My Obstacles to Coming Out

  • trl_

    Posts: 994

    Jul 28, 2009 7:40 AM GMT
    So I'm gay but I'm having a really hard time coming to terms with it.
    I feel if I verbalize why and receive feedback maybe that can help me clear things up in my head.

    Coming Out Obstacles:
    1. My Family
    I come from a really religious big Catholic family, Grandpa's a Deacon, half of the family is Latino, the other half Republican; all of them pretty against anything gay and I'm basing this off of comments I've heard in conversation, not just stereotyping. I'm afraid of "shaming" them somehow since them and their friends and their world is just against it. I would not put it past them at all to stop talking to me just because I said I was gay.

    [Honestly, I don't think the religion thing is actually a huge part of it. It's more cultural/societal/political. Religion is also important to me, but I've sorted that out with God, so please no comments telling me "leave the Church" or "screw religion" because it's important to me and that's not an option for my situation.]

    2. Fear/Social Repercussions
    I'm a quiet kid to being with. To add to that, I just transferred universities this last year and I'm getting situated. It's not a super-conservative school, but it's more conservative than most among the student population. I'm afraid coming out will hinder my social development somehow. I mean, I'm not flaming by any means at all, but I still have this fear instilled from like elementary school with games like "Smear the Queer" as if that will be the treatment I will get if I'm out.

    The ironic element of this whole me being closeted thing is that I think people are less inclined to socialize with me because they can tell something is "off" with me. They can tell I'm not who I say I am in some sense and they don't trust that.

    As a caviat, I work at our gym. And no, it's not to check out guys. It's for money lol. I don't know if my being out would make guys uncomfortable or something.... I don't know. Typed out these issues seem small but in my head I can barely handle them.

    I'm also nervous what my friends will do/say.

    Can I get some advice? An Amen? ...Something? haha
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 28, 2009 9:29 AM GMT
    It sucks
    It hurts
    but hopefully it will be liberating to live life in TRUTH!

    Best of luck Trliber
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    Jul 28, 2009 2:53 PM GMT
    Hey, Little Buddy, learn to like yourself, and the rest will follow.

    Here's how it works. Once you get honest, those who aren't assholes will be fine, and those who aren't you can get rid of.

    I just a small thing, sexuality. Understand, the brainwashing of the false belief system has you all messed up in your thinking.

    It's o.k. to like guys. It happens all the time in nature.

    Understand, you're only 1 of 7 BILLION folks, so you're not really that big of a deal in the big picture.

    Understand, it's just a preference.

    I could write more, and have, but, don't feel like writing a book today.

    Bottom line: you don't have to wear your sexuality on your sleeve; decent people don't care about your sexual preference; you have to like yourself.

    You're not a victim here. You have an opportunity to educate folks, including those close to you, that folks who have a different sexual preference are not all strange fairies with rainbow flags in drag. You need to rise to the occasion and celebrate your youth.

    Don't let the false belief systems and their guilt imposition mess you up. Don't let ignorant folks make you self-loathing. Walk into, through, and beyond your comfort zone to a new place.

    Unless you're fucking your relatives, there's no reason for it to become an issue with them. Make it someone else's issue, and NOT yours. It's your life. Live it.

    I was asked by one of my friends one day how it felt to be fucked up the ass. I replied "neato!" The issue was NEVER raised again.

    Don't start feeling sorry for yourself, and stop making yourself miserable. You are who you are religious nuts, or not, Latin culture, or not. You don't need the approval of the pack. Like yourself, and, others will, too.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19129

    Jul 28, 2009 3:03 PM GMT
    These things can't really be rushed. You'll know in your heart (and mind) when you're ready to share such an intimate part of who you are with others, and when that time comes -- Go For It -- and don't look back. The hardest part of being "in the closet" is the lying and sneaking around that is required in order to protect your secret. You will likely find that the "secret" was a far greater deal to YOU than it will probably be for others who truly care for you. The truth will set you free.
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    Jul 28, 2009 3:04 PM GMT
    Trliber,

    It all comes with trying things out in an atmosphere that you are comfortable with. You're stretching yourself emotionally here, so try to see what support you can get with people who you feel understand and support you. You can get a bit of that here (you can also get some unhelpful advice here, so be choosy). You can find friends/organizations on campus that can be helpful. Most schools will have in either the counseling center or student services someone who is particularly good at GBLT issues, so see if you can contact them there. Of course, there's always the girls who love the gay boys, so you might be able to find them and talk.

