Watch gay men share their first experiences of homophobia
From the first time holding hands in public, to the first time realising you were LGBTQ, we all have a first time story.
First Times is a new PinkNews YouTube series, with each episode dedicated to a different identity under the LGBTQ umbrella.
In the first episode, bisexual women shared their first times.
Now the series returns with episode two, with six gay men sharing their first time experiences.
From the moment they realised they were gay, to the first time they held hands in public, these six men share their stories on camera.
Watch the first episode of First Times below:
Now a sexual health campaigner for PrEPster, Phil Samba didn’t always find it so easy to be an openly gay Black man.
“In black communities, you’re kind of taught that it’s a white thing and that if you are gay, you’re choosing to be like white people,” he explained.
“You’re raised with that mentality so when you get to your teenage years and you start to question your sexuality, you think I thought this was for white people, I thought this was what white people chose for themselves.
“I think that’s what makes it confusing.”
Gus, 23, agreed: “It’s then like, why me? Why me?”
On sharing their first experiences of homophobia, Phil added: “When it’s a black gay situation, they don’t know what to do.”
“They’re like ‘this really happens? We only see this with caucasian couples, what’s going on here?’”
“Then I think the stereotype of them being intimidated stays, so then they’re intrigued but then they’re intimidated at the same time so they don’t know how to act.”
Alex Leon, from Australia, said his first brutal experience of homophobia happened while returning home from a friend’s house.
“I was walking home and a guy threw a bottle at me and called me a f****t.
“And that was really awful.”
Similarly, Jamie Rutter’s first blatant experience of homophobia was being called a slur in the street.
He said: “I was walking to work and some guy walked past me and, just completely out of the blue, called me a f****t.
“I didn’t really react, I was just kind of shocked that it had happened.”
For 24-year-old Aidan, who now helps to campaign for much-needed safe spaces in London, early memories of homophobia came from inside the home.
“[It happened] from a very young age around family, and the comments that are made.
“They weren’t necessarily directed at me but were in earshot – and it wouldn’t surprise me if it wasn’t purposefully.”
For Jazza John, who is a YouTuber under the Creators for Change programme, homophobia rarely rears its ugly head as he finds people often assume he is straight.
He explained: “I only ever really get clocked when I’m explicitly out in drag or make-up, and then I will experience homophobia.
“The one that really makes me angry is [that I experience it] when I’m out with a partner.”