I suck at being openly gay.

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    Mar 04, 2013 5:29 AM GMT
    Hey guys. As the title reads, I suck at being openly gay (I'm sure a few jokes can be made after that statement icon_cool.gif).

    Two years ago, I came out to close friends and family at 17, and they were all stunned. On one hand, I love that I don't wear my sexuality on my sleeve. On the other hand, I wish it were more apparent somehow, and that not everyone would assume I'm straight. I guess what I'm looking to find is a medium, where I don't necessarily hide my sexuality and I don't flaunt it or brag about it either.

    More specifically, here is what I've been having trouble with. I hate coming out to people. Making a formal "I'm gay" declaration is almost always awkward. Straight people don't say "I'm straight." Most people are able to just be. However, I tend to feel anxious, like I'm hiding something, when I'm around people whom I am not out to - especially straight guy around my age. I got invited to live in a house next year with several buddies at school, and I'm nervous because they don't know I'm gay - even though I'm pretty sure they'd treat and accept me the same. It sounds stupid, I know.

    If I'm psychoanalyzing myself, it seems I'm still not fully comfortable with my sexuality. I think as time passes, I'll feel more and more relaxed with who I am, but it ain't easy being a confused 19 year old. Now how do I accelerate this process?

    I'm curious to hear from you guys. Has it always been easy for you to just be who you are naturally, or did you struggle with it more?

    Cheers.
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    Mar 04, 2013 6:21 AM GMT
    TallNYguy saidHey guys. As the title reads, I suck at being openly gay (I'm sure a few jokes can be made after that statement icon_cool.gif).

    Two years ago, I came out to close friends and family at 17, and they were all stunned. On one hand, I love that I don't wear my sexuality on my sleeve. On the other hand, I wish it were more apparent somehow, and that not everyone would assume I'm straight. I guess what I'm looking to find is a medium, where I don't necessarily hide my sexuality and I don't flaunt it or brag about it either.

    More specifically, here is what I've been having trouble with. I hate coming out to people. Making a formal "I'm gay" declaration is almost always awkward. Straight people don't say "I'm straight." Most people are able to just be. However, I tend to feel anxious, like I'm hiding something, when I'm around people whom I am not out to - especially straight guy around my age. I got invited to live in a house next year with several buddies at school, and I'm nervous because they don't know I'm gay - even though I'm pretty sure they'd treat and accept me the same. It sounds stupid, I know.

    If I'm psychoanalyzing myself, it seems I'm still not fully comfortable with my sexuality. I think as time passes, I'll feel more and more relaxed with who I am, but it ain't easy being a confused 19 year old. Now how do I accelerate this process?

    I'm curious to hear from you guys. Has it always been easy for you to just be who you are naturally, or did you struggle with it more?

    Cheers.



    Sept 1990 and @25, thats when i came out, up until then, i was "straight" doing straight guy things, dating women, although only had sex with one, i also had a secret sex life with a high school male friend for 4yrs, after he ended it, i came out, he went on to marry, divorce and has 3 kids. I didnt know anything about the gay community or any gay people at the time i came out, i winged it i guess, i didnt have supportive friends so i was on my own. When i was in college, met this guy who turned out gay and took me to my first gay bar, the rest is history. If you decide to live with your buddies at school and you know for sure they will accept you, get it out of the way and tell them when you first arrive at school. At school, you can find other gay people. Its very much different than 20 years ago, unless you are in a conservative town and school, dont worry, search for the nearest drama class! icon_smile.gif
  • ytOwen

    Posts: 298

    Mar 04, 2013 6:24 AM GMT
    I find the need to be out varies. And there are many contributing factors that work into this need. At the end of the day there is always one more person you can come out too. Trust yourself.
  • ytOwen

    Posts: 298

    Mar 04, 2013 6:37 AM GMT
    Oh! And have fun!
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    Mar 04, 2013 7:08 AM GMT
    You don't have to say "I'm gay" to come out (which, as you say, tends to be awkward). There's a million other ways to come out; you just have to recognize the opportunity and out yourself. If you do it at the right time to the right people, it shouldn't be awkward at all.

