I'm afraid I'm being outed

  • elephantgun

    Posts: 4

    Feb 20, 2011 6:48 AM GMT
    And I'm really starting to become afraid--I feel like I'm getting caught up in something that I can't control.

    With a few minor exceptions, I've been confident that nobody has suspected for years. While I've always been rather quiet, I'm not effeminate--I've dated guys I met online, and when this topic has come up in our conversation, they've always said "I'd never have guessed you were gay."

    In the past few weeks I've been approached by two different guys at my college--a small, conservative place where the gay population, while existent, is small itself and not exactly well regarded by the community at large (very few are openly gay; there is a club but it's virtually inactive--its website hasn't been updated in three years).

    Just last night I talked to one of these guys who approached me (he found out about me through some gossipy kid whom I made the mistake of going out with last month), and he said he'd suspected for a while, though he didn't answer how or why. I have a class with the second. He added me on Facebook a couple weeks ago (I'd never spoken a word to him); since then we've come across each other on campus a few times and had brief conversations. The first time we talked I was almost sure he was gay by the way he smiled at me. Well, tonight he posted a photo of his grindr profile, which he shares with his boyfriend, on his facebook wall. So if there was a any doubt about his being gay, it's gone now.

    Anyway, I'm mostly worried because I've never been approached like this before (and in addition to these two instances, I accepted another random request on facebook from a guy who could very likely be gay the other day). It makes me wonder: how many people actually know about me now? Have I completely miscalculated people's perceptions of me for all these years?

    I'm not sitting here freaking out or anything... I know there's nothing I can do about it if people talk, or if people have guessed. But it makes me feel kind of sad and helpless, and, yeah... ashamed--to think that so many people could've known all along, and might know now.

    I'm thinking about asking the guy with the grindr profile and the boyfriend how he found out about me sometime when we talk... at an opportune moment, if one comes up.

    So, there's no constructive point to this post, really--I just needed to write about it, I guess. I don't feel like I've explained things very well, or concisely, either. So thank you if you've muddled through it. Maybe you could share your experiences if you've been through something similar to this? I don't know. Thanks.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 20, 2011 8:13 AM GMT
    Someday you're gonna have to be true to yourself. Why not start now?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 20, 2011 8:14 AM GMT
    Dude you will be fine really, will get out, people will talk, will calm down and life will go on.
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    Feb 20, 2011 8:41 AM GMT
    Sounds like the door is open for you to come out.
    Most people are more accepting than you think they are.
    Those who aren't can go fuck themselves.
    So, come out while the gettin's good. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Feb 20, 2011 12:49 PM GMT
    There aren't many things that you can control in this world, but you can always try. If you're not yet ready to come out, then don't. Just because there are external factors that are bearing down on you doesn't mean you have to succumb to them. That being said, I'm sensing that you're bothered by your predicament not because you're not ready to come out, but because you're worried about people's perception of you. So what if they've known all along that you may be gay? Should it matter to you in the long run?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 20, 2011 2:29 PM GMT
    Congratulations on some really good insight.

    The truth percolates up in this world. You have a choice now to do it on YOUR terms, not some other's gossip

    Good luck

    88comingout.gif
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    Feb 20, 2011 2:32 PM GMT
    Why are you afraid of being outed?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 20, 2011 2:37 PM GMT
    If you can't accept yourself, what makes you think others will? Just be honest with yourself and live life for you. Be who you were meant to be. JUST BE YOU!
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Feb 20, 2011 2:38 PM GMT
    Well there alot of things that can be said about this.....but the bottom line is,
    if you are going to be a part of the gay scene and see men, participate in
    online meetings, dating, you have to take the good with the bad.... and
    you're seeing the "bad". "If you are going to play in the kitchen, you had better be able to take the heat". Simple, but true.

    I'm not trying to be a smart ass, but I do think you need to calm down and make some decisions. What is more important to you? Denying who you are, but confident that people don't think (maybe suspect) you are gay or
    going about your business, growing as a person and for your future.
    Your time in school isn't just about a college education, you are getting an education in far more. Make the most of it.

