Why am I still so scared of outing myself?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 30, 2012 10:42 PM GMT
    So, I only admitted I was gay a year or two ago and I'm still not completely comfortable with myself. Whenever there's a situation where people are talking about homosexuality I'm scared to mention I'm gay or have any discussion about it. Two or three months ago I would never have put up my profile on a site like this.

    So like today there was an event at my university for LGBT people to talk about their issues. I guess I was hoping to meet people there. I made up all sorts of excuses not to go but eventually got up the courage to get to the campus and go to the auditorium where the event was held. When I got to the auditorium 10 minutes late the doors were locked and apparently I was supposed to call a number to have the door opened. Well I cut and ran because I panicked at the thought of being seen there.

    I also wanted to go to some coming out discussion at some LGBT place downtown and I didn't go cause the area looked ghetto and I didn't want to get robbed. That was my excuse and I didn't go.

    I really want to be OK with myself and be out completely but I have to take baby steps I guess. I am such a mess.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 30, 2012 11:06 PM GMT
    Your screen name really says it all.

    You have fear and shame and it's really easy to find excuses not to go to these events.
    The question is what do you want to do? What are your interests? What do you want in your life?
    If there's something you really want, you'll find a way to push past your fear to get there.
    Or you will find safety in hiding out.


    Maybe you have a friend who you would feel more comfortable joining you.
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    Nov 30, 2012 11:09 PM GMT
    it's the right question to ask yourself -- and I'm confident in time you'll learn to be okay with that aspect of you.

    I'm new to all of this myself, but what I realized is that it's all mental - fear that you'll be alienated, judged, looked down upon, etc etc. The funny thing is, that has the potential of happening if you were straight too. Something I learned earlier this year - life literally is whatever you make out of it.. if you expect yourself to be looked at a certain way you will - solely because that's what you'll be paying attention to. The 'looks' people give you would occur if you were with a girl too, but you just wouldn't give a shit. So why should you care if it's with a guy? It's literally just you perceiving it to be in a negative way that makes it initially negative too.

    Alongside of that, maybe it has something to do with the culture you created around yourself as well - do you trust your friends? Do you feel as if they'll be by your side regardless of it all? Do you think it'll 'change things' if you told them you were gay?

    Do you think it changes who you are as a person if you came out to the world?

    ----

    Regardless, It'll all take time - asking the right questions and creating a 'winning environment', so to speak, were two things I needed to do to start fully becoming OK. with that aspect of my life. Focus on the things in your life that you're happy with. Whatever you need to do that... do that. Building up my confidence, learning how to never doubt myself or my intuition/judgement.. it went a long way to accepting myself.

    So keep asking questions, be honest with yourself, and be patient. Accept everything around you for exactly what it is. Including yourself. There's no point dwelling on it - it wont change a thing. You are who you are and that's that.

    Hope that helps in some sort of way guy :icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 30, 2012 11:25 PM GMT
    Because you're... A SHY GUY?!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 30, 2012 11:33 PM GMT
    Everyone has a unique set of issues to deal with before coming out. Rejection from peers, family, society confront all of us and I'd encourage you to find a LGBT friend or group to come out to. The first step is hard but it gets easier after that.

    It's difficult to come out but I think it is much harder to live a fulfilling life in the closet. It's not easy but it will take a huge weight off of your shoulders when you finally do.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 30, 2012 11:36 PM GMT
    It's a process and a long one. There's an agreement that when we get an illness it takes time to recover. The bigger the illness the longer the recovery.

    Our secrets keep us sick. So the larger the secret the longer it takes; you can't expect things to change the next day. Baby steps is right, and you should revel in that slowness because you only get to do this once in your life.

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    Nov 30, 2012 11:38 PM GMT
    jp_K saidit's the right question to ask yourself -- and I'm confident in time you'll learn to be okay with that aspect of you.

    I'm new to all of this myself, but what I realized is that it's all mental - fear that you'll be alienated, judged, looked down upon, etc etc. The funny thing is, that has the potential of happening if you were straight too. Something I learned earlier this year - life literally is whatever you make out of it.. if you expect yourself to be looked at a certain way you will - solely because that's what you'll be paying attention to. The 'looks' people give you would occur if you were with a girl too, but you just wouldn't give a shit. So why should you care if it's with a guy? It's literally just you perceiving it to be in a negative way that makes it initially negative too.

    Alongside of that, maybe it has something to do with the culture you created around yourself as well - do you trust your friends? Do you feel as if they'll be by your side regardless of it all? Do you think it'll 'change things' if you told them you were gay?

    Do you think it changes who you are as a person if you came out to the world?

    ----

    Regardless, It'll all take time - asking the right questions and creating a 'winning environment', so to speak, were two things I needed to do to start fully becoming OK. with that aspect of my life. Focus on the things in your life that you're happy with. Whatever you need to do that... do that. Building up my confidence, learning how to never doubt myself or my intuition/judgement.. it went a long way to accepting myself.

    So keep asking questions, be honest with yourself, and be patient. Accept everything around you for exactly what it is. Including yourself. There's no point dwelling on it - it wont change a thing. You are who you are and that's that.

