Dear All Realjock Members

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    Jun 28, 2009 12:15 AM GMT
    Dear Realjock Members,

    It is a struggle to try and find the right words to express myself through this “letter”. There is so much that I want to mention and I need for every part of it to be perfect. I wish I could blame any flaws that might be present on the fact that English is my third language but after having spoken it since I was four that would be quite unacceptable. I also wish I could blame such possible flaws on my lack of creativity and inability to write well but that just sounds bad. Appearing pathetic would not make a good first impression, would it? Since I cannot send an email to each and every one of you as I would like, I am left with the option of posting this here for all of you to see. If I have bored you already then I guess I have proven my previously stated point and I apologize. By all means though, don’t let me stop you from leaving if that’s the case. If you have already skipped this and are only skimming through, then I take no offence. I do that too sometimes.

    Do you know that narrow minded person over there that is disgusted by homosexuals and thinks that they will all go to hell? As gay and bisexual men, I am sure you have all met someone like that. I personally know that there are many of those people around in the world as I have once been one of them. I was once that naïve girl who, through years of being taught to perceive homosexuality negatively, had developed an unconscious aversion to it (yes I am female despite what my username may suggest and the word girl was not a typo). However, after visiting this website my views have been drastically changed.

    Two years ago, when I was only seventeen, I was aimlessly surfing the Internet when my eyes landed upon an interestingly bizarre advertisement. It does not seem so odd to me now but to the small-minded me then, it was. It was a banner promoting Realjock, with the phrase, “Fitness for gay men,” upon on a lovely background picture. What boggled me and seemed like such an oxymoron to me then were the words ‘jock’ and ‘gay’ put together. My perception of gay men brought up the image of that effeminate, flamboyant-with-a-lisp hairstylist from movies and it was hard to visualize someone like that playing American football or any other sport. Yes, I was an idiot for buying such a stereotype in the first place.

    After seeing the Realjock advertisement, I was overwhelmed with curiosity so my fingers could not resist clicking the mouse and with just a simple click, it was as though I had entered a different world. Though, as soon as I had discovered it, I found myself unable to leave. I began reading the forums, from one post to the next, from one thread to another and back again. Every thread gave me insight into someone’s thoughts and feelings, and overall his personality. I ended up clicking on usernames and viewing profiles, which due to buddy and hot lists led to the viewing of even more and more profiles. Following many days of this, that feeling of shock, bewilderment and unfamiliarity upon initially visiting the website gradually faded away into something much better. If I say I was mesmerized, would you laugh? It certainly sounds less creepy than if I said I was obsessed.

    For some reason - of which I still ponder - I suddenly stopped checking Realjock forums. It would be sensible to presume that this was due to other interests that occupied my mind at the time, such as delving into my own Gay and Lesbian Studies course. Granted it was not as professional and well informed as an actual college course would be but I believe it to be just as interesting. I searched for other GLBT related sites for more information. I would watch gay related videos on YouTube, anything from movies to TV shows to news to just random people talking. During all this “researching” my friend gave me a gay romance book, which she bought from abroad, to read. Of course, it was the first one that had I ever read and after having done so, it was only slightly surprising how much I enjoyed it. It turned out that my friend and I had one more thing in common. I have always been in love with romance books, so after this wonderful book I tried looking for more. Unfortunately, the only way I could get them was to download them off the internet seeing as how there are none where I live. By the time I had read the third book, it was amusing how pleased I was with it more so than some other straight romance books.

    It was only a few months ago that I came back to Realjock or at least tried to. I had typed the URL into the address bar only to realize that the site was blocked by our internet service provider. I was annoyed at that point but it’s what to be expected of where I live. Censorship is allowed here but the strictness of it usually varies depending on people’s complaints of certain websites from time to time.
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    Jun 28, 2009 12:16 AM GMT
    While I cannot care if they block adult websites, it’s the blocking of non-adult websites because they are gay related or for some other silly reason that irks me. Nevertheless, this did not stop me from entering the site via a web proxy.

    Coming back to the website brought about a sense of déjà vu, especially when I began to recognize some faces I had seen before. This time around though, I was so fixated on Realjock that I would routinely check the website everyday as I would with my emails. It became a necessity to me then to create an account, partly so I could read more threads and partly so I could come out and get this off my chest. There was also the thought that maybe if I did get an account, the hours I spent on Realjock would be less but that theory obviously turned out to be wrong. It was hard to create an account too because with many web proxies the reCAPTCHA image doesn’t load. Thus, when I was finally able to confirm that I am human, in my haste and eagerness, I left the Unites States as my default country. I thought that I could change that tiny detail later but then I discovered that UnblockAnything wouldn’t let me change my profile, among other things. Even though I have an account, I do not have full access to it.

