...and suddenly you are gay?????

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    Oct 07, 2008 6:42 AM GMT
    Ive heard of some stories about straight couples that have been together for more than 20 years and one day the husband leaves the woman for a man, leaving his family and affecting his children psychologically even if didnt mean to.

    My question is...is this really possible? Is it possible that they realize they like guys when they were more than 40 years old?

    My other question is...if they knew they were gay, why did they wait that long to finish the relationship?
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    Oct 07, 2008 6:45 AM GMT
    social and family expectations are hard to turn away. surely, as a latino, you know that? if you efficiently rank 1-10 how important traits are to you in potential boyfriends, then you might also take the time to analyze how someone else might have ranked their own priorities.
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    Oct 07, 2008 7:38 AM GMT
    my boss, a ex-communicated mormon, was married for years, but knew he was gay the entire time. they had a daughter, etc. it was the church that forced him to live the life THEY wanted him to. when it all got to be too much for him emotionally, he got divorced and was kicked out of the church. religion often plays a HUGE role in these situations. it's not as though someone wakes up one day and realizes they're gay. they reach a point in their life when they can no longer live the lie - and that breaking point is different for everyone.
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    Oct 07, 2008 12:07 PM GMT
    This is one I can relate to very well since I'm only now poking my head out of the closet.

    When I got married it wasn't that I didn't know that I had an interest in men, the fact that I'd never had a girlfriend probably made most people suspect it anyway, but it seemed the right thing to do at the time.

    I don't regret having done it, though I do wonder how things would have turned out had I taken a different path. But when I did it, I made a commitment, and I don't break promises like that easily, in fact I'm still not prepared to do so.

    But then I'm fortunate in not having the pressures of children, and we shifted into an open relationship so that my wife could have the sex that she wanted and that I wasn't giving her.

    We both have partners outside now, so we are comfortable with the base of what we have. Is it ideal? No, of course not. My partner outside of the marriage is also married and with kids. They also are not prepared to break the marriage just because it didn't turn out quite how they expected.

    So to answer your question, I'd guess that most people do realise that they have other feelings for men but there are reasons that they made choices when they were younger, and it's not easy just to walk away. Well I guess that there are people who can, but when that mid life crisis hits and you start to yearn for when you were younger, suddenly thoughts, desires and feelings that you'd hidden or got buried under the pressure of making a living have a way of coming out.
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    Oct 07, 2008 12:43 PM GMT
    I came out in my 40s very suddenly, truly believing before then that I was straight. I knew guys had always excited me and women didn't, but I had forced myself to start dating women for the first time at age 26 to meet expectations of family, my Army career, and society in general.

    My reasons for not wanting to believe I was gay were rooted in my earliest stereotypical images I'd formed of gays, as laughable, pathetic losers that you called queers, homos & fags. And once my Army career started I couldn't afford to be gay.

    Plus those stereotypes, of effeminate cross-dressers who spoke with a lisp, truly didn't apply to me, so I latched onto that as my "proof" to myself that I wasn't gay. I failed the gay "test" of traits that I, and many others even today, thought were a standard component of all gay men.

    But a lot of compartmentalized denial was also going on, that I could be secretly jerking off to Playgirl magazines one moment, and leading soldiers the next, completely convinced that I was straight. I'd rationalize that my interest in those Playgirl mags was just one of those "kinky" behavior things that people began to talk about and accept in the 1960s.

    My denial mechanism began to crumble shortly after I retired from the Army, when I met gay men who didn't fit the stereotype. As masculine & butch as I was, happy & successful in their lives, the lines I thought had divided us were disappearing. And instead, I was finding more in common with gays, until one day I finally realized that I was them, and they were me.

    So I did suddenly "become" gay, but only in the sense of my realization, because I really always was gay. And I've never been happier since coming out to myself.





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    Oct 07, 2008 1:49 PM GMT
    Thanks for sharing your stories JoeSM and Red Vespa. I think they are important for the younger crowd to read and understand the difficulty of the generation that came before them.
  • twentyfourhou...

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    Oct 07, 2008 1:56 PM GMT
    Same here.
    Thank you Joe SM and Red Vespa for sharing your experience with the group.
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    Oct 07, 2008 2:08 PM GMT
    Red Vespa puts it so much better than me, and I empathise completely with how he has written it. I grew up in the backwoods where I didn't even hear the term gay until I was 12, there certainly wasn't anyone I knew that was gay even by reputation.

