Year of birth:
E-Mail / Phone / Skype / Text / WhatsApp
Traveling, hanging out with friends, cooking, photography, coffee, challenges, falling/being in love and cuddling.
Cold and wet weather, lying, find out too late that there is no toilet paper any more.
Experience, knowledge about LGBT+ subjects, calmness, ability to listen.
My own story:
After I struggled with my sexuality since I was 14 and did not want to or dared to come out, I did so when I was 18. The first ones I told were my parents. They had not expected this at all and were very surprised. My father, who is always very down to earth and direct, said: “That is nice for you.” And he really meant that, he had no problems with it at all. My mother had a bit more trouble with it at the beginning and really had to get used to it that her vision of my future was totally changed. Years later I heard from them that after I told them, they realised they did not know much about this and went on a search to get to know more about it with their friends, the church, library etc. And this was mainly because they were concerned for me. And at that time it was a bit more difficult because the internet did not exist yet.
In that same week, I told my parents, I told everyone close to me. Everyone was really surprised and some of my best friends didn’t even believe it for a while either and thought I was making a joke. I think this was because I totally did not live up to the stereotype they had of a gay boy. I was tall, tough, masculine, sporty, not afraid to get dirty, etc. And of all the reactions I got, there was actually not one who reacted real negatively. Something that I was very afraid of beforehand and kept me from coming out much earlier. In any case, I was very relieved, and I really noticed that I felt much better afterwards. I could just be myself and I didn’t had to worry any more of what to say or how to react.
Years later I found out that many people still needed information about LGBT+ subjects or were looking for someone to talk to. Because of this, I started the Outway Foundation together with two friends (Pleun and Danny). We started very small and now we are a large volunteer foundation. And some years ago, Outway also started the Hojobuddy project, to which I am now happy to contribute as a Hojobuddy.