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The coming out is process is long and repetitive. Queer people come out everyday of their lives whether that’s at home, in work, at their local coffee shop, there are ample ways in which we queer people must share key parts of our identity.

But that doesn’t make the first time any smaller or any less unique to us. So, to explore those coming out experiences from across the LGBTQ+ spectrum, GAY TIMES spoke with nine LGBTQ+ individuals who span a variety of sexual orientations and gender identities.

Watch the video below for advice from each of LGBTQ-ers and keep reading for more from all nine of them on their coming out experiences.

@gaytimes Happy #NationalComingOutDay! 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍⚧️ #comingout #comingoutvideo #comingoutday #comingoutstory #comingoutstories ♬ Music In Your Heart (Instrumental) – BLVKSHP

Bea Brownlee, @bayanotbee

“Happy National Coming Out Day! I’m Bea, I use any pronouns and I identify as bi. Coming out has meant that I don’t have to act or look the way people expect anymore and I’ve found amazing friends in other queer people. Coming out isn’t all or nothing so it’s okay to take your time, maybe start with a trusted friend or family member, or text it to someone, or do what I did and make gay jokes until everyone realises you’re not joking! It’s a process and you decide where to start it.”


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Cole Daniels, @ltscole

“Happy National Coming Out Day! My name is Cole, my pronouns are he/him and I identify as a trans man. I’d say that coming out is important to me for many reasons, but one of the main ones would be for representation. For that of us that are able to, I think it’s important to show people that we exist; we’ve been here and we will continue to be here. The advice that I would give to anybody that’s wanting to come out, I would say, take your time and come out when you feel ready and make sure that you focus on pouring your energy into people that love you, for you.”


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Ellie from @justlikeusuk

“Happy National Coming Out Day! My name is Ellie, my pronouns are she/her and I identify as pansexual. When I think about what coming out means to me, I like to look back to one of the first times that I came out. Back then I didn’t really know what I was coming out as, I didn’t really have a label, I just knew that I probably wasn’t straight. And I’ve definitely come a long way since then but I do respect that younger version of me who felt like she didn’t need to get it right first time.”


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Sam Redman, @samredman_

“Happy National Coming Out Day! My name is Sam, my pronouns are he/him and I identify as gay. Coming out to me was importance because it that I can live as my authentic self, I can live unapologetically, I didn’t feel like I had to hide or be scared, I could take back ownership of my life. In terms of the present day, coming out to me is like, ‘you learn something new about yourself everyday’. I came out to my best friend when I was 12, came out again to my family when I was like, 18, 19, formally, and then again during Pride, this summer, I came out on national news. So it’s a never-ending cycle, it’s a never-ending journey and I think that reflects life, you learn something new about yourself every day.

“If I could give my younger self advice about coming out it would be, just do it on your terms and just be there for yourself. There’s going to be people who will force you to come out, who are going to ask you questions like, “Why did you not tell me?”. But it’s not about them, it’s about yourself and owning who you are on your own terms and in your own time, whether that’s today, tomorrow, five years… it’s a process that only you can down with yourself.

“Wherever or whenever you come out, just remember there’s always people here who are ready to accept you with open arms and love you for being yourself.”

@gaytimes What did you make of #DragRaceUK this week? 👀 #dragracecontent #dragrace #ukdragrace #starlet ♬ Funny Rhythm For Comedy – ExclusiveSound

Shiraz Kook, @shirazkook

“Happy National Coming Out Day! I’m Shiraz, I go by they/them and I’m queer. Coming out to me was important to shape who I am, it shaped my style, the people I hang out with, and I just became more comfortable with being me. It also really helped to be more honest with people around me and stop making excuses as to why I didn’t have a boyfriend! When I first came out it felt like it was, kind of, taboo, I should’ve been ashamed of it, should’ve hidden it. So the fact that now I can be loud and proud and go to Pride and have queer friends, I think is incredible.”

@gaytimes #GT133 #lesbian #lesbiansoftiktok #lesbiansoftiktok🏳️‍🌈 #nonbinary #lgbtq #lgbtqplus #lesbianstereotypes #lesbianstereotype ♬ original sound – GAY TIMES

Spencer Freitas, @spencerrfreitas

“Happy National Coming Out Day! My name’s Spencer, my pronouns are they/them and I identify as a lesbian. So I came out almost a decade ago and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but also one of the best things I’ve ever done. For me, coming out was a way to start letting people in, I think that before I came out I was subconsciously pushing a lot of people away because I didn’t want them to get to close cause I didn’t want them to ‘find out my secret’. And after I cam out I was able to let that go and actually start letting people into my life and my true self.

