Identity Crisis

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    Feb 11, 2009 5:54 AM GMT
    So I've been thinking about this a lot. It is important for me to put vague ideas into words and I've been thinking about this one for a while. I figure I'd post it and see where it goes. Whether it is valid, not valid, or what-not.

    This video might help in some vague way:
    http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/amy_tan_on_creativity.html

    Alright, so if you did see that video you'll see some parallels. Understand that I saw that video after the idea's conception.

    The idea itself, the 'originality,' is the last part. I've seen it hinted at, but never explicitly stated. I even looked at some of the forums and didn't find it. I might have experienced a fail (can I get a lol cat for that please? just to light things if anything), but everyone makes those.

    My thinking started after reading "Why Gender Matters" by Leonard Sax. I've been going in different directions and this one is the one I feel most confident about.

    As a guy I grew up seeing myself in different ways. These identities were numerous. One was being a navy brat and possibly joining the military (navy mostly). Another was having to be sporty and athletic (although there was a period of time when I was specifically not). There was even some religion for a while. Everything though had one part of their identity in them that was expressed even in Disney movies: the girl. Having to try and have a girlfriend to get a wife is a big part of the culture I was in. So for a guy's identity it was pretty important.

    Now, when a guy realizes he is gay, there is another identity. But what does that really mean? The "Gay Identity" sounds really vague and weird. It is too. The stereotype that I'm most familiar is the annoying, loud, limp-wristed, lisp-speaking, and overall feminine skinny guy. For a lot of people this identity of being gay does not appeal to them and they want nothing to do with it. Therefore they reject their homosexuality.because it conflicts with their other identities. There are other reasons such as religion (a biggy). The result is a kind of confusion in the newly-realized gay. How can they be gay if they don't follow that identity? How can they follow their other identities if they are gay? Those questions are very important and difficult to answer when society says those identities of being gay, religion, and being masculine cannot co-exist. Enough of us have overcome for a commercial venture called real jock to cater to some of our needs.

    Not everyone has actually overcome this. I've only overcome some major hurdles recently. Even then I doubt I'm truly over all of them. My knee-jerk-stay-stafe reaction can sometimes to "do the straight thing." In that sense this identity crisis isn't an immediate clash of the titans. The crisis can simmer. There is a difference in saying "Yes, I'm gay" and "Yes, I'm gay, and I accept it" and "Yes, I'm gay, I accept it, and I'm happy." The result is a sort of confusion. Many of us I imagine exist somewhere in or between them. I bet some people can even skip the first to steps or never pass beyond them.

    Identity is very important too. It gives personal meaning. Society has (fed me at least) with the need to be socially independent. Identities are a sort of arch-type people relate to. A personal example what it means for me to be a runner. It is something I identify myself as. My dedication to keeping up speed and distance is something that not only I have in common with others, but distinguishes me from someone else. Having multiple identities we receive from our societies/cultures is natural and some conflict is the result. The gay identity has so much conflict for the inexperienced that it creates a serious problem

    A large part of the problem seems to come from not just our culture, but how men's brains work. According to the book I mentioned, "Why Gender Matters" by Leonard Sax, the brain of guys (no age limit was mentioned. Brain experts anywhere?) don't help processing emotions at all. Negative emotions are in the amygdala, a section of the brain described as the primitive part. Meanwhile linguistic skills occur elsewhere (I think the cerebral cortex, may be wrong) in a more advanced part. There are few connections between them so any linking between them is not only difficult to verbalize, but because we think in language is difficult to even mentally pinpoint. Solving the problem becomes a problem when thinking or openly discussing it is a task.

    The realization that the gay identity can be applied to guys then demands a reaction. Its difficult to rationalize a reaction over an identity that is so negatively introduced by society. Few reactions then are not somewhat negative and rejecting the image. I don't mean a denial of homosexuality. I mean a denial of a connection to other gays who are more stereo-typical. To do so is to almost
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    Feb 11, 2009 5:59 AM GMT
    Ok, not everything posted

    Slightly embarrassing, I worked on it so much too.
    So you know, I'm working on writing them down, again.
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    Feb 11, 2009 6:02 AM GMT
    The realization that the gay identity can be applied to guys then demands a reaction. Its difficult to rationalize a reaction over an identity that is so negatively introduced by society. Few reactions then are not somewhat negative and rejecting the image. I don't mean a denial of homosexuality. I mean a denial of a connection to other gays who are more stereo-typical. To do so is to almost deny that one is actually gay (ergo the closet). Even then, one could be gay openly and utterly reject any seemingly-gay person because of the inner conflict. Thus the demand to follow an individual's perception of masculinity. Because masculinity is a crucial identity for men, especially the young as they start to be called "a man."

