Coming out for the first time

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 30, 2014 9:07 PM GMT
    I know this has been talked about and everyone has had their different experiences and blah blah blah. But I'm actually struggling with how and to whom I should come out to. If anyone at all. I feel like whoever I tell will either judge me or feel affected by it and I don't want any of my friendships or relationships with anyone to change. Basically, I'm just looking for advice or your personal story from coming out, good or bad. I perfer men, but a couple girls isn't bad once in awhile.
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    Dec 30, 2014 9:39 PM GMT
    I feel the same exact way. I'm struggling too. I'm a black(well mixed actually but mostly black) dude who lives in a redneck town and there's barely any other gay people here.
    I think earlier this year, I finally told my best friend since 2009 that I was attracted to guys. She's 100% okay with it and supportive and wants to help me find someone. About a month or 2 ago, I told her bf and he said that I shouldn't be ashamed of who I am(cause I told him I'm miserable and feel like shit.) The reason why it was so easy to come out to them was because I already knew they don't mind gay people. My best friend had told me she wants me to be happy and that I shouldn't care what people think. I have another friend who I plan on coming out to and I'm sure he'll be supportive too. My biggest worry is my family. Mainly my parents. My dad don't like gay people and always make slurs and s*** and it bothers me. My momma does the same. I have a cousin who's gay and a few years ago he tried to commit suicide. Luckily he's still alive and doing well. My family SEEMS to accept him but they still make little comments and crap behind his back. He had a skin condition and had bumps and all all over his face and arms and stuff and I remember hearing one of my aunts say "He just need a woman in his life that's all that is." That's what bothers me. My family can be pretty f.ckin ignorant.
    I'm just slowly telling people one by one until I feel comfortable enough with myself to tell my parents and not give a damn what they say/think, same for the rest of the family. I won't even go out and try to date cause I'm closeted to most. But I'm slowly getting there. I only have so many friends who I can tell though before I tell my parents.
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4432

    Dec 30, 2014 10:41 PM GMT
    Here's the deal. Times have changed and it is now not a problem. I totally get that you're concerned that it may impact friendships but at 19, it's time to begin living an authentic life. Your good friends will support you and not care and those that don't have your back, well, better to know that now. You sound like an outgoing guy and the longer you keep this big secret, the harder life will become for you-- not them-- for you. Tell a good friend. You'll see that although the first will be nerve wracking, the outcome will be OK. If anything the most negative reaction I got when I started telling people was hurt feelings that I hadn't trusted them for so long. Trust yourself to have selected friends well-- that they are good people. Once you tell one, tell another. then another. Especially your parents unless you truly believe they will disown you and you are dependent on them for college. You'll be surprised how much better you feel and how liberated you become. Be a strong, gay (or bi) man. Be self-contained. Be confident. Good luck, man.
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    Dec 30, 2014 11:11 PM GMT
    I came out at 14. In the early 80's. AIDS crisis in full swing.

    It was not an easy decision but one that had a life of its own. I thought it foolish to fight or deny what I knew I was. That is not to say there wasn't ALOT of soul-searching, questioning and fears of losing people, hurting them or, especially in those days, physical,violence.

    But I moved forward with the Life I wanted for MYSELF and invited anyone to come along for the ride who wished and those who didn't were welcomed to go their separate way.

    Relationships change and evolve, for better or worse, no matter what. You have no more control over that than You do over the ebb and flow of the tides or the waxing and waning of the moon. That is because they are all forces of Nature - which will ALWAYS have the final say no matter how intellectually or scientifically evolved We think We are.

    And what We are as Gay or Bi Men IS NATURAL. Nothing to be controlled, feared, persecuted for or hidden.

    You will probably find that even those who may have issues with the truth at first eventually see things from a different perspective - especially when "one of their own" comes out.

    Tread carefully, take care of Yourself, have compassion for those around You but don't hide to make THEM feel better. Most importantly don't act or react from a place of fear. KNOW who you are as best You can and shed light.

    This is a often a crucial stage that may shape how You face challenges in decades ahead. Look at it as a blueprint for Your own future. And try to remember it can, should be and really IS one of the most exciting, exhilarating, freeing and rewarding experiences You will ever have.

    Good luck and remain strong.

