Have you unknowingly help someone come out?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 20, 2012 5:21 AM GMT
    Have you helped someone come out of the closet by being out yourself? Sorry this post is so long, it's a bit of a read, but I like telling stories icon_smile.gif

    So, my sister mentioned something to me the other day about her friend. I came home for a visit about 4 years ago for a weekend. It was my sister's birthday and so she had a bunch of her Highschool friends in the basement hanging out. I had ordered them some pizza and when I arrived, so did the pizza. I went downstairs to give it to them, and I remember feeling like I walked into the twilight zone. They all stopped talking and were staring at me. I later found out that they were completely scared of me and thought I had come down to bitch them out for being so loud (they were being pretty loud but they're teenagers!).

    Apparently after I left, her friends started asking my sister about me since they had never really seen me before. One particular kid was quiet, something my sister took notice of since he was usually very talkative.

    One of her friends asked if I had a girlfriend and my sister answered without skipping a beat that I had a cute boyfriend. Apparently it was the subject of discussion for a bit. Her friend who was quiet asked my sister if she was okay with me being gay. She responded saying, "What's the big deal? Who cares if he's dating a guy or a girl. Nothing really changed. He's still my big brother. And he's not scary at all, he's like a big teddy bear!"

    The kids quickly agreed that they thought it was cool. The quiet kid eventually came out to his friends seeing that they were not going to exile him for being gay. He eventually came out to his parents (whom now hate my sister since they think she turned thier only son gay).

    I never once thought being out would ever help anyone come out. I came out for myself because I wanted a chance to date a guy and not be ashamed of it. I never saw myself as a role model, but my sister made it clear that I am someone that people look up to. It made me wonder if I had helped others come out of the closet too without realizing it.

    I'm interested to know if others have done something similar experiences icon_biggrin.gif
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    Mar 20, 2012 7:19 AM GMT
    When I was visiting my parents a few years back, my mom mentioned that she thinks one of her friends kids might be gay. They didn't know for sure, he was 14 and kind of kept to himself, not fem or flamboyant or anything. Just one of those kids who didn't have a girl friend or even talk about girls. So anyway my mom was at her friends house talking to her friend about me and being gay etc...and I guess the kid was in the same room or overheard it or something because he asked my mom if he could come over to meet me. Now I never met this kid and I briefly met the kids parents (typical "this is my son" scenario). So she tells me that someone wanted to meet me (I honestly thought she was trying to play matchmaker so my eyes were about to roll). I hesitantly said ok. So this kid comes over (his mom did too) and my mom and his mom go off to the kitchen and start talking. So I say "Hey big guy, you must be Ben, my name is Clay". This kid doesn't say a word and just looks at me and then to the floor and then back at me. So I'm sitting there thinking........"ok, now what?" Well before I can say something else he comes up to me and gives me a hug. So I hug him back and ask him if everything was alright.

    He starts crying, not bawling or anything dramatic just kinda sobbing. So I ask him again if everything was alright and he didn't say anything. Then I remember my mom talking about how they think he might be gay. So I said to him, "you know at first I thought my mom was going to set me up on a blind date when she said you wanted to meet me". He mumbled, "I wish I could have a date with a guy". All I could think of after he pretty much came out to me was, all the shit this kid must be going through.

    He eventually came out to his parents. I don't know if I had something to do with it or if it was just something he decided he was ready to do though.
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    Mar 20, 2012 12:20 PM GMT
    Awww wow, that's a super cute story!! Good on you icon_biggrin.gif
  • djzilla

    Posts: 138

    Mar 20, 2012 12:28 PM GMT
    I like to think so. My friend in California. We worked together for about 2 years and I recently relocated. A few months later I got a text from him saying he'd divorced his wife and is gay. I was completely shocked, kinda sad he hadn't said anything to me while we were friends but at the same time happy and proud for him. We text often and I miss him a great deal.

