23: Coming out as a teenager? With Riyadh Khalaf
It Can't Just Be MeNovember 22, 2023

23: Coming out as a teenager? With Riyadh Khalaf

Come on into this episode where we’re talking all about coming out as a teenager.

In the studio with Anna, we have the inspiring LGBTQ+ advocate, author, TV presenter and celebrity-masterchef, Riyadh Khalaf

Riyadh’s challenging, but incredibly powerful, story of coming out as a teenager to his then Irish Catholic mother and Iraqi Muslim father, means he has much wisdom to pass on to our listener today. Our dilemma is from a listener struggling to come out to her parents, whilst also dealing with grief over losing the only family member who knew she was gay and who was a great support to her. 

Alongside Riyadh, we have best-selling author and much-loved psychotherapist, Owen O’Kane. Owen not only generously shares his expertise but also has his own coming out story to share, having come to terms with his sexuality while training to be a priest. 

Anna, Riyadh and Owen have a conversation filled with warmth, laughter, pain and joy where they offer concrete advice to our listener on finding connection and acceptance, chosen families, bringing shame out into the light and, throughout it all, finding your courage.

While this episode is an inspiring listen, it does mention self-harm, suicide and a non-consensual sexual encounter. So please approach the episode with care. 

If you or someone you love has been affected by any of the topics covered in this episode, help is available. 

  • The NHS website contains guidance on how to access mental health support, and lists other helpful resources. https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/
  • The Samaritans also provide a safe space to call 24 hours a day at 116 123. 
  • The 24/7 Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Line run by Rape Crisis England & Wales offers support to anyone of any gender aged 16+ in England and Wales who has experienced any form of unwanted sexual behaviour. Webchat is available via the website at https://rapecrisis.org.uk, or you can call them at 0808 500 2222. 
  • Rape Crisis Scotland provides support for Scottish listeners via their website http://www.rapecrisisscotland.org.uk or via a call to 0808 801 03 02
Finally, the LGBT Foundation offers a range of services, support and information to lesbian, gay, bi and trans people. Phone: 0345 3 30 30 30 (Daily 10am-10pm) https://lgbt.foundation

Have questions about sex? Divorce? Motherhood? Menopause? Mental health? With no topic off limits, Anna’s here to prove that whatever you’re going through, it’s not just you.

If you have a dilemma you’d like unpacked, visit itcantjustbeme.co.uk and record a voice note. Or tell Anna all about it in an email to itcantjustbeme@podimo.com

This podcast contains adult themes that may not be suitable for children. Listener caution is advised. Please note that advice given on this podcast is not intended to replace the input of a trained professional. If you’ve been affected by anything raised in this episode and want extra support, we encourage you to reach out to your general practitioner or an accredited professional.

From Podimo & Mags Creative 

Producers: Laura Williams and Christy Callaway-Gale

Editor: Pulama Kaufman

Theme music: Kit Milsom 

Executive Producers for Podimo: Jake Chudnow and Matt White

Follow @itcantjustbemepod and @podimo_uk on Instagram for weekly updates