    Actually I lie, my fathers neighbour was as queer as they come, but we were kept away from him in case it was catching (little did they know!) and since he was in his sixties at the time it wasn't likely that I'd ever have learnt anything from him.

    But by the time I did hear the term gay I too was already involved in the military community. I still was when I got married now that I think about it, so peer pressure was enormous and I certainly didn't identify with the stereotype image of the gay even if I wasn't attracted to women.

    I didn't have any pressing need to 'come out'. I wasn't angry with the world and I didn't have anything to prove. I guess I just let it all slip by me.

    I remember too hearing a story of rubber and bondage at school and being immensely turned on by it, but it was being told in the context of being an evil perversion, so I suppressed that too. Now there is something else that came out once I gave it chance, though I'm not actually into rubber.
  • CuriousJockAZ

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    Oct 07, 2008 2:10 PM GMT
    I think a lot of it has to do with the actual exposure one has to the gay world, or just gays in general. I can only speak for myself, growing up in Colorado Springs, CO -- yes, home of "Focus on the Family" (an extremely christian right wing organization that I do NOT agree with) -- that when I suspected within myself that I might be gay, I suppressed the feelings and prayed with all my heart that these feelings, urges, or attractions would go away because in my own mind my "image" of what a gay person looked like was effeminate hairdressers or dirty old men in leather. Even during college at Arizona State University I really had no exposure to anyone who was gay, at least not that I knew of, unless I went to get my haircut, or perhaps saw something on the news regarding a gay pride parade or something. It wasn't until I moved to Los Angeles, and found myself living in West Hollywood (quite by accident...or maybe it wasn't...lol), the center of the gay universe (so it seemed), that I actually saw for myself that there were other guys that looked and acted like me who were gay. Just normal guys who were not necessarily flamboyant or obvious. It was only then that I was able to face these feelings and come to terms with them. So, perhaps, some of these men who go through much of their early adult life feeling like some sort of freak or something just feel this way because they haven't met a lot of men like themselves, so they are just not able to come to terms with this because they don't fit the "stereotype" that society sort of shows of the gay world. Thankfully, it is probably far easier now than it was 25 years ago as we have come a long way towards acceptance of gays.
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    Oct 07, 2008 2:20 PM GMT
    And thank you, krush & twentyfourhourslater. It's true, krush, I do think older generations of gay men had it more difficult. And even though I'm a great fan of my own times, now becoming history, and can be quick to criticize the young, I do envy them the more liberated & realistic view they have of being GLBT.

    Yet I gotta tell ya, I do still run into young people growing up as ignorant about issues of sexual orientation as I once did. I've mostly found it when I lived in isolated rural areas, where even the influence of television can be limited, either by reception or parental control. And where small population numbers mean far fewer examples of diversity in the community.

    So for those few also, I'd be gratified if stories like mine and JoeSm's struck a cord, even in these times. I've learned that happiness can come equally to both the straight and the gay, but that unhappiness comes when you're living the one you really aren't.
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    Oct 07, 2008 2:29 PM GMT
    I think for most people they are aware of it but supress it because of culture/religion. There are some people though who have sexual fluidity and do change from straight to gay, or gay to straight over time. It is a new field being studied but we evolve as people and some people really do change their sexual appetite over time, whether these people were always bisexual and now have a preference one way or another is a different story. It is interesting though.
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    Oct 07, 2008 2:43 PM GMT
    hippie4lyfe saidI think for most people they are aware of it but supress it because of culture/religion. There are some people though who have sexual fluidity and do change from straight to gay, or gay to straight over time. It is a new field being studied but we evolve as people and some people really do change their sexual appetite over time, whether these people were always bisexual and now have a preference one way or another is a different story. It is interesting though.



    wow, you mean soon I might be 100% straight?
    And here I thought it was just an issue with the water in the Mid-West.
    I had heard it was polluted with fairy-dust and if one consumes too much of it you could develop homosexual tendancies. icon_eek.gif

    LOL

    Nah, I have to agree with the over 35 respondants. Growing up gay back in the day was HIGHLY unacceptable and reprehensible so most followed the "straight and narrow" and are probably, now certainly older and more established in life and with accepting childern have decided to face the truth instead of hide and that is all that this is about.
    Not some, oh I woke up today and thought I'll have green tea instead of coffee from now on...
    and now about a change in my sexual tastes, hmmm... icon_wink.gif
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    Oct 07, 2008 2:53 PM GMT
    bodywork you may become straight or bisexual over time. Sexual Fluidity is real and while most people do retain the same sexual orientation over time there are some people who have legitimate experiences of going from straight to gay or gay to straight and we shouldn't discount their stories.

