I Turned 19 Yesterday! Sorta...

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    Mar 18, 2014 2:21 PM GMT
    March 17th, St. Patrick's Day, is the same day I publicly came out as gay, 19 years ago in 1995. Less than 24 hours after I realized I was gay. No small event, that night I attended an annual gay gala with well over 1000 other gay guys. I haven't looked back nor regretted it since.

    Prior to that I honestly thought I was straight. Not in the closet (which means you know but keep it hidden from others), but rather in total deep denial & darkness, unable to even form the thought of myself as gay.

    The main reason for that denial is dated gay stereotypes from the 1950s & 60s that I didn't fit. Things like being a sissy, weak, wanting to wear women's clothing & makeup, talking with a lisp, etc, all behaviors I didn't have. Once I realized those stereotypes I had learned in my youth were false, that men like me could also be gay, my denial mechanism crumbled almost instantly. I guess I was finally ready for it.

    Anyway, it's been a wonderful 19 years. My "transition" was joyous, few rough spots along the way. Some sad moments, the death of my first partner chief among them, and some BFs whose parting upset me, but what straights don't have similar experiences?

    I've never been happier, which is why I celebrate this second "birthday" each year. I again have a loving partner & husband, super friends, live in a wonderfully accepting community where we can be out and unafraid. I hope your own gay life is as happy, or if not to know that it can be. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Mar 19, 2014 2:44 AM GMT
    Congrats. A year after I was born.

    God, I miss being 19.
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    Mar 19, 2014 10:46 AM GMT
    ART_DECO saidMarch 17th, St. Patrick's Day, is the same day I publicly came out as gay, 19 years ago in 1995. Less than 24 hours after I realized I was gay. No small event, that night I attended an annual gay gala with well over 1000 other gay guys. I haven't looked back nor regretted it since.

    Prior to that I honestly thought I was straight. Not in the closet (which means you know but keep it hidden from others), but rather in total deep denial & darkness, unable to even form the thought of myself as gay.

    The main reason for that denial is dated gay stereotypes from the 1950s & 60s that I didn't fit. Things like being a sissy, weak, wanting to wear women's clothing & makeup, talking with a lisp, etc, all behaviors I didn't have. Once I learned those stereotypes I learned in my youth were false, that men like me could also be gay, my denial mechanism crumbled almost instantly. I guess I was finally ready for it.

    Anyway, it's been a wonderful 19 years. My "transition" was joyous, few rough spots along the way. Some sad moments, the death of my first partner chief among them, and some BFs whose parting upset me, but what straights don't have similar experiences?

    I've never been happier, which is why I celebrate this second "birthday" each year. I again have a loving partner & husband, super friends, live in a wonderfully accepting community where we can be out and unafraid. I hope your own gay life is as happy, or if not to know that it can be. icon_biggrin.gif


    Congratulations. But are you judging a situation simply because it went favorably? I mean, surely you have met people who were similar to yourself, or have done more good than you have, or even engaged in most heinous of crimes possible, who had things work out for them, or never work for them at all.
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    Mar 19, 2014 11:42 AM GMT
    Unnamed5 said
    Congratulations. But are you judging a situation simply because it went favorably? I mean, surely you have met people who were similar to yourself, or have done more good than you have, or even engaged in most heinous of crimes possible, who had things work out for them, or never work for them at all.

    Not sure I understand your point. If things had never gone favorably and not worked for me at all then I don't see on what basis coming out would have made me happy.

    I'm much happier after coming out than I was before coming out. Isn't that a valid basis on which to judge this situation? The classic "before and after"? Because I do think happiness is a useful criteria for evaluating personal success and good decisions. Versus doing things that make me miserable.

    Plus I've found new ways to help more people than I helped previously, through gay-related charities, and also by sharing my successful coming out experiences with others who have found it difficult for themselves. I never had that kind of people focus before, part of a new outgoing sociability I acquired when I entered the gay world.

    Oh, and did I mention that I experienced intense love for the first time in my life? After having merely done an imitation of it before, mistaking affection for deep romantic love. Once I began to share my life with a gay partner I realized what I had been missing, what everybody was really talking about regarding love & devotion.

    So that I have lots of happy reasons to celebrate March 17th each year. It marks when my second and better life began. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Mar 19, 2014 8:58 PM GMT
    ART_DECO said
    Unnamed5 said
    Congratulations. But are you judging a situation simply because it went favorably? I mean, surely you have met people who were similar to yourself, or have done more good than you have, or even engaged in most heinous of crimes possible, who had things work out for them, or never work for them at all.

    Not sure I understand your point. If things had never gone favorably and not worked for me at all then I don't see on what basis coming out would have made me happy.

    I'm much happier after coming out than I was before coming out. Isn't that a valid basis on which to judge this situation? The classic "before and after"? Because I do think happiness is a useful criteria for evaluating personal success and good decisions. Versus doing things that make me miserable.

    Plus I've found new ways to help more people than I helped previously, through gay-related charities, and also by sharing my successful coming out experiences with others who have found it difficult for themselves. I never had that kind of people focus before, part of a new outgoing sociability I acquired when I entered the gay world.

    Oh, and did I mention that I experienced intense love for the first time in my life? After having merely done an imitation of it before, mistaking affection for deep romantic love. Once I began to share my life with a gay partner I realized what I had been missing, what everybody was really talking about regarding love & devotion.

