Owen Jones, British author and columnist for The Guardian, successful author and political activist talks about how he came out to his parents, what coming out was like in his teenage years, and how it gets easier in his latest YouTube video for his ‘Owen Jones talks back’ series.
Owen starts his video by talking about who he is supporting in the US elections and how he drinks cups of tea, until asked by a Will Gardener, “When did you realise you were gay Owen?”
The left-wing journo states that he originally came out as bisexual, which he admits can ruin it for other bisexuals with false assumption that bisexuals are going through a phase, “bi now, gay later.”
HISKIND’s man of the year then goes on to talk about how he came out to his parents on christmas eve. “I said to my mum “oh theres someone I’d like you to meet, and he’s called” and she kind of malfunctioned “that’s ok that’s ok that’s ok” she wouldn’t stop saying it. “Oh and he went to this private school” and they put their heads in their hands, they were kind of half joking.”
Owen then goes on to speak about how when you come out, you don’t just come out once, you come out numerous times to people. “You have to come out a number of times, at work, friends, family, etc. It does genuinely feel like your world is going to end at the time.”
An important thing to note is that legislation was in place that made it harder for a gay person to speak to someone about LGBT issues at the time, referring to the Local Government Act 1988.
“Things are much better now, section 28 prohibited promotion of homosexuality, so I had none of that. Age of consent was different, could not have civil partnerships, laws were not in place against discrimination.”
Owen thanks people who fought for these rights, and a message to people watching who are thinking of coming out, “Life is so easier for me than what it was 30 years ago, I am eternally grateful for the people who fought for me. The might be people thinking oh I don’t want to come out, it seems like a lot of hassle, life does get a lot better when you feel honest about it, you’ll find people feel a lot more supportive.”
Words – Connor Savigar