    Hope that helps in some sort of way guy :icon_wink.gif


    I think that my family and the people around me will be OK, that's not a problem. They already suspect I'm gay. I'm just a coward.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 01, 2012 12:09 AM GMT
    Well I guess the next question is.. what exactly are you afraid of? and How much do you value those around you?

    We're all different, but what I'm getting at is.. if you've got the right people around you, it wouldn't matter what anyone outside of that group thinks. I remember I was concerned with what people would think/etc etc (until i figured a few things out) - but also, started to figure out who my core group of friends were. Who genuinely cared about me and me them, literally - i can spend just a half hour or an hour of my day with them and it beats out hanging out with anyone else for a longer period of time. Generally speaking anyways.


    If i'm completely off the mark.. then maybe the next question is how do YOU feel about yourself? Do you think it makes you less of a person that you're gay? Do you like your qualities? Are you proud of yourself / accomplishments and such?

    You're fortunate to have family and friends that really don't give a shit about your orientation (because honestly, it doesn't matter). Calling yourself a coward.. is a real negative way to view things. I'm repeating myself, but your mentality really does shape the world around you. I remember when I was still coming to terms with my sexuality, My view on it was just simply that "i'm not ready to tackle this aspect of myself yet" -- that's it. Not that i'm a coward, not anything else. So maybe your first step is working on your own image of yourself.

    I remember back in highschool, what I started to do was build up my personal resume, so to speak. Didn't think I could do speeches in public - I went and proved myself wrong. I didn't think I could handle a certain course load and get great marks - proved myself wrong. Didn't think I could navigate/function in some cities on my own - I went to Europe over the past month, by myself. It's come to the point where there's nothing I don't think I could do.

    So maybe that's your next step?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 01, 2012 2:25 AM GMT
    Well if you look at it another way, at first you mustered the courage to come out to yourself ... then you mustered the courage to publish a profile with a picture here, and now you're (literally) knocking on the door of sharing your experiences with real people.

    You're right where you need to be. This is scary stuff and it's not always easy to see the progress you're making. But it's there. Just keep pushing ahead.

    You're doing fine.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4863

    Dec 01, 2012 2:29 AM GMT
    What you are going through is perfectly normal; many of us went through it. It would greatly help if you and a friend, gay or not, with whom you felt comfortable talking.

    Don't be too hard on yourself; you'll get through this.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 01, 2012 2:31 AM GMT
    You're doing just fine, keep it up. Take your time so that you're comfortable enough to progress as you have been.
    I'm proud of you.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 01, 2012 2:33 AM GMT
    Tenebrism saidWell if you look at it another way, at first you mustered the courage to come out to yourself ... then you mustered the courage to publish a profile with a picture here, and now you're (literally) knocking on the door of sharing your experiences with real people.

    You're right where you need to be. This is scary stuff and it's not always easy to see the progress you're making. But it's there. Just keep pushing ahead.

    You're doing fine.

    ^^^ This. You are taking positive steps forward. Just keep going :-)
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Dec 01, 2012 2:36 AM GMT
    Ouch ... sounds like you got it bad .. that's not healthy at all.
    Learn to love yourself for who you are.
    It's better to out yourself then for someone else to do it either purposely or accidentally.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 01, 2012 2:42 AM GMT
    You're in Orlando, where Disney World is, and you have to be shy about being gay there.

    Tell us about homophobia in Orlando, and the challenges of the LGBT community there.

    See, the struggle isn't just within yourself, its the community/local society as well. For example, I'm in the Plano/Allen/McKinney area of North Texas. The gayborhood is about 28 miles away (round trip is more than 50 miles of time and gas).
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 01, 2012 2:53 AM GMT
    That's bullshit. There are lots of gays in and around the DIsney community in Orlando. It should actually make it easier to find support.
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    Dec 01, 2012 3:07 AM GMT
    COJONO saidThat's bullshit. There are lots of gays in and around the DIsney community in Orlando. It should actually make it easier to find support.

    Cojono's right. In the book, "Inside the Mouse," there's a chapter about gays working for Disney.
    Plus, I have a friend that used to work there and he reports that it is very gay.

    3pbxYxW1
  • bladeaddict

    Posts: 93

    Dec 01, 2012 3:11 AM GMT
    Hey, I'm a coward too. And you and I aren't the only ones. I've just been a coward a helluva lot longer than you ... which really just makes it worse.

    If it makes you feel any better - and I hope it does - you are way less of a coward than me! :-)
  • starboard5

    Posts: 969

    Dec 01, 2012 3:24 AM GMT
    First off, you're not a mess. You're where most every one of us has been at some point.

    Second: sorry to play armchair psychologist, but I get a strong impression that this fear of coming out isn't really about any acceptance issue, but rather it's a way for you to beat yourself up. Are you using gay as a foil for self hatred when really the self hatred is rooted in something else? Just a speculation.

    Get comfortable with talking to people here. That can help. Self esteem is less an event and more of an ongoing project. For everyone.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 01, 2012 4:32 AM GMT
    Shyguy_1986 said I am such a mess.


