Less of a Man

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    May 22, 2009 1:11 AM GMT
    Has anyone ever felt like less of a man because they were gay? I have been struggling with this issue for a long time. And wanted to know if anyone else went through this...and well how they stopped feeling like that.
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    May 22, 2009 1:15 AM GMT
    No, I really don´t and never have.


    sorry that´s not very helpful


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    May 22, 2009 1:16 AM GMT
    Never. I can do what they (straight men) can and then some. I am an athlete (Hike 6 miles a day and swim).....I can cook...I can rebuild cars from junk.....I can fuck too if I want...so I have no inferiority complex what so ever. I do think they find ME rather intimidating....and that is what I LIKE!!

    Time will build your self esteem and confidence. Then you will wonder why you ever felt the way you did...hang tuff!! YOU WILL SUCCEED.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    May 22, 2009 1:25 AM GMT
    In the sense of not meeting the benchmarks of our societies norms, yeah sometimes.
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    May 22, 2009 1:33 AM GMT
    I stopped feeling like that years ago.. had a mate give me a drunk hug and say "I wish I could be as much me as you are you" which confused me to no end but I think it meant he wants to be as comfortable with himself as I seem to be I think.. I was 17 at the time..
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    May 22, 2009 1:39 AM GMT
    Nope, I've never let my sexuality define me as a person. It's just one aspect of me. What I've done, how I've interacted with people and where I'm going are what defines me as a man.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    May 22, 2009 1:41 AM GMT
    Absolutely not... there are many things that define a man.... the way you conduct your life, your treatment of other people, taking responsibility for yourself and other people.... professionally and personally... just sucking up and doing what needs to be done..... your sexual preference has nothing to do with your "effective" you are as a man.
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    May 22, 2009 4:29 AM GMT
    Depends on what you think a "man" is supposed to be.
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    May 22, 2009 4:35 AM GMT
    Absolutely not. In fact, I think I am more so BECAUSE I am gay. Imagine for a moment what some of us have had to go through, are going through and some who will go through life haveing to prove who they are over and over again. To the ones who have had it rough, my hat is off to you. Never let that chin dip for a moment just because you are a gay man.
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    May 22, 2009 4:36 AM GMT
    BJJMMAFighter saidHas anyone ever felt like less of a man because they were gay? I have been struggling with this issue for a long time. And wanted to know if anyone else went through this...and well how they stopped feeling like that.

    Realize the people who wrote the "rules" purposely wrote them to exclude gays....and people of color....and women. ...The more people they could exclude, the fewer people they had to compete against. Also, it is easy to belittle a group of which you are not a member. And let me tell you, when someone decides to take up discriminating, they first find a group to which they do not belong and then, brother, can they discriminate! ... icon_lol.gif

    And if you are looking for external approbation to justify your self-worth, then you are gonna have one unhappy life.
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    May 22, 2009 4:40 AM GMT
    There are plenty of reasons why I sometimes feel less than. Any time I compare myself to another person I notice ways in which that person might have more position, status, beauty, or whatnot than little ol' me. I don't like that I often size people up and judge myself against them, but it happens much more than I would like to admit. Also, the more that I am aware of judging myself and catching myself in the act of sizing myself up as less than, the more I have also been able to allow myself the opportunity to not size myself up.
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    May 22, 2009 4:40 AM GMT
    No. But I didn't really relate to men growing up. I was a momma's boy and nellie - a not-so-butch combination. It's only been in recent years that I've had straight male friends. To be honest, I still see myself as "other" than most of them. I think gender is complex and much more of a continuum than just "man" or "woman".

