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james bush: ‘be comfortable being who you are – that’s all that matters’

13 Feb 2019
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“I really started thinking about my gender when I was 8 years old. It was when I was 16, so in about year 9, when I started really questioning my sexuality. ”
- James Bush
YouTube Video

It was kind of hard talking about my sexuality with my family seeing as we grew up in a small town and also because my family were quite conservative. I turned to my friends first for support and they were amazing. They really helped me figure everything out and gave me the courage to talk to my family. When I did come out to my family, after a while, they became very accepting of who I was and were extremely supportive. I was very lucky.

When I started talking about my sexuality and transition with my friends, it was super casual but of course there were some who found it more difficult than others to understand but in the end, my friends and family really took the time to figure this out with me and were very supportive of everything. I really believe that my family and I have become a lot stronger after I opened up about questioning my gender and when I said I wanted to begin transitioning.

For a while, I really struggled to watch some of my friends and family not know what to do or how to act around me. It was hard to see my parents upset because they probably didn’t expect to be raising their kid this way. It takes some time for people to come around but when they do, you know they have your back no matter what.

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“be comfortable being who you are – that’s all that matters. You still have people around you who love you and support you and there will always be someone there.”
- James Bush

When people got my pronouns wrong, initially it hurt a lot, even if people didn’t mean it, it made me feel sick in a way because that’s just not who I was. It was really hard for people who didn’t see me for me. Now, it’s a lot better because I know that a lot of the time it’s just honest mistakes.

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If there’s one piece of advice that I could give other young people who might be going through something similar it’s that you’re not alone. There is always someone out there to support you whether it’s your family, friends, someone online or someone in the LGBTIQA+ community – you’ve always got someone you can turn to and talk to.

I would also say that you should make sure you’re comfortable and ready to come out and have that conversation with someone you trust and that makes you feel safe.

headspace are an organisation that really helped me. They helped me to find the confidence in myself to just let me be who I truly want to be and gave me the opportunity to help others find who they want to be.

During the time I was questioning my sexuality, I was experiencing some stress, school pressures, family and friend issues and just other general life pressures but headspace was there for pretty much everything.

My sexuality wasn’t a decision, I don’t think it’s a decision for anyone. Coming to terms with it and understanding it was tricky especially in a heteronormative society. If I could tell my younger self anything, it would be to be comfortable being who you are – that’s all that matters. You still have people around you who love you and support you and there will always be someone there. It’s important to know that you’re always important to someone.

James

Age: 18
Pronouns: He/Him/His

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