    Sometimes I wish we'd hooked up but I know I'm not his type so I'm happy I'm his friend and I like to think us being friends helped him get thru his difficult time. We'll always have that bond.
  • Latenight30

    Posts: 1525

    Mar 20, 2012 1:04 PM GMT
    I came out in college. After I came out one night a friend messaged me on AIM, yes I'm that freaking old. He was really concerned and wanted to meet at the school and talk. He came out to me and just wanted some reassurance. Now Ben and I have stayed friend for 15 years. We see each other couple times a year and have always found time to stay in touch.
    He was very worried about it because he was a scout leader and mentor but it all turned out fine. I know get to refer to him as Dr. Ben.
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    Mar 20, 2012 2:28 PM GMT
    Claystation saidWhen I was visiting my parents a few years back, my mom mentioned that she thinks one of her friends kids might be gay. They didn't know for sure, he was 14 and kind of kept to himself, not fem or flamboyant or anything. Just one of those kids who didn't have a girl friend or even talk about girls. So anyway my mom was at her friends house talking to her friend about me and being gay etc...and I guess the kid was in the same room or overheard it or something because he asked my mom if he could come over to meet me. Now I never met this kid and I briefly met the kids parents (typical "this is my son" scenario). So she tells me that someone wanted to meet me (I honestly thought she was trying to play matchmaker so my eyes were about to roll). I hesitantly said ok. So this kid comes over (his mom did too) and my mom and his mom go off to the kitchen and start talking. So I say "Hey big guy, you must be Ben, my name is Clay". This kid doesn't say a word and just looks at me and then to the floor and then back at me. So I'm sitting there thinking........"ok, now what?" Well before I can say something else he comes up to me and gives me a hug. So I hug him back and ask him if everything was alright.

    He starts crying, not bawling or anything dramatic just kinda sobbing. So I ask him again if everything was alright and he didn't say anything. Then I remember my mom talking about how they think he might be gay. So I said to him, "you know at first I thought my mom was going to set me up on a blind date when she said you wanted to meet me". He mumbled, "I wish I could have a date with a guy". All I could think of after he pretty much came out to me was, all the shit this kid must be going through.

    He eventually came out to his parents. I don't know if I had something to do with it or if it was just something he decided he was ready to do though.



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    Mar 21, 2012 12:53 AM GMT
    Latenight30 saidI came out in college. After I came out one night a friend messaged me on AIM, yes I'm that freaking old. He was really concerned and wanted to meet at the school and talk. He came out to me and just wanted some reassurance. Now Ben and I have stayed friend for 15 years. We see each other couple times a year and have always found time to stay in touch.
    He was very worried about it because he was a scout leader and mentor but it all turned out fine. I know get to refer to him as Dr. Ben.


    You just reminded me of a friend who just came out. I wondered why a good looking guy was single, when he came out to me, it all made sense. He's still in the closet, but is slowly making his way out.
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    Mar 21, 2012 1:03 AM GMT
    I think I unknowingly helped a closet ex-boyfriend named Wayne come out of the closet because he went straight into porn films under the name Zach Richards.
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    Mar 21, 2012 1:59 AM GMT
    Had a few, sorry to say their wife's weren't to happy with me.
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    Mar 21, 2012 2:24 AM GMT
    Well I think a lot of you guys on here help a lot. The thought came up rarely in my mind before I came on here but every day that I come on here and read comments I feel like just getting it over with.

    You guys have made me feel more comfortable and like it truly is OK and if I had a gay friend where I lived to lean on for support then I might have done it sooner, rather than when I plan on doing it (a few years from now).
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    Mar 21, 2012 2:31 AM GMT
    lookinforcars1 said
    Claystation saidWhen I was visiting my parents a few years back, my mom mentioned that she thinks one of her friends kids might be gay. They didn't know for sure, he was 14 and kind of kept to himself, not fem or flamboyant or anything. Just one of those kids who didn't have a girl friend or even talk about girls. So anyway my mom was at her friends house talking to her friend about me and being gay etc...and I guess the kid was in the same room or overheard it or something because he asked my mom if he could come over to meet me. Now I never met this kid and I briefly met the kids parents (typical "this is my son" scenario). So she tells me that someone wanted to meet me (I honestly thought she was trying to play matchmaker so my eyes were about to roll). I hesitantly said ok. So this kid comes over (his mom did too) and my mom and his mom go off to the kitchen and start talking. So I say "Hey big guy, you must be Ben, my name is Clay". This kid doesn't say a word and just looks at me and then to the floor and then back at me. So I'm sitting there thinking........"ok, now what?" Well before I can say something else he comes up to me and gives me a hug. So I hug him back and ask him if everything was alright.

