Hate-On For Closet Cases / Talk About It

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 30, 2011 2:56 AM GMT
    This site doesn't accomodate blogs, but I figure a forum topic might fit the bill. This is actually a re-post of my blog posting on another site, but it's got a different crowd. Thought it might be interesting to see the reactions from RJers and see how it compares with the reactions from the other site. So here we go....


    Anyways...here's the thing. I'm not completely out. Actually, I'm barely out. I'm putting this out there because I'm sensing that being in the closet isn't looked well-upon by people. To the scant few people I've come out to (or have found out without my knowing, only for me to discover later....grrr), the general reaction has been "why?". And it's not a "why" as in "Why, are you OK?". It's more like a "why" as in "Why, what's wrong with you?".

    I'm not going to go into my reasons for being a closet-case here. But I would like to express my curiosity as to why most people can't understand why someone would be in the closet. I would think it's bloody obvious. Apparently, it isn't. Since it isn't, I thought I'd list a few reasons:
    1. The person isn't 100% sure of what they are yet. I won't say "confused" as I feel that's a bit of a derogatory term in this context.
    2. The person isn't comfortable with the idea of themselves being attracted to members of the same sex.
    3. The person feels their nature is in conflict with their culture.
    4. The person feels their nature is in conflict with their religion.
    5. The person feels their nature is in conflict with their upbringing (ie values).
    6. The person feels that coming out would make their life more difficult. Whether it be home-life, work-life, social-life, etc.
    7. The person feels that coming out would damage their relationships with people they care for.
    8. The person feels that coming out would hurt the people they care for.
    9. The person feels that coming out isn't necessary. Who they get horny for is a private matter.
    10. The person feels that the general LGBTQ community isn't too appealing.
    11. The person feels that they won't gain acceptance into the LGBTQ community.
    12. The person feels that they'll lose their acceptance in the "straight" community.
    13. All of the above.

    As I said, I won't go into my own personal reasons, but I'll say that they include some of what's in that list. What baffles me is that it's often times members of the LGBTQ community who don't understand why I'm not out. Didn't they go through any of the above? Was coming out a really easy thing for them to do? The fact that I even needed to spell potential reasons out in a list... I didn't think I'd ever feel the need to do that.

    Furthermore, please do not assume a closet-case is a closet-case because of reasons #1 and #2. To suggest that someone is confused and/or ashamed and/or not accepting or happy with themselves is, while accurate for some, can be downright offensive to others. I, for one, am completely accepting of the fact that I like guys and girls. I accepted that years and years ago. Just like how I accepted that I'm short LOL! That I don't look like a model. That I won't have that perfect 10 body. And that my fashion sense is terrible :-). These are all things that I can't change, so why waste the time and energy fretting about them?

    And for those that are in the closet because of reasons #1 and #2... I encourage you to talk about it. Getting another view of things can bring greater clarity. With that clarity, you may find that giant ball of jumbled feelings and thoughts gets simplified and easier to understand. And hopefully with that understanding, will come self-acceptance.

    Talk to anyone who will listen without judging. Be it a psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, counsellor, family member, friend, online friends, etc, etc. Or you can even take the one-sided conversation approach... and just read the forums and blogs to see how other people dealt with it. There's stuff on youtube you can watch too. I'm a firm believer in knowledge being able to dispel fear/confusion/uncertainty/ignorance. And above all, good luck :-)

    (Woah... not sure how this blog went from semi-rant to semi-self-help-community-service-announcement lol. I don't usually lose focus like that, but I guess that can happen when expressing. I was even going to delete that second half....)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 30, 2011 4:53 AM GMT
    Hmmm, very insightful..

    Heres my song to closet cases.. or all secret, hidden love

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    Aug 30, 2011 5:10 AM GMT
    Just like when a poor person becomes welthy, they often lose sight of where they came from.
    The same thing goes for people who've been out of the closet for several years.
    Sometimes I even catch myself bashing closet guys, then kick myself in the butt for doing so.
    We've all been there...or at least most of us have.
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    Aug 30, 2011 5:11 AM GMT
    Closet-haters and forced-outers are just projecting their own junk. Empathy is an acquired skill, I reckon.
  • petermalaka

    Posts: 158

    Aug 30, 2011 5:19 AM GMT
    6-8 applies to me icon_sad.gif
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    Aug 30, 2011 5:26 AM GMT
    nerdjock mentioned1. The person isn't 100% sure of what they are yet...