    So that I have lots of happy reasons to celebrate March 17th each year. It marks when my second and better life began. icon_biggrin.gif


    I'm actually confused myself when reading my own words, but the following will suffice for now:

    But let's say you never found someone that introduced you to the idea that a person could be gay and "masculine" and you entered the so-called gay community with no pretense of being able to find love, marriage or social acceptance. Would you want to be gay then? I mean, many gay men simply entered the gay community just to satisfy momentary or otherwise irrational sexual impulses, and became frustrated with gay sex over time as they could never figure out what they wanted out of being gay or how to be happy while being gay.

    In the history of anything, rarely do results ever match desire, and when they do, chance may play a far greater role in anyone's happiness than the effort anyone puts into it. While your happiness was indeed predicated on a process that began when you came out, could the same ever be true for everyone else who would do the same? And when you helped people come out or deal with being gay, was it with the idea that they can expect happiness with doing that? So to reiterate a question somewhat, can you ever be happy if whatever makes you happy, was never met? Can you be happy if your circumstances never turned out well, if the outside world was never a certain way or there was no hope that it could ever be a certain way, if other people were never agreeable or accommodating to you (thus your fights with the RJ conservaposse for example), etc., etc.?
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Mar 19, 2014 10:10 PM GMT
    Unnamed5 said
    ART_DECO said
    Unnamed5 said
    Congratulations. But are you judging a situation simply because it went favorably? I mean, surely you have met people who were similar to yourself, or have done more good than you have, or even engaged in most heinous of crimes possible, who had things work out for them, or never work for them at all.

    Not sure I understand your point. If things had never gone favorably and not worked for me at all then I don't see on what basis coming out would have made me happy.

    I'm much happier after coming out than I was before coming out. Isn't that a valid basis on which to judge this situation? The classic "before and after"? Because I do think happiness is a useful criteria for evaluating personal success and good decisions. Versus doing things that make me miserable.

    Plus I've found new ways to help more people than I helped previously, through gay-related charities, and also by sharing my successful coming out experiences with others who have found it difficult for themselves. I never had that kind of people focus before, part of a new outgoing sociability I acquired when I entered the gay world.

    Oh, and did I mention that I experienced intense love for the first time in my life? After having merely done an imitation of it before, mistaking affection for deep romantic love. Once I began to share my life with a gay partner I realized what I had been missing, what everybody was really talking about regarding love & devotion.

    So that I have lots of happy reasons to celebrate March 17th each year. It marks when my second and better life began. icon_biggrin.gif


    I'm actually confused myself when reading my own words, but the following will suffice for now:

    But let's say you never found someone that introduced you to the idea that a person could be gay and "masculine" and you entered the so-called gay community with no pretense of being able to find love, marriage or social acceptance. Would you want to be gay then? I mean, many gay men simply entered the gay community just to satisfy momentary or otherwise irrational sexual impulses, and became frustrated with gay sex over time as they could never figure out what they wanted out of being gay or how to be happy while being gay.

    In the history of anything, rarely do results ever match desire, and when they do, chance may play a far greater role in anyone's happiness than the effort anyone puts into it. While your happiness was indeed predicated on a process that began when you came out, could the same ever be true for everyone else who would do the same? And when you helped people come out or deal with being gay, was it with the idea that they can expect happiness with doing that? So to reiterate a question somewhat, can you ever be happy if whatever makes you happy, was never met? Can you be happy if your circumstances never turned out well, if the outside world was never a certain way or there was no hope that it could ever be a certain way, if other people were never agreeable or accommodating to you (thus your fights with the RJ conservaposse for example), etc., etc.?

    Are you trying to say that living a lie would make some people happier???icon_confused.gif
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    Mar 19, 2014 10:45 PM GMT
    Unnamed5 said
    But let's say you never found someone that introduced you to the idea that a person could be gay and "masculine" and you entered the so-called gay community with no pretense of being able to find love, marriage or social acceptance. Would you want to be gay then?

    Your presumption is incorrect. I never WANTED to be gay. I had no previous clue I was gay.

    How could I want to be something I didn't think I was, and for which there was no incentive? On the contrary, being gay in 1995 was replete with negative incentives. Why in gawd's name would I want to be that?

    But one day I realized my orientation, because of what another guy explained to me, demolishing the false gay stereotypes that had kept me in denial.

    I understood at once this is who I am. It wasn't a matter of what I WANTED, but of what I already WAS. It wasn't a choice, but a reality. And once I realized it, there was no denying it. Next step was adjusting to it. That's really how my mind works, almost cold Spock-like logic.

    Without that insight I was provided I'm not sure what my future would have been. Maybe I would have encountered another guy to tell me, maybe I would have figured it out for myself. Or maybe I'd still be in denial today, continuing to believe I'm straight.

    And still wondering why I never seem to mesh very well with the straight world around me. Wondering why I can't get into the straight guy stuff, can't relate to a lot of the things that interest them, especially regarding women. My previous forced female involvement being to please family, society, and to preserve my career.

    "...you entered the so-called gay community with no pretense of being able to find love, marriage or social acceptance."

    I didn't know what I was gonna find. But I was determined to find out. And I did. Much to my continuing joy.

    Yah know, I really believe we're happiest when we are true to ourselves. Straight people are happiest being straight. That's why I wasn't happy when I thought I was straight, a mismatch. Gay people are happiest being gay. That's why I'm so happy now. Seems like a pretty straighforward & simple formula to me. icon_biggrin.gif