I’m a young man in my early 20s living in rural Ireland. I’m writing to you about something that I haven’t discussed with anyone, ever. I’m bisexual.
Since around or about the time I did my Leaving Cert I’ve been pretty sure I fancy lads, but I haven’t been able to discuss it with anyone. I’m still attracted to girls, but I definitely like guys too.
I haven’t discussed this with anyone. Not my friends or my family. I think they would be pretty shocked, because I’ve always been getting with girls.
I’m pretty scared about telling anyone. I’m afraid of how my friends will react and even more so afraid of how my family will react. I think most of my brothers will be cool with it, but I’d be unsure of one, he’s fairly conservative.
Also, I’ve never kissed a lad either, so really, I’m pretty confused about the whole thing.
I’ve wanted to try out dating guys for a while now, but how does a man meet a man in a small village in rural Ireland? It’s next to impossible.
Also, my fear is, if I go on the apps to meet someone, local people will know I’m bisexual and my family will hear it back.
So therefore, I don’t know whether to tell people close to me first that I’m bisexual, or try dating lads first to see how it goes?
Any advice would be appreciated,
Thank you very much for getting in touch. Well done on taking the first step in this journey by contacting me. You have gotten the ball rolling, so let’s build on that.
Firstly, I want to acknowledge that it is not easy being bisexual, gay or a transgender person, particularly in rural Ireland.
To start, I would strongly encourage you to tell some friends you trust. I know it may be a difficult conversation to initiate, but your friends will stand by you and their support will help you greatly.
On telling your family and dating, it is very much a “which came first – the chicken or the egg” situation. I would see no reason why you shouldn’t tell your family. At the end of the day, although it may be a scary prospect, they will only want to love and support you.
Even your brother – who you say is a bit conservative – I am sure there will be no issue. In this day and age, it is beyond socially unacceptable to be homophobic.
At the end of the day, you have to be authentically yourself
However, if you wish to explore your sexuality with men first before telling a lot of people, I understand that too. Perhaps, alongside telling friends, I would tell a family member you are particularly close with. Their support will help also.
Speaking with friends in the past, they have told me that outside of Dublin, there isn’t a huge gay scene in Ireland, which is unfortunate.
As you probably know, Grindr is the most popular app for LGBT+ people to meet each other. You can also set your Tinder to show both men and women. Anyone who sees you will also be LGBT+, so I wouldn’t worry too much about word getting out.
That said, certainly, I cannot say 100% that no one you know will find out. But at the end of the day, you have to be authentically yourself. As the saying goes: “Those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.”
Easier said than done, I know. But don’t waste your life not being your true self. It is too short.
There are supports I would suggest you utilise - www.lgbt.ie/find-support-in-your-area/ has a list of countrywide LGBT+ supports. There are many county specific support groups, as well as nationwide services.
I wish you all the best,