Uncomfortable in my own skin?

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    Feb 14, 2012 12:44 AM GMT
    First off I just want to say this forum seems GREAT, and I'm probably going to become a regular poster here. Second, I realize this post isn't going to make the best first impression, but this is the most active gay male forum that I've come across, so I figured I would ask my question here.

    This is going to be a REALLY long question. Mad props go to whoever actually reads this and gives me some advice hahaha.

    So I'm openly gay. I have been since I was in tenth grade. (I'm a sophomore in college right now.) I've known I was gay since I was in fourth grade, and even though I went through the denial phase that most of us go through, I eventually accepted it as who I was. My friends and family know, and I'm proud to say that despite my living in a tiny hick town, I haven't had to deal with any backlash at all from a single one of them. They've all accepted me with open arms.

    My problem is that despite everyone being so loving and supportive in my life, I still can't shake the feeling that there is something fundamentally wrong, or freakish about me being gay. I feel SO incredibly uncomfortable and insecure in my own skin. Its just so ironic because I act like none of the stuff that all of the bigoted people in the world say bothers me, and I constantly preach about how its okay to be gay, about why same-sex marriage is just, and honestly stand up to bigotry all the time, but I don't think I've ever actually come to terms with my own gay-ness.

    Recently I've wondered if my being uncomfortable in my own skin was attributed to me actually being trans, but when I dressed up as a women and looked at myself in the mirror I actually laughed out loud at what I saw back because it looked so ridiculous haha.

    I guess I'm just wondering is this something that all openly gay people go through? Is there some phase of coming out that I apparently never acknowledged by repressing all of this self hatred? What do you think is stopping me from actually believing the words that I preach all the time?

    I'm sick of feeling this way, and I just want to actually feel comfortable in my own skin, instead of hating myself for something that I KNOW isn't wrong but for some reason I can't accept.
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    Feb 14, 2012 1:15 AM GMT
    chad2468emr said
    So I'm openly gay.

    Recently I've wondered if my being uncomfortable in my own skin was attributed to me actually being trans,
    TWO totally different issues..

    please expound!
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    Feb 14, 2012 1:22 AM GMT
    Like TropicalMark said, we probably need more info to understand where your quandary is originating from

    But from what you did post, I'm wondering if you have alot of gay friends in your small town. I think it's one thing to accept yourself for being gay, it's another to be able to surround yourself with other gay men, and be active with other gay men, socially. It just adds a new level of 'acceptance" of yourself, i guess is the best way to put it.

    I commend you to trying to see if you were gender-confused (not sure if there is a technical, medical term for that) as that would be the first step to take. At the same time, it may not be the PHYSICAL APPEARANCE of being a female that you are longing for vs. just BEING a female that you might be longing for. Do you fantastize about actually BEING a woman?
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    Feb 14, 2012 1:22 AM GMT
    I know what it means to be trans, I'm not that ignorant. haha Trans individuals feel like they're trapped inside the wrong a body with the wrong gender. And I know that it has nothing to do with being gay. I'm not one of those lunatics who think that just because you're a gay man you must want to be a woman.

    I was just wondering at one point if I was feeling incredibly uncomfortable in my own skin because I was living my life as a man, and I am gay so I do have effeminate tendencies and figured it was a part of me worth exploring. Well, I explored it and like I said, it was a dead end. icon_razz.gif

    I don't really want to be a women at all, and if I think of myself living as a women and doing womanly things it just doesn't feel right.

    I do think my lack of acceptance has something to do with what you said EastCoastNAZ. I don't have many friends that I can identify with, and those that I get along with best are girls because I find most straight men obnoxious. I've transferred from college to college a lot because I'm one of those aimless college student types, so any time I get a circle of gay friends going, I tend to lose contact with them when I move away. Right now I'm living back in my hometown (with my parents...........) and commuting to a university an hour away.

