#ProudToBeMe – Henry Field
Our Volunteers Manager Henry Field opens up about his struggle with his sexuality and tells us exactly why Pride is so important to him and the many people who’s lives have and will be changed because of it.
2008. I was 18. I snuck out of my home and met an old school friend on a golf course. We kissed. We did more than kiss. The fact it felt right, the fact it felt better than kissing any girl ever had – made me feel sick. I felt disgusting. I hated him for making me want it and I hated myself for letting it happen. I pulled back and ran off in tears without saying a word.
I didn’t tell anyone about that night until I was 21, sat in a therapists chair several months after another failed suicide attempt. I wasn’t in therapy to discuss my depression. I was there to discuss the fact I preferred the idea of being a straight woman to being a gay man. At least, I thought, after transitioning I could move away, change my name and leave my old life behind. I changed my working hours to work nights so less people would see the transition.
During my 2 years of weekly therapy I discussed a lot. Opened up about my past, confronted my feelings and inner demons. I spent hours at a time just staring at myself in a mirror, literally facing my worst critic and enemy.
See, the members of my family I spoke to in this period of my life didn’t have an issue with my sexuality. My friends were the type of friends that wouldn’t care that I liked men, as long as I was happy. My employer had internal LGBT networks and support for people like me. The only person that hated the idea of me being gay, was me.
For me, during 100 hours of therapy, I came to realise I wasn’t trans, it wasn’t about my gender identity. I didn’t feel about my male body the same way trans people I spoke with did. It was about my sexuality. I had to come to terms with, and accept – I was gay.
Now, it’s 5 years this month since my therapy ended. I volunteer with Pride Cymru and support others where I can in the hope that no one ever has to feel how I did. I became Volunteers Manager in the hope that I could help bring people together, to fight the good fight, to create a community of people that support each other regardless of the individual battles they may be facing.
I am Proud to be Gay.
I am proud to support the Trans community that are transitioning for the right reasons, for the rights myself and the rest of the cisgender community take for granted.
I am Henry Field
I am #ProudToBeMe