    Also, you should be glad that you are considered "straight-acting" rather than obviously gay. Since masculinity is generally held to be desirable over femininity, you should appreciate that privilege that many others gays don't get to enjoy.
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    Mar 04, 2013 7:29 AM GMT
    meh, femininity is learned. Any chill masc bro can develop a gay lifp if they hang out with the "right" crowd.
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    Mar 04, 2013 7:29 AM GMT
    wear a tshirt that says "im gay"
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    Mar 04, 2013 10:58 AM GMT
    yourname2000 saidFind (and practice) other ways to say it that feel/sound more natural to you. And get over your own stigma about being gay.
    The question is no more stressful to me than someone asking me what I do for a living. Most people are just making small talk....want to talk about their partners, what they did on the weekend, blah blah blah. So, if that's where the convo turns, act natural and just talk about what you did "I went to a movie with a guy"..."I went dancing at [gay club]". If they ask outright: "do you have a girlfriend", what works for me is "I'm into guys (and actually no, at the moment)."
    If you make it weird, it will feel weird, and they're be more reacting to that weirdness than the information you're giving them....because being gay sure as hell isn't weird....not in 2013, and certainly not in NYC.
    agreed lol, i went into the godiva chocolate store the day before valentine's and was picking out chocolates and when the young woman working was pointing out different flavours i was like "ooo, he likes [insert flavour here]" and she didn't even bat an eyelash at it
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    Mar 04, 2013 11:46 AM GMT
    yourname2000 saidFind (and practice) other ways to say it that feel/sound more natural to you. And get over your own stigma about being gay.

    The question is no more stressful to me than someone asking me what I do for a living. Most people are just making small talk....want to talk about their partners, what they did on the weekend, blah blah blah. So, if that's where the convo turns, act natural and just talk about what you did "I went to a movie with a guy"..."I went dancing at [gay club]". If they ask outright: "do you have a girlfriend", what works for me is "I'm into guys (and actually no, at the moment)."

    If you make it weird, it will feel weird, and they'll be more reacting to that weirdness than the information you're giving them....because being gay sure as hell isn't weird....not in 2013, and certainly not in NYC.


    This...
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    Mar 04, 2013 1:34 PM GMT
    TallNYguy said
    I'm curious to hear from you guys. Has it always been easy for you to just be who you are naturally, or did you struggle with it more?

    Very easy, once I came out of denial, having been previously unable to even believe I was gay. But that's not the same case you present.

    But once out I just acted myself in my daily routine. If people figure out I'm gay or not I really don't care. Guys here have made the appropriate analogy with straight people, who don't need to mention their orientation in ordinary situations, but neither do they conceal it. It's simply not relevant in most routine dealings with others. Don't confuse being openly gay with being flamingly gay.

    But among the non-routine situations are things like gay pride events, where I do "wear my colors". And maybe attending things like other community events will help you "accelerate" becoming more "fully comfortable" with who you are.

    You mention another special circumstance of living with straight roommates soon, and that may be a time to simply say to them that you're gay. Especially if you anticipate bringing a date back to the place with you at some point. A lot depends on the living arrangements and the guys themselves, something I don't know about. But I could imagine you doing that.
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    Mar 04, 2013 2:09 PM GMT
    First of all, congrats on being out and comfortable enough with yourself to come out to your family and friends.
    Telling someone I'm gay' is not very elegant and asks for a reaction ( hence so many responses in the 'are you coming on to me' vein) try to fit it into conversations when your buds talk about a girl, you could say that you'd do her boyfriend/brother. Ask them what they'd like to do on a first date, because you are meeting this hot guy and need their advice.

    If you plan on moving in with some friends of yours, I'd tell them in advance. Not that I foresee any problems, but living with someone is way more intimate than hanging out with them. So, say something in the vein of 'is it ok if I bring home a different guy every night of the week? Will you freak out if you accidentally see my giant dildo in the bathroom? I'd love to go shoe shopping with your girlfriends.
    Then the issue isn't about you being gay anymore and some humor goes a long way.
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    Mar 04, 2013 2:10 PM GMT
    "Coming out" is a never-ending process. You'll always meet new people and come out to them. It gets less awkward over time.

