Wyndahoi saidI can appreciate how this helped the cause.
But it didn't help me personally. One of the many reasons I was in denial for so long was because the media portrayals of gays. What I saw in pop culture was effeminate men. I wasn't like that, or was I attracted to that*. So I concluded I wasn't gay.
In a way I'm glad to hear you say this. Because my own prolonged denial was based on the same mechanism: I didn't fit the stereotype for a gay prevalent in the 1950s & '60s, meaning therefore I couldn't be a gay myself. And in my era there was every incentive to not want to be a gay - legal, social, moral, family, employment, religious.
So if you saw an opportunity to rationalize to yourself that you aren't gay you took it. That's not the same as being closeted. Which means you do know you're gay, and do admit it to yourself, but try to hide it from everyone else by disguising your behavior.
But a number of RJ guys won't accept this distinction in others between denial versus being closeted. They insist that anyone who isn't out by their teens is "living in the closet", there's no other possibility, no other terms.
I get subjected to this all the time here, a remarkably unsophisticated and backward attitude from men who should know better. An attitude that causes a lotta guys like you & me to remain in denial longer, and not come out sooner. It was finally understanding the nature of my denial mechanism, that such a thing could exist in me, that tore away the veil of ignorance and brought me out.