    I used to think that homosexuality was a choice. I have always been a firm believer that the mind has the potential to achieve anything it wants. In this case, I used to believe that people could choose to be straight or same-sex orientated if they put their mind to it. Though, after reading/listening to what many of you and other gay people have pointed out, that was becoming difficult to believe. Yes, it could be possible for you to “turn straight”. You could possibly force yourself to stop thinking about the same sex, force yourself to think about women, to be involved with them and possibly even do more with them. However, after all that exceedingly hard effort and fighting what comes naturally, could one be happy? To take a simpler example, I could force myself to eat raw tomatoes everyday but that doesn’t mean that it still won’t leave a bad taste in my mouth because I still won’t like them. I can’t imagine being able to change what gender I am more inclined to feel attracted to, much less needing or wanting to do so anyway. It would be like changing a part of who I am. It seems impossible that even if I might have the power to repress how I naturally feel, that I could ever be happy in doing so. It just would not be right.

    There is also the issue of how, in my religion, homosexual acts are considered a sin. Due to this, in my mind, homosexuality was regarded as unacceptable. However, when I saw the members on this site and realized how (for lack of a better word) normal they are, I couldn’t stop myself from being accepting. It was silly of me to have thought otherwise. It’s as though, when thinking of homosexuals, people seem to forget that they both share the same species. They also forget that, with regard to most religions, we as humans all sin. In this instance, it would be highly hypocritical for one person to condemn the acts of another, besides the fact that it’s really not anyone’s business. I’ve learned that just because someone’s sexual orientation is different than mine does not make him/her “bad”, an “abomination” or less worthy of respect. It also certainly does not mean that homosexuals pose a threat to me, to any religion nor to society as a whole. That type of mentality seems so laughable to me now. How can a person harm anyone with only his/her sexual orientation? My religion, in addition, requires that we respect the beliefs of others and avoid discriminating against people based on their differences. Taking that into consideration, people should be respected and treated equally regardless of their sexual orientation, and they shouldn’t be judged unfairly because of it. In the end, it’s not us who decide who ‘goes to hell’ or who goes to heaven but God/Allah and I believe that He would base such a decision on one’s character and intentions.

    There really is a reason for this long post (sorry for that, I know how a lot of you hate them), other than confessing all the above. I wanted to thank you for opening my mind to something it should have been open to long ago. It’s remarkable how much just a simple website has changed my perceptions. I would state that, if it wasn’t for Realjock then I wouldn’t have realized how perfectly normal gay people are, but ‘normal’ seems like such a small and dull word to describe you all. If it wasn’t for Realjock then I wouldn’t have known how intelligent, talented, funny, caring, strong, eccentric, sometimes crazy, many times perverted and dare I forget, blazingly handsome all of you are. I have to admit that I have you all on a pedestal but when one’s saved from an eternity of darkness and ignorance, who wouldn’t? Thank you for being an interesting source of entertainment all these weeks.

    “Curiosity killed the cat but satisfaction brought it back.” Speaking of cats…

    funny pictures
    moar funny pictures

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  • creature

    Posts: 5197

    Jun 28, 2009 12:52 AM GMT
    What a wonderful open letter to the Real Jock community.

    It's heart-warming to hear about people opening their hearts, and not closing their minds when it comes to the matter of the human condition. You were able to see the members in this forum as people, and that's all anybody could ask for. To look beyond insignificant attributes of a person such as race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and judge them instead by the content of their character.

    We hear a lot regarding hate and injustice. But when a story like yours comes along, a ray of light shines through.
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    Jun 28, 2009 1:07 AM GMT


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    Jun 28, 2009 1:56 AM GMT
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    Jun 28, 2009 2:10 AM GMT
    Fable saidtl;dr


    Gays are "normal" just like everyone else.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16308

    Jun 28, 2009 2:26 AM GMT
    Welcome to RJ... and looking forward to having you as a member of the

  • wander2340

    Posts: 176

    Jun 28, 2009 4:20 AM GMT
    You made my day with your fantastic open letter. It's nice to know there are people like you out there icon_smile.gif
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    Jun 28, 2009 4:44 AM GMT
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    Jun 28, 2009 4:57 AM GMT
    Dayum essay!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 28, 2009 5:03 AM GMT
    Welcome to the site.
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    Jun 28, 2009 6:19 AM GMT
    That was amazingly inspiring. Thank you for your post. In light of the current blatant discrimination and injustices we are facing as a community, I have come to the realization that it is in the best interest of the gay community that I come out completely. I've learned that those people who I've come out to have now had the opportunity to KNOW a gay person and see us for the people that we are, not for the sexual attractions that we feel and much less the pedophiles and polygamists that the media portray us to be. Just like your letter, I've had friends thank me for having vested that trust in them in sharing such a personal aspect of my self, and given them the opportunity to open their minds to something they had previously shunned away because of society's prejudice against us. This is confirmation that the changes I've witnessed in the people around me are real and are a result of their association with me.

    I'm looking forward to your continued participation with the RealJock forums icon_smile.gif
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    Jun 28, 2009 6:46 AM GMT
  • upsguy68

    Posts: 270

    Jun 28, 2009 6:47 AM GMT
    Thanks for the open letter. If only everybody could just stand back and see us for the people we are, and not just for what we do in the privacy of our homes.
    Welcome to RealJock. Have fun like the rest of us.
    And you became a member on my birthday!icon_lol.gif
  • DrewT

    Posts: 1327

    Jun 28, 2009 7:06 AM GMT
    I am truly awed that something as simple as this site could change a mind.