    My recommendation, think about how you are conducting your life and make adjustments that will add confidence. I understand it bothers you that others might be "suspecting" or have thoughts about you, you might find
    disconcerting...but you need to rise about it and you will as time goes on.
    If somebody doesn't accept who you are based on you as an individual,
    fuck them.... you can do without them and should.

    Good luck. I remember when I used to worry about this and that...
    I'm confident you'll grow out of this and be comfortable & confident about who you are.
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    Feb 20, 2011 2:41 PM GMT
    pbsny saidWhy are you afraid of being outed?


    obviously because the OP isnt ready..
    its not the easiest thing to do for most people. and im pretty sure u were scared at one point in ur life too, about people finding about ur true sexuality (unless it was obvious to begin with) so come off it bro.

    but yeah it does sound like a good op to start telling people.
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    Feb 20, 2011 2:55 PM GMT
    take it from someone who's new to coming out...i wish i had done it long ago. it's amazing how much people don't care. plus, it's not fair to date women and lead them on...especially when you know deep down you won't be happy.

    i had to have the same chat with myself on this! icon_razz.gif
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Feb 20, 2011 2:58 PM GMT
    go_vols saidtake it from someone who's new to coming out...i wish i had done it long ago. it's amazing how much people don't care. icon_razz.gif



    I would absolutely agree.. most people don't care. Being a productive and responsible member of society is and most will value you for that, not
    your sexual orientation....
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    Feb 20, 2011 3:00 PM GMT
    elephantgun saidAnd I'm really starting to become afraid--I feel like I'm getting caught up in something that I can't control.

    You are! you're getting caught up in the real you! ( and no, you have no control)
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    Feb 20, 2011 3:02 PM GMT
    elephantgun saidAnd I'm really starting to become afraid--I feel like I'm getting caught up in something that I can't control.

    If you're that afraid of being outed then drop your facebook account. Start another one if you must, but minimized with a blurred or altered photo, and just use it to contact friends or family you trust. Explain to them you were being harassed by a stalker.

    As for whether people know you're gay, most straight people don't have good gaydar. I would expect some gay guys do know you're gay, gaydar being the sixth sense that nature gave many of us. My own is superb. Yet lots of gays don't have it, or little, so it's not like you've got a sign on your back. Just to some of us. icon_wink.gif

    And some of us, at least in my generation, from the days when being gay could be dangerous, follow an unspoken rule that you don't out other guys, deliberately or accidentally. Hence the outrage from some gay quarters when gay activists purposely out others, usually for political reasons. I suspect today's gays your age are a bit more careless about it, so be careful who you tell.

    I believe in coming out, as much as these other guys here do. Living in the closest sucks. But I also believe in you controlling the circumstances, and managing the timeline to suit your personal situation best. You're trying to help yourself, not hurt yourself, and become happier.

    Which you will be in the long run, once it happens. Even if you have some bumps and setbacks at first, it does get better. In fact, I found it gets wonderful! icon_biggrin.gif

    So if you do find yourself outed sooner than you wanted, work with the situation you're in. You can't set the clock back, only move forward. But you can delay the hands a little, as I wrote above, though likely not forever. Start planning now for how to handle it when it happens, by your own design or by accident. This was your "heads-up" to begin making those plans, so don't waste this opportunity, before you're overcome by events (OBE).
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Feb 20, 2011 3:05 PM GMT
    PE_Teacher saidIf you can't accept yourself, what makes you think others will? Just be honest with yourself and live life for you. Be who you were meant to be. JUST BE YOU!


    Exactly. Why make excuses for being gay? If you're going to be asked whether you're gay or not, be confident in responding. People view timidity as weak and would use that against you, not your sexual orientation, or they would equate being gay to being weak.
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    Feb 20, 2011 3:05 PM GMT
    18melbasian said
    pbsny saidWhy are you afraid of being outed?


    obviously because the OP isnt ready..
    its not the easiest thing to do for most people. and im pretty sure u were scared at one point in ur life too, about people finding about ur true sexuality (unless it was obvious to begin with) so come off it bro.

    but yeah it does sound like a good op to start telling people.