    You know the more I think about this, the more I realize this might be a huge contributing part of what is upsetting me. And that is actually why being on this forum is making me feel a lot better, even when I just read through other peoples' posts. It feels great to sort of "see" a bunch of people that I can identify with. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Feb 14, 2012 1:41 AM GMT
    I'm glad you're realizing these things, Chad. We are social beings, no matter what our sexuality is. We need to surround ourselves with people of like interests in order to learn and grow. Hopefully you have some local social outlets to be able to gain more gay friends in order to share experiences and know that others have gone through your similar experiences as a gay man.
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    Feb 14, 2012 1:54 AM GMT
    Thank you! And hopefully this thread didn't label me as too much of a ya-hoo considering it was the first thing I ever posted on here, hahaha. icon_lol.gif
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    Feb 14, 2012 1:57 AM GMT
    There's nothin wrong with you bro. I know exactly what you mean. I had this problem too...and kinda still am goin through it although it's gotten a lot better. You really just need a circle of gay friends that you can really identify with. Even straight girls can't really know everything you're goin through. If you're like me, there are just some things I feel I can't tell my chick friends that I might be able to tell a gay friend. I'd say the best way you can be more comfortable is if you suround yourself with other gays that you can really talk too. Hope this made some sorta sense. And good luck!
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    Feb 14, 2012 2:02 AM GMT
    chad2468emr saidFirst off I just want to say this forum seems GREAT, ...
    Stick around awhile and that opinion will change. icon_lol.gif
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    Feb 14, 2012 2:15 AM GMT
    You're just probably still in that whole early 20's thing. If you're fortunate, you're starting to experience your first "existential crisis". Google it.

    This is good. The sooner you have your first existential crisis, the sooner you can know what is/isn't important in life and you can then be happy living in your own skin.
  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Feb 14, 2012 2:27 AM GMT
    I'm from one of those hick towns where they can tie your hands behind your back, stab you in the stomach and throw you in the lake to drown, in your pyjamas, and the OPP rule it a suicide because you're gay. That really happened to a guy when I lived up there.

    You might have become uncomfortable in your own skin even if you were str8. How normal was your childhood?

    If you don't feel like you fit into the real world, you have some psychological scars that a bunch of drunks in a gay chat room can't fix. There are resources, usually at your workplace for starters. Then your insurance company. They don't want you freaking out and doing something they have to pay for!

    There is more help in the real world than online. You just have to look for it and ask. Start with your doctor.



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    Feb 14, 2012 2:28 AM GMT
    GAMRican saidYou're just probably still in that whole early 20's thing. If you're fortunate, you're starting to experience your first "existential crisis". Google it.

    This is good. The sooner you have your first existential crisis, the sooner you can know what is/isn't important in life and you can then be happy living in your own skin.


    Holy. Mother. Of. God. icon_eek.gif

    Yeah, I googled it, and boy oh boy have I been having one for the past few years. I've drifted from school to school trying to figure out what my ideal major was because I NEEDED a career that was going to fit my values and ideals perfectly for the rest of my life. Along the way I basically questioned every thing I knew about myself and tested it in one way or another. Once I finally got that all straightened out, all this stuff about my being gay reared its ugly head.

    I think I need to just find some gay friends, and accept the fact that I am not any less of a man because of the fact that I like cock.

    You guys are all awesome. Thanks for all the advice! icon_biggrin.gif
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    Feb 14, 2012 2:33 AM GMT
    barriehomeboy saidI'm from one of those hick towns where they can tie your hands behind your back, stab you in the stomach and throw you in the lake to drown, in your pyjamas, and the OPP rule it a suicide because you're gay. That really happened to a guy when I lived up there.

    You might have become uncomfortable in your own skin even if you were str8. How normal was your childhood?

    If you don't feel like you fit into the real world, you have some psychological scars that a bunch of drunks in a gay chat room can't fix. There are resources, usually at your workplace for starters. Then your insurance company. They don't want you freaking out and doing something they have to pay for!

    There is more help in the real world than online. You just have to look for it and ask. Start with your doctor.





    Well I'm not THAT messed up haha. I know not to believe the stigmas that go along with seeking therapy, and if I felt that I really needed it by all means I would put my health before my pride and seek treatment, but this is just sort of something that nags at me. Its not affecting my quality of life at all. I just always tend to think too much and obsess over things that bother me, so this sort of turned into a lot more than it really needed to.

    I know most of the people on here aren't clinical psychologists, but I came here to talk to people that may have experienced something similar, and this honestly has made me feel so much better.
  • metta

    Posts: 39107

    Feb 14, 2012 2:55 AM GMT


    Just reading the original post, my first thought is that this post is just too much to get good advice from a message board. I think that something like this really takes a professional psychologist/psychiatrist to work with you on. It sounds like you are trying but could use an independent professional person to help you see what is right for you and then you can take the next step from there.

