Semi-Closeted in Austin

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 20, 2011 11:15 PM GMT
    So I am in a predicament... I attend and work for a Christian University here in Austin. As anyone would guess, homosexuality is frowned upon by most people on campus. As unfortunate as this is, it is something I have had to learn to live with. My predicament is; How do I meet guys in Austin without exposing myself to my school and family before I am ready? I feel LOST here! I have not made more than a couple of gay friends. I want more people in my life that understand who I am and what I stand for. How can I meet guys without coming off as desperate (even though I kind of am)?

    P.S. Clubs are really not my thing...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 20, 2011 11:16 PM GMT
    Why are you attending and working for the enemy?
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    Sep 21, 2011 12:44 AM GMT
    Can I ask you something, in a serious and respectful way?

    Why are you attending a Christian university that you know would not accept you if they knew who you are?

    I ask this because that was me at 20 years old. And I wish someone had asked me that at that time.

    Doing that bit of self assessment would have saved me a lot of years of secrecy, afraid of people finding out who I am, missing opportunities to meet someone special (maybe THE one) because I'd rather be accepted than happy.

    I've seen this movie before. I've lived this movie. One of two things are inevitable. You're either going to decide your self-respect and happiness is a priority in your life and you're going to start separating yourself from this hostile environment, or you're going to push your real self further in hiding and live a fake life the rest of your life.

    I know people who are following the latter course. And it's really sad.

    P.S. You have a really good state school there in Austin. It might be a better option.
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    Sep 21, 2011 12:46 AM GMT
    1. Find another job.
    2. Transfer to another school.
    3. Live the happy, joyous and free life you deserve.

    icon_biggrin.gif
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Sep 21, 2011 12:55 AM GMT
    so basically how do you get to be in the closet while not having to be in the closet? well, aside from going to gay bars and clubs or using the interwebs (there's a large austin population on here) or joining something exclusively gay, such as a gay sports league, you're kinda fucked. also what do you mean by looking for guys? a relationship?
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    Sep 21, 2011 2:35 AM GMT
    Look....not trying to be shady, but you can at least FIND gay dudes in your area on many of the various dating/hookup sites if you're careful. The only problem is 75% of the dudes on there are only looking for sex, which may or may not be your boat. However, you can find some decent guys on those sites. You're a very handsome man, man, and I am sure there is someone there looking for someone just like you!
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    Sep 21, 2011 2:53 AM GMT
    I think you can find a happy medium between the two.
    It's not always about saying "I'M GAY AND HERE I AM!!! *bounce bounce bounce*"

    But it's about being comfortable with who you are.
    I don't think it's necessary to tell everyone or to make it obvious, it's not their business.

    You have the option to always go the next closest (big) city to have friends if you're not ready to "come out" and have friends in the same city. I traveled to Pensacola to hang out with new friends and met new people. It was great and a good experience. Try that!

    I traveled a little over an hour EVERY WEEKEND to hang out with friends in Pcola. I think it was ABSOLUTELY worth it too. I got to meet new people and socialize! Even though the bar and club scene was never an interest of mine, it was very casual and it was fun. Nothing sketchy ever happened at those places. It ALWAYS depends on who you go with and what type a place it is. GOOD LUCK! icon_smile.gif
  • AAAustin

    Posts: 2

    Sep 21, 2011 3:35 AM GMT
    There's a Christian university in Austin that absolutely condemns anti-gay rhetoric and treatment. It's St Edward's University. So unless you are absolutely convinced a Catholic university cannot be Christian, why don't you simply transfer there? After all, it's routinely ranked in the top small universities by US News & World Report.
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    Sep 21, 2011 4:09 AM GMT
    I came out of the same background myself. My one comment will be this: do not let ANYONE, gay or straight, tell you that you have to make a choice between your heartfelt faith, and living a fulfilling life as a gay man. You can be gay and of any or no religious affiliation, though many religious groups won't welcome you.

    Check out some gay-affirming churches.

    Or stop going to church, and read whatever spiritual material you like by yourself.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 21, 2011 4:39 AM GMT
    To the question you asked: Craigslist

    To the question you didn't ask: Life might not be better or easier when you stop putting what everyone else thinks about what you should do ahead of what's best for you, but at least you will be living your own life.
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    Sep 21, 2011 4:45 AM GMT
    I'm guessing you are basically looking to meet more masculine gay guys rather than the super queens? If that's the case I'm sure they are around but neither of you know the other is gay which would again make things difficult. So be patient and socialize like the rest of the college population by going to your standard college parties and one day you'll bump into mister right.

    I wish I could offer better advice but I know nothing about the Austin gay social dynamic, but just because your gay doesn't mean you have to surround yourself by as many gays as possible to be happy.

