Prism, and the Civil Service LGBT+ Network.

My coming out wasn’t exactly how I had planned it. I was sure that there would be an explosive atmosphere, long pauses, tears and maybe some tense background music? Fortunately, my family are not the Kardashians, so no drama ensued. This being said, although my family are very understanding – believe me, I am too aware of how lucky I am of this – it didn’t take away from the time I spent worrying.

I was worried that my sexuality would become an extension of who I am, I thought that I would be viewed differently – this was something I didn’t want. I think sometimes amongst all the worry, you allow your imagination to travel to places, although deep down you know wouldn’t happen, such as abandonment from family, becoming an outcast. As mentioned previously, I was extremely lucky not to experience this – but at the same time it does happen. I came out at 14 years old, I was greeted with nothing but warmth and love.

I think it is important to be able to come out and be your true, authentic, unapologetic self. But you need to come out on your own terms. I often found that telling friends first was a great help and it’s unbelievable the confidence you can adhere from this. Coming out to all was one of the best things I did, although I may have not got the Kardashian-esque drama I was hoping for, I am extremely happy to be myself, an out, confident gay man.