Friday, 12 October 2018

How To Deal With Your Child Coming Out As Gay

So, your child has managed to muster the strength to tell you that they're LGBTQ+ and your mind is suddenly blown and you're not sure how the hell to react? Then read on... 

Firstly - you may we wondering what on earth LGBTQ+ stands for. Your child may have just told you that they're gay' or 'queer' so this now means that they fall into the LGBTQ+ community (we're fabulous and lovely by the way). So what does this mean? LGBTQ+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer / Questioning (depending on the definition) and the + is there to encompass further sexualities and gender identities. But I think we'll leave it there for now before we start to really overwhelm you. 
So why do you think you're reacting so badly? We're a married lesbian couple and both our mums reacted very negatively to us coming out and it took them a long time to come around and accept it. Thankfully they now fully embrace us and our wives as if it's like their own daughter. Also, it may be important to note that while your reaction could be a big blur for you, your child most likely remembers every. single. word and remark that you have made. It appears to be quite common that parents completely blocking and forget how they reacted, as they couldn't imagine they would have ever done that. Please be aware of what you say and do, as it can have a lasting impact. 
Your child hasn't suddenly changed and become a new person. They are still the exact same person. They will be living more happy and free, and that can never be a bad thing. They may suddenly find a new community and attending things such as Pride events, but this doesn't change who they are to you. Some LGBTQ+ people may change the way they look, this can be a phase or it can be their new identity i.e. a lot of girls often cut their hair or change their clothes as they feel they have to fit a certain stereotype's. Sometimes they realise that this isn't right for them and others find who they are. What they wear or how they have their hair still doesn't change their they're your daughter and/or son and love you. They just want you to love them back. 
We thought it would be important for you to hear from some mum's of children who have come out as LGBTQ+ and what they had been to / what advice they could give. 
Advice From Mothers':

Megan's Mother:

"I struggled because I thought that the fairytale life Megan was going to live had suddenly vanished, her getting married and having kids. I looked it up as to why I was feeling this way and found in books that I was going through a period of mourning. I thought you had chosen the harder route through life, but I couldn't have been more wrong. Instead of marrying Prince Charming she married a beautiful Princess. I can't wait for them to have children! I'm ashamed of the way I reacted. All a child ever wants is to feel love and supported! You have to also remember that as a parent, you have to come out to friends, family and colleagues as having a gay daughter. I used to struggle with this and it's a process that you work through but now I proudly say you have a wife, instead of introducing your partner as your friend!" - Jill.

Whitney's Mother:

"I'd recommend going to therapy. This really helped me. I attended therapy along with Whitney's Dad and Whitney to discuss it all and come to terms with it.  I'm a better person now because I never thought that I was judgemental! I realise now that all she ever wanted was for someone to accept her, to say I love you for who you are and become all that you can.  That's all any parent ever wants for their child. Now my daughter has the most perfect marriage and I've gained another daughter (and a family!)" - Kelly.

Shannon Beveridge's Mother:

"I wish they could understand that everything about their child is the same, they just have an attraction that may not be what their parent expected. In most cases their parent is their foundation. If their own parent can't love and support them, it leaves them feeling crushed. Every parent should love their child unconditionally." - Debbie
Watch Shannon's inspiring YouTube channel here.
If you take anything away from this, just know that all your child wants is to be loved, supported and accepted. You don't have to fully understand it yet but they're going through a tough time, and the last thing they need is not to have their  parents love them as they always have. They're going to live a happy and fulfilled life, you just wait and see!
Watch our video with LADBible discussing coming out with our mums on instagram or Facebook

Want to see a happily ever after? Then watch our wedding video below:

Extra resources and support:
FFLAG (Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays)
The Proud Trust
Advice for coming out as LGBTQ+. 
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Thursday, 11 October 2018

Tips for Coming Out as LGBTQ+

Happy National Coming Out Day! 🌈💕🙌

Coming out as LGBT+ can be a really scary process, but you're not alone. We're here to hold your hand in spirit! 

Our top tips if you’re planning on coming out as LGB*:

1. You don’t have to tell the whole world at once. Come out to those who are closest to you or someone that you feel will have a good reaction I.e. you may have a LGBT+ cousin.

