After Coming Out...

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    Dec 23, 2008 4:32 AM GMT
    I've heard that a lot of you guys on have come out to their friends and families, while I feel that that's a great deal on your part, I don't understand what causes you to grow closer with your loved ones.


    Is it because you feel more freedom in terms of your attraction guys because you don't have to hide it anymore?


    Is because your love ones accepted you completely? If you were the same person before coming out how has your relationship changed now that you have?

    I'm just curious to know how come relationships really become closer after coming out because I know why the might strain after coming out.

    Thanks guys.
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    Dec 23, 2008 4:41 AM GMT
    Sit down and have a conversation with any straight person, with any family. Everyone talks about their girlfriends and boyfriends, their husbands and wives, their sons, daughters, nieces, and nephews. These relationships are one of the foundations of what it is to be human.

    If you are hiding what it is for you to be in a relationship, how can anyone get to know you? So of course after everyone knows things you get closer, provided there is no bigotry. The thing is, you can't be the same person you were before. You are a better, fuller person.

    Sure, it is not always smooth. But friends and family build expectations over the course of years. Toddlers who can barely walk already have prom night fantasies and grandchild names picked out for them by the future grandparent. Coming out there is a period of adjustment.

    But no matter how you slice it, while in the closet you are never fully take part in what it is to be human.
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    Dec 23, 2008 4:47 AM GMT
    MunchingZombie saidSit down and have a conversation with any straight person, with any family. Everyone talks about their girlfriends and boyfriends, their husbands and wives, their sons, daughters, nieces, and nephews. These relationships are one of the foundations of what it is to be human.

    If you are hiding what it is for you to be in a relationship, how can anyone get to know you? So of course after everyone knows things you get closer, provided there is no bigotry. The thing is, you can't be the same person you were before. You are a better, fuller person.

    Sure, it is not always smooth. But friends and family build expectations over the course of years. Toddlers who can barely walk already have prom night fantasies and grandchild names picked out for them by the future grandparent. Coming out there is a period of adjustment.

    But no matter how you slice it, while in the closet you are never fully take part in what it is to be human.
    This makes a lot of sense MunchingZombie. But its not like you can't be a full person unless if you don't come out right? at the end of the day its your business anyway right?
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    Dec 23, 2008 5:27 AM GMT
    tryingtolive saidThis makes a lot of sense MunchingZombie. But its not like you can't be a full person unless if you don't come out right? at the end of the day its your business anyway right?


    Were you a hermit, yes. But we are not just out internal selves. Humans are very social creatures. If you are blocking a fundamental part of yourself from human contact you are not engaged as a social animal.
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    Dec 23, 2008 6:18 AM GMT
    I think part of the "growing closer" feeling is the act of sharing something very personal; for many gay men, preferring men to women is the biggest secret in life. That you feel comfortable enough to share that with the people you love, or if you are uncomfortable, that you would reach out despite that discomfort, creates a certain emotional bond between people when the unknowing party is okay with something so important in your life.

  • pelotudo87

    Posts: 225

    Dec 23, 2008 6:27 AM GMT
    Surfsdown--

    Exactly. Just being able to open up to someone, to trust that person so much that you're willing to risk your deepest, darkest secret.

    I still remember the first person I came out--its burned into my memory. The room, him, how scared I was.

    But yeah--just that you're opening up so much to someone; all of the friends I've come out to have grown closer to me since.
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    Dec 23, 2008 6:28 AM GMT
    It is good to be honest and not live a lie.

    Heteronormativity...it surrounds us.

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    Dec 23, 2008 6:45 AM GMT
    you become closer because you no longer have to lie. I felt bad lying to my family. also, you lived a double life.
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    Dec 23, 2008 9:35 PM GMT
    The burden of constantly trying to hide who you are is lifted, and you are free to be more comfortably being yourself. Comfort breeds closeness, as far as relationships go.
  • Timbales

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    Dec 23, 2008 9:38 PM GMT
    I think if you want to be close to your family, you do need to come out and do it fairly quickly and while single. I don't think it's fair to show up one day in your 30's with your bf and say "Guess what? I'm gay! Here's my bf, treat him like a son."
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    Dec 23, 2008 9:50 PM GMT
    rezdylan saidThe burden of constantly trying to hide who you are is lifted, and you are free to be more comfortably being yourself. Comfort breeds closeness, as far as relationships go.



    I agree. And the burden becomes overwhelming enough that for some, like me, they had no choice but to come out, because they needed that burden to go away to have any sort of happiness.