    All of the reasons above are legitimate reasons. Also add,
    14. My government will have me put to death.

    In most cases, however, the individual--you perhaps--decides that their reasons are bullshit (2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12 are good examples of this for the most part).

    "Adding difficulty to your life" is a legitimate consideration for such a decision, so I'm not making light of these reasons by calling them bullshit. I also faced--and still face--these reasons. But the bullshit meter can measure the responses to these questions by changing the Gay condition into another congenital attribute, like say, being born albino, black, or red-headed.

    If your government will put you to death for being (insert adjective here), stay in the closet. If hordes of angry villagers will descend upon your house and kill your parents for the shame you've brought them, stay in the closet. But try this out on, for instance, points 3 thru 5: "The person feels their white skin and hair is in conflict with their religion/culture/upbringing." Sounds absurd, right? That's one way to measure bullshit.

    In some African villages, being albino IS a death sentence. Mothers should definitely hide their child.

    If your reasons can pass the bullshit test, stay in the closet. If they cannot, maybe you're making your decision appear harder than it needs to be. You were born this way, after all.
  • Saffron69

    Posts: 121

    Aug 30, 2011 5:33 AM GMT
    Is it so easy to forget where you were after you come out... Am I destined to be an asshole too after I come out? I would think having a support base, instead turning panel of critics would help me n the rest of the guys n gals out of the closet. All I see from some of the 'out n about' guys is a bunch of dicks wanting me to conform... Kinda like hateful straight people telling us to turn from our 'gay lifestyles' as if we have a choice. Isn't being in the closet a phase? Inpsite the fact that we're gay/bi ect. aren't we still diffrent. We're all like potatos in n oven, just because yours finished in 20 minutes doesn't mean mine will
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    Aug 30, 2011 5:49 AM GMT
    In my opinion I don't think I would call it hating on people in the closet. I think it is more like a tough love friends/family. The people that you don't really know it is more a defense mechanism, meaning they sense that you are queer ( to sum up all the possibilities that you could be, I'll use the term queer) and you are trying to act or say you are not. That is called lying and people don't trust it. So they will try and get the truth out of you. The people that are closest to you want to you to come out because it will make life that much easier for you. No more looking over your shoulder so to speak. Telling a story and having to change he's to she's or even worst not being able to share at all. I remember when I was in the closet and feeling so mentally exhausted all the time from over thinking what I was saying, how I was walking or dressing. Worst of all never feeling completely happy because I was always worried someone would find out or I could not share my happiness with my friends.

    It's like being at a party and your most favorite food was sitting on the table. Everybody at the was talking about how they did not like it and found it gross or disgusting. You can let it go to waste and deprive yourself or you can just eat some of it. A few things will happen, most people won't care when you thought they would. Here's the best part... others at the party will come up to you say that they like it as well and start have eating some too! Most importantly is that the other people at that party will see just how many people around them there are that actually like it. Over time they will stop thinking it is so gross. I know cheesy, I know, but I love analogies.

    Take your time and come out when you are ready, but just know that you are keeping yourself from your own happiness!
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    Aug 30, 2011 5:59 AM GMT
    I don't hate the closet cases, I just don't have the time and energy to deal with them.

    I don't go around twirling a fire baton, but I don't like feeling like I need to play straight for someone in public, lie when I'm around his friends who don't know about him or be his counselor when he's upset that every guy he tries dating won't climb back in the closet to be with him. I've been there, done all that and I'm quite over it.

    I get it. Coming out is an individual thing and for some people it's easier said than done. However, I will not throw my life and the comfort level I've achieved with who I am in reverse even briefly for someone else's benefit.

    If you're "not out", "discreet" or whatever other name you give it, and that's working for you right now, then that's awesome. But please understand that for many of us, just being your friend can be a degrading experience.
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    Aug 30, 2011 6:15 AM GMT
    At the beginning of the summer I made it one of my goals to come out to my family and close friends.
    As the summer was drawing to a close, I felt proud that I had told everyone I promised I would but with one gaping exception- my parents.
    I finally came out to them last week (maybe two weeks ago i cant remember now)
    I knew deep down they wouldn't really make such a big deal out of it.
    I knew deep down that I should consider myself very lucky to not have to go through what a lot of gay youth go through (fearing that their families will kick them out)
    but why was I so anxious about it? because its hard to tell your parents- the people who love you from the moment you are born until eternity- something which they never could have guessed about you. a secret you have been keeping for so long. that you were dishonest with them.
    I put my hesitations aside and I finally did it and now I couldn't feel more happy and proud of myself.
    But I think its really not fair to judge other people on whether they are out or not. let them do it on their own terms. of course, i believe that i couldnt have done it myself without encouragement from my close friends, so dont misconstrue my message.
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    Aug 30, 2011 6:15 AM GMT
    I don't hate closet cases..

