THE CHOICE

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jul 14, 2009 3:36 AM GMT
    Several weeks ago we had a thread on the Lifetime movie, "Prayers for Bobby". I had heard much about it, had been encouraged to see it... and did on YouTube as a result of Samer's thread on the topic:

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/565982/

    I ordered the DVD and watched it. As a result several of my friends have
    been exposed to the movie, which is based on the true story of Bobby Griffith, a young gay man who committed suicide.

    One very close friend of mine told me something which got me thinking ...

    He said, "Chris I cried through the whole thing and I quit watching it after his suicide and the beginning of the reform of his mother", "Why"? I asked,
    He told me that it reminded him of his situation too much. Now my friend is an educated, accomplished guy and he would never commit suicide, but he explained, "The same sort of thing would happen with me, I could be rejected by my family and by my friends" (and in the community in which he lives and has a very public job).

    Now I don't want to hear any bullshit about him "manning up" or "having the balls to explain all to his family". What I witnessed was his pain. He made "the choice" of living life based on a tract started years ago, that of a
    "straight" guy who just doesn't get married, who does right in the eyes of him family and friends. He recently had a trip and was in the company of professional gay men. "Its really my only chance to be myself and I really needed it" he said. He knows I'll be his friend no matter what or how he lives his life.

    It all sort of upset me. He's my friend and I care about him a great deal.
    I just want to see him happy for the rest of his life. The thing of it is, there are so many others just like my friend.
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Jul 14, 2009 4:06 AM GMT
    I feel for these guys. But it's really hard for me to identify with what they're going through. I risked rejection by my family and friends, but felt the need for sanity the ability to live MY life on my terms outweighed the risk. Each time I came out to someone, whether family or close friend felt like going before a firing squad. I can't say all of them went smoothly. My sister walked out as I started telling her. But a year or so later she apologized and we became closer than ever before. My father and I don't speak any more, but we were headed that direction any way, it was not really about my coming out at all. In almost every case it drew me closer to my friends, because I no longer had to pretend to be something I wasn't. I didn't have to keep my lies straight about what I told them about some fictional woman I was dating (I tried that with one friend and couldn't keep my story straight, so I never tried it with another person).

    The rewards far outweigh the risks, in my opinion. I feel sorry for your friend. He carries such a burden. The toll it must take on him. But the acceptance he basks in from his family and friends he's not out to is based on lies and deception. It's a shame he is forced to live less than a full life.
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    Jul 14, 2009 4:22 AM GMT
    Every man has to make up his own mind about his path in life. No one is perfect and almost certainly we all do things to hurt ourselves in some way and we all have to live with our decisions.

    As much as we want people we care about to be happy, suffering is universal.

    I am reminded of a few quotes from "If you meet the Buddha on the Road, kill him!"

    "Love is more than simply being open to experiencing the anguish of another person's suffering. It is the willingness to live with the helpless knowing that we can do nothing to save the other from his pain."

    You can only do so much to help someone, and even then we can make things worse. We can try to help but sometimes all the love in the world can't save someone from pain.

    Being a good example and practicing mercy and loving-kindness is always a good start. Maybe also pointing out opportunity and options can be helpful.
  • silverfox

    Posts: 3178

    Jul 14, 2009 4:23 AM GMT

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/565982/

    Here is url posted by HK so you can get to it easier....
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    Jul 14, 2009 4:27 AM GMT
    Here was my post from similar thread (http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/565982/):

    Here was a thread that talks about the subject of suicide in gay youth and rejection .. see the article in the original post ..

    Intolerance kills gay youth!

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=98782569Gay, lesbian and bisexual teens and young adults have one of the highest rates of suicide attempts — and some other health and mental health problems, including substance abuse. A new study suggests that parental acceptance, and even neutrality, with regard to a child's sexual orientation could have a big impact in reducing this rate..
    [...]
    They found that kids who, by Ryan's measure, experienced high levels of rejection were nearly 8.5 times more likely to have attempted suicide. They were nearly six times more likely to report high levels of depression and almost 3.5 times more likely to use illegal drugs or engage in unprotected sex. That was compared with adolescents whose families may have felt uncomfortable with a gay kid, but were neutral or only mildly rejecting.
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    Jul 14, 2009 5:20 AM GMT
    I've paid the price for being open about my sexuality. That I have now lived more than half of my life as an orphan. You know I even found many family members on face book, and just said G'day to them. It was OMG he is on face book; gees. But I'm strong, and I don't hurt, nor am I bitter, as i have lived.

    But my soul is free and able to sing.

    The sad thing is, that if he sticks to that iron rod, he will grow to regret it.

    I have been abused by people who hid their true sexuality, until way after 50, and all their youth was way gone. Because I got to enjoy my youth, and enjoy it to the fullest I did, and now I have two men who love me, and 4 dogs as well.