    I think thats most of it, I can't recall. I'll come back later and add on I'm sure. If your confused about my intentions understand I mean only to add meaning and to selfishly sort out my mind. I have been thinking about his for a while and want to write it down and get others to see it. Other gay people that is. The best place for that is here. So I'm sorry if you don't want to see it, but please bear in mind some of us don't have everything figured out and need it.
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    Feb 11, 2009 6:17 AM GMT
    I'm reading this, I have a few thoughts, but before I take a stab at this I'd like you to turn your thesis into a question. I want to make sure I don't miss your point.
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    Feb 11, 2009 6:25 AM GMT
    Well, I've just finished my homework so I'm going to bed. Besides, I can tell my thought process isn't as sharp as it was when I started. I suppose the question is really the validity of what I wrote.

    Are identities really that important in forming ourselves?

    Is homosexuality really incompatible with the identities some of us have been raised?

    Am in far left field?
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    Feb 11, 2009 6:30 AM GMT
    You are thinking about who you are so much that you just can't be yourself. No one can tell you how to be you just like no one can tell a tree how to be a tree. You are your own undiscovered land that will reveal itself as you walk through it with no destination.
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    Feb 11, 2009 6:38 AM GMT

    Thanks for sharing this LGWC,

    reading,"Is homosexuality really incompatible with the identities some of us have been raised?" I thought immediately that you're coming to terms with integrating all your 'hats' ( we each wear a few different ones) into a cohesive whole. Pretty potent stuff, and pretty great to be watching someone do it (your post).

    All your 'identities' added up will equal a total that's nicely greater than the sum of them. All contained in the unique same-sex loving man that is you. Hope that made sense. heh

    -Doug of meninlove
  • hartfan

    Posts: 1037

    Feb 11, 2009 6:49 AM GMT
    I actually understand what you are talking about. Like you, I think about such things a lot, and I think the frustrating thing to me is that there is almost no one I can talk to about this. There are no avenues in the conventional (straight) world that can explain this to us and help us figure this out. Talking to a therapist doesn't always help matters because sometimes we're just looking for some clarity and not necessarily for a solution.

    It took me a long time to figure a lot of things out, and I still haven't figured some things out yet. However, I find that often other non-straight people don't seem to be very understanding of this, even though they are supposedly the ones who have been through it. When people are insecure, or just questioning, or very confused, a lot of people (including some I've seen on this site) come back and attack them for being weak, or emo, or whatever it is they label it.

    I understand that some gay people didn't struggle with their identities, or they didn't want to go through the process again with someone else, and they certainly have a right not to engage the people who are searching for help and answers. However, it saddens me that there isn't more empathy. For the people who are going through the process, it takes time and is often not straightforward. They themselves have to take that journey, but the rest of us can help by being understanding and patient. Reacting negatively toward our compatriots will probably only lower their self-esteem and cause them to reject trying to explore this side of themselves. If there is someone there to lend them an ear, to share an experience, to give some advice, many will probably appreciate it and get to a better place faster.

    I am heartened to see that there are many on here who are willing to do so, and I hope that there will be less of us who are hostile toward those who have not yet made it to where we are, psychologically and emotionally.
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    Feb 11, 2009 6:56 AM GMT
    ActiveAndFit> You are your own undiscovered land that will reveal itself as you walk through it with no destination.

    True, but (absent a destination) should he turn right or left at the next corner?


    We all have multiple identities. What's important to remember is that identities are not a zero sum game. A few years ago someone asked me how American I am vs. how Israeli I am. After thinking about it, I answered that I was 80% American. They concluded that this meant I was 20% Israeli. Nope. I'm also 80% Israeli.

    Perhaps there's a tie in to the "one drop rule", but when I'm around a group of Israelis, I'm the American. After living for so long in the US, I'm just not up on all the pop-culture, the slang, etc.

    Yet when I hang out with Americans... I'm the Israeli. If I mispronounce a word (and that would be an SAT type word that you don't normally hear, or at least that I've never heard and only seen in print), Matt will rib me about being the ESL kid (English as a Second Language). I can definitely "pass" for American in day-to-day life, but underneath the surface there are cultural and social differences that a careful observer will discern.