2. Come out when you feel it’s the right time. Don’t feel pressure to do it!

3. Everyone has different coming out stories. If your parents react badly, give it time. Yes it sucks to have your parent react badly but Time really did heal all for our mums! They love you and soon they'll realise that you don't have two heads. They're just scared that everything they wished for your life is suddenly not going to come true. But guess what? It is, and sometimes even better! If your parent is struggling coming to terms with having a LGBTQ+ child, then perhaps they'll benefit from our blog post: "How to deal with your child coming out as gay".

4. You’ll have to keep coming out. Sorry to break it to you but you’ll be coming out the rest of your life. So while you’ll always have your first moment of coming out to the nearest & dearest in your life, you’re going to constantly come out from ordering flowers to your girlfriend to booking a double room for your honeymoon.
5. If your friends love you for you then they won't care, it won't change a thing. For those that react badly or want nothing to do with you, don't be upset. It's their loss and you're better off knowing that's the type of friend that they are. Bye Felicia! There are many more fabulous people out there just waiting to be your friend (& online is a great place for this!) 

6. & finally - be proud to be you! You are loved & accepted and our DM’s are always open 😘

*(this is based on our personal experiences and as we are not transgender, please check out other resources for advice like Ditch The Label , but please know we love and accept you!)

Also, we are super proud to have teamed up with LADBible & Smirnoff for National Coming Out Day! Watch their video of discussing coming out with our mums on instagram or Facebook. 👀

Read more about coming out:
Everything to know about coming out at work
Why coming out at work is vital for you and your employer
National Coming Out Day 2016
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Monday, 10 September 2018

Everything to Know About Coming Out at Work

Coming out as LGBTQ+ can always be difficult, but it can be even more so in the workplace. We will spend the majority of our lives there, and we spend more time with our colleagues than we do our own family. Which is why it’s so damaging that for some LGBTQ+ people, it’s the very place they feel they can’t be open and their authentic selves.

According to research by Stonewall, more than a third of LGBTQ+ staff (35 per cent) have hidden their identity at work. And, one in 10 black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBTQ+ employees (10 per cent) have been attacked at work because of their sexual orientation, or gender identity.

As an openly proud married lesbian couple, online (known as 'Wegan’) and offline, even we’ve found starting new jobs daunting. It's not that we don't like telling people, it's more the awkwardness of it all. These are people you see and speak to every day.

We’re both feminine presenting, which means we’re almost immediately viewed as straight in this heteronormative world. Personally, we’ve learned we like to drop in the fact we're gay before colleagues even have the chance to ask, "So what does your husband do?" This isn't to say that we'd walk around introducing ourselves like, "Hi, nice to meet you. I'm gay by the way!", but we find it helps to drop the 'lesbian bomb' as soon as we can.

Megan used to work in HR, and always tried to be a visible role model for others at work. She wanted them to know they could be open and accepted; and if not, that they knew who to turn to! She also liked reminding managers of the Equality Act 2010 - and therefore the uncapped compensation should an employee make a claim of discrimination or harassment.

So, here’s what you should know about coming out at work...

You can seek out inclusive workplaces

If you're worrying about a company not accepting who you are, then you have to question whether it’s the kind of company you really want to work for.

Look for one that is open and accepting, and where your career can thrive! Stonewall’s yearly research highlights the best companies to work for – check it out.

You may deal with ignorance

While we’ve personally not experienced outright homophobia in the workplace, we've had the occasional male colleague linger too long when looking at a photo of us on our desks. Other colleagues haven’t taken our relationship as seriously as our straight colleagues'.

We've also received comments from straight people who’ve said they don't see why we have to “flaunt” our sexuality at work. They’d often say that surely it makes no difference, and is nobody's business. Well, Barbara, remember when you bored us for 30 minutes, telling us how definitely your husband doesn’t pick his boxers up off the floor? In that instance you 'out-ed' yourself as straight. The difference is, you see nothing of it.

However, on the whole, we’ve managed to open up people's eyes, minds and hearts as we're often the first gay person that they have gotten to know.

How to decide whether it’s safe to come out

“Unfortunately discrimination still exists, and employees therefore need to plan ahead when thinking about coming out at work,” says Claire McCartney, diversity and inclusion advisor at the professional body for HR, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). “Things to consider might include - how supportive and inclusive is your organisation? Does the organisation visibly promote diversity and inclusion? Are there any sources of support for LGBTQ+ employees such as resource groups, or champions and role models that you can talk to about their experiences of coming out at work?”

Does the organisation visibly promote diversity and inclusion?

You may want to also ask: Is LGBTQ+ inclusion something senior leaders talk about in your organisation? Are there any policies reflecting support and protection for LGBTQ+ employees such as diversity and inclusion, bullying and harassment, or transitioning at work policies? Is the organisation recognised externally as an inclusive employer?, Claire explains.

