It’s #worldmentalhealth day. A time for kindness, sensitivity and awareness when for many mental health can be a daily struggle. With the pressures of social media scrutiny and bullying, The Brighter Times asked James Khan how he coped with one of his most defining and courageous moments to date.
Meet James Khan 26 Aries Loves Chicken Nuggets Fleetwood Mac is everything Promotor of self love.
“When I was younger I really struggled to fit in”
Oh really, how so? I hid my sexuality until I was 18. For a long time I wasn’t ready to tell the world about how I felt. It’s strange because you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders and you can’t tell anyone your secret. In reality, when you do open up that weight becomes like a matchstick in comparison. Was there a particular reason you felt you couldn’t express yourself openly? I forever over analysed every little comment in my head - I confused and exhausted myself thinking about people's reactions - this person would be ok with it, but maybe this person wouldn’t etc ...I also think courage and confidence comes with maturity. Sadly, in most cases, you don’t have that when you’re young so I think it’s important for those who experienced my kind of fear to speak out. When did you decide to come out? It was my 18th birthday, everyone thought a female stripper was the perfect way to send me off into adulthood. Can you imagine! I deserve an Academy Award for my performance of pretending to like it! I’d give Sally Fields a run for her money!!
A few pensive months later, I decided that a tipsy night at the pub was the best place to tell everyone I was gay.
Were you nervous to tell people? What was the reaction like? The first people I told where my closest girl friends. I still remember not being able to focus on anything, only that “tonight’s the night I tell everyone”.
Their reaction was amazing, it was such a relief! It was my brother I was most nervous to tell though, he was always the person I looked up to when I was a child. (I still do.) I was worried he would be disappointed in me. Little did I know I was completely wrong, he was incredibly supportive and helped me through so much, even to this day. Thanks Martin.
How did your life change afterwards? I made a spontaneous move to London, had good times and bad, fell in love, laughed, cried, fell out of love, met some amazing people, took bold steps with my career, but most importantly I finally found myself and became happy with who I am. I FELT FREE.
I feel we’re too hard on ourselves nowadays so it’s really important to be your own number 1 fan - why shouldn’t you blow your own trumpet and celebrate being fabulous?!
I think it’s really important to surround yourself with positive people too, around those who want to build each other up and celebrate the success of others.
Agreed! So what’s your most successful achievement to date, other than finding yourself obviously? ‘The Beauty Bear’ vlog - think beauty tips, recommendations, and an energetic hand fan. If you’d told my younger self that in ten years I’d be testing make up on screen and talking about it, I would have laughed it off. I’m really proud I found the courage to embrace who I am and put myself out there.
Any advice you’d give to humanity?
1. Be true to yourselves and fierce when doing it. 2 What other people think of you, is none of your business!
Thank you for sharing James!! Remember if you have an inspiring / feel good / funny story to tell, email hello@thebrightertimes, we’d love to hear from you!