    By the same token, I'm probably 80% gay and 80% straight (not to be misconstrued as being bisexual - not that there's anything wrong with it. I'm a Kinsey 6.) Or maybe it's only 40% of each (no gay card and no straight card for me).

    So don't think that identities are exclusive. If you turn right, you might find yourself at the football game and loving every minute of it. If you turn left, you might find yourself watching Project Runway with a bunch of "queens" - and loving every minute of it. It's all good.

    I suppose the more identities one has the more well rounded they are.

    (Um, ok, that's my answer, but what was the question again?)
  • hartfan

    Posts: 1037

    Feb 11, 2009 7:10 AM GMT
    Caesarea4 saidActiveAndFit> You are your own undiscovered land that will reveal itself as you walk through it with no destination.

    True, but (absent a destination) should he turn right or left at the next corner?


    We all have multiple identities. What's important to remember is that identities are not a zero sum game. A few years ago someone asked me how American I am vs. how Israeli I am. After thinking about it, I answered that I was 80% American. They concluded that this meant I was 20% Israeli. Nope. I'm also 80% Israeli.

    Perhaps there's a tie in to the "one drop rule", but when I'm around a group of Israelis, I'm the American. After living for so long in the US, I'm just not up on all the pop-culture, the slang, etc.

    Yet when I hang out with Americans... I'm the Israeli. If I mispronounce a word (and that would be an SAT type word that you don't normally hear, or at least that I've never heard and only seen in print), Matt will rib me about being the ESL kid (English as a Second Language). I can definitely "pass" for American in day-to-day life, but underneath the surface there are cultural and social differences that a careful observer will discern.

    By the same token, I'm probably 80% gay and 80% straight (not to be misconstrued as being bisexual - not that there's anything wrong with it. I'm a Kinsey 6.) Or maybe it's only 40% of each (no gay card and no straight card for me).

    So don't think that identities are exclusive. If you turn right, you might find yourself at the football game and loving every minute of it. If you turn left, you might find yourself watching Project Runway with a bunch of "queens" - and loving every minute of it. It's all good.

    I suppose the more identities one has the more well rounded they are.

    (Um, ok, that's my answer, but what was the question again?)


    You always have such insight and wisdom that every time I read your posts it blows me away.
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    Feb 11, 2009 7:23 AM GMT
    LGWC saidAre identities really that important in forming ourselves?

    I think so, totally. Our sense of self takes a couple of years to develop, from birth. My earliest recollections of self started very late in my second year...and mark an emotional event (my brother's birthday, who got a toy when I did not). I think my consciousness sprang into existence when I became envious of him. Prior to that, I'm sure, he could have been me, as far as I'm concerned. But the circumstance of seeing him get a gift for his birthday and not me made me aware of where he ended and where I began. This is my best guess, anyway.

    LGWC saidIs homosexuality really incompatible with the identities some of us have been raised?
    Once I had a sense of self, I realized my inner voice/identity changed depending upon each personal encounter. Around my mother, I felt like a small boy. Around my father I felt like a small girl. Around some grown males today, I feel like my mother. Around others, I feel like a man. I imagine how I look and sound to them, and wonder if it matches the gender/image of the homunculus I'm experiencing. These self-perceptions developed independently of my sense of sexual orientation.

    LGWC saidAm in far left field?
    It's a thing to wonder. I'm also curious about how you were relating this to the "Where does creativity come from..." I'd like to get more into that too.
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    Feb 11, 2009 9:12 AM GMT
    Caesarea4 saidActiveAndFit> You are your own undiscovered land that will reveal itself as you walk through it with no destination.

    True, but (absent a destination) should he turn right or left at the next corner?

    The sky and the earth have no corners. The point is being open does not limit you. Multiple identities indeed, not exclusive indeed. Nature produces abundant variety. We have many intrinsic qualities, but they all have a point of convergence. Clinging to any identity slows growth and leads to conflict and denial in ourselves and others.

    There is no need to try to be anything. Nature and life with form you naturally.
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    Feb 11, 2009 11:09 AM GMT
    I think you have summarized in your OP some of the big issues facing gay guys as they start on their same-sex attractions. I personally don't fit comfortably within the gay or straight identity stereotypes which probably makes some people uncomfortable. And that also explains why I have developed only a few good gay friendships since 1986.