    Some people have a naturally feminine demeanor, so that makes it easier for them to come out to new people. For those of us who don't have many fem characteristics, it's always going to be more difficult to come out to new people...mostly because they seldom believe you the first time you tell them.

    As you become more comfortable with yourself, you'll become more comfortable coming out to new people and going through the "yes I'm really gay" speech.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Mar 04, 2013 2:15 PM GMT
    McQueen said
    yourname2000 saidFind (and practice) other ways to say it that feel/sound more natural to you. And get over your own stigma about being gay.
    The question is no more stressful to me than someone asking me what I do for a living. Most people are just making small talk....want to talk about their partners, what they did on the weekend, blah blah blah. So, if that's where the convo turns, act natural and just talk about what you did "I went to a movie with a guy"..."I went dancing at [gay club]". If they ask outright: "do you have a girlfriend", what works for me is "I'm into guys (and actually no, at the moment)."
    If you make it weird, it will feel weird, and they're be more reacting to that weirdness than the information you're giving them....because being gay sure as hell isn't weird....not in 2013, and certainly not in NYC.
    agreed lol, i went into the godiva chocolate store the day before valentine's and was picking out chocolates and when the young woman working was pointing out different flavours i was like "ooo, he likes [insert flavour here]" and she didn't even bat an eyelash at it


    That's cuz you were probably like, "Ooooh, gorl, I'm getting my man some hot chocolate, and I ain't talkin bout the beverage, girl, mmmm hmmm.." *whips hair back and forth.
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    Mar 04, 2013 2:25 PM GMT
    Being out is easier than coming out.
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    Mar 04, 2013 2:26 PM GMT
    theantijock saidBeing out is easier than coming out.

    +1
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    Mar 04, 2013 2:37 PM GMT
    theantijock saidBeing out is easier than coming out.

    Agreed. But coming out can be so much easier, if it is not treated as an ISSUE/problem. Don't sit people down with, "there is something I have to tell you". (Unless you got her pregnant and she's picking out china patterns), but fit it into natural conversations.
  • wellwell

    Posts: 2265

    Mar 04, 2013 3:35 PM GMT
    Don't spend a moment in:


    When she asks you out say " You're cute I'll bet your younger brother is really hot too! Can he tag along"?

    When he asks "do you like the rack on that chick over there...?" say " yes, but I'm partial to the buffed-out furry ones . . ."

    When Mom says " who'z this new girl you're seeing?" say, as you're going out the door, " well, this time Mom, it's not a girl . . .

    etc. . . .

    PS I wish you lived in Albuquerque.
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    Mar 04, 2013 3:45 PM GMT
    I came out when I was 18. In a 7 hour car ride w/ my parents. Not the most comfortable ride and not the wisest of choices either lol. At that age I sometimes felt in order to get it out you just need to take the plunge.

    Given that that is almost 10 years behind me now, I realize people really don't care as much as you think they do. I'm lucky enough to have never had a bad reaction or have been harassed or anything like that. When I started at my job a year ago, I met what is now my close group of friends. I don't make it a point to run around shouting out I like dudes and whatnot. I've been told i'm the guy you 'debate about' aren't really sure, because I like sports, exercising, will talk about girls- I guess I don't fit the 'stereotype' of the gay populous. I never make it a point to shove it in people's faces and if the time comes up with i mention 'my ex was an ass, he...' and there you go. Cats out of the bag. I'll just slip it in convo like no big deal or if people just ask or want to double check I just say Yup...and move on to the next conversation.

    I don't expect people to wear their sexuality on their shirts or shove it people's faces. Me being gay is just a part of me, it doesn't define me as a whole...so when someone wants to get to know me, there's a lot of things I bring up and gay isn't always at the top of the list.

    If you're nervous about living with these guys, being there and in the closet legit wont help your situation- you'll be walking on eggshells all the time. I'd say just mention it to one- if you don't want to have the conversation with all of them, and let it run through the grape vine. If they treat you differently, then they aren't really your friends after all, and the living situation wasn't meant to be.

    Best of luck though, buddy!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 04, 2013 3:51 PM GMT
    Having a BF is the easiest way to live gay.

    P.S. Hiking with a club is as much as a sport as most .

