After I realised and accepted that I am gay, back in 2013, I suddenly felt a bit awkward when showering with my football team after matches. I don’t know why, because nothing had actually changed. I suppose I was worried that if they knew, they would be worried that I would look differently at them… while… showering? It doesn’t make any sense as I’m typing this out, but that’s really what I was afraid of. I was afraid that I would make all of them uncomfortable by being gay and using the same shower at the same time.
I wasn’t sure what to do about it. I didn’t think they minded that I was gay, but they didn’t know and I thought that since I showered with them it should be something they should know. Like, as if to add some disclaimer: if you enter this shower, beware, one of you is gay. Haha.
So I worried about this for a few weeks. I think I even tried to avoid taking showers after matches and I talked about it with a few people. I definitely felt like I knew I had to come out but I also wasn’t sure how. I don’t particularly fancy public speaking or just speaking loud enough in a changing room for everyone to hear. Yet, that’s what this eventually led to. To make things easier on myself, I told my trainer that I wanted to tell the team and so he got everyone to be quiet so I could speak. It was incredibly awkward.
I’m not even sure what I said or what I had meant to say. I probably just mumbled a bit and looked in a different direction every second or so (of which looking at the floor was my favourite). But in the end, I said it. I am gay. I don’t want to- with the shower- I don’t look or anything…
They didn’t stay quiet until I finished any of those latter sentences, which is good. Instead, everyone was quick to say that it was okay. Like, definitely okay and everyone seemed happy for me. I felt rather relieved and happy, even though deep down I knew it would have been fine.
However, it also seemed silly that I had felt the need to announce it like this. Everyone was fine with it- why had I made such a big deal of it in my head? But, it’s okay that I did because I needed to for myself because at the time it seemed really important that they knew. It was simply part of my coming out and self-acceptance.
Nowadays, I don’t announce that I’m gay to each new football team that I join. They’ll figure it out eventually and that’s fine. I’m just me and that’s what’s important and the fact that I’m gay hasn’t changed anything. Getting such a warm and accepting response from my first football team definitely helped me accept my sexuality even more, as well as believe that society can be accepting and that it’s normal and not always a big deal anymore.
So yeah. Did any of you worry like this just after you came out?
This is the first post in a series of ‘Coming Out Struggles’
I will publish a new post in this series every third week on Monday.
6 August – Can I still shower with my football team?
27 August – Can I hold a girl’s hand in public?
17 September – Yet to come
8 October – Yet to come
29 October – Yet to come
Related post: Am I a Lesbian?