To show or hide your face: discuss *your* choice to go one way or the other and why that works or has worked for you.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 21, 2013 9:09 AM GMT
    Rather than attempt to re-frame - or as some might say "hijack" - one of the recent discussion threads about this topic, I decided to start a new thread to steer the discussion in a different direction. Instead of criticizing others for making a choice that I don't understand, I know there is more for me to learn if I stop short of offering criticism and simply invite those who choose differently than I to share how they came to make their choice and why it works for them.

    I'll start by sharing how I came to make my choice to show my face - and then some icon_cool.gif - and then in the next post I'm going to copy/paste a very in depth and insightful response written by a headless participant in a previous thread.

    For me coming out wasn't really a "process" or anything that I ever really planned - it was, instead, something that just happened. I began to intellectualize my gayness around the same time puberty hit - 13 or 14 - and was up to no good as soon as I turned 16 and got my driver's license. A few months later I was found out by my mother - I got sloppy - and then through the rest of high school and all through college, I was probably outed by others as much as I outed myself. After college, I began my technology career at IBM. My intentions were to remain closeted in the work place - that was definitely the norm in 1985 - but I quickly learned that if you tell just one person you risk telling the whole world.

    That was 28 years ago, and in the years since I've often remarked to many of my friends that indeed I was a gay pioneer living and working amongst the Republicans helping to educate them on the ways of my people! No doubt that's a big part of the reason I have a hard time with all the headless torso shots - meaning I was part of the crew that laid the ground work "back in the day" so that today we can all show our face - and why I'm asking you to help me understand what or who are you hiding from in 2013?

    As far as my online activities, I've always considered the venue along with the fact that I've never really lived a life where I felt like I had to hide a whole lot of anything from anyone. I never felt any online shame, and it wasn't as if my straight colleagues or clients or family members were going to wander onto gay.com or manhunt or spy on me in the AOL m4m chat rooms. A few years back I did experiment on manhunt and made all my face shots private. I would then lead with my headless bod shots and cock shots and then unlock my face pics if someone worthy hit me up. I quickly learned that I didn't like how it felt when a guy disappeared upon seeing my mug, so I went back to always leading with my face pics.

    So that's probably more about me than necessary but I'm also about to turn 50 so I've got more chapters in my story. I've never really not been out of the closet, and even though there were some bumps in the road and some possible lost opportunities, I know I'm so much happier for it. I want the same thing for the rest of my people, but I guess the world isn't all there yet. Here's hoping!


    .
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 21, 2013 9:11 AM GMT
    dashboard2003 saidThe truth is that around 50% of GLBT people are not out at work. That's a lot of people.

    The "adult world" has not progressed at the same rate as universities and youth culture. It's much more conservative, judgmental, and restraining than you could ever imagine. Entire industries are known to be conservative, judgmental, and restraining. Entire states and regions are known to be non-accepting.

    If jobs were plentiful and we could each replace our jobs easily with one at the same salary, it would be a different story, but most gay professionals who have a good situation at work (salary, responsibility, trust, respect) can't risk outing themselves on a public website.

    There are a lot of people who in their workplace have to answer to multiple stakeholders - the public, a board of directors, not just your immediate supervisor. Not all of these people will be accepting and some will be openly hostile toward GLBT people. There is a lot of ignorance in the world.

    We can't all be pioneers when we have bills to pay and need to be in a good position for career advancement and when we already have loads of stress from our work responsibilities... there just isn't enough energy to fight the acceptance battle and to try to change people as well.

    Until ENDA passes, we don't have legal protection in most states. Many cities have human rights ordinances, but it's not anywhere near universal. Most universities do have GLBT protections in place as policy, so the safety you know and experience every day as a college student is based on that. You leave that safety net behind as soon as you graduate.

    http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/lgbt/news/2011/07/19/9988/faq-the-employment-non-discrimination-act/

    Change is happening, but slowly, as an old generation (where the norm was non-acceptance) finally retires and a more accepting generation begins to hold positions where they make policy. I can't wait until all you 18-25yo's are in charge of the world and bring a more progressive set of values to society.

    Advice I would give to any GLBT young person -- choose a career where people are already out, and have broken ground for you. Choose to live in a city or region where people who are out are openly respected. Adjust your career goals if that's what it takes, because then you'll have the chance to live a unified life where you don't have to worry about whether or not you'll be accepted.

    After you hit 30 or 40yo, its harder and harder to rearrange your life (and work life) to accommodate this. Instead, it often makes more sense to be (at least somewhat) protective of your privacy, to be discreet in your relationships, to have a close inner circle at work and in your social life who you can trust with anything, but to be a little guarded about your public presence.


    I really appreciated dashboard's response in another thread...
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    Jan 21, 2013 9:36 AM GMT
    When I first started I was a pic-less profile, then I added blurred face pics. As I became more comfortable with myself and the people here, I gradually added face pics (and others).