    I do notice that some gay people when they come out seem to change their behaviour to fit in with their peer group, which has always been a bit of a turn off for me.

    Personally for me the word "gay" means I am attracted physically and emotionally to other guys, and that is all it means. It does not mean I have an interest in interior design or decoration, fashion, Britney Spears or circuit parties. I am as comfortable talking about the latest economic crisis and last night's hockey game as I am about the relative merits of Kelly Clarkson's latest single vs. Beyonce's, or Sunday's episode of Desperate Housewives.

    I shock straight guys when I say I don't watch violent movies (the latest thread that talked about "Kill Bill" left me totally cold) and I shock gay guys when I confess ignorance or indifference about talking home redecorating.

    If we are totally honest with ourselves we have a very messy and complicated, and hopefully, reasonably integrated identity.
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    Feb 11, 2009 2:37 PM GMT
    hartfan saidPerhaps there's a tie in to the "one drop rule", but when I'm around a group of Israelis, I'm the American. After living for so long in the US, I'm just not up on all the pop-culture, the slang, etc.

    Yet when I hang out with Americans... I'm the Israeli. If I mispronounce a word (and that would be an SAT type word that you don't normally hear, or at least that I've never heard and only seen in print), Matt will rib me about being the ESL kid (English as a Second Language). I can definitely "pass" for American in day-to-day life, but underneath the surface there are cultural and social differences that a careful observer will discern.


    I know exactly what you mean. I used to live in Belgium for four years and got native school. When I left I was more Belgian than American. Then I moved and I was the "Flemish kid." Even now, in college (that was 3rd-6th grade) I here some of that teasing from people who haven't known me for a year.

    mickeytopogigio saidIt's a thing to wonder. I'm also curious about how you were relating this to the "Where does creativity come from..." I'd like to get more into that too.


    That is something I've been wondering too. She speaks how wondering where to place herself is confusing, but can lead to great moments of genius for her. In a sense I understand that insecurities can lead people to places few people have been. It seems only those strong enough to admit it can go through that. Its not just that video on TED that relates to this. There are so many it is absurd, that place is amazing to watch videos (sorry youtube). The best one I can think of right next to this on is one I think called "Creative Genius." To give a better answer I'd have to see it again, but when I have time (I've obligations) I'll get back on that.
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    Feb 11, 2009 3:41 PM GMT
    The issues you’re talking about, I do get a lot from students. I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to reflect on this. Your angst is real, and I am impressed that you took the time to read academic books. There is always a great cost in submitting anything like this to public forum. I hope people feel generous. These are my ruminations on the subject. I too, still wrestle with it. There are simply no easy answers to this.
    Here’s my take as a sociology teacher. A good start is to acquire vocabulary, define one’s terms, and parse the problem in subsections. Sounds obvious but in social sciences it’s complicated. There is the nurture-nature debate, psychological, sociological and political dimensions. In sociology alone, you would have to tackle socialization, social structures, power dynamics of minority groups, gender roles, etc. Consider this a long term project.
    So I take identity to mean: “Identity may be defined as the distinctive character belonging to any given individual, or shared by all members of a particular social category or group”. It has cultural, group, religious, racial, sexual components to it – not all of which compatible with each other.

    Are identities really that important in forming ourselves?
    Yes they are. Part of what you are referring to is the normal process of adulthood and maturity. We have to take on various social roles (or hats if you will), not all of which fit equally well. For a time, received identities are all we have to work with. We are being socialized. Identities inform us as to where we come from, who we are, and what we believe in. So yes identities, for good or for ill, are important in getting a foothold in society. The problem is that being gay (some of which is similar to other minority group issues) means confronting the prejudice, stereotypes and labels associated with these received identities – at a time when we are trying to figure ourselves out. This is why gay youth groups are so important. They offer that space where you can safely question those socially received identities and adopt new ones. Along the way, you will be exposed to stereotypical version of what being gay means, even amongst gays themselves. They key is to stop gobbling received identities without prior questioning.

    Is homosexuality really incompatible with the identities some of us have been raised?
    Yes for the most part. We can form meaningful families, relationships, be excellent workers and citizens, but these social roles are often constructed in ways that excludes us. By our very presence, we challenge their perceived “normality”. We have made great progress, but much remains. What you should see is that being gay is not so much an essence but a relation with other (dominant) groups in society.
    On top of this pile, you’re also adding the nature-nurture debate. Sax offered a good corrective to the excesses of the nurture/social constructionist side but you’ll need to get a fuller view of the whole debate to understand its consequence for the so-called “naturalness” of masculinity. I would focus instead on ascribed gender roles, why some are socially valued more than others, and what are the consequences on this valuation on human beings.

