LGBT history month - enter our competition

Are you or a family member from the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender (LGBT) community? Then why not get involved in Affinity Sutton’s LGBT history month competition?

This year's LGBT history month competition theme is “friends and family”.

To enter the competition please tell us in no more than 450 words your experience of “coming out” to family and friends. We've included a story here to give you an idea of what we're looking for. 

Stories and quotes from entries may be used by Affinity Sutton in publications or the website - please read the terms and conditions below. 

The winner will be randomly selected and receive tickets, travel and an overnight stay for two at their local Pride event.

So get involved and inspire someone today - send your entry to resident.involvement@affinitysutton.com by 28 February 2017.

Dan’s story

Belonging to a Catholic family, I realised coming out as gay would be a difficult thing to do. I had always known I was gay from a very young age, I often wished it was obvious to people, but as one friend said ‘You’re not gay, you can’t be, you don’t sound like a girl.’

I was 14 years old when I started to come out by confiding in a friend at school. She was so supportive. I gained confidence to tell a few more people and luckily not one of them turned their backs on me.

My form tutor asked me if everything was ok because she had heard that I was gay and I told her. Her response was ‘we’re in a Catholic secondary, you’re 14, people may not like this Daniel. I on the other hand will support you as and when you need it’. To this day she is still a good friend of mine.

A few months had passed and other than the odd homophobic comment and the usual comment of ‘it might be just a phase’ I gained the confidence to respond yes when people asked if I was gay. I‘ve experienced very little homophobia.

A school friend told his mum and she said something to my mum. One day after school my Mum came into my room and asked if I was gay. I was so shocked as I wasn’t expecting it. I just responded with a simple yes. I thought I’m 14, I’ve got the opportunity to tell her so I did but I begged her not to tell anyone in the family.

Mum did the usual ‘it’s probably just a phase, you’re 14 years old you can’t be sure what you like’. She gave me a huge hug and told me that she loved me regardless and that I would always be her son.

I remember going downstairs in the evening and seeing my Mum crying, this absolutely broke my heart, I felt like I had made her feel ashamed. She assured me it was just the shock, as she had no idea that I was gay.

Over time, I told my family who were all 100% supportive. They all were proud that I had told them, although it took my Granny and Grandad a few years to totally get used to the idea but I expect that was a generation thing.
My family are all so supportive and attend Pride every year in Leicester. I feel very lucky and privileged to belong to such an open minded and accepting family.

Terms and conditions

1. Only Affinity Sutton residents are permitted to enter the competition and this will be validated by the tenancy number provided.
2. We accept no responsibility for lost or delayed entries.
3. We have the right to report any abusive or offensive entries.
4. This prize draw should not be used to report any housing issues or our services. If the entrant wishes to report such issues, they must contact us on 0300 100 0303 or email their issue to customerservice@affinitysutton.com
5. The prize will be bed and breakfast for two people sharing a double room at a local Pride event.
6. We will book and pay for the hotel in advance of your stay and book and pay for your travel to and from the event. 
7. You must be 18 or over to enter the competition.
8. You must be an Affinity Sutton resident to take part in the competition.
9. The winner will attend a local Pride event in 2017. It is non transferable.
10. The winner must write an article (about 150 words) for the Shine magazine about their experience at the Pride event.
11. You must agree for your story to be published or quotes from your story used by Affinity Sutton for promotion purposes.
12. You must provide a name, telephone number and/or email address when entering the competition. 
13. You cannot enter the competition if you have a court order for any tenancy breach e.g. antisocial behaviour or rent arrears.
14. The winner will be selected at random and notified by 1 March 2017 by telephone or email.
15. The closing date is 28 February 2017.
16. If a prize is unclaimed or declined, or the winner cannot be contacted within a reasonable time, a supplementary winner may be selected at Affinity Sutton’s discretion and notified by telephone. Affinity Sutton will not be responsible for any inability of the prize winner to take up the specified prize.
17. By entering the prize draw, entrants agree to be bound by the rules and by any other requirements set out in promotional material.
18. Affinity Sutton’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
19. The promoter is Affinity Sutton, part of Clarion Housing Group, Level 6, 6 More London Place, Tooley Street, London, SE1 2DA.