    What I don't like if how they try to "date" me while in the closet... well guess what, I bloody well did that once already and i'm not doing it again thank you very muchly!

    You wanna be in the closet... Kewl thats fine, you be in the closet, sure I'll screw ya, no i'm not going to be your "friend" and sure as shit we aint going to "Date" cause ya know what..... I'm either a part of your life or not, you don't get it both ways!
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    Aug 30, 2011 6:15 AM GMT
    The_Guerrilla_Sodomite said
    But please understand that for many of us, just being your friend can be a degrading experience.


    Thank you for posting this! I wouldn't have thought of the word "degrading," but I get it...maybe someday I'll be using that strong of a word. I'm starting to sense my frustration at having to monitor myself carefully on another's behalf, not share certain experiences/photos/stories that we both were part of, etc.. I'm also noticing how we disagree almost viscerally on certain gay rights issues and that his arguments seem to eventually boil down to a sense that we _are_ "less than," or undeserving. I think that's connected to a deep-seated belief (thanks, organized religion!) that he really is some sort of deviant. He may not even be consciously aware of it, but it permeates his beliefs and I get so FUCKING frustrated sometimes about it! icon_evil.gif

    Sorry, guys, just noticed this turned into a mini-rant...chalk it up to my Bad Gay Week. icon_sad.gif
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    Aug 30, 2011 6:16 AM GMT
    At the beginning of the summer I made it one of my goals to come out to my family and close friends by the end of the summer
    As the summer was drawing to a close, I felt proud that I had told everyone I promised I would but with one gaping exception- my parents.
    I finally came out to them last week (maybe two weeks ago i cant remember now)
    I knew deep down they wouldn't really make such a big deal out of it.
    I knew deep down that I should consider myself very lucky to not have to go through what a lot of gay youth go through (fearing that their families will kick them out)
    but why was I so anxious about it? because its hard to tell your parents- the people who love you from the moment you are born until eternity- something which they never could have guessed about you. a secret you have been keeping for so long. that you were dishonest with them.
    I put my hesitations aside and I finally did it and now I couldn't feel more happy and proud of myself.
    But I think its really not fair to judge other people on whether they are out or not. let them do it on their own terms. of course, i believe that i couldnt have done it myself without encouragement from my close friends, so dont misconstrue my message.
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    Aug 30, 2011 6:41 AM GMT
    amoonhawk saidPeople come out when they are comfortable to come out.
    Not always...I was caught in the act by my dad. icon_lol.gif
  • dancedancekj

    Posts: 1761

    Aug 30, 2011 6:48 AM GMT
    Closet cases I have compassion for. Internalized homophobics are the ones I take issue with. Very different, but can be construed mistakenly by some people.
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    Aug 30, 2011 6:55 AM GMT
    we all have to do things at our own pace, but we can't expect other's to be on board with our individual pace just to make us comfortable. so good luck with your process. and remember this, the truth WILL set you free, but you must be ready for it.
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    Aug 30, 2011 7:51 AM GMT
    I never been in the closet because I was out at five. I have not lived a lie too please and be accepted by others. Oh why did one come out at 5 because I was molested, and it felt right. I know as an adult there is nothing right or good in molesting children because you take something thats not yours to take. But no matter how much I got abused, bullies, even torched for not backing down or relenting. Yes I may now have a right to have issues with those whom are 40+ and still in the closet. But I don't care if they repress themselves, so long as they don't feel this gives them a right to repress me too Or for one to deceive others for them; including family.
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    Aug 30, 2011 12:03 PM GMT
    You know I still am not out to my family, I'm simply bidding my time to be financially independent in order for me to live my life and career. So I know dating guys is going to be difficult especially with guys who already out.

    Whether that makes me 'child' is totally farce.
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    Aug 30, 2011 12:09 PM GMT
    Once a gay guy asked me, "are you marching in the Gay Pride Parade?"
    I said, "No.
    He said, "what's the matter? Are you afraid someone's going to see you?"
    My response, "I don't know of anyone in the gay community offering me a job."