    I am not out at work - per se. I think most people can guess, but it's really not a subject brought up. I live in a small town in the south. The education field is sort of a DADT environment, especially in the south. Not all colleges and universities are as progressive as the post above insinuates. As more schools are getting GSA clubs, I think the tide is changing and I am becoming more comfortable, but I still try to be cautious.

    Everyone's process is different and I believe we have to be respectful of the fact that everyone has to follow his own timeline.



  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 21, 2013 5:54 PM GMT
    I've nothing to hide or reason to do so.
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    Jan 21, 2013 6:34 PM GMT
    I really respect everyone. I don' think there's a fence at all. There are 7 billion people on earth. How can there just be one fence that divides everyone based on openness?

    Some people, some very famous, put all out there and are total liars. Other people are just private, but very honest good people.

    I'm one of those. My not showing my face has nothing to do with being in the closet, or hiding from the truth or anything. I know exactly who I am, what I like and don't like, and what I want. I just don't want to put everything about me out there for total strangers to see, absorb, and potentially abuse.

    Like I say in my profile, I reveal myself in layers. I'm a real guy. Those pictures are mine. (Unlike some on here, I should add) Anyone who takes two minutes to say hi to me or responds to a hello from me knows that. I treat everyone with respect and would hope to be treated the same, even if I'm just a torso to some of you.

    Well, that's my two cents on the subject. icon_smile.gif

    Oh - and how has it worked for me? I guess it turns some people off, but I know that the ones that chat with me are a little intrigued, and willing to trust. It's actually pretty cool.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jan 21, 2013 6:38 PM GMT
    Honestly, as much as I enjoy writing posts and interacting intellectually, half the fun of RJ is sharing my fitness results. Posting pics gets me to push harder because it brings out my competitive side. Also, I feel that the connections I make with other memebrs are stronger, because I'm upfront about who I am. It's given me the opportunity to discuss all things gay in a way that has made me more open about my sexuality, which has been great for my relationship and an overall improvement to my emotional wellbeing.
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    Jan 21, 2013 6:47 PM GMT
    Great topic and post, sixsix.

    I went from having no pics to headless pics to public face pics in less than a year's time (granted I'm young). For me it just came down to thinking "I'm out to everyone close to me who needs to know, what do I have to hide?"

    I do respect the people who don't show face, but I strongly prefer to see a mug. Headless shots don't do too much for me, no matter how perfect your body and cock may be. It also just shows a level of comfortability in someone about who he is, which is nice.
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Jan 21, 2013 6:48 PM GMT
    All my pix are head shots. True, in some I'm wearing sunglasses but I wear sunglasses a lot. Even at night. Its not because I think my face is that attractive... actually think my body is hotter than my face. Even more so as I get older. My face is getting more and more wrinkly while my body is shaping up nicely from all the work I'm putting into it icon_smile.gif

    But I'm not here to get "involved" with anyone. If that happens, cool, but I'm more interested reading workout stuff and just socializing, getting a sense of what's going on in the gay world these days. I've been pretty much out if it for over a decade.

    I don't really have much of an opinion about other people showing or not showing their faces. I wish they would but I can understand why some wouldn't want to.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 21, 2013 6:51 PM GMT
    I'm not a troll. And I'm ok with it not working for you. I was simply replying to the OP's question.

  • spunkywasabi

    Posts: 126

    Jan 21, 2013 6:58 PM GMT
    Perhaps this is a cognitive distortion of some kind, and I hate to generalize, but I feel the lack of face pic is an obvious sign that the person is not online for dates, chats, or anything friendly. They are mostly there for sex, or to fetish-ize there muscle bodies. I know this is not completely true, but for me its a good indicator of quality vs. shallowness. Just saying...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 21, 2013 7:27 PM GMT
    I only withdraw cause I don't want attention when I'm dealing with a lot of negativity. I'm unsure how to reach, I feel so cut off and detached from a lot right now.
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    Jan 21, 2013 7:37 PM GMT
    Narciso saidI've nothing to hide or reason to do so.


    Same here. I just wish I would have arrived at this point sooner in my life. I also wish I were more photogenic then there would be more pics of me. I hate just about every picture of me since the second grade.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 21, 2013 7:51 PM GMT
    My name is Chuck Gudgel. You can google me. I pre-block picture-less, profile-less, face-less...huge warning flags.
  • hanzo83

    Posts: 457

    Jan 21, 2013 7:58 PM GMT
    I think there are way too many moving parts for anybody to criticize someone else for not showing a face picture. I'm not out and people always assume I'm straight, but not showing my face pic has nothing to do with that lol. My only intentions on this site is to read and throw in my 2 cents on the forums.