    Is it just your sexuality that makes you feel this way?
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    May 22, 2009 4:42 AM GMT
    Never felt like less of a man for being gay. Being gay is not WHO I am, but part of who I am. I have felt a little less of a man at times because of other factors such as having no depth in my life. I will say that at your age I was still discovering who I was so I wouldn't let this build into a long term feeling. Its your decision if you are a "man" or not. No one else's.
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    May 22, 2009 4:44 AM GMT
    NO! When I die and come back, it will be as a man agin. I've never wanted to be a female.
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    May 22, 2009 4:56 AM GMT
    No, cause I think a real man sleeps with other men, not women.
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    May 22, 2009 5:03 AM GMT
    Nope. What defines a man is the appropriate plumbing, chromosomes and psychoemotional gender identity. You should be more concerned with what type of human being you are. People that rigorously define themselves in relation to what they perceive their proper gender normative role to be are already less in my eyes.
  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    May 22, 2009 5:07 AM GMT
    GuerrillaSodomite saidNope. What defines a man is the appropriate plumbing, chromosomes and psychoemotional gender identity. You should be more concerned with what type of human being you are. People that rigorously define themselves in relation to what they perceive their proper gender normative role to be are already less in my eyes.


    :::swoons::::
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    May 22, 2009 5:11 AM GMT

    Here's a take on being a man from an old straight guy named Kipling, and though a couple of things in it are suspect to me (just too straight lol), there's nothing in it a gay man can't do.

    -Doug
    IF

    If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
    But make allowance for their doubting too,
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
    And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

    If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
    If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breath a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
    If all men count with you, but none too much,
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
    And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

    --Rudyard Kipling
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    May 22, 2009 5:28 AM GMT
    The question is: What does being a man mean to you?

    We all make our own definitions of what it is to be a man. You don't have to adopt those of someone else if they don't work for you, or if they're not what you value in being a man. You don't have to go with the old tropes of being the breadwinner/holding your liquor/being macho, if you don't like.

    To me, a man:
    - admits when he's made a mistake, and does what he can to correct it.
    - accepts responsibility for his actions.
    - admits when he doesn't know something, and takes steps to find out the answer.
    - is comfortable enough in his own abilities to defer to others in their fields of expertise.
    - doesn't take unfair advantage of those in a weaker position.
    - will put off immediate gratification for a better future when appropriate.
    - can lose without sulking and win without gloating.

    Those aren't unique to men -- many women display many of those characteristics -- but to me, what it means to be a man is to be an adult male, and those are the primary characteristics I look for in being a mature adult.

    None of those are affected by whether or not I'm into guys.

    I think the best advice I can off you is to think about what it is that makes a man in your mind. Figure out which of those things are actually important. And then figure out whether any of those things are impacted by being gay. It might make it a lot easier for you to let go of any feelings of inadequacy.
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    May 22, 2009 7:58 AM GMT
    Actually I used to. I like the many responses that many others have wisely given to you: that being a man has to do with chivalry, responsibility, maturity, self-awareness, compassionate dealings with other people... Also I like the ones that say that being a man is about the XY chromosomes, the right “plumbing” and our own ideas about what a man is.

    But I'll confess that when I felt that way these ideas didn't do much for me: I’ll still felt less of a man. I was trapped between not wanting to further hurt my pride (Of course I am a real man!) and my lackful feelings (But I lack this and that that real men have!) In my case, I got over it because of two seemingly unrelated things in my life: I learned to be in contact with my feelings and I decided I would go after those things that would “make me a real man”, perhaps even "straight" if that was possible (as per many books some well meaning, but not very knowleagable in such matters people provided me with)

    It was a big goal, so big and important to me that I gave up on my pride (one big feat in my case I might add!) to accept I was after something I felt I didn’t have and, eventually, achieve it. Instead of denying the lackful feelings and just try to make them go away or just toughing them trough, I acknowledged them and saw them as indicators of perceived not yet met expectations of mine. I found a pretext (the being a real man goal, useful and valuable but a pretext nonetheless) not to deny my feelings about the subject anymore. Also I had a pretty nice idea of how my goal felt (more clearly because of the contrast with my current feelings) which gave me a motivation not to dwell too much in my feelings of being-less-than. If I did feel less of a man, I’d let it be, perhaps I even would gain a certain self-insight, but after that, I’d let the feeling go in peace.