    But A part of me does feel pain for this young man, as I have meet many people like him, who grew to regret it in latter life.
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    Jul 14, 2009 6:04 AM GMT
    QUOTEIt all sort of upset me. He's my friend and I care about him a great deal.
    I just want to see him happy for the rest of his life. The thing of it is, there are so many others just like my friend.


    I can't say it better than this, I hope your friend doesn't end up like the bolded part at least, and makes his life work, regardless of his choices.

    The UnforgivenNew blood joins this earth
    And quickly he's subdued
    Through constant pained disgrace
    The young boy learns their rules

    With time the child draws in
    This whipping boy done wrong
    Deprived of all his thoughts
    The young man struggles on and on he's known
    A vow unto his own
    That never from this day
    His will they'll take away-eay

    Chorus:

    What I've felt
    What I've known
    Never shined through in what I've shown
    Never be
    Never see
    Won't see what might have been
    What I've felt
    What I've known
    Never shined through in what I've shown
    Never free
    Never me
    So I dub thee UNFORGIVEN

    They dedicate their lives
    To RUNNING all of his
    He tries to please THEM all
    This bitter man he is
    Throughout his life the same
    He's battled constantly
    This fight he cannot win
    A tired man they see no longer cares
    The old man then prepares
    To die regretfully

    That old man here is me


  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Jul 14, 2009 6:50 AM GMT
    We all make the choices that are right for us.
    For some guys, the acceptance of their family (and the fear of rejection) is extremely important.
    If you want to be his friend, you have to accept that he is not ready to come out, yet. Perhaps he will never be ready.
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    Jul 14, 2009 8:55 AM GMT
    HndsmKansan,

    I can sympathize with your friend.

    jprichva made a good point.

    One day he might change his view on what's important.

    Whatever he does....

    The fact that you support him and are there for him says alot.
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    Jul 14, 2009 9:12 AM GMT
    Webster666 saidWe all make the choices that are right for us.
    For some guys, the acceptance of their family (and the fear of rejection) is extremely important.
    If you want to be his friend, you have to accept that he is not ready to come out, yet. Perhaps he will never be ready.


    What he said.
  • somedaytoo

    Posts: 704

    Jul 14, 2009 10:37 AM GMT
    I never could understand why the kinds of people that visit my bedroom should be other peoples business. You never know what someone elses situation is, so what's good for one is not always what's good for another. You can only make that decision for yourself.
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    Jul 14, 2009 1:59 PM GMT
    Now before we get the usual foaming-at-the-mouth-rabid guys demanding everyone come out to everyone the first second they know they're gay, take a close look at the map.


    US_LGBT_civil_rights_August_2008.png



    ...as we can see, there are places where it can be very important to take things very slow and carefully.
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    Jul 14, 2009 2:21 PM GMT
    I feel sympathy for those with the dilemma of choosing a life of honesty or not. Luckily ,I can say that I dont know what it is like to be in their shoes. My family stood by me , has always stood by me , and always accepted partners as members of the family. They were just another 'in-law" to them. I know that is rare and special. I feel for those who never had that experience.
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    Jul 15, 2009 9:28 AM GMT
    HndsmKansan said
    One very close friend of mine told me something which got me thinking ...

    He said, "Chris I cried through the whole thing and I quit watching it after his suicide and the beginning of the reform of his mother", "Why"? I asked,
    He told me that it reminded him of his situation too much. Now my friend is an educated, accomplished guy and he would never commit suicide, but he explained, "The same sort of thing would happen with me, I could be rejected by my family and by my friends" (and in the community in which he lives and has a very public job).


    After seeing this topic I watched this movie and I think it was a great relief for me to watch the whole thing all the way through. I felt exactly like Bobby and still do from time to time (not suicidal feelings) just ultimately lost and not sure how exactly a family will cope. My family resembles Bobby's; my parents are devoted evangelical christians that have always and continue to go to church at least once a week including their bible studies, services, etc. When my parents first found out about the possibility of me being gay, I was sent to a therapist to "discuss" how to heal and get over these "temporary" feelings. After spending time with my therapist I told them I was fine and not to worry anymore, this however was not the case. Over time the issue was even discussed as I went to college my father was weary of sending me to a secular big university where I would be exposed to more people that would be gay, he wanted me to attend a smaller private christian school. I always brushed the comments aside that my parents made and bottled them up for a long time. During the end of my college career when my friend moved into my apartment for a summer who is gay, exposed me to the gay scene, this is when I realized that I was not alone. I found comfort and became more comfortable with who I was as a person. It was my past birthday when I exposed my sisters to my gay lifestyle when I invited my straight and gay friends to the bar crawl. That night is when I spoke with my sisters about everything and luckily (maybe its more our younger generation) their acceptance has been wonderful. My parents have been asking me about it, however I find that I am not comfortable yet disclosing it to them. I don't understand why, my mom kindly asked one evening after driving home from a dinner that I had with her, if I was gay/dating my roommate. She said that its fine and that I can tell her, but I brushed it off and told I didn't feel like discussing it with her in the car. I soon will discuss with my parents everything but I have been so reluctant since I just graduated college and they still provide so much until I can take care of my own bills with my job, that is why I think I'm scared to tell them. Its a complicated situation for everyone I think, and mentally it can be the most stressful/complex thing one can do in their life. My only hope is that your friend will know that even though it seems like everyone will end up hating you or abandoning you, I have found that it's actually brought me closer to my family and my friends. One thing I've learned is that this decision is unique to each situation. I know in mine I will never be "out" to my grandparents as long as they shall live because I can't imagine breaking their hearts. Which I feel will happen since I have always been one their favorite grandsons and my grandmother has always been trying to "pimp" me out to her friends granddaughters! icon_smile.gif
    All I can say in the end is that I truly hope your friend finds some hope and knows that it can be actually surprising the (good) responses you never thought you would hear.
  • baldone