    I hope that you are able to find contentment within!
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    Feb 14, 2012 3:02 AM GMT
    Without ignoring what others have said above, I wonder if your comfort level actually has that much to do with your sexuality. Perhaps, as others have pointed out, it's just natural growing pains. The development of self.

    While I've always been a confident, emotionally self-reliant person, I didn't fully feel at home within myself until I hit 31. I went through a couple of things that year which required me to "put my big boy pants on" and there's something about not being "young" as it were that gave me a newfound ease.

    I'm not even sure the age has anything to do with it as much as process. Sounds as though you are in the process now.

    My advice: be patient with yourself. Allow yourself the exploration. Just minimize the worry by realizing you do not have to figure everything out and have it in perfect order immediately.
  • metta

    Posts: 39107

    Feb 14, 2012 3:08 AM GMT
    RunintheCity said

    My advice: be patient with yourself. Allow yourself the exploration. Just minimize the worry by realizing you do not have to figure everything out and have it in perfect order immediately.


    After reading the other posts, I think this is good advice if you are ok with giving yourself more time to figure this out.
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    Feb 14, 2012 3:10 AM GMT
    Chad2468Emr said
    GAMRican saidYou're just probably still in that whole early 20's thing. If you're fortunate, you're starting to experience your first "existential crisis". Google it.

    This is good. The sooner you have your first existential crisis, the sooner you can know what is/isn't important in life and you can then be happy living in your own skin.


    Holy. Mother. Of. God. icon_eek.gif

    Yeah, I googled it, and boy oh boy have I been having one for the past few years. I've drifted from school to school trying to figure out what my ideal major was because I NEEDED a career that was going to fit my values and ideals perfectly for the rest of my life. Along the way I basically questioned every thing I knew about myself and tested it in one way or another. Once I finally got that all straightened out, all this stuff about my being gay reared its ugly head.

    I think I need to just find some gay friends, and accept the fact that I am not any less of a man because of the fact that I like cock.

    You guys are all awesome. Thanks for all the advice! icon_biggrin.gif


    Here's some additional guidance (which took me YEARS to figure out):
    1. Ponder the question, "Who am I?". You should be able to answer this in a sentence. Less is more. Another way to help you to answer this question is to ask yourself, "Who am I NOT?". Journal all of this. I do mine in an encrypted document.
    2. Ponder the question, "What do I value?". This one is a little easier than Q#1, but can also help you to answer Q#1. If you get stuck, look up the definition of the words "value", "values", "principles", "tenets", and like words. Also, what might be helpful is to ask yourself, "What do I not value". Journal all this as well.
    3. Create a "Bucket List" of things you want to do, and places you want to go.

    For figuring out the whole career thing (and don't stress on this because it is estimated that people will change careers 5x over their lifetime)...

    4. Ask yourself, "What would I do with my time if I did not have to work for money?"
    5. Ask yourself, "What kinds of things do I hate/dislike/have-no-talent doing?" Knowing what you hate, dislike, or have no talent doing is just as important as knowing what you like to do. It can help you cut away opportunities which may seem interesting, but are in reality a hell trap.
    6. Begin doing high-value, pro-bono professional services contributions. This is "volunteer work", but doing those things which you really love doing and are high-value. Do them first for free. Do them later for lots of money. It won't be like doing work.

    The whole gay thing. I've lived my life just being me. I've got all kinds of friends gay,straight and whatever. I've found that as I do the things I love in my life, I meet people who also share these common interests and I make friends. I've been blessed to have fallen in love with some of these friends and they have fallen in love with me. It's so much easier than "being gay" and "looking for love".

    Enjoy your existential crisis! Journal about it! You will reflect upon your journal when you have your next existential crisis. (Yes, you can have more than one.)
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    Feb 14, 2012 3:23 AM GMT
    GAMRican said
    Chad2468Emr said
    GAMRican saidYou're just probably still in that whole early 20's thing. If you're fortunate, you're starting to experience your first "existential crisis". Google it.

    This is good. The sooner you have your first existential crisis, the sooner you can know what is/isn't important in life and you can then be happy living in your own skin.


    Holy. Mother. Of. God. icon_eek.gif

    Yeah, I googled it, and boy oh boy have I been having one for the past few years. I've drifted from school to school trying to figure out what my ideal major was because I NEEDED a career that was going to fit my values and ideals perfectly for the rest of my life. Along the way I basically questioned every thing I knew about myself and tested it in one way or another. Once I finally got that all straightened out, all this stuff about my being gay reared its ugly head.