    A gay identity?
    So what you are now realizing is the full burden of being “gay” – IMHO it is a political one. To be gay, as opposed to just engage in homosexual activity, is to fight for the acceptance of our inherent self-worth and diversity as human being, within the gay community and outside of it. Full stop.
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    Feb 11, 2009 4:00 PM GMT
    LGWC,

    I love that website TED. Ever since you posted up that link with Amy Tan explaining where creativity hides I got addicted to the site and saw at least 3 other video talks. Those talks they give are so eye opening and I love it. i saw the one your talking about, Elizabeth Gilbert: A different way to think about creative genius" . All I can say to you is "Ole Nonetheless." and thanks for the website. Its the awesomest!!
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    Feb 11, 2009 4:43 PM GMT

    A bit off topic but I believe creative genius is something most have. It just gets lost sometimes, or we forget how we did it (being creative) by trying to force it. When I run into creative blocks I tell myself this old quote,

    "There is for me no wonder more, than to wonder where my wonder went, and why my wonder is all spent." This dry statement to myself usually gets me chuckling and then I'm back on track...

    -Doug of meninlove
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    Feb 11, 2009 6:56 PM GMT
    I would strongly suggest you read "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle. It will give you great insight into the formation of identities. I think the important thing is not to drive yourself crazy with endless analysis, but instead begin to learn by observing. You allow the mind and the ego to do it's thing, form it's thoughts and identities and all of this while you watch it as the observer. At some point you realize that you are not all these identities you identify with, they are just the natural phenomenon that arise and pass away like all things. For example, when we graduate high school, the identity of high school student passes on. For some they have children, and the identity of parent is taken on. As these identities arise and pass away is that person no longer that person? Once we can get some distance from our identities and roles and see these just as the social phenomenon arising and passing away like all of nature, then there is great peace in knowing that I as awareness is greater then all of them. Then and there is peace with each of our supposedly conflicting identities.
  • TadPohl

    Posts: 259

    Feb 11, 2009 8:47 PM GMT
    [quote]
    Are identities really that important in forming ourselves?[/quote]


    I think that it's natural for us to search for an identity and therefore it is important in forming one ourselves. It's our way of making sense of our environment and our place in it. Intelligent animals naturally categorize themselves and their surroundings. I believe that's why we have names for everything...even things intangible like God, string theory, infinity, ect.
    And as theories change and mutate, our identities change and mutate with time and life experience.
    Example: We once lived on a flat world with the universe revolving around us. With time we realize that our world is round-ish spinning around a star, spinning around randomly in space. With time even that knowledge will change. The same goes for self-identity.

    You were a Navy Brat who thought you were destined to be a straight man and father of 2 (hypothetical). With time you then realized that you were a gay man and that your life's path changed and that you might not be the father of 2. Later you may realize that you are a gay man, father of 2 with another man or whatever. Who knows? Our concept of nature of natural law is changing and you're no exception. You are a person constantly changing, but there is nothing wrong with categorizing yourself in this manner. It's human of you. The key to not going crazy is accepting that this little box you're resting in can and will change over time.
    Science is not stagnant, categories do not remain unchanged infinitely, self-identity is not etched in stone.
    Cope with life as you know how, but accept that things are not easily explicable and will change.

    There is nothing wrong with self-identity as long as you are prepared to adjust that identity on occasion.

    Example: I was an Asian American hood rat in NYC who didn't fit in with my peers because I wasn't black. I moved to Oregon and became a yuppie who didn't fit in because I wasn't white. I moved to LA and didn't fit in because I wasn't a model....ect. During all these moves my self identity adjusted. I evolved. Now, many years later I am comfortable being myself and ready for the next phase of my life which may or may not completely change how I see myself. Former hood rat turned yuppie turned Hollywood mess turned whatever I am today was the natural path for me to go to become who I am today.

    I don't believe that you must seal yourself in a box forever, but you're free and normal to put a temporary sticker/ label on yourself to explore who you are and how you fit in your environment. It's the people who keep their eyes open that refrain from being lemmings/ cattle.

