Why I love RJ — and you all!

  • BrownsTown

    Posts: 158

    Oct 20, 2011 11:33 PM GMT
    I came out today to the world. And I couldn’t be happier. I want to say a big thank you to both the developers/owners of RJ and all the members. This site has really changed my life for the better.

    After a bad divorce (emotionally for me), I decided to re-evaluate everything in my life. My true orientation was one thing I knew I had to finally level with myself about. I happened upon RJ one day this Spring and poked around now and then. I loved the content in the forums, and searched a lot. Read a lot about things I had no clue about and learned a lot about gay men … and myself, too. (Really, you don’t have to like EVERY SINGLE THING a guy could do to another guy and you can still be gay!? Wow, that’s cool!)

    I finally got the nerve to create my own profile in July and it has been great getting to know you all. I even met a great guy here who ended up … er, punching my gay card and finally making things official for me. Ha! And I have met so many other quality guys on RJ, some of whom I know I will be friends with for a long time.

    You know, I feel strangely at home when I see the RJ homepage. There is no question of being accepted here. I feel a nice sense of community. And, given my love of keeping in shape, the photos of the mind-blowing bodies serve as continual motivation for me. Plus, hey, it’s always nice to do some window shopping here and there. icon_smile.gif

    When I first decided to experiment, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever come out, or figured that if I did, it would probably be a year or 5 or 10, something like that. But being with a guy and realizing how comfortable I was with that (and seeing how comfortable he was in his own skin) I found myself pushing up my timetable, surprising me more than a little. I ended up telling the first person just after Labor Day, then other friends and my family, culminating with my last brother—the one I’m closest to and who is the most homophobic—yesterday.

    People surprised me. They were so supportive, literally 100% of the friends and family I told. They told me that it didn’t change a thing in the way they felt about me. They hugged me. They told me that I was courageous and brave and other such things that I didn’t know if I deserved, not after holding onto this secret for 30+ years.

    I realize, too, that I am amazingly blessed to have had this kind of experience. Never once in all those years did I imagine that if I were to come out, it would be like this. I know many others experience severing in close relationships because of coming out, and my heart goes out to them.

    I hope that maybe each day this world grows a little more tolerant. And I hope that I can personally serve as a positive example of a gay man to all those who know me—maybe cracking open that door of acceptance just a little wider.

    So today, I posted on Facebook that I was coming out. Again, heart-warming responses from so many. I am a lucky man. A lucky gay man. And I’m thrilled that RJ has been a part of this exciting new journey for me. Thank you!!

    -Brownstown
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    Oct 20, 2011 11:42 PM GMT
    *manhugs*
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    Oct 20, 2011 11:45 PM GMT
    That's an incredible story man. Congratulations! And thank you for sharing that.
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    Oct 20, 2011 11:45 PM GMT
    What a great story!!
    Your the 2nd guy today I've emailed about this very topic.
    Good for you! Welcome to the club, and good luck.
  • disasterpiece

    Posts: 2991

    Oct 20, 2011 11:46 PM GMT
    Awww.

    And the Golden Palm for Most Emotional and Cutest Topic of the Day goes to... Brownstown ;) You just made my day man, I'm glad to be part of a web-community that seems so helpful for people like you and me that were in need of something to hold to in this long process that is coming out.

    On last october 10th, it had officially been a year that I came to my mother (yeah, I came out on the National Coming Out Day, cliché, isn't it?). Without any second thought, I just posted it on my Facebook status. I came out a year ago, to my friends, family and stuff, so to me, it was over and done with.

    What I didn't realize, is that in all those friends I have on Facebook, there's a lot of people that I hadn't seen in the past year, or I didn't come out to. Throught the whole day, I got notifications through my iPhone about people liking and commenting my status, sending me messages. I had just came out to a lot of people without even realizing it, and it felt SOOO good.

    Anyways, just needed to share icon_smile.gif

    Thanks for posting this!
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    Oct 20, 2011 11:57 PM GMT
    Hey Browns, I really enjoyed your story and your positive attitude is infectious. Here's wishing you all the happiness that life can offer, you deserve it.
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    Oct 21, 2011 12:00 AM GMT
    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

    And thank YOU for adding a truly positive thread to RJ!!!!

    icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif
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    Oct 21, 2011 12:02 AM GMT
    Great story---congratulations!
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    Oct 21, 2011 12:04 AM GMT
    Reading your post put a BIG smile on my face. Happy for you, man! Hugs!
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    Oct 21, 2011 12:05 AM GMT
    This thread gives me a happy. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Oct 21, 2011 12:08 AM GMT
    Aww..

    I can relate to many aspects of your story. Seeing all these guys here on RJ that are so comfortable with their sexuality really opened my eyes. I was lucky and found someone great to talk to, and all the help really has inspired me to keep moving forward.

    Congratulations.
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    Oct 21, 2011 12:08 AM GMT
    Lucky you! Congrats and enjoy the rest of your free and very gay life icon_smile.gif
  • BrownsTown

    Posts: 158

    Oct 21, 2011 12:17 AM GMT
    Thanks, guys! (Still swooning more than a little at the thought of a manhug from TroyAthlete. [fans self] Ahem.)

    In an interesting twist, I was just contacted on FB by an old college fraternity brother, who revealed that he, too is gay—and has been partially out for years. Really stunned and happy for him! Fascinating the things you learn about a person when you open up to them.
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    Oct 21, 2011 12:19 AM GMT
    Awesome thread good sir icon_smile.gif And congratulations!!!
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    Oct 21, 2011 12:20 AM GMT
    You're welcome. And, you're cute.
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    Oct 21, 2011 12:21 AM GMT
    BrownsTown saidThanks, guys! (Still swooning more than a little at the thought of a manhug from TroyAthlete. [fans self] Ahem.)

    In an interesting twist, I was just contacted on FB by an old college fraternity brother, who revealed that he, too is gay—and has been partially out for years. Really stunned and happy for him! Fascinating the things you learn about a person when you open up to them.
    Amazing things happen when one decides to be the real person they are! Congrats!
  • Ironman4U

    Posts: 738

    Oct 21, 2011 12:25 AM GMT
    Way to go! Congrats for your courage to come out and for sharing your story to encourage and inspire others. You have made a huge step in embracing your authenticity. Your joy is evident and contagious!
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    Oct 21, 2011 12:25 AM GMT
    2%20thumbs-up.JPG
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    Oct 21, 2011 12:34 AM GMT
    Being yourself makes life so enjoyable. Congratulations!
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    Oct 21, 2011 12:34 AM GMT
    Wow. Amazing story. Congrats
  • unicoman1

    Posts: 822

    Oct 21, 2011 12:36 AM GMT
    awesome, CONGRATS MAN!
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    Oct 21, 2011 12:39 AM GMT
    BrownsTown saidReally, you don’t have to like EVERY SINGLE THING a guy could do to another guy and you can still be gay!? Wow, that’s cool!


    HAHAHAHA that was good giggles man icon_lol.gif thanks for the laugh!
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    Oct 21, 2011 12:39 AM GMT
    Well thats
    FABULOUS!!!!
    CONGRATS! icon_biggrin.gif
  • fitdude62

    Posts: 294

    Oct 21, 2011 12:43 AM GMT
    Really wonderful! Congrats!!!!

    Things even get better now!

    Peace
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    Oct 21, 2011 12:44 AM GMT
    Awww I'm so happy to read this. Thanks man for sharing with us. I feel honored and privileged ^_^