Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor



British site reveals coming-out stories
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 5841 times since Tue Oct 2, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

The website features coming-out stories from people around the world, reinforcing the theory that LGBT people are not alone. In an email interview, site founder Wayne Dhesi (who resides in the United Kingdom) discussed everything from his own coming-out to what surprises him about people's experiences.

Windy City Times: This website, I'm assuming, started with your own coming-out story. What is yours?

Wayne Dhesi: My coming out was actually pretty event-free. I always had an idea I was gay since I was about 15 but didn't admit it to myself until I was 20. I came out to close friends and then family when I was 21. I had no negative reaction and soon came to realize that those close to me already knew but were simply giving me the time and space I needed to make the choice to come out. My full coming-out story is on the website at

WCT: What are some commonalities these stories share? What are some differences?

Wayne Dhesi: Out of the 100+ stories I've received and uploaded to, I'd guess around 95 percent of the people talk about this feeling of "always knowing" they were different somehow. Obviously, when you're growing up you have nothing to compare those feelings to, so it takes time sometimes to work out that you're not just uninterested in girls (or boys) but you are actually gay. In a lot of the stories I've received from people in their twenties and thirties, there is this general agreement that coming out gives people the confidence and ability to be more honest in other aspects of their lives as well. Many people cite coming out as a major factor in them being able to pursue successful careers and have rewarding relationships.

Although there are similar themes in the stories we publish, every single story has its differences. I decided to give @JayDeeEss—a 60-year-old married man with two daughters—the opportunity to have his own section on the site to explore his coming out. He is experiencing that process now and I felt it was important to give him a forum to be able to share his experience rather than simply tell it. The response to Jay's story continues to be amazingly positive and supportive as readers take this journey with him. It's fantastic to know that the website is playing such a major part in someone's coming-out experience.

WCT: Has a story (or more than one) ever provoked an emotional response from you?

Wayne Dhesi: Obviously, the stories that I can relate to make me feel more connected to them but every story makes me feel proud as they all ultimately

result in the person finding themselves in a position where they feel strong, confident and proud enough to share them. The story by New Jersey museum curator Ulysses is one of my favorites and makes me feel immensely proud and happy every time I read it. Ulysses was part of the post-Stonewall generation who shows how amazing and fulfilling life can be for gay people. It's at

WCT: Are there certain parts of the world that have more coming-out stories on the site?

Wayne Dhesi: As I'm based in the UK and the first stories were submitted by friends of mine, the majority of stories are from people in England. However, the site includes stories form the United States, Canada, Australia, China, Sweden, Ireland and Spain.

WCT: What's been the one thing that's surprised you most about the stories?

Wayne Dhesi: I'm constantly surprised at how willing people are to share their stories to help others understand the coming out process. Many people have told me that they have found the process of writing their story very theraputic and surprisingly emotional. I would suggest that anyone who is thinking of submitting a story to just start writing it and see where it takes you. You may be surprised at the things you learn about yourself, even if your coming-out was a while ago! When I wrote mine I realized things about that time in my life that I had shut away or simply never before been able to understand. It was a great experience for me.

WCT: Have there been any celebrity connections to the site (e.g., their own coming-out stories)?

Wayne Dhesi: UK soul singer Beverley Knight was the first celebrity story I received. Bev is straight but she does a huge amount of work supporting the gay community. Her story was about her friend who came out and her reaction to it. Since then, the site has published stories from the lead singer of British band The Feeling, Dan G Sells; reality TV star Bobby Norris; and Team GB [canoeing] athlete Matt Lister.

WCT: You tackle certain issues on your site's blog, such as Rupert Everett's recent comments about gay parents. I'm curious: Do you have any thoughts on the state of LGBT-related issues in the United Kingdom—or the United States, for that matter?

Wayne Dhesi: My blog on the site is a space for me to comment on wider LGBT issues but I've always got an eye on the original aims of the site. My recent

entry about Rupert Everett's comments about gay parenting was an opportunity for me to show those still in the closet—and maybe staying there becasue they feel society won't make it easy for them to become a parent in later life—that not everyone shares those opinons. I think it is important for us to provide a balance to those negative comments. If closeted gay people only hear the negative views of LGBT lifetsyles in the media then they are less likely to feel comfortable coming out. It's not a case of being militant and all of us becoming activists; it's simply about us showing gay life in a positive, normal light.

Equal marriage is currently a hot debate topic in the UK. I talk about this on my blog. It's hard to put your view across about a subject so widely debated in a few paragraphs, so I really encourage and enjoy the comments I receive. I've learned that the best way to be confident in your own opinion is to listen to others.

WCT: Everyone's coming-out story is different, but do you have any advice for someone who's contemplating doing so?

Wayne Dhesi: Although it's difficult to offer advice to people you haven't met, there are things I would suggest people contemplating coming out should do.