“People often ask me for advice on coming out and my advice is always pretty much the exact same thing, it’s that you can only do it when you’re ready to and you can only do it when you feel like it’s right for you to do it. You shouldn’t come out for someone else, you shouldn’t come out on someone else’s timeline, it’s entirely up to you and there is absolutely no rush.

“Obviously I cam out a very long time ago but even if I hadn’t and it had taken me another 10 years from now to come out, that would have perfectly fine, there is never any rush.”

@gaytimes 💔 #lgbtq #lgbtqtiktok #lgbtqplus #queer #queertiktok #queertok #nonbinary #lesbiansoftiktok #lesbianastiktok ♬ original sound – GAY TIMES

Valentino Vecchietti, @valentino_vecchietti

“Happy National Coming Out Day! Hi, my name is Valentino Vecchietti, my pronouns are she and they and I was born with an intersex variation. Intersex is an umbrella term for naturally occurring variations in our sex characteristics which we are born with. Our primary sex characteristics are things like our internal or external sex organs, our chromosomes and our hormones. And our secondary sex characteristics are things like the ways in which we develop at puberty. So, now that we’ve got a definition out of the way, the next thing I have to say is that sex characteristics are distinct from gender identity and expression and sexual orientation.

“So something more about me, I’m an artist and a writer, I founded Intersex Equality Rights UK and in 2021, I redesigned the progress flag to create the intersex inclusive Pride flag. It went viral on the internet and was internationally welcomed as the new Pride flag. One of the reasons I created the intersex inclusive Pride flag was to create space for intersex voices and intersex inclusion on days such as National Coming Out Day, so that intersex people would be invited to join in, to share our experiences, and to feel that we can represent and be supported within the LGBTIQA+ community.

“There are many different intersex variations which means we can have many different experiences in society. So I’m just going to share mine, but know that when you hear other people’s experiences, they most likely will be very different from mine, we have a multiplicity of experiences in our community. My initial motivation to come out was that I really needed to find community I needed to be able to share experience and to have a sense of validation in people sharing their experiences back with me. Intersex experiences matter. It is really empowering just to hear someone go, “I get it. I know, this has also happened to me,” and things like that. And to be able to look in someone else’s face and just meet the eyes of another person who is also intersex. It really matters, it really means something, and I found it to be profoundly moving. And also so, so empowering.

“Another thing that coming out gave me was it really liberated me from the shameful stigma of secrecy that medical narratives that I’d grown up with, really kind of pervaded that telling me that I wasn’t whole or good enough as I was and that I needed to be fixed or changed in order to fit in with society, meeting other people with intersex variations, also reading and hearing about other people’s experiences, whether it be on social media, or in other spaces really helped me to have a sense of validity and helped me to feel that I wasn’t alone. And one thing I would say is that when I was keeping it all inside and keeping everything hidden, I just felt so alone. I want to also say that I did feel very vulnerable. And when I first started coming out, I would speak to some people and it felt okay, but other times I did feel overexposed. And I think that it’s really important to be able to distinguish when you feel safe to come out and when you need to protect yourself and feel that it’s something private about you that you don’t have to share. None of us have to share these elements of our lives. It’s up to us. However, having created the intersex inclusive Pride flag, I am now very out as an intersex person, and I’m really proud of the work I’ve done to create space and platforms for the intersex community through creating the intersex inclusive Pride flag.”


Yasmin Benoit, theyasminbenoit

“Happy National Coming Out Day! I’m Yasmin Benoit, my pronouns are she/her and I identify as asexual. This day is actually quite sentimental for me because I first came out on my social media on National Coming Out Day 2017 and it would end up literally changing the course of my life.

“It’s really hard to come out as asexual because even though people don’t know much about it, they still have an opinion of it. And people just didn’t believe me on the basis of what I look like. When I was able to successfully come out as asexual it meant I was just able to be my entire self and didn’t have to keep dodging conversations and situations out of the fear that the conversation was steering a certain way and I have to broach this subject, no I can just be proud and open and honest, and hopefully inspire other people to do the same.

“My advice to anyone coming out today would be to remember that other people’s reaction to you is not a reflection of you, it’s a reflection of what they don’t understand and hopefully over time they will understand, and if not, there are lots of people out there who will and you’ll find people who will accept you for your entire self, trust me.”


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