    They say once you put a face on something, it becomes less horrible and more real. Soldiers used to fire at fake bodies with face, but the men couldn't do it as well. Once they changed to the silhouette, they could do it, easily. Making gay people real, not some 'other', makes someone able to identify with us. That, in turn, makes us like you. Humans. Not some abomination to be destroyed.

    Thanks for the open letter.
  • scothman

    Posts: 153

    Jun 28, 2009 7:14 AM GMT
    As everyone else has already said, that was quite an excellent letter. I thank you for your words and for showing me that there are people out there that are capable of change and acceptance even when they have been brought up in a completely different life.
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    Jun 28, 2009 8:24 AM GMT

    that was beautiful, now if only it could be published and the word spread. who knew, we're normal.

    <3 alex
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    Jun 28, 2009 8:24 AM GMT
    Stick around and read. Enjoy and learn.

    Every religion is expressed here, and every nonreligion too. Here you will find leftists and rightists and hundreds of -ists and -isms. All have posted and all are welcome. Fights ensue nearly twice a day, all without a drop of blood being shed.

    One thing that unites the members here is their insistence on the right to exist. An outsider to one of us is an outsider to all of us, and all the squabbling members of this site have one common enemy: ignorance of us.

    We have no power, actually, except in our diversity and dispersion: there is not one single heart to pierce.

    So this is where you must post. Do it to exist, and let others know you exist.
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    Jun 28, 2009 8:25 AM GMT
    TL DR
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    Jun 28, 2009 9:43 AM GMT
    CapoDeiCapi...thank you for making my night. I came on to check my mail and opened your letter.

    It is an honor to hear from you and learn of your experiences with the GLBT community through RJ. I was floored when I found this place and I am happy to hear it has been a great source of growth for you as well!

    You have been welcomed above and I am glad to join the welcoming committee. Explore, learn and grow. As you have been able to learn from us, we can learn much from you.

    Thank you.
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    Jun 28, 2009 10:30 AM GMT
    Fable, xrichx and Caslon11000:

    Yeah, I apologize for the long post but when you keep things bottled up like I do, when it’s time to let it all out such is the outcome. To be honest, there was more that I wanted to include but it doesn’t matter now. This is actually the most I’ve ever said online ever. My shyness extends to online forums and the like, as I usually don’t utter a thing and only observe from afar. That sounds creepy and stalker-ish but it’s only because I greatly prefer face to face communication, even if it was a friend. Okay, enough about me. I feel like I’ve disclosed too much information. icon_neutral.gif

    Here’s the summary that I didn’t bother with cause it was three in the morning and I needed to sleep:

    Two years ago, I was one of those people who perceived homosexuality negatively. I used to think that it was a choice and was adamantly against it because my religion deemed it a sin. Then I saw the ad for Realjock and my curiosity took over. After seeing how perfectly normal gay people really are, I became willing to open my eyes to something I haven’t truly contemplated before. So I began “researching” about it, reading articles, watching movies, news and reading about/listening to people who are gay. One thing lead to another, which eventually resulted in my overall views on homosexuality to change drastically. The whole point of my letter is to thank you all for broadening my perspective, because if it wasn’t for Realjock then I doubt I would have tried to understand. So thank you!

    Oh and I’m a girl…um…woman, whatever they call nineteen year old females these days (or should I not say that?icon_confused.gif)


    I have never met a gay person (that I know of) in my life. Being gay, or at least showing that you’re gay in public is illegal where I live. Thus, even though I’ve conversed with many people all these years, no one really comes out and states that he/she is gay. Sadly, I know nothing about the hidden GLBT community in my country. I guess this is another reason why I joined Realjock, which is to connect with other gay and bi people.

    Despite what my profile might imply, I’m not from the United States. Realjock is blocked by our internet service provider so I only have access to it via a web proxy. When I first created my account I left the US as my default country and now I’ve realized that UnblockAnything won’t let me change/update my profile.
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    Jun 28, 2009 10:36 AM GMT
    Lostboy saidindex.php?q=aHR0cDovL2Fzc2V0cy5yZWFsam9j



    icon_redface.gif Hi Lostboy. icon_redface.gif

    I believe I forgot to mention how easy it is to develop a crush on some (many) of the members here. Just saying...icon_redface.gificon_wink.gif
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    Jun 28, 2009 10:40 AM GMT
    To be honest, I found this hard to follow. However, the last chapter is truly fabulous. It makes the whole story for me.

    It was a dark and stormy night
  • jrs1

    Posts: 4388

    Jun 28, 2009 11:43 AM GMT

    all I'll say is: " people are like places; some shine and some don't. "

    the people of rj make this a vibrant gay community and being here

    allows one to consider the essential notion that you can be homosexual and

    functional. =]
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    Jun 28, 2009 11:47 AM GMT
    It's nice what you wrote but OMFG icon_eek.gif there's nothing in ur profile icon_neutral.gificon_confused.gif I can't tell you how much I hate bleak profiles.... icon_mad.gif
    Though curiousity has killed this caticon_redface.gif...where you from? Dare I say the Middle Easternicon_question.gif