    Of course if all else fails try grindr icon_razz.gif


  • masculumpedes

    Posts: 5549

    Sep 21, 2011 4:46 AM GMT
    Ermine saidTo the question you asked: Craigslist

    To the question you didn't ask: Life might not be better or easier when you stop putting what everyone else thinks about what you should do ahead of what's best for you, but at least you will be living your own life.


    I agree 100%, as someone who was closeted for many years because of my Baptist upbringing. Here's one of my favorite songs on the subject.icon_wink.gif

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 21, 2011 4:50 AM GMT
    God made you gay. Your existence is a test for those around you. Tell them who you really are, and see if they pass the test. If they do not, chances are you aren't really attending a Christian university. Remember, God made YOU. He didn't make the university.
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    Sep 21, 2011 12:38 PM GMT
    Ignore everyone saying "abandon your job, your school, and/or your God." That's a seriously asinine response.

    There are plenty of gays, especially in the South, who are devoted Christians as well, and while the school itself may have a dubious doctrinal problem with how God made you, there is no inherent conflict here.

    My recommendation would be to slowly begin coming out in your situation. The problem with family members, friends, and colleagues who are conservative Christians is that they do not have any contact with gay people who are not openly hostile to their way of life. My family is incredibly conservative, all devoted Christians from Mississippi, and coming out to them has given them a context in which to view gay people without the socio-political hostility of gays as an enemy camp out to unmake their culture. You coming out will, I would imagine, be a big step for many people to understand the diversity of the gay community and see that this isn't a war and they need not feel threatened.
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    Sep 21, 2011 12:42 PM GMT
    I wouldn't have said better!!!
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Sep 21, 2011 12:45 PM GMT
    Austin is really an awesome city to live, but I certainly couldn't be in an environment where my livlihood was in perceived threat on a daily basis.
    I agree with some of the others, you probably should find a more secure college & work environment and live your life in a happy and complete manner.

    If you choose to say where you are, you can certainly follow a course of action in which you meet guys "in the shadows" so to speak. I'm not trying to be overdramatic. I can be "conservative" in how I live my life and there is a difference between being somewhat private and having a total lack of confidence in your life "if someone finds out". It is a downer to your self esteem. You didn't say anything about your parents or family. Where are they with this?

    It's clear you are a really nice guy and you deserve to be happy. Focus on
    securing your "base".. your employment and college studies.. know you are secure financially....
    Best of luck, you deserve it!
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    Sep 21, 2011 12:52 PM GMT
    Your school is not that conservative, one of my good friends queens it up all over campus and has never had an issue. Neither has his slightly less queeny boyfriend seen any negative repercussions.

    To answer your question, how to meet people before you are ready to be out, you can go with grindr if you have a smartphone; adam4adam; manhunt; craigslist; or just message someone on RJ. Straight guys do not make accounts, flirt with guys all day, and then publicly out them to shame them. You will be among "family" on those sites. However, with the exception of RJ, most of the users of those sites are just as desperate and ONLY looking for sex, not a conversation. Although there are always exceptions to the general rule.

    I think more than just finding someone to have sex with, you need someone responsible and engaging to have earnest conversations with - sort of like a mentor/mentee relationship - just so you can start feeling more comfortable about things and receive feedback and honest answers to questions that are sometimes just as difficult to answer as they are to frame. The worst thing you can do is be shy about it, you will never feel empowered to say something witty and sarcastic or call out someone's heteronormativity in a discussion. You are still learning a lot about yourself. A good environment to be in is one where you feel comfortable and at ease exposing all of your personality and your thoughts.

    Look for someone supportive, willing to talk to you as a person, that is not going to instantly try to get your pants off. It is okay if the pants do come off at a certain point - but it should not be your primary objective. If you actually convince yourself what I have said is a good idea, then that should entirely eclipse the desperateness that might otherwise be obvious to a predator from a mile away.

    It's not hard to find out which faculty members are gay also - select one you will never take a course from, e-mail him asking for a few minutes of his time in his role as a campus Ally, and just start talking. Don't flirt of course - just get some feedback on your thoughts.

    You put a face photo on RJ, which must have been nerve wracking to begin to put yourself out there in the community. You are on the right path icon_smile.gif
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    Sep 21, 2011 9:16 PM GMT
    cTurtle said If that's the case I'm sure they are around but neither of you know the other is gay which would again make things difficult. Sicon_razz.gif




    I think you nailed the issue right there. I am looking for masculine and also for someone who will be with me without pushing me out of the closet. It is something that will happen for me when I am ready. Being rushed out is NOT a good thing... I have seen it happen to people and it does not end well.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14372

    Sep 21, 2011 9:24 PM GMT
    Move out of Austin. It is not as gay friendly as it is percieved to be. Trust me on this one, I lived there for almost ten years. Austin is horribly overrated.