Obviously, I would love for them to read some of the stories on the website, as I honestly feel they will help at least with understanding what other people in a similar situation went through. The fear of coming out and of the reactions that may follow is far worse than the reality because we prepare ourselves metally and emotionally for the worse case scenario. In my experience, as soon as I admitted to myself that I was gay and stopped trying to fight those feelings, I felt a huge weight had been lifted. I obviously felt anxious about having to tell people but the moment I came out to the first person signaled the start of the rest of my life. It's not easy, not always, but it does get easier and there are people who will support you and love you, no matter what.

Don't pre-empt other people's reactions; there's no point. If anyone reacts negatively, don't let this become your issue; it's [that person's]. It's important to consider that they may need some time to digest what you're telling them; this doesn't necessarily mean they have a problem with it.

Wayne Dhesi can be reached via the Twitter handles @waynedavid81 @rucomingout as well as and .

This article shared 5841 times since Tue Oct 2, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

GLSEN executive director stepping down
After a dozen years leading the national organization GLSEN—which aims to create a better world for LGBTQ+ students—Executive Director Eliza Byard is stepping down March 1. Deputy Executive Director Melanie ...

Gay News

Artemisia Theatre announces entirely virtual 2021 season
--From a press release - CHICAGO - In order to continue its strong feminist story-telling tradition, Artemisia Theatre announces an entirely virtual 2021 season. The new season includes two World Premiere theater productions and eight audio performances airing on its podcast ...

Gay News

National LGBTQ organizations call for Trump's removal from office
--From a press release - New York, NY - Thursday, Jan. 7, 2020 - GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, along with leading LGBTQ legal, health, youth, justice and equality organizations, is callin ...

Gay News

Gay influencers called out for partying in Mexico during pandemic
A social-media account called GaysOverCovid has been exposing the gay men of the world for continuing their hard-partying, jet-setting lifestyles in the midst of a pandemic, according to media outlets such as For instance, Chicago-based ...

Gay News

Hell in a Handbag announces annual benefit, "The Morning After"
CHICAGO (Dec. 17, 2020) — Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to announce its annual benefit "The Morning After," featuring the streaming world premiere of the smash hit musical that started it all for them, ...

Gay News

200 athletes support trans women and girls playing sports
On Dec. 21, sports icon Billie Jean King, U.S. National Women's Soccer Team co-captain and World Cup Champion Megan Rapinoe, and WNBA trailblazer and legend Candace Parker joined nearly 200 fellow athletes in women's sports to ...

Gay News

WORLD Gender-identity studies, religion items, Hungary's ban
Romania's Constitutional Court overturned a ban on gender-identity studies voted through by lawmakers but which rights groups and universities said would infringe on human rights and fuel discrimination, Openly News ...

Gay News

International LGBTI Assn reports on criminalization, 69 countries have bans
--From a press release - Geneva, 15 Dec. 2020 — Despite considerable progress in legal protection for lesbian, gay and bisexual people, 69 UN member States continue to criminalise consensual same-sex activity, ILGA World (The ...

Gay News

FDA funding blood-donation study about gay, bisexual men
On the heels of news that England has mostly relaxed regulations regarding blood donations from gay and bisexual men, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is funding a study around blood donations by men in those ...

Gay News

U.S. Soccer reaches partial settlement with World Cup women's team
The U.S. Soccer Federation reached a settlement on working conditions with the U.S. women's soccer team in a gender-discrimination lawsuit that the World Cup champions filed, NBC News reported. The agreement was filed Dec. 1 in ...

Gay News

Prominent lesbians of color will join Biden administration
Two prominent lesbians of color have been appointed to major roles in President-elect Joe Biden's communications department, the transition team announced in a news release November 29. Karine Jean-Pierre, who served as a Biden senior adviser ...

Gay News

AIDS Foundation Chicago, Cook County Health mark World AIDS Day
--From a press release - AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC) and Cook County Health are collaborating for a special virtual event in honor of World AIDS Day, a global movement to increase public awareness and dialogue about HIV and AIDS, on Dec. ...

Gay News

Award-winning journalist Deb Price dead at 62
Deb Price, the award-winning journalist and author who wrote the first nationally syndicated column on LGBT issues in mainstream newspapers, has died in a hospital at age 62 in Hong Kong, where she had lived for ...

Gay News

AFC holds virtual 'Gala35' celebration
AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC) marked 35 years with a virtual "Gala35" celebration and awards ceremony Nov. 19. Among the honorees were Newsweb Corporation Chairperson, Alphawood Foundation President and social-justice activist ...

Gay News

Congressional co-chairs introduce World AIDS Day resolution
U.S. Reps. Barbara Lee (CA-13) and Rep. Jenniffer Gonzalez Colon (PR-At Large), co-chairs of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus, introduced a bipartisan resolution supporting the goals of World AIDS Day, according ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.