My clos­eted Pride…

Diva (UK) - - Feature | This Is Your Pride -

I wasn’t out when I went to my first Pride. In fact, I was do­ing every­thing in my power to not be a les­bian. My mum was work­ing for my un­cle, who was a Labour MP at the time, and had or­gan­ised tak­ing a red open top bus to the pa­rade in Ed­in­burgh. With­out any child­care, she de­cided to take me along with her. I’d be an ex­tra pair of hands to blow up bal­loons and wave flags, mum fig­ured, which sounds fun, but I wasn’t at all happy about it. I was 14, angst-rid­den, and reluc­tant to go with her. What if some­one from school saw me on TV or in the pa­per and thought I was gay? What if the fe­male friend I was crush­ing so hard on found out and put two and two to­gether? Just the thought of it made me sick. Mum ig­nored my protests, which came in the form of slammed doors. She had no idea why I was act­ing this way, of course. Im’ not sure I even re­ally knew. So, un­der duress, I went along, and as the pa­rade be­gan, I found my­self sit­ting at the back of this bus, hood up and with a face like thun­der, while all around me peo­ple were hav­ing the time of their lives. But as I was tex­ting my friend on a Sony Eric­s­son the size of Swe­den about what an aw­ful time I was hav­ing, I saw a ban­ner go past for an LGBT youth group. I don’t re­mem­ber ex­actly what it said, but I do re­mem­ber sav­ing the num­ber to my phone un­der a code name. I never called it, but it was the first time I had re­ally ac­knowl­edged that I was strug­gling with my sex­u­al­ity, and some­thing changed in me that day. A year later, I told my mum I was gay. I was wor­ried about how she would re­act, but I needn’t have been. She couldn’t have been prouder.

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