Recently open gays...any regrets about missed opportunities in the past?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2009 4:01 PM GMT
    So while I'm still not "out" I am VERY much more comfortable with my sexuality now than I was in the past. In a semi-public type job I was OVERLY PARANOID about career, friends and family "finding out" about me so I ended up depriving myself of a lot of basic things.

    I never really liked hook-ups and ironically I was too paranoid to date gay guys for a potential relationship so I ended up sexless for long periods of times (dated women unsuccessfully). Porn and self-gratification was my main release.

    People I met over the years told me they came out the their parents at around 20 years old, got the club scene out of their system, met their "best friends" during this time, had a lot of great sex, etc...

    So when I finally opened up around 29 years old (death of a friend, lonlieness and seeing so many str8 friends dating and getting married- sparked it), initially I regretted not doing so when I was 18-28...especially since I moved to Atlanta of all places for college.

    Not just for the 20-something year old sex I could have had, or the club scene, but it was mainly for missing out on the gay-friends I could have had now from meeting other people over the years (still don't have many), the experience of getting comfortable in my skin and also the possibility of relationships with guys that were maintained well after I toweled myself off from the "hook-up". Those regrets really hit me when I went to a gay club for the first time and realized that 1.) No one in there cared who I was to "out" me or anything and 2.) There was comfort in seeing that I wasn't alone.

    The only thing that keeps the regret down is knowing how I used that sexual frustration to push me in my career, which is going great now and makes me even more of a desirable mate. I also "grew" into a more good looking man now than I was back then with my facial hair and body weight filling in. My confidence is great even with the work I need to do on the physique.

    So my question is: Do any of you guys with a similar story of "coming out" or getting comfortable later in life regret not doing so much sooner? And if so, for what reasons? What's your story?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2009 5:49 PM GMT
    I waited til I was 44 to tell friends and family ( minus my parents.. looong story ) I soooo regret waiting this long.

    I told my best friend and his wife first. THAT was horribly difficult as I was afaid I might lose them. Of course, I was wrong, and all subsequent telling to friends my ' big secret' was met with a relative mundane.. " yeah OK ! " haha

    I wish I had done this at least 10 years ago. My age group, I feel, was still raised in an era that had a fairly strong negative stigma amongst gays. The television exposure today has truly helped the younger crowd in making it a bit easier to go public.

    I never was a big partier and had no interest in the so-called party circuit, so I don't feel I missed anything there. It is just easier to mix and mingle while one is in their 30's as opposed to their mid 40's. I am making an effort to meet and greet by networking. Meeting people through friends is safer than random hookups. Most internet sites offer little that interest me. I do like this one, though. I am no total body builder, but it at least offers a common thread of interest in that I love to stay active!

    It has been said we should die with " no regrets". I may have a temporary regret but am intent upon fixing it !
  • tas_515

    Posts: 133

    Jan 23, 2009 6:30 PM GMT
    Guys, great post. I also waited until I was in my early 40s, married with two sons. For a number of complicated reasons, I don't think I admitted to myself that I was gay until my late 30s.

    My overwhelming reaction, looking back, is "much better late than never." I also sincerely salute guys on RJ and elsewhere who appear to be out and doing great in their teens and 20s. But, yes, I also frequently wonder what I missed out by not coming out much, much earlier.

    Tim
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2009 7:39 PM GMT
    I have always been a flamboyant fairy since I was a kid. But growing up under strong Catholicism practices made me control my carnal urges esp. during my teen years. My gay friends and I remained "virginal", so we openly judge each other as "dirty" whenever someone is even just rumored to have had sex with someone --a classmate, a store clerk, an electrician, etc (which we would do anyway).
    Looking back, I reckon that those "sluts" were having the time of their lives! We always get teased by our straight classmates, pairing us with the 'hunks' of them all, the sports team captain, the Civilian Army Training (CAT) officer, etc. But we remained the conservative "hard-to-get" rotting virgins until college... as far as our "rePUTAshun" is concerned. So my only regret is that I never hooked up with someone from the same school we go to and let me tell you that those were plenty of strayed young cocks wasted.
    Now playing: Cher's "If I Could Turn Back Time" --oh to be 16 again...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2009 9:10 PM GMT
    It can go either way...

    But when I was really feeling regretful, someone online said something to me one time that really stuck:

    "Instead of spending your 20's obsessing about being gay, you obsessed about work and career and now you are where you are..."

    This stuck with me because a lot guys (not all) that I started to meet who told me they used to club and had to "get it out of their system" have nothing to show for it now but memories. I go to their place and they don't have beds or its just a mattress sitting on the floor or they are homeless or unemployed or skilless or uneducated...stuff like that...