    My family and friends knew something was wrong because they could see that I just wasn't happy. When I came out, they were happy because they saw that I was becoming genuinely comfortable in my own skin, and as a result, happier.
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    Dec 23, 2008 9:54 PM GMT
    That is so good to hear Thel. /jealous
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    Dec 23, 2008 10:06 PM GMT
    Being open and honest with yourself allows you to be the same with others. In turn, making your relationships with yourself and others stronger and better!!
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    Dec 23, 2008 11:43 PM GMT
    There's another side to this story that some of us older guys are familiar with. Yes all my closest oldest friends know. Yes, my family knows. Yes I am open and comfortable. But the reality is when I make new friends they wonder why I have never married. If they are gay savvy they may just figure it out and never bother to ask. I met a gay men one night in a straight bar. I knew he was gay from the beginning. After talking for a good two hours he asked me if I ever married. When I said no he asked me point blank if I am gay and I said yes without hesitation. In many cases however people wait for you to scream it out. I am fed up with coming out. I don't discuss my sexuality with my new friends and I don't feel much of a loss. My love life has been on the rocks. I still have a sex life but I'm not going to talk to them about that it is too personal. If they ask I tell them the truth. If they find out I don't give a shit. But if neither occurs I just leave it the way it is.

    BTW the only friends I know who have had a problem with my sexuality turned out to be gay or bi themselves.
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    Dec 24, 2008 1:11 AM GMT
    I think the one thing I'm afraid of is that if I choose to come out, there's no turning back. A few of you said that you felt happier because you can "truly be yourselves", but what if I end up feeling the same way about myself as I do now and nothing really changes to improve and/or strain my current relationships? what would be the point then? especially since I would putting my relationships at risk in the hopes of being accepted by others.
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    Dec 24, 2008 1:29 AM GMT
    Don't be fooled into thinking that "coming out" is an "all or nothing event." When I realized that I was attracted to the same sex, I told friends and family members who I felt were open to the concept of homosexuality and would support me. However, I did not tell everyone, and I do not mix my "public life" at work with my "privated life" at home/outside of work.

    I've met gays/lesbians who have an "in your face" attitude about being homosexual. But, what is right for one person is not alway right for someone else. Straight men/women don't have to discuss who they are having sex with to their families/friends and coworkers. Why should I?

    I think everyone must make that decision for themselves if it is right to come out or not and who they feel comfortable discussing their sex life with. The decision is different for everyone based on their culture, background, family dynamics, and other personal factors. It's your decision to make. Do what is right for you.
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    Dec 24, 2008 1:43 AM GMT
    tryingtolive saidI think the one thing I'm afraid of is that if I choose to come out, there's no turning back. A few of you said that you felt happier because you can "truly be yourselves", but what if I end up feeling the same way about myself as I do now and nothing really changes to improve and/or strain my current relationships? what would be the point then? especially since I would putting my relationships at risk in the hopes of being accepted by others.


    If someone breaks off a relationship with you because of your sexuality they were never friend nor family to you. They only ever loved you under the assumption you were heterosexual. If something like that is the difference then they are not a person worth knowing. Putting their bigotry before your friendship is a bad idea.

    It is like being friends with a blind racist.
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    Dec 24, 2008 1:46 AM GMT
    catfish5 saidDon't be fooled into thinking that "coming out" is an "all or nothing event." When I realized that I was attracted to the same sex, I told friends and family members who I felt were open to the concept of homosexuality and would support me. However, I did not tell everyone, and I do not mix my "public life" at work with my "privated life" at home/outside of work.

    I've met gays/lesbians who have an "in your face" attitude about being homosexual. But, what is right for one person is not alway right for someone else. Straight men/women don't have to discuss who they are having sex with to their families/friends and coworkers. Why should I?

    I think everyone must make that decision for themselves if it is right to come out or not and who they feel comfortable discussing their sex life with. The decision is different for everyone based on their culture, background, family dynamics, and other personal factors. It's your decision to make. Do what is right for you.
    Thanks catfish5, this concept seems to stick out a lot. The only problem is I don't know what's right for me or what would make me happiest.
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    Dec 24, 2008 1:50 AM GMT
    MunchingZombie said

    If someone breaks off a relationship with you because of your sexuality they were never friend nor family to you. They only ever loved you under the assumption you were heterosexual. If something like that is the difference then they are not a person worth knowing. Putting their bigotry before your friendship is a bad idea.



    It is like being friends with a blind racist.


