Coming Out Advice

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 13, 2009 4:48 PM GMT
    So while I have only been out for about 6 months now, I am starting to realize that the gay world is a lot more confusing than I was lead on to believe. Like others, I thought that in order to survive I would need to find a relationship and feed off of that, but over time I have come to the conclusion that it is not a relationship that I need but a sense of belonging to a group of people.

    So what this is boiling down to is it would be great if some of you older chaps out there with a little more experience under your belt can part on some general wisdom to us younger guys who are just starting to discover who we are.

    All comments appreciated!
  • Sk8Tex

    Posts: 738

    Apr 13, 2009 5:23 PM GMT
    I volunteered for the Pride parade when I first came out, and I made alot of really great friends there as well as my partner I've been with for 5 1/2 years. I go back every year looking forward to the people I may work with that weekend. icon_smile.gif Not everyones cup of tea but it will definetly get you out there meeting new people.
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    Apr 13, 2009 5:29 PM GMT
    Make friends. Don't worry if they're gay, straight, thin, fat, orange, purple, or pink. Find quality people who you enjoy and who enjoy you and live life. Find the happiness in yourself that you'll share with the world.

    From there, you'll meet love. Don't seek, meet. There's a difference.

    If you want that sense of community, join gay civic groups, volunteer at your local LGBT center, attend speaking events and such with a LGBT slant, etc.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 13, 2009 5:52 PM GMT
    you're right about seeking friendships; romance will come in it's own time.

    try volunteer work -- i worked in a soup kitchen on saturdays when i was your age and i made lots of friends with the other volunteers, some of whom i'm still close with. volunteers are usually nice people (usually, but there's always a jackass...) and there's always a few other gays. something about having a shared task breaks down the social barriors and encourages networking and friendship.

    oh another idea is to join a gay sports group. it's a little more obvious and might lead to dating, but it also might lead to friendship -- and fitness, of course. icon_wink.gif

    good luck. you sound like a very smart guy, i'm sure you'll have it all worked out in no time. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Apr 13, 2009 6:04 PM GMT
    is there anyway to tell your friends and the people you love without makin a mess?
  • steven_patter...

    Posts: 144

    Apr 13, 2009 6:11 PM GMT
    Bud, while I applaud your reaching out for wisdom and advice, I think the best I can give is for you not to depend on "a group" to provide validation. Live your life as you see fit and as best you can. Coming out is a good first step, but it certainly isn't going to solve all the issues you have. NOTHING in this world is simple. Hopefully, you'll be able to surround yourself with people who support and validate the person you are now and who will help you become the person you want to be. But you've gotta do it for yourself rather than trying to turn yourself into what you perceive others want you to be. And if a relationship grows out of that, it's only gonna be stronger than if you got yourself into one just because you thought you needed to get into one. Don't try to push things - life takes things at its own pace and what needs to happen will happen in its own good time, especially if you've built on a foundation of self-respect. Good luck and keep pluggin'.
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    Apr 13, 2009 6:15 PM GMT
    but if coming out means losing everything i have cared about and everything i've known, im wondering if its worth it? sorry, im new at this.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 13, 2009 6:23 PM GMT
    Start with the person who is the right combination of trustworthy, open-minded and close. You need to be important to them and you need them not to blab on you - this is your story to tell.

    The first time you say the words out loud, it's going to be terrifying, so you need to start with someone who loves you and couldn't give a shit anyway. It gets a lot easier over time.

    And the opposite is true too - it gets much more complicated and difficult the longer you wait - the lies build up.

    If you're ready and safe and loved, just do it. You'll never look back.

    Good luck gentlemen.
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    Apr 13, 2009 6:55 PM GMT
    regular__joe saidbut if coming out means losing everything i have cared about and everything i've known, im wondering if its worth it? sorry, im new at this.


    When i came out, it was to my family first. I realize now that it was a mistake, and I should have come out to my close friends to get support. While my parents didnt kick me out of the house, they also didnt support my "choice" of lifestyle, and have told me many times that they wished I would change my preference. Oh well, to each his own.

    If you are to come out, make sure it is with friends. You should be able to tell who your most supportive friend is. Start there, it makes the world of difference.

    When I came out to my straight roommate, he actually took me to my first gay bar to make sure I would be comfortable. You will be surprised how much they will care about you.