    Oh and I am not reffering to the "ex-gay" crap that is a sham, I am talking about some ppl who do change their orientation not because they wanted to but because it simply just happens.
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    Oct 07, 2008 2:58 PM GMT
    Theoretically, shouldn't half of the population be gay and the other half be straight? This Kingsley bullsh*t about 1 in 10 is only based off the fact that it is 1 in 10 who are actually out.

    We can't forget how society has imposed upon on us the heavy-on-the-soul burden of procreation. We are bred (and it has been this way since the beginning) knowing that having children is your innate responsibility to our race being gay or lesbian doesn't fit into that picture since the two committed lovers cannot naturally conceive their biological child.

    It isn't that these people aren't gay, weren't gay, or won't be. It is that they never came out. For a lot of people, fear of social ostracization as well as isolation from family is enough to hide ones sexual preference.

    We always talk about how we knew we were gay from X years old, but the fact is that a lot of us are scared to admit it. I was an example of that. I tried anything and everything to make sure that I would never be gay all through high school and undergrad. The I finally woke up one day and just went, enough.

    So again, it seems very possible to just, as you say, "realize they like guys when they were more than 40 years old." It may not be the first attraction, but it is their first admission and full acceptance.

    Also, protip: you drive people further into the "closet" when you hound them to come out.
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    Oct 07, 2008 3:01 PM GMT
    Also, bisexuality, for me, is just a curious time for people. If people are born gay or straight then they would naturally have an inclination towards one sex more than another.

    Don't get me wrong, I believe in full sexual expression with no barrier based on gender; but humans do have a tendency to want to be with one more than the other and to me. Just because you sleep with a man and a woman doesn't make you bisexual, it makes you free in your choices of sexual partners.
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    Oct 07, 2008 3:12 PM GMT
    hippie4lyfe saidbodywork you may become straight or bisexual over time. Sexual Fluidity is real and while most people do retain the same sexual orientation over time there are some people who have legitimate experiences of going from straight to gay or gay to straight and we shouldn't discount their stories.

    Oh and I am not reffering to the "ex-gay" crap that is a sham, I am talking about some ppl who do change their orientation not because they wanted to but because it simply just happens.


    While my response was more tongue-in-cheek...
    I have to say, I have never heard of this "change" as true, outside of simple "deciding" homosexuality is repugnant and therefore I must change/adapt.
    I certainly have not researched this "phenomenon but have never heard of anyone's sexuality being 100% straight (unwaveringly so) and then one day was 5-99.99999999% more gay later in life - or vice/versa.

    Interesting.

    Of course with that, then you are allowing that a person's sexuality can be changed/adjusted either chemically/hormonally/psychologically all one has to do is scientifically tap in and alter the behavior.

    Scary stuff.

    Finally, I will agree/argue that sexual orientation has a lot to do with ones mixture off all the above ingredients but that it is more similar to that which defines hair/eye/skin color and is more intrinsic than simplistic.

    However, denial is a strong emotion and that is what drove most, who "suddenly" came out - they may intially state it was a "new awakening" to save face for the spouse, but after the divorce most say they struggled with it throughout their life.

    Also, you don't hear about it as much, but married women are poppin up as lesbians too. Course there is this whole Lindsey Lohan event too.
    Interesting stuff "hip" icon_wink.gif
  • CuriousJockAZ

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    Oct 07, 2008 3:18 PM GMT
    hippie4lyfe saidbodywork you may become straight or bisexual over time. Sexual Fluidity is real and while most people do retain the same sexual orientation over time there are some people who have legitimate experiences of going from straight to gay or gay to straight and we shouldn't discount their stories.