    I agree with you. I just asked him why to get him to rationalize his reasons for not coming out. Like him, I was once so afraid people would find out that I'm gay that I didn't stop to think why. We get so caught up in the process of hiding our sexuality that we forget that we have the right to be who we are.
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    Feb 20, 2011 3:13 PM GMT
    what uncle Paulie said ^^^^^^...............Keithicon_wink.gif
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    Feb 20, 2011 3:18 PM GMT
    Okay fair enough, i read it in a condescending tone of voice due to the fact that "why" was so heavily emphasised.
    Having said that he's probably well aware of his reasons for not wanting to come out..
    IMO It's our social connections and the repercussions that are thought to occur upon coming out that affect us and deter us from coming out and that's probably the case for him too.
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    Feb 20, 2011 3:25 PM GMT
    You know it's really only a big deal to you.
    Wouldn't it be nice not to have to worry about it anymore and focus on more important things: a degree and job.
    The sooner you make it happen the sooner it will become a non-issue...trust.
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    Feb 20, 2011 3:31 PM GMT
    dude,

    Coming out or not is all your decision. Some people dont want to come out ad thats fine. Just because ur not out doesnt mean ur not true to yourself. Just keep a low profile. Have ur private life private.


    I dated a guy who was closeted for military reasons and it was badass. I didnt have to worry about his annoying gay friends or going to the gay clubs every weekend. we just chilled went camping and hung out.
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    Feb 20, 2011 3:32 PM GMT
    elephantgun saidAnd I'm really starting to become afraid--I feel like I'm getting caught up in something that I can't control.

    With a few minor exceptions, I've been confident that nobody has suspected for years. While I've always been rather quiet, I'm not effeminate--I've dated guys I met online, and when this topic has come up in our conversation, they've always said "I'd never have guessed you were gay."

    In the past few weeks I've been approached by two different guys at my college--a small, conservative place where the gay population, while existent, is small itself and not exactly well regarded by the community at large (very few are openly gay; there is a club but it's virtually inactive--its website hasn't been updated in three years).

    Just last night I talked to one of these guys who approached me (he found out about me through some gossipy kid whom I made the mistake of going out with last month), and he said he'd suspected for a while, though he didn't answer how or why. I have a class with the second. He added me on Facebook a couple weeks ago (I'd never spoken a word to him); since then we've come across each other on campus a few times and had brief conversations. The first time we talked I was almost sure he was gay by the way he smiled at me. Well, tonight he posted a photo of his grindr profile, which he shares with his boyfriend, on his facebook wall. So if there was a any doubt about his being gay, it's gone now.

    Anyway, I'm mostly worried because I've never been approached like this before (and in addition to these two instances, I accepted another random request on facebook from a guy who could very likely be gay the other day). It makes me wonder: how many people actually know about me now? Have I completely miscalculated people's perceptions of me for all these years?

    I'm not sitting here freaking out or anything... I know there's nothing I can do about it if people talk, or if people have guessed. But it makes me feel kind of sad and helpless, and, yeah... ashamed--to think that so many people could've known all along, and might know now.

    I'm thinking about asking the guy with the grindr profile and the boyfriend how he found out about me sometime when we talk... at an opportune moment, if one comes up.

    So, there's no constructive point to this post, really--I just needed to write about it, I guess. I don't feel like I've explained things very well, or concisely, either. So thank you if you've muddled through it. Maybe you could share your experiences if you've been through something similar to this? I don't know. Thanks.


    I wouldn't overdue the worrying. You'd be surprised how many people you view as "conservative" are not going to have a problem at all.
  • MuscleComeBac...

