Coming out can be a daunting task for any LGBT+ person – especially when coming out to their family
Telling friends, family, acquaintances and even strangers about an LGBT+ identity can be really tough – and many people still find it hard to come out of the closet at all.
Fear of rejection or abandonment, or that family might be let down by the coming out can make coming out a massive task in private, let alone publicly.
Matthew Christian decided to record his coming out to share with the rest of the world
The 19-year-old switched on his camera when he decided to come out as gay to his mother in a live video you can watch below.
His story, a positive and beautiful moment between mother and son, has gone on to inspire others, after being watched by millions.
When Christian shared his story on YouTube, he probably didn’t think it would be viewed millions of times.
Speaking with PinkNews, the teen said he found the attention “overwhelming”.
Was he scared that his mother might not react the way she did?
He said: “I was terrified. Although I knew how sweet and loving my mom was, I still held in the back of my mind all of those horror stories of people being disowned after coming out.
“I was sitting at the kitchen table trying to study, but all I could think of was this secret I had been holding onto. That’s when I knew it was time. I turned on my webcam and told my mom I needed to talk to her about something.”
But he said he was sure his family would be accepting in the end.
Did he hesitate to share such a powerful video?
Although it wasn’t caught on camera, he told his Dad half an hour after coming out to his mum, and said that both of their responses were “amazing”.
Christian waited a number of years before he actually shared the video, and he explained that he still needed time to accept himself.
“It was such a personal and monumental moment in my life, that I needed time to continue to accept myself before posting it for the world to see,” he added.
So why did Christian decide to make his coming out so public?
He hopes his positive story will inspire others to do the same.
“Before coming out I turned to YouTube and sitcoms looking for others’ coming out experiences. I was hoping to get an idea of what I might be able to expect when coming out.
“In the process of discovering others’ stories, I ended up finding the confidence I needed to come out. I posted my coming out experience hoping to give others the same confidence that I needed.”
The psychology and biology graduate said: “I have received messages from people all over the world telling me their stories and what my video has meant to them.
“So while the response has been a lot to take in, knowing that the video has reached so many people and achieved what I was hoping it would, has made it all worth it.”