How lockdown changed the coming out experience for LGBT people

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06/15/2021

Until last year, Alayna Fender was a ‘confirmed bisexual’ – a slogan she used on merch for her Youtube channel MissFenderr after coming out to her thousands of subscribers in 2015. She was engaged to a man and with his support, she explored relationships with women and built a community of LGBT+ friends both online and in real life. But in March, when the pandemic hit, Alayna’s access to the LGBT+ part of her life was cut off, and with that came a realization: she was actually gay. Alayna tells Metro.co.uk: ‘I had kind of compartmentalized that queer side of my life as my YouTube life. Then I had my “real life” where I was engaged to a man, living a hetero normative, straight-passing life. ‘In a way, I didn’t realize I was living these two lives because my partner was so supportive of my sexuality, of my identity, of the way I wanted to present myself. ‘In mid-2019, I really started to create a queer community in the city that I lived in. That was huge for me. I was like, “Okay, I have it all, I have this partner who I love and who loves me, and we’re engaged, and we’re going to get married, and then I have these friends that I feel so connected to”.

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