    I know for a fact that this is true because I have a very dear friend who was gay up until he was around 30. He said he had never had a heterosexual experience, and actually didn't know if he was attracted to women sexually or not until he met his current wife -- they have been married now 18 years and have 3 kids. He liked having sex with men, but always felt that there was something lacking. When he met his wife, she knew all about him, and they started out as friends. However, over time they started dating and he told me it took a long time before they did anything sexually because he said he was afraid that he wouldn't know what to do, or that he wouldn't be into it. He finally just came out and expressed his fears to her because it started to become awkward that they were spending so much time together but it hadn't gotten physical. She said to him "How do you know you won't enjoy it, or know what to do, unless you try it?". He said she was amazing, totally patient, and helped him and he said that the first time they had sex was the most amazing experience of his life. He couldn't believe how much he loved it, and loved her, and they got engaged a week later. Now, granted, this is surely the exception, NOT the norm, but perhaps a lot of gay guys have gone the gay route, like my friend, because they never really met the right woman or had any heterosexual experience. The same could hold true the other way around...a guy thinks he's straight and then all of a sudden has a gay experience and it awakens the homosexuality in him.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Oct 07, 2008 3:19 PM GMT
    "Theoretically, shouldn't half of the population be gay and the other half be straight?"

    Based on what theory? That it's completely random and there are two outcomes? By that "logic", I have a 50% chance of winning the lottery next time I buy a ticket. I mean, either I win or I lose, and it's totally random what numbers come up...

    Of course there will be some people in the closet who don't admit their orientation, or possibly don't recognize it themselves. But I'd be surprised if more than 5-10% of the population had substantial homosexual tendencies. We are a minority; there's nothing wrong with that, and no reason to delude ourselves into thinking we're not.
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    Oct 07, 2008 3:22 PM GMT
    I woke up this morning and had pussy!!


    ...well it was more of an ass chewing of a female employee who needs to step it up and step out. But for a moment I was straight!

    ...well "straight to the point", I should say, not so much in my sexuality.


    oh damn, I'm so confused icon_eek.gif (does that make me Bi??) icon_biggrin.gif
  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Oct 07, 2008 3:25 PM GMT
    Sexual desires are not everything. Why they entered those relationships in the first place did have a lot to do with a denial or confusion about their sexuality; things like social pressures to conform were more dominant.

    Once they are in a relationship the commitment to that relationship and whatever responsibilities it entails are things that, in those cases, tend to become more important at the time. If they have children together the commitment to that is even greater still.

    I have read many cases of couples where a closeted gay man marries a woman, has kids, and eventually comes to terms with his sexuality after a few (or many) years in the relationship. Not all of them are the same. Usually the years of repression has great negative consequences, and sometimes the wife feels a betrayal and things get very ugly. Not always though. Keep in mind that although the husband has always had sexual attractions towards other men it does not mean that he does not have a very meaningful emotional attachment and commitment to his wife, and especially his kids. In some cases the husband and wife deal with things very amicably. They decide to continue living together until the kids are 18ish and even after the husband moves out he remains good friends with his ex wife and acts like a father towards his kids, putting that ahead of any boyfriends he may have.
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    Oct 07, 2008 10:40 PM GMT
    MSUBioNerd said
    Based on what theory?

    That if the two are normal, random outcomes it should be even distributed ; if not you create normalcy through shear dominance. Aka X is normal than Y because more people are it. Societal deemed norms may not be logical but we believe in them everyday.

    Also, notice the question and the end of my previous post in question.
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    Oct 07, 2008 10:58 PM GMT
    Curious, Red and Joe, THANK YOU FOR SHARING your stories!!! When I was ready to come out at the age of 26, I thought I was a LATE bloomer!! However to those who are in the situations that you are in, for whatever reasons, I commend you on handling it the best way you believe is for you. It's GOTTA be difficult, exhausting and draining to live like that; HELL it was exhausting just staying in the closet!
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    Oct 07, 2008 11:18 PM GMT
    Hey 1972, we're twins. I came out at 26, too. It woulda happened sooner, I think, but...well, that part gets complicated, and I wanna go home and grab some dinner now.
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    Oct 08, 2008 1:36 AM GMT
    Red_Vespa said And I've never been happier since coming out to myself.

    This is always the best part of any story. Hearing how happy people are with who they are. Just made my night.
  • Delivis

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    Oct 08, 2008 1:55 AM GMT
    Pinny saidTheoretically, shouldn't half of the population be gay and the other half be straight? This Kingsley bullsh*t about 1 in 10 is only based off the fact that it is 1 in 10 who are actually out.



    No....total nonsense. Ignoring the fact that sexuality is more of a spectrum than an either/or deal for the moment...how many traits can you name that have a pure 50/50 split in the human species? The vast, vast majority of traits are not 50/50.