    After a while, it became clear those perceived not yet met expectations were either legitimate places where I could improve myself or just perceptions that came out of others’ expectations. But whenever I was honest about where I could improve or where I was compromising to others’ expectations, not one time did I found out it had anything to do with being gay. I’ll be honest and say that sometimes it made it easy to see other straight men struggling with the same issues I had: I just happened to have a very prominent and socially awkward (gay!) characteristic in whose neck I could easily hang the “fault” and then emotionally beat myself to a pulp for being that way.

    Subtlety and slowly my goal changed from “being a real man” to being the man I wanted to be (the man part of it being real became a given). So yes, I’ve chosen to make mine many of the characteristics other posters mentioned as part of the (MY) definition of manhood but also I am unashamed of my little quirks that somehow stretch or stick out of the manliness’ social expectations box (here in Mexico, being gay for instance!). I guess in a nutshell what happened to me is: I accepted how I felt, I decided not to deny it, I was very mindful of how I wanted to feel, I found ways to try to get to that “feeling place” (in my case with goals I knew were good for me and were attainable, but I guess someone more mindful than me would be able to do it without the “achievement” or “testing myself” factors) and then discovered... (And I said this stressing how I didn’t see it that way until I had made the journey) I was already there. In my case, of course it was important to me, of course it was not a very little part of my identity, of course I needed to deal with it before moving on, of course it became a big brick in the foundation of my identity, but yes, after a while, that brick is important for the whole building, but not the building itself and while I can see the case for that one brick’s absence not causing the whole to collapse, I feel better having that space filled and it was, and is, a worthwhile journey.

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    May 22, 2009 6:10 PM GMT
    I think ErikTaurean pretty much nailed it. Not to put to fine a point on it, but I think I pretty much just effing rock, and a large part of that is having the satisfaction of knowing I live confidently and unapologetically as a gay man -- and that it took a lot to come to that point. To me, conviction, confidence, and surmounting obstacles -- not sexuality -- are hallmarks of masculinity.
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    May 22, 2009 6:54 PM GMT
    BJJMMAFighter saidHas anyone ever felt like less of a man because they were gay? I have been struggling with this issue for a long time. And wanted to know if anyone else went through this...and well how they stopped feeling like that.
    You are struggling with the age old insecurity of gay men heaped on us by centuries of condemnation and expectations of society. That insecurity is why so many gay men freak out about feminine guys for example.

    Throw out fear about what other people think. You just have to find your own strength inside and appreciate yourself. Here are some interesting old proverbs to think about:

    Care about people's approval
    and you will be their prisoner.


    also

    The way
    to get rid of that sickness
    is to be sick of it.


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    May 22, 2009 7:02 PM GMT
    Hey you are not living in the fifties.

    Someone has made you doubt yourself. Don't fall into their delusions of right and wrong. Don't let friends or family knock your self esteem. trust yourself and those feelings should go away.
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    May 22, 2009 7:14 PM GMT
    ABSOLUTELY NOT!icon_rolleyes.gif
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    May 22, 2009 7:21 PM GMT
    BJJMMAFighter saidHas anyone ever felt like less of a man because they were gay? I have been struggling with this issue for a long time. And wanted to know if anyone else went through this...and well how they stopped feeling like that.

    I'm afraid I NEVER felt like that, so never had to stop. Though just a short little runt, and growing fat now in old age, in my prime I was more man than any 10 straight guys put together. And the same can go for you.

    A motorcyclist for over 40 years, an outdoorsman, a hunter & fisherman, mechanic, physical fitness college professor, a retired US Army Colonel with 25 years service, there are not many men who could match me, no matter what their orientation. And when I came out late, and faced the dilemma of the wimpy, effeminate gay stereotype, I said "Fuck the stereotype!"

    Rather than feeling less a man for being gay, I mock straights who are less men than me. Being a so-called "man" and being gay are 2 different things, and not mutually exclusive. Do not buy into that propaganda of the straight male. Most of the gay men I know run circles around that myth.

    So no, I don't feel less of a man for being gay. If anything, I feel MORE of a man, for having more masculine attributes despite my gay orientation than many straight men I know, which tells me my masculinity is earned, not assumed.