    There's always the chance that very loving family members whom I'm close with may not feel the same way about me. Sure, they'll still love me and all, but I'll never know how they really feel when I'm not around them..unless you have a way for me to read minds and hearts lol
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    Dec 24, 2008 1:54 AM GMT
    Try starting slow. I actually came out to an old girfriend that I had dated for a year that I became best friends with after we broke up. She was a little shocked, but was very understanding at the same time. I think it explained some of the odd behavior I exhibited while we were dating. She helped me find all the gay bars in town and accompanied me on my first night out on the town (I was very nervous). From there, I told one person at a time (only those that I felt would react positively). Not everyone reacted as I had hoped, but taking it one step at a time seemed to make things a bit easier.
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    Dec 24, 2008 2:05 AM GMT
    It is possible to have relationships that are based upon half-truths, omissions, and even flat-out lies. How satisfying or how hurtful those relationships are depend upon how each and every one of us lives those circumstances.

    I would make a crappy crook because I would be wracked with guilt 24/7 for my crime. For the same reason I wasn't excellent at being in the closet.

    My experience of this "process" was a near total reboot of my life. The relationship that I enjoyed with my mother before she knew about my sexuality never fully recovered.

    It was only just before she died that we managed a thorough reconciliation. Reconciled implies balanced, and that is what our relationship became.

    She knew me for what she loved about me and what she did not love about me. I knew her for what I loved about her and what I did not love about her.

    In our equilibrium we could at least see each other and decide what our future relationship would be. The most important thing for me was knowing that she went to her grave knowing who her son really is.

    Yes, this was a one way act. I destroyed an illusion and that illusion could never be rebuilt. This destructive act required my accepting a very high level of responsibility for my own future and the future of my relationship with my family. For some of us the challenge of destroying illusions, accepting responsibility, and doing so with a degree of finality is a vertical challenge. I am glad I was able to do it (since I am a big wuss it is all the more surprising).

    My dad went into a waking coma. He just pretended I told him Washington had been nuked by reconstituted elements of Robert E. Lee's army. It took him some time to come out of shock and then it all made sense to him.

    By 2000 my partner and I went home to San Antonio Texas for Christmas. Typically, my father liked my partner better than me (he wasn't wrong, my partner is awesome).

    Don't lets belittle the importance of the act. When you destroy illusions then you choose to live in the light. When you pick up responsibility for your own life it is not possible to put it back down again. The change is irrevocable.

    Is light a fair trade for the comfort of shadow and illusion? Most of us seem to think it is. A few do not. Only you can really decide.
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    Dec 24, 2008 2:10 AM GMT
    tryingtolive saidThere's always the chance that very loving family members whom I'm close with may not feel the same way about me. Sure, they'll still love me and all, but I'll never know how they really feel when I'm not around them..unless you have a way for me to read minds and hearts lol


    There is no way to know with 100% certainty what people think of you deep down inside. There is no way of knowing how everyone will react when you tell them. But taking zero risk in life is no way to live.
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    Dec 24, 2008 2:12 AM GMT
    ursamajor said

    Don't lets belittle the importance of the act. When you destroy illusions then you choose to live in the light. When you pick up responsibility for your own life it is not possible to put it back down again. The change is irrevocable.

    Is light a fair trade for the comfort of shadow and illusion? Most of us seem to think it is. A few do not. Only you can really decide.


    Very inspiring words. Would have made me come out years ago, lol.
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    Dec 24, 2008 2:25 AM GMT
    tryingtolive> There's always the chance that very loving family members whom I'm close with may not feel the same way about me.

    Give them time. It's not like one day you said "I'm gay" and were completely ok with it and all. It took you time to adjust and warm up to yourself. Those who truly love you will find a way to continue loving you, too.


    ursamajor> my father liked my partner better than me (he wasn't wrong, my partner is awesome).

    Exactly. I'm also "jealous" of my partner's relationship with my dad. Hard to believe that 20 years ago my dad wanted to have me "fixed" (more a statement of ignorance on his part then, but you get the idea).


    Those who matter don't mind.
    Those who mind don't matter.
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    Dec 24, 2008 2:33 AM GMT
    Keep in mind that coming out to someone is a two-way street. If you are asking someone to accept you for who you really are (homosexual), you must also accept others for who they are, too. The person you come out to may be racist, bigoted, and anti-homosexual, but you can't expect them to change just because you came out to them. You must be open minded to the opinions of others if you want them to be open to your opinions.