Adelaide teen's coming out video wins over hundreds
An 18-year-old Adelaide man who posted a coming out video online, says he is surprised by the large following and reaction it has provoked.
"So far I'm so impressed how fast and how many people are sharing it, and showing their support," the man who posts under the name of Joshiie Wilton told gaynewsnetwork.
"I'm so happy that everyone is helping me get my video out there."
In the video, Joshiie begins: “To all the people who are asking ‘are you straight, are you gay or bi?’ Well, I like guys.”
He admits to trying to hide his sexuality but felt like he was "digging a hole and hiding things in there."
“[Sexuality is] not something that you can just choose overnight… it gets branded with you,” he explains.
"It’s like a birthmark. You can’t change it… you can cover it, but it’s always going to be there.
“In the end I was like – why am I doing this? Why aren’t I being true to who I am?”
He told gaynewsnetwork he wasn't fazed by the few negative remarks he'd recieved in response to his video.
"Everyone has their own opinions, and I can't get through to everyone; but I said in the video that I couldn't care any less about their thoughts, I'm happy and that's all I care," he said.
He said he had left school in Year 11 because "I couldn't handle the bullies".
"So I became a manager and am really successful in my career," he added.
With homophobia and bullying in the schoolyard coming under scrutiny in recent times Joshiie said he hopes his video sends a message to the kids who are doing it tough.
"It's tough standing up to the bullies," he said.
"Bullies are everywhere we go, it's best to remember who you are and who likes you.
"It gives courage to smile instead of cry. If it gets really bad, then seek guidance; but if you think you're ready to face your fears then tell then who's boss, show them what you can do.
"If they're really that low to pick on you, they'll show signs of remorse later in the day, like they have done with me."
And to all the hundreds of new friends and supporters he has made, Joshiie had this to say:
"I say thank you to everyone, and hopefully that the ones who haven't come out, come out sooner!"