And, if the answer for most of these questions is ‘yes’, then coming out should hopefully be a little less daunting. If the answer is ‘no’ or ‘not sure’, look for evidence that’ll give you an insight into what impact coming out might have on your working relationships. She also suggests having a confidential chat with someone in HR if you’re unsure.

The impact of not being your true self at work

If you live an open life outside of work, it can feel horrible going back into the closet, even for a minute. And, the longer you leave it to come out, the more it can feel like you're living a lie.
“We believe people perform better when they can be themselves. Businesses with high-performing staff typically have inclusive policies, benefits that apply to everyone, and a workplace culture where diversity is not just welcomed but championed with credibility and substance at all levels,” says Darren Towers, executive director at Stonewall.

“Employers are at the front lines of driving equality in society; by working together, we can ensure that all LGBTQ+ people feel safe and accepted at work, home, and in their everyday life.”
And if you do experience homophobia, biphobia, transphobia or any kind of discrimination…

“Organisations need to ensure they have a zero tolerance approach, and any instances of such behaviour should be dealt with swiftly and decisively,” Claire says. “There should be clear and well communicated channels for reporting instances of bullying, harassment and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

“This should mean individuals feel properly supported, and able to report such behaviour to their line managers or to HR. While some comments might feel like ‘banter’, it’s important to foster a culture of inclusion and to constructively challenge and educate your colleagues and clients on LGBTQ+ matters.”

Of course, it can be incredibly unsettling to experience this, so Claire suggests confiding in a trusted colleague throughout the process, if you can.

If you ever feel like you need any help or advice on coming out, contact Stonewall.

For LGBTQ+ relationship and dating advice, counselling and therapy, contact Relate

For sexual health advice, you can get in touch with LGBT Foundation.

*This article originally appeared in Cosmopolitan Magazine

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Friday, 17 August 2018

London Pride 2018 With W London!

We partnered up with one of our favourite hotel brands, the W London Hotel, and had the most epic 3 days with them celebrating London Pride! Not only did we get to be in the parade on their fabulous float equipped with a DJ and Veuve Clicquot bar, we also got to stay the weekend at the iconic hotel and experience all of their culinary (& cocktail) delights!

An amazing weekend was planned by the W London team for a group of European influencers, including a surprise private performance from West End performers (who are currently starring in shows such as Kinky Boots, Book of Mormon, Chicago and more), the most delicious vegan food,  a 'Queer Me Out' panel discussion, many delicious cocktails AND even having Lady Gaga's designer, Jack Irving, design our fabulous outfits for the parade.

What we love about the W London is that they aren't just LGBTQ+ friendly for one Pride day or Pride month, but they are committed 12 months a year; which means so much to us and shows their commitment and authenticity to the LGBTQ+ community.

Thank you W London for such a great weekend! Here are some highlights from the weekend, followed by a vlog. Enjoy! :)


Normal Gets You Nowhere - Amen To That!

The HayFever Cocktail

Our room for the weekend!

Lunch at Balmans in Soho

We were surprised by Drag Queens collecting us & taking us back to W London Hotel...

Can we have this in Wegan Manor please?!

A surprise performance from different West End Stars!

The amazing Natalie McQueen from Kinky Boots!

Such incredible talent and so beautiful!

Thanks W London for our amazing goodie bags!

Introducing the Miss Vanjieee cocktail, which changes colour when you add to it and it tasted amazing!

Panel discussion time!

L - R Glyn Fussell, Princess Julia, Olly Innes and Paris Lees

Jack Strify's amazing rainbow converses!

Finally met the lovely Paris Lees! Such a sweetheart.


Time for the Pride Parade! Thanks to Adam Bennett for the hair and Jack Irving for the costumes, we are all fabulous, ready & set to go!

The amazing General Manager of W London hotels on the left!

French influencer Go Go loves pink almost more than we do!

The W London float design was AH-MA-ZING!

YouTuber Riyadh and his boyfriend Josh, so cute!

With the super lovely Paris Lees!


They were drag queens dancing on the lower level of the Pride float. Just too fab. I can't. 

Ready to attend the Pride party at W London!

Hanging out with the fabulous performers from the day before!

WOW. What a weekend! Can we do it all again already please?!

*This post is in collaboration with W London / Mariott Hotels. All reviews are 100% genuine.

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