Speaking My Truth For The First Time

When I was a teenager, I wanted to kill myself because I was gay.

Growing up gay in country WA was a uniquely isolating and traumatic experience. I found my homosexuality completely at odds with my identity as a man, and trying to reconcile the two identities seemed impossible.

I have finally shared my story, for the first time, as part of the Bright Lights, No City storytelling project at the Centre for Stories.

You can listen to the audio of my story at the link below. Since the story was created as an oral story – meaning I just practiced the story verbally and have never written a word of it – I am encouraging people to listen to the audio, rather than read the transcript. The story was meant to be heard, not read.

If my story resonates with you, please share it – with your friends, colleagues, students, and with gay people but also with straight people. I told this story partly for myself (catharsis, healing) and partly to help others out there going through the same stuff. Too many LGBTQIA+ youth go through hell, in silence, trying to come to terms with their identity. Too many don’t survive.

I want to do my part in helping to change that.

This is the link to the audio.

If you listen – thank you, it means a lot.


Author: Holden Sheppard

YA Author from Western Australia.

7 thoughts on “Speaking My Truth For The First Time”

  1. Holden Thank you for an insight into a world I have not known. This raw, honest story has shed light and added to my understanding of the life of my nephew. It gives me hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Geez, you had me glassy eyed. Your story will no doubt help others feel they aren’t alone. It was much better to hear your story rather than read it, it pulled at my heart. You have a great voice as well, you should do an audio book of your next novel. Really well done and thanks for sharing such a personal story. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. David, thanks for reaching out to me with this comment. It means more than you know. Thanks for the kind words, too – maybe I should narrate more of my stories in audio form! Thank you so much for listening!


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