    As for family, I know they love me and want whats best, and I know that they support gay people all over the world, they just need to get used to it being in their own back yard, so to speak.

    Hope that helps Joe.

    Everyone else, that is some pretty good advice, ill take it into consideration.

    Thanks!
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Apr 13, 2009 6:57 PM GMT
    Go out and enjoy your life .....
    take part and do everything that brings you happiness

    Whether that involves other gay men? Great
    If not? Who cares
    Make good friends ..... involve your family in your life
    In other words involve yourself in life
    Do not isolate yoyrself from anything because your gay
    or because you Think you should be doing something else
    or what other people will think
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 13, 2009 7:36 PM GMT
    Chainers said Like others, I thought that in order to survive I would need to find a relationship and feed off of that, but over time I have come to the conclusion that it is not a relationship that I need but a sense of belonging to a group of people.

    Your instincts are sound. At this point you are still finding out new things about who you are. As you learn more about yourself you'll gain confidence and have a better understanding about your needs and desires. As everybody above suggested, you can develop this assurance by building a social support network that takes into account your new situation. Gay, straight, it doesn't matter as long as they are supportive. But don't seek out a relationship just because you think you have to have one. When you are ready, you will know.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Apr 13, 2009 7:37 PM GMT
    regular__joe saidis there anyway to tell your friends and the people you love without makin a mess?


    The people that really love you and are will be an asset to your life are people that will accept you for who you are.

    If someone can't deal with you being gay, then they wouldn't be there for anything else either.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 13, 2009 8:32 PM GMT
    Well said timberoo.

    Lke everyone here seems to indicate, get involved in a community activity that might interest you. Hopefully, It'll help you expand your sense of personal identity that is just that, personal, and not based on expectations and too close conformity to any group, People are more likely to accept you into their community and respect you if they know that they are dealing with someone who is authentic and able to accept themselves rather than dealing with someone who is phoney. You can try to please as many people as you can, especially when it seems less painful and more popular, but be aware that personal unhappiness will follow suit cause that's not necessarily who you are.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 13, 2009 10:04 PM GMT
    Find a fabulous pair of comfy shoes that look smashing with everything you wear.. comfy shoes are important no matter what your doing and comfy shoes means a happy person..

    Then.. go live life, not gay life, not straight life, but real life, don't try to fit into anything be you, you'll know who that is because when your being you, your oddly content with it and when you aren't being you that little voice in your head tells you.
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Apr 13, 2009 10:52 PM GMT
    I found coming out completely empowering. The weight lifted from my shoulders about this secret I was keeping, wondering if my family and friends would reject me, was tremendous. And, yes, the sense of belonging was amazing. But, I think I did overcompensate at first. Part of it was thinking I could fulfill self-worth in gay clubs and bars. That past quickly, fortunately.

    I'm certainly more liberal after coming out, but there are other areas where my way of thinking has come to where I was before coming out.

    Overall, coming out challenged my notions of myself and the world around me, broadened my worldview in many ways. I think I've found a pleasant medium within both the "gay" world and "straight" world.

    You just have to find what works for you.
  • DrobUA

    Posts: 1331

    Apr 17, 2009 7:42 AM GMT
    regular__joe saidbut if coming out means losing everything i have cared about and everything i've known, im wondering if its worth it? sorry, im new at this.


    I'm not exactly older but I already came out so I guess I can still give some advise. You might not lose as much as you think. I thought most of my guy friends were homophobic because they are guys and thats how most guys act. I told them anyways after preparing myself to find new friends and got the exact opposite reaction. If anything it brought us closer because they saw that it took some balls to tell them. When they see you are still the same person it won't really matter.

    I do understand where you are coming from though. The guy I've kinda been seeing isn't out and doesn't plan on coming out any time soon. He lives in his frat house and his friends are all douche bags who very well might reject him if he came out to them. They obviously aren't real friends but he doesn't care. They are what he knows and what he's comfortable with.

    As for your family, they might not take it as well as you'd like but they love you and they'll get over it. They want you to be happy, just be patient.

    For me it was completely worth it. I was sick of being afraid of who I was. I was sick of feeling like I was living a lie. Just be confident with who you are and nobody will have a problem with it.