    P.S.S. Age matters as does almost everything else.
  • wellwell

    Posts: 2265

    Mar 04, 2013 3:52 PM GMT
    ^ ^ ^ Like this guy said so aptly: DON'T make a big deal out of it; because, ppl do-not care as much as you may think.
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    Mar 04, 2013 3:56 PM GMT
    bhp91126 said
    theantijock saidBeing out is easier than coming out.

    Agreed. But coming out can be so much easier, if it is not treated as an ISSUE/problem. Don't sit people down with, "there is something I have to tell you". (Unless you got her pregnant and she's picking out china patterns), but fit it into natural conversations.


    Absolulely. But as I mentioned elsewhere recently, sometimes they just don't get it. This can often be a dense world, not always making it easy to be fluid in our conversations. It's more like running a river and every so often yer gonna crash into a rock.

    And it's not just them on this, it's all of us. Often we only see what we want to see. Just last night I'm heading down the aisle for the teriyaki sauce when I feel my arm get hit purposely. I hadn't even seen the person, never mind that he was my freakin' neighbor. And then he says, I just saw you leave your house. Didn't you see me waving to you? I had to apologize as I completely did not see him there. Nor did I even see a person in the shopping aisle. All I saw was teriyaki.

    As Paul said, it is a continuous process. Best to handle it as you say when possible but sometimes you just have to throw it in their face.
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Mar 04, 2013 3:57 PM GMT
    Lots of good advice and suggestions in this thread.

    When I was your age, so VERY long ago, it felt much more difficult to come to terms with being gay within one's self. Then the whole 'coming out' thing was a whole other issue.

    For me, at least (at age 19/20 in college in Chicago, 1966,67) I was helped by this soccer player I had a bad crush on (straight) who introduced me to the first openly gay man (graduate student, late 20s) I'd ever met. First off, I was surprised that my crush even *knew* another gay guy, let alone was friends with him. Second, though, the gay man turned out to be very helpful. I wasn't attracted to him at all but he was very friendly and smart and sort of took me under his wing and helped me understand a lot of things about which I was totally clueless. He introduced me to other gay friends and so on.

    What I'm getting at is having other gay friends *can* be a help *if* they are truly friends and compassionate toward what you're working through. Over time (can take years) it becomes an almost 'non issue'. I seldom tell people I'm gay (and when I do it is usually women who are showing some interest in me, lol!). And, as others have said, I usually don't just say it like that. I just drop hints or clues, like talking about having outlived two partners, David and Thomas, etc.

    Don't worry. You're doing just fine and it'll all get easier and better as you get more comfortable with being yourself.

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    Mar 04, 2013 3:59 PM GMT
    I am the same way! It just feels awkward for me. I'm going to be reading the responses to see what people say.
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    Mar 04, 2013 4:04 PM GMT
    No grande announcement is required. Learn to be comfortable with yourself and the rest will follow easily. Yesterday I went the home of a woman who fosters Great Danes and I brought my boyfriend, partner, husband, (whatever you want to call him) along with me. We live together and he will also have to get along with and approve the dog. We got to the house, we introduced ourselves (no need to say this is my boyfriend, lover, husband), and began to talk about the dog, our deceased Dane, our life in the French Quarter in New Orleans. Was there any mention of our homosexuality? No. Was there any need to mention it? No. Was it obvious we were? Maybe; maybe not.

    The point is BE YOURSELF. There is no need to formally announce your orientation to everyone you meet. The savy will pick up on it. You will also be surprised most people couldn't care less about your personal life.

    That all said, living arrangements are entirely different. Since you will be sharing a home with straight guys, who I expect will be entertaining females in their rooms, you have every right to entertain whoever you want in your room. Since that happens to be males I believe you need to tell your housemates in the off chance one or two have issues with it so that they can make other living arrangements.

    I can't stress this point enough: THE ONLY WAY FOR YOU TO BE GAY IS THE WAY YOU CHOOSE FOR YOURSELF.
  • Dominican_Gen...

    Posts: 379

    Mar 04, 2013 4:08 PM GMT
    Your personal safety won't be compromised for being openly gay? Since you live in NYC I assume it won't. Then buy a rainbow keychain for the keys you bring with you everywhere. Or put a rainbow sticker on your car. Problem solved.