    I think I need to just find some gay friends, and accept the fact that I am not any less of a man because of the fact that I like cock.

    You guys are all awesome. Thanks for all the advice! icon_biggrin.gif


    Here's some additional guidance (which took me YEARS to figure out):
    1. Ponder the question, "Who am I?". You should be able to answer this in a sentence. Less is more. Another way to help you to answer this question is to ask yourself, "Who am I NOT?". Journal all of this. I do mine in an encrypted document.
    2. Ponder the question, "What do I value?". This one is a little easier than Q#1, but can also help you to answer Q#1. If you get stuck, look up the definition of the words "value", "values", "principles", "tenets", and like words. Also, what might be helpful is to ask yourself, "What do I not value". Journal all this as well.
    3. Create a "Bucket List" of things you want to do, and places you want to go.

    For figuring out the whole career thing (and don't stress on this because it is estimated that people will change careers 5x over their lifetime)...

    4. Ask yourself, "What would I do with my time if I did not have to work for money?"
    5. Ask yourself, "What kinds of things do I hate/dislike/have-no-talent doing?" Knowing what you hate, dislike, or have no talent doing is just as important as knowing what you like to do. It can help you cut away opportunities which may seem interesting, but are in reality a hell trap.
    6. Begin doing high-value, pro-bono professional services contributions. This is "volunteer work", but doing those things which you really love doing and are high-value. Do them first for free. Do them later for lots of money. It won't be like doing work.

    The whole gay thing. I've lived my life just being me. I've got all kinds of friends gay,straight and whatever. I've found that as I do the things I love in my life, I meet people who also share these common interests and I make friends. I've been blessed to have fallen in love with some of these friends and they have fallen in love with me. It's so much easier than "being gay" and "looking for love".

    Enjoy your existential crisis! Journal about it! You will reflect upon your journal when you have your next existential crisis. (Yes, you can have more than one.)


    This honestly freaks me out hahaha. I think so much about all of the things you've listed that I already had answers ready without even needing any time to process. Its so ridiculously reassuring that the fog of confusion and self doubt I've been in for the past year or so can be explained by something.

    Honestly, I'm past most of it all. I recognize my values, interests, who I am as a person, and what I enjoy. Its just I started to second guess the normality and "identity" part of my sexuality for some reason to the point that it actually made me second guess my GENDER even though I knew they aren't directly related. Its not that I haven't ever been around other gay men, but its been a while and it makes sense that NOW would be the time that this happened then. Even just browsing this forum is strengthening my identity in my eyes and reinforcing who I knew that part of me was, but I for some reason lost touch with.

    I know it sounds ridiculous that this thread and just bouncing around on this forum would make me feel so much better about something that was bothering me so much, but it really has.
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    Feb 14, 2012 3:40 AM GMT
    Now 55, I'd only recently gotten comfortable in my own skin but just then it started developing liver spots. There's no winning this. Even for those few months of being comfortable in my skin, I was still pretty sure we, my skin and I, were on the wrong planet anyway.

    I think you answered your own question right here...

    Chad2468Emr saidMy problem is that despite everyone being so loving and supportive in my life, I still can't shake the feeling that there is something fundamentally wrong, or freakish about me being gay. I feel SO incredibly uncomfortable and insecure in my own skin. Its just so ironic because I act like none of the stuff that all of the bigoted people in the world say bothers me, and I constantly preach about how its okay to be gay, about why same-sex marriage is just, and honestly stand up to bigotry all the time, but I don't think I've ever actually come to terms with my own gay-ness..


    Great that you have supportive family and friends. Others do not, many of them on this forum and you are aware of this. So alongside your own good thoughts and the well wishing of your family & friends, you also have within your make up the thoughts of a world which does not treat us as 100% human being.

    I've said this a few times when I see this come up. Learn where the world ends and where you begin. Comfort will be on your side.
  • FL180

    Posts: 75

    Feb 14, 2012 6:36 AM GMT
    Being comfortable in your own skin is multi variable and happens at different stages for different people.

    The advice given above is great and should be taken into consideration.

    If therapy is not something you want to consider (many neglect mental health) then maybe find a local support group for young gay men and talk, make connections, and hear other stories.