    Glad I was a focused eunuch instead, LOL
  • Freddo

    Posts: 246

    Jan 23, 2009 9:18 PM GMT
    I recently came out to myself, and I have to say that I have no regrets. I am not the hook-up type, so I don't feel like I missed anything there. To add to that, the gay population here is pretty small, and the hottest gay guy (and the only guy I'd want to be in a relationship with here) at my school was in a committed relationship for almost the entire time I knew him. Now that I am moving to a bigger city in the next few weeks, I imagine my odds will be better.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2009 9:28 PM GMT
    I don't regret not coming out, the only person who ever had to accept my sexuality was me. Coming out would do nothing more/less to attract the type of guys I want to be with.


    What couldn't you do before you came out that you can suddenly do now that you have?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2009 9:30 PM GMT
    Indy404 saidIt can go either way...
    But when I was really feeling regretful, someone online said something to me one time that really stuck:
    "Instead of spending your 20's obsessing about being gay, you obsessed about work and career and now you are where you are..."
    This stuck with me because a lot guys (not all) that I started to meet who told me they used to club and had to "get it out of their system" have nothing to show for it now but memories. I go to their place and they don't have beds or its just a mattress sitting on the floor or they are homeless or unemployed or skilless or uneducated...stuff like that...
    Glad I was a focused eunuch instead, LOL

    Oh bless you and your parents, hun! That makes a lot of sense. Although I was cynical when an elderly gay man back home told me almost the same thing. He said, "Use your youth to make as much money as you can, and everything will follow." Now he lives in a restored antique house, travels abroad at least once a year, with a younger man with him whose relationship is open (he owns an upper-scale salon, and was a former student of Vidal Sasoon himself, in Paris back in the '70s).
    That's still the problem with youth today in their teens and in their 20s, as it were before when I was that age. The media will just keep on feeding these age groups with new crap to make them feel like they know all there is to know about life. And are clueless and unequipped when life hands them lemons. I'm guilty of that myself, but hey...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2009 9:41 PM GMT
    First off...great post Indy! I have no regrets. Came out at 29. Just like you, my focus was on career, education, family. The best part now is that I have education/career to fall back on, I'm financially stable, I have an amazing son, and I have had the life experiences that many gay men will never have. It's also given me a different perspective on what is truly important in life, which isn't easily understood by my friends who did come out earlier in life.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2009 9:49 PM GMT
    When I first came out of denial in 1995 at 46, I regretted having lost about 30 years of my gay life, assuming I should have been out since around 15. And that I wouldn't have that many "good" years left to enjoy my new-found gayness. But then my new gay friends pointed out to me that my generation was the worst hit by the AIDS epidemic, and I could very well have already been dead by then.

    Also, gay life where I lived when a teenager and a 20-something wasn't as open as it is today, being more dangerous because of greater homophobia & laws as well, and I certainly couldn't have had my Army career. I guess what I really regret is that I'm not a young gay man TODAY, in these more gay-friendly times, but that's a problem that can have no solution.

    But I do not for one moment regret the coming out itself. Even if it's kinda late, my life has never been happier than it is now. And I realize that a great deal of the mysterious dissatisfaction I felt during the first half of my life, which I could sense but never define, was due to subconscious conflicts over my repressed orientation.

    The proof is how my life's changed. I never had many friends when "straight" and wasn't considered to be very pleasant company. Now I seem to have a newer, better, happier and more out-going personality. I suppose it's partly because I'm at ease with myself now, and I finally know my true place in the world.

    So that I have more friends at this moment then all the previous years combined, my company is sought, people tell me they love my sense of humor and easy-going manner... well, that's already a bit vain to say that about myself, but the "before & after" difference just amazes me. I'm so very glad I escaped that old life for this "Gay New World."
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2009 10:11 PM GMT
    I came out at 23 and probably didn't miss too much of life, but I'm often jealous of those kids who are out at 16.

    I think it's pretty fair to say that you don't have to hang around an Internet dating site for long to realise that many gay guys have missed out on something. I think it might be the learning curve of having a girlfriend and dating and all of those things that kids do between about 13 and 16 that we didn't do because we were in the closet. Whether it be self-confidence or social skills, who knows?

    I'm sure it's nothing that practice won't fix though.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 24, 2009 5:37 AM GMT
    RyanReBoRn saidI don't regret not coming out, the only person who ever had to accept my sexuality was me. Coming out would do nothing more/less to attract the type of guys I want to be with.


    What couldn't you do before you came out that you can suddenly do now that you have?


    I think you misunderstood the post...I was asking if the guys that waited a long time regretted not "coming out" sooner.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 24, 2009 5:59 AM GMT
    I'm glad I waited - at 31 i had the stable career, a fantastic social network, and the emotional stability to make it through coming out so late. I wouldn't change it for the world.