    Your on the right path!!!
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    Dec 31, 2014 3:59 AM GMT
    Thank you guys for sharing and giving advice! It really has helped me shaped my thoughts on when and who to tell. You men are the type of guys I look up to, thanks again
  • bro4bro

    Posts: 1028

    Dec 31, 2014 4:16 AM GMT
    One suggestion, just on the actual mechanics of coming out... there are tons of videos on YouTube these days of guys coming out to their parents. Watch a whole bunch of them. Listen to what the guys say and see how their parents react. That may help you formulate your own coming-out speech.
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    Dec 31, 2014 4:22 AM GMT
    bro4bro saidOne suggestion, just on the actual mechanics of coming out... there are tons of videos on YouTube these days of guys coming out to their parents. Watch a whole bunch of them. Listen to what the guys say and see how their parents react. That may help you formulate your own coming-out speech.


    Thanks for the suggestion man, I'm currently doing that right now. Hopefully I'll find some pointers
  • mybud

    Posts: 11819

    Dec 31, 2014 4:27 AM GMT
    Since you brought up girls, it kinda effects my answer...Don't rush coming out. You're not ready for that life long commitment. Continue to test the waters...Learn what you truly want, then express your truth. The people who truly love and respect you will continue to do so...The ones that turn their back on you, give them distance and time. All the best bro.
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    Dec 31, 2014 6:34 AM GMT
    Just remember, it's YOUR life. and anyone you come out to, you don't need their permission....you're simply telling them, and it's THEIR choice to follow with you in your life or not....not yours.
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Dec 31, 2014 6:42 AM GMT
    Just one suggestion, do it sober icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 31, 2014 1:52 PM GMT
    Do it in stages.
    First your most trusted friend.
    Then your siblings.
    Then your parents.

    Your sibs, knowing you as well as they do, probably already have their theories about you so it's unlikely to come as a total surprise.
    Ditto for your parents, but for them the discussion is going to be more emotionally fraught since they have so much invested in you.
    Be compassionate. You've had lots of time to come to terms with this and your parents are having to digest it all at once.
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    Jan 02, 2015 5:01 PM GMT
    Definitely ease into it one by one with your friends and family. You don't have to tell everyone at once. Just remember, you do NOT have to tolerate bigoted or hateful comments from ANYONE, ESPECIALLY NOT FROM YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY. Give them time to digest it all for sure. Maybe even consider writing a letter if that would be a better way to get your points across. But your goal is not to beg them to accept you nor for them to validate you. Validation can only come from within. You are a good guy, you happen to be gay, it wasn't a choice, you've decided to let them know, you hope that they will support you. If they have any questions, they are free to ask you.

    In my experience, coming out wasn't just about me being who I was, it was also about allowing others to be as great as I thought they could be. I have never been as confident in myself as I've been since coming out. And I came out later in life. Keep your head up.


  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Jan 02, 2015 5:10 PM GMT
    Honey, anyone who has seen you in that SILVER THONG *knows* already, k? LOL!

    The thing is to just BE gay, not making some great statement about it. And 'being' gay is whatever it means to you, not necessarily what it means to anyone else. You don't have to act "different" than you do, accept, perhaps, you won't hold back. So, you see a cute guy and you say to one of your friends, "wow, he's hot!" ... or w/e as people do. It is no big deal. Beyond that pretty much it ain't nobody's business what you do.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Jan 02, 2015 5:13 PM GMT
    Sent u an email on this.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 02, 2015 5:36 PM GMT
    gay, bi or straight is not a belief system so no need to spread the faith like a religion. For example; you will definitely need to come out if you find a bf so out your self if you want but do it for your benefit.



    likely people already suspect. I cant figure how parents living with their son ~20years dont already know so there is likely a lot of denial going on. If you tell them your gay dont expect them to come around the first time. Be patient. Where it would be nice to tell them who you met last Friday maybe not if it means the tuition rent food checks stop flowing.
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    Jan 03, 2015 3:43 AM GMT
    Mother's always know. They just do somehow. When I was 6 my mom told me I would break a lot of girl's hearts when I grew up. She was right.

    My coming out was a process, people are more intuitive than we give them credit for. In HS I'm sure a lot of people knew I was gay, not many cared. I had an atypical experience of being gay in HS compared to others since no one bullied me; even after a baseball jock nearly outed me (he is out now himself) I gained the respect of nearly everyone in my graduating class by being nice to (almost) everyone and being my own person.

    In college I found like attracts like and was taken aback at guys (gay, bi or whatever they identified as) hitting on me and wanting "to get to know me better" in and out of class. I don't know if it's the raging hormones of being in your early twenties or what but it kind of opened my eyes up and made me realize we live in a world of changed/ rapidly changing attitudes about sexuality. In fact other guys were more comfortable with me being gay than I was. How ironic...

