Wayne Dhesi and Clare Moran, now 30, were housemates for two
years. Despite both knowing that they were gay, neither told each
other (or anyone else). Today Wayne and Clare (pictured)
are both openly gay and front a new website, www.rucomingout.com.
The online project aims to guide people through the process of
coming out by providing support and diaries from openly gay,
lesbian and bisexual people, and their friends and families.
Contributors to the website include Beverley Knight, Olympic
hopeful Matthew Lister and many members of the public. But the site
is crying out for responses from lesbian and bisexual women. Wayne
and Clare are keen to encourage DIVA readers to share their own
experiences of coming out. Send your stories, however big or small,
Website founder Wayne is an NHS youth worker. He told DIVA: "It
was my work with a 17-year-old closeted lad that inspired me to
launch the website. I felt that there was a severe lack of
positive (realistic) gay and lesbian role models that were
accessible to gay people who hadn't come out yet. Sharing coming
out stories seemed to me to be a great way of challenging
misconceptions, fears and stereotypes."
Talking of his own experience of coming out, Wayne said: "I had
that very real gut-wrenching fear beforehand that most people get,
no matter how positive the eventual outcome is. I would say to be
true to yourself, don't hide what you are and those who love you
will understand, even if does take them a bit of time!"
In the future, Wayne hopes to create a book from the stories
submitted, which could then be used as an educational tool in
schools to help break down people's fears and misconceptions.