    [quote]Is homosexuality really incompatible with the identities some of us have been raised?[/quote]

    It's dependent on your perspective. There is no wrong answer. Your ability to be compatible or incompatible with homosexuality and the way you've been raised rest sole on you're emotional state as the consequence of your lifestyle (principles/ point of view, ect) choices. If you're capable and happy with being gay and still growing parallel of the way you were raised....you're compatible. If you're not happy, if you find conflict then you're obviously incompatible and must adjust.
    This is a matter of your personal perspective and your tolerance of people's judgements made on you.

    [quote]Am in far left field?[/quote]
    No, you're not.
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    Feb 12, 2009 1:50 AM GMT
    I'd like to thank everyone for their response. Its been great reading these things.

    I'd just like to say this is beyond just, but also other people.

    Most importantly what does it really mean to be gay? The Gay identity seems to be purely sexual from all of the media that surrounds it. Even LGBTA is difficult to take seriously..
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Feb 12, 2009 2:15 AM GMT
    At the core of the issue I think lies the problem of definitions. As people, we aim for structure, cohesion, rationality, and formulation. Everything has a name, every name has a reason, etc... Unfortunately, this naming and classification of the world seems to falter when the human element is involved.

    It's very easy to look at a dog and say that's a dog, and it doesn't matter if he knows how to fetch a stick or doesn't, he's still a dog; however, you try placing the same logic on people. A guy is a guy right? Well, what happens if he happens to like other guys, or isn't into sports? Is he still a guy? Or is he a different kind of guy?

    Because our identities are so malleable and complex, not to mention different from each other, it makes it seemingly impossible to construct definitions. So we create more of them. Originally there were just guys. Now we have gay guys for that offshoot of guys who defied the original definition. But much like the dog example, it's very easy to be content with a label if you don't understand the specifics. I am sure straight people are often perfectly content lumping the gay category as ubiquitous. As gay men, we then struggle with that identity because the label created for us is often in contradiction to who we are as evidenced by our being within the subgrouping. Essentially, we feel the definition is too broad, too limited, or simply, incorrect.

    I think the better questions to ask yourself is why does identity matter? I mean, I understand the desire from within to know and classify yourself to express your being, but it seems largely unnecessary outside of your own mind. I'm content with seeing a person and understanding they are the sum of their experiences, interactions, and philosophies. That person is unlike any other person in the world and it would be wrong to try to pigeonhole them into a label based upon certain characteristics that make up, but do not define their essence.
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    Jan 07, 2011 3:57 PM GMT
    HartfanSo don't think that identities are exclusive. If you turn right, you might find yourself at the football game and loving every minute of it. If you turn left, you might find yourself watching Project Runway with a bunch of "queens" - and loving every minute of it. It's all good.




    I have a problem with this. When I try to reconcile these two seeminly polar opposite identities in my head (I picture myself switching from my Macho Identity that I put on around the gym/sports - to letting myself act somewhat more effeminately say with a gay friend) ..I feel like a hypocrite inside my mind, infact, 2 different people, even when I know that I am not a hypocrite but just trying to give all of my identities expression. It troubles me and I have been dealing with it for years.

    Big problem for me, PG, Can relate. I think over time you can kind of come to a gradual merger of 'conflicting identities' and it becomes easier. That has been my experience.
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    Jan 07, 2011 5:12 PM GMT
    I am thinking your doing youself a disfavor in disecting yourself into Identities (different hats you wear) and that doing so is your trying to fit into the different aspects of yourself as to where they fit into some scale you've developed or perceive of whats masculine (straight acting) or gay.

    I went through years of doing this and found it to be an exhausting effort and once I just accepted that all aspects (identities) of myself come together to make me, (one whole person) and that it makes no valuable difference where those aspects fit into some imaginary 'scale' of masculinity versus being gay, Then I became totally comfortable with myself. it no longer matters about fitting into any identity, I am who I am, this "whole" (me) is my one Identity. I am no longer concerned with where I fit, because I Just fit as I am, and thats all anyone does when you get right down to it.

    I love to build houses, on the other hand, I love to decorate them, I love having my hands in the dirt in the yard and garden, and I love the delicate flowers, picking and arranging them, and on and on and it all goes together to make just one me, and I don't need to fit into some scale of Identity and no one else does either.

    Here's hoping you don't take decades to come to this self acceptance as it did me, let up on yourself on these Identities and where you fit, just be glad you have the talents, likes and dislikes that you have and run into life with them improve on them, add some, change some as you grow and you will fit in as the whole that you are. Its all that can be expected of anyone and its all good.