    Coming out to my family was easy since my mom found incriminating internet browsing history. It's kind of funny since she came to "show me something she found on the internet"- whoops!icon_redface.gif Though, by that time I was getting to the point where I no longer wanted to stay in the closet since I realized I was missing out on important aspects of life and growing up (first kiss, sexual experience, falling in love, etc)

    You'll come out to the right people at the right time. Also, You're worried about being judged which is understandable but those who matter in your life will not judge you since they want you to be happy. Being gay or bi doesn't define who you are just as much as your hair or eye color defines you. Hope that helps.
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    Jan 03, 2015 4:02 AM GMT
    Since your 2nd location is Columbia, SC, I'll tell you my story. I was a junior at U. of South Carolina and I started coming out to those whom I trusted first. I'm so glad I did this because of 2 reasons:

    1. I developed a comfort level on coming out.
    2. I realized that your true friends will support and not abandon you.

    Overall, I didn't lose a single friend or family member when I came out. I know that's not the case for everyone and I consider myself fortunate. But you gain courage when you tell them the truth and that will stick with you for the rest of your life.
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    Jan 03, 2015 3:24 PM GMT
    StonePeters saidI know this has been talked about and everyone has had their different experiences and blah blah blah. But I'm actually struggling with how and to whom I should come out to. If anyone at all. I feel like whoever I tell will either judge me or feel affected by it and I don't want any of my friendships or relationships with anyone to change. Basically, I'm just looking for advice or your personal story from coming out, good or bad. I perfer men, but a couple girls isn't bad once in awhile.


    Says the guy who was last seen on RJ forums writing group-sex fantasies and TL;DR "true stories" about his hook-ups. icon_rolleyes.gif Now he's back using the same screen name. No worries, bro, you're forgiven. Guys in their teens have done that shit forever. icon_smile.gif

    TBH the best way to come out is gradually - and to somebody you know well. It may sound obvious, but if a friend (no matter how close) likes to talk about people don't think he or she will make an exception in your case. Also resist the impulse to film yourself coming out and/or putting it on FB, Twitter, etc. Ideally you'd want to get it across after you've just done something fun with a person, like going swimming or lifting, when you're both relaxed. Definitely (like has already been posted) don't be drunk or baked or whatever at the time. That's one way somebody can feel "threatened." ("OMG, we were wasted and he started talking all this gay shit; dude, I swear I thought I was about to get raped...")

    Your "opening" would be any time the subject gets into a conversation. These days that could be pretty often: Michael Sam, Ellen DeGeneres, Anderson Cooper, Queen Latifah, "trans" people, equal marriage rights...they're in the news and discussed a lot. Just say you (dis)agree with the other person's thoughts and then be like, "Maybe I feel that way 'cause..."

    One of my stories: In college I was walking along one night with a new friend, a guy I'd known for maybe a month or two. He was a big, stocky "bro" type, and like a true bro was always talking about chicks and sex. The convo turned to bikers after one roared by on the street. He said, "Supposedly a lot of them are gay! HA!!!" So I decided to "grow a pair;" turned and said, "Do you know I'm gay - or not?" His first reaction was to roar with laughter: "NOOOOO!!!" Then, "Hey, that's cool." A few days later, out of the blue he said to me, "I bet I'm gonna walk in on you sometime while you're fucking some girl." What did I hit back with? "I bet I'm gonna walk in on you sometime while you're giving some guy head." icon_twisted.gif Oko for the win! Down the line it turned out he was "partially bisexual," as he put it. (A lot of men are.) No, we never Did It, though hints were thrown my way sometimes.
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    Jan 03, 2015 3:46 PM GMT
    Erobert saidMother's always know.

    Mine did, and my father, too. In fact, they told my teenager sister about me when I voluntarily enlisted in the Army at 20 during Vietnam. They were more afraid my fellow soldiers would kill me for being queer than they feared I'd be shot by the Vietcong.

    Damn thing was nobody ever told ME this at the time. I innocently thought I merely liked the company of guys better than the company of foolish females. And I certainly was no girly sissy, the popular stereotype of a homo in that era, which might have given me a clue. (And I'm using the terms common back then, I never heard "gay" being used in this sense)

    But I do have early childhood recollections of my mother telling people, in my presence, that "Robert is 'artistic' and has a 'sensitive personality'". All buzzwords from the 1950s that meant I was gay, although I didn't yet know those hidden meanings myself.

    But I would wonder: "artistic"? I'm about as artistic as a slug, I can't even draw a good stick figure. icon_sad.gif
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jan 03, 2015 4:46 PM GMT
    I still remember my first time coming out -- all the excitement and suspense. Enjoy it while it lasts. By the fifth time you come out, people will be like, who cares? We heard you the first four times!icon_sad.gificon_lol.gificon_wink.gif