    Posts: 2376

    Feb 20, 2011 3:49 PM GMT
    Hmmmm. Just might be that no two people have done you a greater favor in all your life.
    How can you truly have any power over your own future if your present is predicated on taking pride in not being found out? Being in the closet won't do anything but make your largest identifying quality be shame. I'm rather doubtful that's who you are or who you strive to be.
    How you've been perceived, and more how you appear to take pride in being told "I'd have never guessed", sits in ridiculous opposition to the fact that you love men, desire intimacy and passion with other men, and more or less won't be surprising anyone you sleep with. It's as insulting and condescending to take pride in passing for straight - based on your boastful lack of effeminate behavior - as it would be to take pleasure in someone seeing your SAT score and saying "I'd have never guessed you were that stupid!" The random scale of some false social norms defines you?
    You can either be defined by you character or your lies. Not both. Your character hasn't got a snowball's chance as long as you are most proud of a lie, and most afraid of having it revealed.
    Whether or not you come out is a very personal decision. The day some guy says to you "I'd have never guessed" and instead of panicking or being pleased and then leaning in for a kiss you get pissed and walk away befire you cock back to punch the asshole, you'll be out whether you like it or not.

    This is not meant to piss you off, though I suspect it will, do you know how a guy can tell that you're gay? Because you are. Think about it, brother. Personally, I wouldn't trade being gay for ANYTHING. I hope you'll find your way there some day...I truly do.
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    Feb 20, 2011 3:50 PM GMT
    Elephantgun:

    My line of thinking is a cross between Art_deco and HndsmKansan...

    Many men online here on RJ have similar stories to help you through your current conundrum, though I confidently believe you know the next steps to follow. If it helps, let me tell you a story....

    In 2001, a young guy walks on to the steps of a liberal, preppy, New England College. There, he realized there were four other institutions a part of a consortium known as the Five Colleges. He attended several gay advocacy meetings, met other gay and lesbians, and also, tried experimenting with one guy. Though many people suspected and knew he probably was gay, he did not come out. He confided in his best and closest friends, male and females, who understood and did not disclose information to anyone, but permitted him to come out after college in his own manner. Obviously, this story is about me but what I want you to know about the coming out process, which many men online here on RJ will explain is that it's a process. Like some of us, the opportunity arises in weird ways and though the process is a process of fear, rejection, anger, frustration, and eventually happiness and peace, we have to adjust to whatever images and false scenarios we thought existed. For you, I strongly advise looking in the mirror and asking yourself how much do you love yourself? This process is only as scary as we make it and you're in a position of power whether you see it or not. Several men, such as go_vols have come out in the process and many others. Your story is no different than many men here but I think you have a support group, not only on RJ, but two or three other people at your school. Take this time to breathe, stand up, and walk for the first time (metaphorically speaking), its a powerful position and you should learn to use it and embrace it.

    Good luck and let your troubled mind and soul grow from this experience.

    Michael
  • starboard5

    Posts: 969

    Feb 20, 2011 3:53 PM GMT
    You have to command respect in life. That doesn't mean being belligerent, it means being unapologetic about who you are.
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    Feb 20, 2011 3:55 PM GMT
    I have to agree with just about everything that has been stated.

    I, too, am of the generation that forbids anyone outing anyone else for any reason. I find it abhorrent.

    With that said, I was outed to my family by someone else at age 18. It was rough. I was scared.

    One thing I've realized is what others have stated... people don't give a flip who you love or date or sleep with.... The thing I've realized is that gays have more problem with it than their peers, usually. Gays are far more scared of repercussions that are usually not there.

    If you don't want to come out, don't. It's your right and there is nothing wrong with coming out if you can keep your integrity and remain closeted at the same time. I promised myself that to keep my own integrity, I would never lie... never. However, there is nothing more liberating than coming out. When you are out, you are in control. When you are out, you have nothing to fear and no one can hold it over you.

    If it was me, and if I didn't want to come out, I wouldn't accept anyone as a friend on Facebook that could out me. One thing you can do is to set up two accounts on Facebook. One for family and straight friends and one for gay friends. I know several people that have done that.

    I think you need to not worry about what others will say and I know that is easier said than done, and most of us that are out, know the fear of others finding out. But.. that's all it is. Control the fear and you remain in control. Let the fear control you, and you will be miserable.

    Out or not, it's up to you and you alone. Good luck in either route you take... just never do anything to allow your integrity to be called into question.