    Hardly. It wouldn't be much of a stretch to say EVERY guy here has gone through that. Sure, there are a few that had the perfect nurturing upbringing or the insanely high doses of confidence to never go through such uncertainty, but the reality is, most of us have been or are still going through this. For some of us, it's a few weeks or months, for some of us it's years to grow past our upbringing.

    Regardless of how comfortable you are in your own skin, regardless of how many public allies we have, there are still a few (very vocal) people that fear us and that will call us abnormal until their dying breath. And sadly an even larger number of people that will listen to them. It's easy to say "ignore them" but in reality, as long as those voices are around, all the fear and uncertainty about these types of events you feel is normal.

    Hang in there. Try to participate anyways, because that's what will eventually change things. But when you can't, recognize it's ok, and it's normal to be scared and afraid. Let it go, and try again next time.

    In the end, you can only tell whether you were paralyzed out of momentary fear or out of ongoing shame the next time it comes up. Don't beat yourself up over that one event. Just try to be a bit more courageous the next time, and the next, and the next. Because when all of us are doing that, it doesn't matter when fear takes over any one instance, like it inevitably will. Our voice will still be heard.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 01, 2012 4:36 AM GMT
    Take these things one step at a time.

    First stage: knowing/admitting you're gay.
    Second stage: being OK with being gay (in solitude)
    Third stage: allowing trustworthy people to know
    Fourth stage: allowing family to know (sometimes the same as third)
    Fifth stage: doing a minor gay thing in public (like going to a bar)
    Sixth stage: not covering for yourself when someone makes an assumption
    Seventh stage: bringing up your gayness in casual conversation with acquaintances
    Eighth stage: being unconcerned about other's perceptions of your gayness
    Ninth stage: actually being happy as a gay man, like you won the sexuality lottery
    Tenth stage: sprouting wings and farting rainbows (most gays stop short of this)

    There's no rush. These ten stages could take ten years or ten weeks, all depending upon your upbringing and emotional makeup. You're here...listen to the stories of happy men and set your own goals.
  • bobbyddadd

    Posts: 85

    Dec 01, 2012 4:42 AM GMT
    Everyone has their certain level of accepting themselves. Some people need days, some need months or even years.
    You are taking one step by one step now. Just don't pressure or push yourself too hard.
    You are doing fine. Be comfortable to be here.
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    Dec 01, 2012 4:44 AM GMT
    Ever do anything scary? Once you did it, it likely wasn't so scary. You've talked yourself into all the drama. It's easy to fix. You know the answer.

    Save the drama for the theater. Like yourself; the rest will follow.

    You can CHOOSE to be miserable (some folks do it for a lifetime) or not. It's that very simple.

    We grow not by being comfortable, but, by walking into, through, above, and beyond our challenges and comfort levels. Most things worth doing are hard. That's life (professional, or personal).

    You can choose to waddle in a comfort zone, or plunge in, and evolve. Your choice.

    Was I scared the first time on commercial radio? Yep. Was I scared the first time I was on stage in less than my underwear? Yep. Was I uptight about my sexuality? Never. Was I the better off for being a bit scared? Fuck yes. Had a great time. Does physical therapy hurt? Fuck, yeah. Am I the better off for it? Sure...absolutely.

    This is all in your hands / mind. You get to choose whether you wish to evolve, or not. Simple stuff, really.

    You may well find you like being out of the darkness of that closet you've put yourself into.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 01, 2012 4:54 AM GMT
    It took me a good 5 years to be comfortable with it. I was 16 when I came out. Life was hard for a while, but it's worth it in the end!
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Dec 01, 2012 6:24 AM GMT
    starboard5 saidFirst off, you're not a mess. You're where most every one of us has been at some point.

    Second: sorry to play armchair psychologist, but I get a strong impression that this fear of coming out isn't really about any acceptance issue, but rather it's a way for you to beat yourself up. Are you using gay as a foil for self hatred when really the self hatred is rooted in something else? Just a speculation.

    Get comfortable with talking to people here. That can help. Self esteem is less an event and more of an ongoing project. For everyone.

    Beautifully said!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 01, 2012 6:38 AM GMT
    smudgetool said
    COJONO saidThat's bullshit. There are lots of gays in and around the DIsney community in Orlando. It should actually make it easier to find support.

    Cojono's right. In the book, "Inside the Mouse," there's a chapter about gays working for Disney.
    Plus, I have a friend that used to work there and he reports that it is very gay.

    3pbxYxW1


    I would expect the HAPPIEST place on earth to be VERY GAY! Kind of synonymous, no?

    Anyways, to the OP, you really just have to put yourself out there and go. You have to ignore the anxiety and doubt and just go. The first time I went to a gay club, I circled the block 15, maybe 20, times before I hightailed it back home. I think we all tend to stick to what we know and what makes us feel comfortable. What I learned, and you will too, is that you need that first, new experience before you can ever know how comfortable you truly with that experience. You may go to an event and decide it is everything you hoped it would be or find it is everything you feared it would be. Point is... YOU HAVE TO TRY FIRST and be willing to try again and again until you find that person, place, or thing you are comfortable with... So don't be a "shyguy", go out there and find the [noun] that works for you.