    A person cannot always be out to all people, at all times.
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    Aug 30, 2011 12:12 PM GMT
    I used to volunteer for gay youth for Center on Halsted, a GLBT organization in Chicago. I'm a masculine guy and most people don't suspect that I'm gay. I learned from my volunteering experiences that I needed to come out of the closet because gay youth need gay role models. They need to see positive successful gay role models and how these gay people have dealt with the challenges of being gay in life. But not just gay youth, all of society can stand to benefit from positive gay role models. So coming out of the closet can serve several purposes. First, it builds self esteem in yourself and other adult gays and gay youth. Second, it shows society in general that there are many different types of gay people, all around us, some masculine, some feminine,but many who are successful, professional, with great careers, successful long term relationships, and an example of how to be yourself and be proud. Perhaps it will slowly change the perception of gays.
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    Aug 30, 2011 12:14 PM GMT
    I don't cater/entertain the problems of closet cases nor do I dismay them when they become made apparent to me. If they choose to be in the closet then that's on them and should they decide to want to come out then I'll lend a helping hand but it's not a freely given one without them making the first move. I don't believe in having to convince folks to come out nor do I force or throw them under the bus.

    "Nobody but you can help you and once you've done that then others will assist as needed."
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    Aug 30, 2011 12:16 PM GMT
    with me, the people who need to know actually do know. this includes select family members and my closest friends.

    however, i'm not into the whole "defined by my sexuality" thing so i don't feel the need to talk about it to everyone. but if i'm ever dating a guy seriously, i won't hide him to anyone.
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    Aug 30, 2011 12:26 PM GMT
    [
    1. The person isn't 100% sure of what they are yet. I won't say "confused" as I feel that's a bit of a derogatory term in this context.
    2. The person isn't comfortable with the idea of themselves being attracted to members of the same sex.
    3. The person feels their nature is in conflict with their culture.
    4. The person feels their nature is in conflict with their religion.
    5. The person feels their nature is in conflict with their upbringing (ie values).
    6. The person feels that coming out would make their life more difficult. Whether it be home-life, work-life, social-life, etc.
    7. The person feels that coming out would damage their relationships with people they care for.
    8. The person feels that coming out would hurt the people they care for.
    9. The person feels that coming out isn't necessary. Who they get horny for is a private matter.
    10. The person feels that the general LGBTQ community isn't too appealing.
    11. The person feels that they won't gain acceptance into the LGBTQ community.
    12. The person feels that they'll lose their acceptance in the "straight" community.
    13. All of the above.

    3, 6, 7, 8, 12 applies to me
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Aug 30, 2011 12:31 PM GMT
    I think what you do is strictly your own business, in the closet, out, whatever makes sense for you. I have no problem respecting where you are at. It's none of my affair, all of yours. Nuff said.
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    Aug 30, 2011 1:11 PM GMT
    nerdjock76 saidThis site doesn't accomodate blogs, but I figure a forum topic might fit the bill.

    ...Anyways...here's the thing. I'm not completely out. Actually, I'm barely out. I'm putting this out there because I'm sensing that being in the closet isn't looked well-upon by people.)


    I effectively use the forums here as blogs myself.

    Being closeted doesn't offend me in itself. I do take exception with those who campaign against gays while being closeted gays themselves. We all know plenty of examples of that in US politics & religion, and I'm pleased when those harmful hypocrites get involuntarily outed.

    But ordinary & harmless guys can stay closeted all they want, if they think that's in their best interests. In a matter like this, I don't endorse a "one size fits all" approach that promises to work for everyone. Each case is unique & different, and requires personalized solutions.

    To borrow a phrase from my Army days, I don't encourage gays to inflict a "self-inflected wound" on themselves in order to please the expectations & desires of other gays. A degree of self-interest & preservation should have a priority, and if being out to an employer, family, friends or the community would be damaging to one's interests & happiness, then don't do it.

    The counter is that most gays will feel happier being out, and I believe that's often true. But not in every circumstance, and a gay man should make that decision for himself based on his own situation, which may change over time. It can be a matter of trade-offs: would he be happier overall by being out, even if he lost his job and was unemployed & penniless by doing it?

    It can be difficult navigating a course through these often conflicting interests. For myself, I was much happier after coming out, in fact the happiest of my life. But then I was already retired with a secure income for life, and few family & friends to lose, so it was easy for me. It can be much harder for others, and no one should be urged to take the plunge until they've weighed all the consequences, nor criticized if they decide to remain in the closet.