    He starts crying, not bawling or anything dramatic just kinda sobbing. So I ask him again if everything was alright and he didn't say anything. Then I remember my mom talking about how they think he might be gay. So I said to him, "you know at first I thought my mom was going to set me up on a blind date when she said you wanted to meet me". He mumbled, "I wish I could have a date with a guy". All I could think of after he pretty much came out to me was, all the shit this kid must be going through.

    He eventually came out to his parents. I don't know if I had something to do with it or if it was just something he decided he was ready to do though.



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    ^^^This* is so sweet. icon_smile.gif
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    Mar 21, 2012 2:38 AM GMT
    I found out in high school that when I was coming out and standing up for myself in middle school, that elementary school kids were hearing about me. Mind you, I grew up in small town where everyone knows your business. Those kids became freshmen my sophomore year and told me how much they'd admired my courage... which puzzled me cause I was used to being tough and not letting people put me down. It was part of how I was raised in my hispanic grandparents household. Nothing really different from the rest of my family; though our pride and arrogance aren't the best qualities to have to battle with... anyways, it surprised me to think anyone could be effected by my actions or beliefs. Some grew to be my friends, and others not so much... but yeah, someone saw something good in something I did.
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    Mar 21, 2012 2:59 AM GMT
    I don't know that a I directly or indirectly helpd people come to terms with being gay, but I have helped a few of my friends with other issues that weigh just as heavily on the heart.

    I started coming out to some of my friends before DADT was repealed, so needless to say there was a significant risk in it, should I have been outed to the wrong person. Quite a few of my friends began to trust me with very significant personal problems and asked for help. To them I was someone who not only had overcome a difficult experience, but had allowed myself to be vulnerable. Trust breeds trust.
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    Mar 21, 2012 3:15 AM GMT
    Great stories, guys! I wish I had something to contribute. Maybe some day, I will.

    That was a very sweet story, Clay. (I always knew you were a nice guy. You just try to hide it.)
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    Mar 21, 2012 3:40 AM GMT
    There's a guy back home who may have come out by now, but I'll have to call him to see if took the plunge yet.

    It's not unknowingly, but I had been talking with him for a few months before moving away. Hopefully he's out now, cause he's a super sweet guy and everyone already knows he's closeted.
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    Mar 21, 2012 3:46 AM GMT
    Trollileo saidThis site helped me come out.
    Srsly? That's awesome! icon_biggrin.gif
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    Mar 21, 2012 3:49 AM GMT
    Trollileo said
    paulflexes said
    Trollileo saidThis site helped me come out.
    Srsly? That's awesome! icon_biggrin.gif
    Yep. Srsly.
    Wow! I don't remember reading about your coming out story. How did it go?
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    Mar 21, 2012 3:50 AM GMT
    Trollileo said
    paulflexes said
    Trollileo said
    paulflexes said
    Trollileo saidThis site helped me come out.
    Srsly? That's awesome! icon_biggrin.gif
    Yep. Srsly.
    Wow! I don't remember reading about your coming out story. How did it go?
    Which one?
    All of them (family, friends, job, bathhouse, brothel, etc).
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    Mar 21, 2012 3:59 AM GMT
    This past weekend, I hung out with a friend who indirectly helped me come out. It was the first time I hung out with someone gay, just one-on-one, and it was the happiest I'd felt in a long time. Seeing how carefree he was and hearing about how liberated he's felt since he came out, that helped me see it was worth it. I just figured that if I ever want to feel this happy again going forward, accepting it and coming out are some things I'll just have to do. So, I came out to my first couple friends yesterday. Awesome feeling.
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    Mar 21, 2012 4:12 AM GMT
    Trollileo said
    paulflexes said
    Trollileo said
    paulflexes said
    Trollileo said
    paulflexes said
    Trollileo saidThis site helped me come out.
    Srsly? That's awesome! icon_biggrin.gif
    Yep. Srsly.
    Wow! I don't remember reading about your coming out story. How did it go?
    Which one?
    All of them (family, friends, job, bathhouse, brothel, etc).
    Well, my pimp didn't like it that much, because it encouraged me to live the way I wanted to.

    I told my friends a few weeks after verifying myself here in May 2011. Most didn't believe me. "David, quit trollin'" or "whatever, you can't be gay" or "just because you have a vocal range of 4 octaves doesn't mean you leik teh buttsecks." Shit like that.

    I'd tell friends who would actually believe me here and there now and then over the summer.

    Finally around August and September, people finally started listening to me and understanding I was actually serious about not having any sexual interests in women.