    My life is kind of complicated right now so I don't intend on meeting anybody through this site and I don't want guys to be hitting me up with the intent on doing that. I think showing my face would make that happen more than it already does and it would annoy me lol. It's not that I'm the best looking guy but I just don't want to be annoyed like that lol. When my life becomes less complicated and I'm open to making friends or whatever from online then I'll show a face pic.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 21, 2013 7:59 PM GMT
    There is hiding your face. But there is also protecting your face too. I think you will see a big divide depending on the type of job you have or the role you play in your community. For me, as an HR manager, showing my face means I can't post on many thread topics, especially the sex threads, or say what I may truly feel on certain religious and political issues. I don't show much skin either. When I had my face pic locked, I didn't have those limitations.

    There are two topics at play here. 1) Being out. 2) Perception/Context. Facebook is a good example. We tell job seekers, employees and students to be very careful about what they show, expose, and write online and who they show it to. I don't see this issue being solely about being out. I know a lot of straight people and plenty out gays who refuse to show their face pic online outside of maybe Facebook. Having had my face pic "borrowed", I've learned the hard way.




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    Jan 21, 2013 8:04 PM GMT
    Myol saidThere is hiding your face. But there is also protecting your face too. I think you will see a big divide depending on the type of job you have or the role you play in your community. For me, as an HR manager, showing my face means I can't post on many thread topics, especially the sex threads, or say what I may truly feel on certain religious and political issues. I don't show much skin either. When I had my face pic locked, I didn't have those limitations.

    There are two topics at play here. 1) Being out. 2) Perception/Context. Facebook is a good example. We tell job seekers, employees and students to be very careful about what they show, expose, and write online and who they show it to. I don't see this issue being solely about being out. I know a lot of straight people and plenty out gays who refuse to show their face pic online outside of maybe Facebook. Having had my face pic "borrowed", I've learned the hard way.

    Precisely. Many folks don't seem to be aware of this. In many cases, the issue is not about gay sites, but any public social networking site. There are occupations - doctors, lawyers, judges, teachers, even private businessmen, where public knowledge of opinions they might express on a site could prove embarrassing or damaging to their careers. If you get in a conversation with someone who does not have public face pics, often they have private face pics that they should be willing to unlock for you.
  • suedeheadscot

    Posts: 1130

    Jan 21, 2013 8:22 PM GMT
    I work in a gay-related organisation and after walking around in a gay bubble, I sometimes forget people have a lot of issues with coming out. So I do respect that sometimes people feel the only option is to hide their face as I know there are barriers to them showng it. I still get narked when people without face pics message me though!
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    Jan 21, 2013 8:54 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said^ Also, as you can see people who tend to hide their faces are the ones with the "most" to say in either the threads or in their loquacious profiles. It's a bit of a humorous contradiction I've noticed over the years.

    Not to come off as jaded but for me it's kinda up their with people who have troll accounts who hide themselves yet have this unparalleled urge to communicate with others under some false identity. It truly is sad that people create troll accounts to discuss whatever plagues their minds. Hiding doesn't work for me.


    You miss the point.
    Being anonymous allow me to share as much or as little as I want to share, and that's the point.
    In my case, it's not about being out or not.
    I'm out to everybody, my partner too.
    But in his case, being out on the workplace means that local newspaper and media knows it too, and they do (visible and important administrative position). Nobody before him had that job being officially gay and living with his partner, so we ARE scrutinized.

    You are out, but you don't put your post address and telephone number on your profile. For us, anybody recognizing him can find it easily.

    I just want a bit of freedom of speech, because it's tiring to be an UFO representing, willing or not, the gay community in a place it was not visible before.

    So, ok, we are a very special case, but you don't live in my shoes.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 21, 2013 9:01 PM GMT
    I used to get a lot more messages when I was headless. icon_lol.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 21, 2013 9:06 PM GMT
    I don't really have anything to hide, plus most of my pictures are of the face surprisingly enough.
  • Pontifex

    Posts: 1882

    Jan 21, 2013 9:26 PM GMT
    I'm here to meet people and socialize. If you can't see my face I think you are missing a big part of me. I am who I am and I try to present myself as honestly as possible. I've learned it is difficult to make friends if you are hiding part of yourself. There is nothing I feel I should lose from showing my real identity. If someone tries to take something away from me for liking guys then they better be ready for a fight. I'm not going to hide.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 21, 2013 9:29 PM GMT
    I am much more self confident about my face than about my body icon_rolleyes.gif
    (stupid reason, I know haha)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 21, 2013 10:10 PM GMT
    Isugemi saidI am much more self confident about my face than about my body icon_rolleyes.gif
    (stupid reason, I know haha)


    Ca aussi : pas envie de montrer mon gros pif a tout le monde ;-)
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    Jan 21, 2013 10:20 PM GMT
    minox said
    Isugemi saidI am much more self confident about my face than about my body icon_rolleyes.gif
    (stupid reason, I know haha)


    Ca aussi : pas envie de montrer mon gros pif a tout le monde ;-)


    Pourtant c'est ça qu'ils aiment les étrangers : notre gros nez icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 21, 2013 10:32 PM GMT
    Il parait que c'est lié à la taille de... la troisième jambe ;-)