    Posts: 826

    Jul 16, 2009 1:26 AM GMT
    i hid, i denied, tried to argue with God,bargin with Him,pray to him to make it go away...stayed hiden, the it came out...now at 58 out, but alone and no family to support me....whats left at this age.....?
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    Jul 16, 2009 3:04 AM GMT



    Lots, baldone, starting with the rest of your life...it's never too late.


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    Jul 16, 2009 4:36 AM GMT

    This is my life now! Not that I've contemplated suicide but I was engaged and committed w/ my fiancee for 8yrs. A lot of the time when I'm w/ my friends and they want to set me up or go out to pick up grls I realize I no longer want to be in that place anymore. Now I feel as if they don't know me because I have left something that might or might not be monumental in our friendship and telling them now they might feel betrayed. I saw that movie and thought thank god I don't feel that Isolated and lost and it's probably one of the reason's I have become a wrkaholic as means to divert attention from a more social life as one that I had as a straight couple as we hosted 2 dinner parties a month and constantly did couple things w/ other coupled or married friends.It's awsome he has your support in whatever choices he makes!
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    Jul 16, 2009 4:44 AM GMT
    meninlove said Now before we get the usual foaming-at-the-mouth-rabid guys demanding everyone come out to everyone the first second they know they're gay, take a close look at the map.


    US_LGBT_civil_rights_August_2008.png



    ...as we can see, there are places where it can be very important to take things very slow and carefully.


    EVERY TIME I SEE THIS I WANT TO MOVE OUT OF THIS FUCKING COUNTRY!!
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    Jul 16, 2009 5:19 AM GMT
    To where?
    LGBTI_rights.jpg
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    Jul 16, 2009 5:20 AM GMT
    xuaerb said

    EVERY TIME I SEE THIS I WANT TO MOVE OUT OF THIS FUCKING COUNTRY!!


    And I want to move back to my home state, which is purple. I now live in one of those gray states. But, if we were all to abandon the gray states, they would all turn completely red.

    My take on the OPs query is that every person's journey is his own. This whole right/wrong, should/shouldn't paradigm (paradox, even) completely misses the point. We, as a community, so vehemently resist convention when mainstream society tries to force it upon us, but we're all too ready to crucify our own if/when they don't adhere to our own "conventions." Why is that? Are we maybe more like the rest of humankind than we dare admit?

    I really liked Active's quote, "Love is more than simply being open to experiencing the anguish of another person's suffering. It is the willingness to live with the helpless knowing that we can do nothing to save the other from his pain." It's the willingness to hang in there, anyway, that makes all the difference.

    Thanks for the ref, Active. I looked up this title on Amazon, and was impressed that Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl was the most 'Frequently Bought Together' item.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jul 16, 2009 5:38 AM GMT
    ej60614 said



    he wanted me to attend a smaller private christian school.



    Hey, thanks for taking the time to tell us about you and your situation.
    It was great hearing about your life and how things are going. I'm sure there are others out there with similar experiences. I'm just glad yours are positive!

    So how did you react when watching the movie, you never said really.
    Did you cry.. did it all just seem to real?

    Btw, if you had gone to a "smaller christian school", that wouldn't have helped... they are full of gay too.... LOL I know from my own experience.

    icon_lol.gif
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    Jul 16, 2009 2:18 PM GMT
    [quote][cite]HndsmKansan said

    So how did you react when watching the movie, you never said really.
    Did you cry.. did it all just seem to real?

    Btw, if you had gone to a "smaller christian school", that wouldn't have helped... they are full of gay too.... LOL I know from my own experience.

    icon_lol.gif[/quote]

    I did cry during the movie, actually I cried a lot. I couldn't believe how much the movie mirrored my experiences. Thankfully my experiences have not led me to commit suicide, but I did at times feel as if no one understood me. As for the Christian school, I did end up attending it, my parents made me transfer after being at a large university. I was shocked by the amount of gay people that did go there, yea some were deeply closeted, but there were others that didn't try to hide it at all. This is why I can't get over how people can be so blind and ignorant, gay people are everywhere, sadly some just live a life in fear and never are able to express or live the way they want to.