You need to see black, gay poet Dean Atta perform this moving coming out poem
Dean Atta’s alter ego is a beautiful drag-inspired persona called The Black Flamingo.
It’s a way of celebrating Atta’s black and queer identities – and spreading words of queer encouragement and advice on how to come out.
Watch Dean Atta perform How to Come Out as Gay:
Is there a ‘best time’ when coming out as gay?
Atta came out – accidentally – at 15-years-old, after being rejected by a boy crush at school. He knows how important it is to wait as long as you need to.
Whether you wait for National Coming Out Day, do it casually or throw a big party, calculating the perfect time, moment and place to come out can be tricky.
Depending on your circumstances, it’s rarely as simple as throwing a coming out party. “There isn’t a right time to come out,” he tells PinkNews.
He says that there isn’t a perfect age for doing it either. “It’s just when you feel ready,” he says.
Regardless of whether you come out as a teenager or later in life, coming out young “isn’t a badge of honour,” he adds.
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“If you’re happy in the closet, for the time being, play dress up until you find the right outfit.”
Atta also stresses not to worry about coming out more than once. He says: “If you say you’re gay and later exchange it for something else that suits you, fits, feels better.”
Ultimately, the only person who needs to be happy is you because identity is personal because “it’s yours to define”.
How to come out as gay:
Atta recommends telling somebody that you trust first. After you’ve got one ally, “you have your support and I think the rest gets easier from there,” he explains.
For him, navigating his identity became easier once he found black, queer communities that he felt he belonged to.
Lastly, do not worry about when you come out, he says.
“It doesn’t have to be on National Coming Out Day, it could be any day because that will be your national coming out day.”