    It's been nice, though. The people who used to be homophobic before I came out are now hardcore gay rights advocates. They used to call people faggots in high school with me. Now when they find a bigot around their school they almost get into a fist fight with them.

    2 days after my 21st birthday, so December 28th, I called my parents in Alaska. Told them. They pretty much didn't give a shit. I think partial credit for that can be given to my aunt who is a lesbian and in a very happy relationship. I just remember them saying stupid shit when I was in cub scouts and boy scouts about how homosexuals were evil and didn't deserve to live.

    I almost punched my dad, though. Ever since Christmas I've been ridiculously well dressed (goodwill can make people look so damn classy). He was bitching about square toed shoes. I told him that's what's popular right now. He made a snide remark like "oh, so now you're a fashion expert?" Yeah, I was pissed.

    Three days after that event (this was the day of my grandfather's funeral February 8th or so) I told 2 of my sisters. Then on Februrary I told my oldest sister. All three took it really well.

    So yeah. There it is. The condensed versions. Random threads of the events can be found around the forums with more details on the stories.
    Quoted, just to highlight the words in bold. Other closeted guys need to read that. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Mar 21, 2012 4:12 AM GMT
    simple_collision saidHave you helped someone come out of the closet by being out yourself?

    Yes, in college, a story I've related here before. Though my being out was kinda accidental.

    One day I was gonna be late to a college class, so I blindly grabbed the first shirt in my closest. Then put on my winter coat and raced outside to class.

    In the lecture hall I took my coat off, and sat through the class as usual. Afterwards I went into the hallway on my way to my next class. That's when a young woman approached me.

    Very hesitantly & shyly she wondered if she could ask me a personal question. Well, OK, I replied. "Are you gay?" she asked.

    Now there's a question! But I immediately answered yes. She explained that she saw my shirt in class. I looked down and realized the shirt I had grabbed was embroidered in rainbow letters with "GAY MENS CHORUS OF HOUSTON". I still have it.

    She went on to thank me, saying she was a new student on the campus, a lesbian, and was afraid to come out, not sure what the reaction would be. She couldn't come out back home, but hoped she could finally do it at college.

    I pointed her to the office of the faculty coordinator for GLBT students (with whom I used to socialize with other gays & lesbians), letting her know she should mention my name by way of introduction. I would have taken her there myself but both of us had our next class. But she did go and see him, and became a member of the GLBT student association, officially out on our campus.

    After that incident I started wearing subtle gay logos on my clothing all the time, to alert other closeted students like her. I'm not big into heavy gay advertising, but this wasn't being done for me. It was for others, who might need to know they weren't alone, that they had allies around them they could approach, as she did with me.
  • gumbosolo

    Posts: 382

    Mar 21, 2012 4:32 AM GMT
    These stories are beautiful.

    I helped run a community theatre in my (small southern) hometown and was definitely many kids' first example of a gay man. Between that and my college counseling job, I've been the sympathetic ear a few times. I'd love to do it more.
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    Mar 21, 2012 5:18 AM GMT
    Oh, boy! After meeting me, guys routinely go back into the closet!!

    The closest to the scenario mentioned was when my brand new sister-in-law came to me on her wedding day and asked me if I thought her brother (whom I had never met before) was gay. I looked and said, "I have no idea." So she looked and me and asked, "Do you mind going over and asking him for me?"

    I refused, so she went herself. That's my lifetime contribution to inadvertent helping anyone out himself.

    +1 for Offtopic... ;-)
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    Mar 22, 2012 3:32 AM GMT
    themachine saidOh, boy! After meeting me, guys routinely go back into the closet!!

    The closest to the scenario mentioned was when my brand new sister-in-law came to me on her wedding day and asked me if I thought her brother (whom I had never met before) was gay. I looked and said, "I have no idea." So she looked and me and asked, "Do you mind going over and asking him for me?"

    I refused, so she went herself. That's my lifetime contribution to inadvertent helping anyone out himself.

    +1 for Offtopic... ;-)


    LOL that's hilarious.
    When my brother found out he started asking me who was gay or not like I had a 6th sense. And one of my friends made me take him shopping because he claimed he was to straight to dress himself and needed a gay guy's help.

    Anyways, yes off topic, lol.
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    Mar 22, 2012 3:35 AM GMT
    I'm compelled to think that a close friend of mine is bisexual but it could be the alcohol talking *shrugs*