    Good luck!
  • danisnotstr8

    Posts: 2579

    Jul 28, 2009 3:12 PM GMT
    I'm going to be honest, and some of you may think this is harsh. But I don't like to beat around the bush:

    I'm sorry, but your plea for help here is laced. It's like asking us to place our bets on you even though you've already told us you're going to lose on purpose.

    You can't point out that you're having issues with coming out, ask for advice, and then tell us not to warn you against your Church. There are many other churches. Go find one that supports you. Your family will have to learn, in the process, that they can't have you in their lives unless they support you in that decision.

    Honestly and forthrightness are only effective if you're consistent. By continuing to attend your Catholic church, you tacitly endorse their condemnation of your entire sexual identity. You also enable your family to continue doing the same. Although all Catholics may not be hateful, the place and manner in which most of them worship is unforgiving and only causes you strife. I wish all people had to deal with issues like ours, because then they'd realize the same thing about their Sundays. The church, if you believe, should be about God, and not the man-made rituals and misinterpretations of what is "good."

    Leave the church. Or go find a different church that endorses your lifestyle. Don't leave God, if God is important to you. But if you stay there, then in my eyes, you're just another Catholic who supports your own condemnation (and mine too). The pope is a world-class bigoted asshole.

    Be strong.

    Your fears about coming out and/or being perceived as queer and/or a "flamer" (a term that you should remove from your lexicon), are also based on social constructions. Talk how you want, walk how you want, but don't base your self-image on deviation from the mean.

    You are not unique in your struggle. You've got it easier than many. But please note that each of your points shares a common tenet: FEAR. Take some chances. Believe in your OWN credo. Trust your body and mind. It's the only way to win.


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    Jul 28, 2009 3:17 PM GMT
    TR, Matt is right.

    Build your support network before coming out to your family. Take advantage of any LGBT support services at your school, or even another school if your school doesn't have them. I just dod a quick google on LGBT support center in Denver and came up with this: http://www.glbtcolorado.org/ .
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    Jul 28, 2009 3:22 PM GMT
    danisnotstr8 saidI'm going to be honest, and some of you may think this is harsh. But I don't like to beat around the bush:

    I'm sorry, but your plea for help here is laced. It's like asking us to place our bets on you even though you've already told us you're going to lose on purpose.

    You can't point out that you're having issues with coming out, ask for advice, and then tell us not to warn you against your Church. There are many other churches. Go find one that supports you. Your family will have to learn, in the process, that they can't have you in their lives unless they support you in that decision.

    Honestly and forthrightness are only effective if you're consistent. By continuing to attend your Catholic church, you tacitly endorse their condemnation of your entire sexual identity. You also enable your family to continue doing the same. Although all Catholics may not be hateful, the place and manner in which most of them worship is unforgiving and only causes you strife. I wish all people had to deal with issues like ours, because then they'd realize the same thing about their Sundays. The church, if you believe, should be about God, and not the man-made rituals and misinterpretations of what is "good."

    Leave the church. Or go find a different church that endorses your lifestyle. Don't leave God, if God is important to you. But if you stay there, then in my eyes, you're just another Catholic who supports your own condemnation (and mine too). The pope is a world-class bigoted asshole.

    Be strong.

    Your fears about coming out and/or being perceived as queer and/or a "flamer" (a term that you should remove from your lexicon), are also based on social constructions. Talk how you want, walk how you want, but don't base your self-image on deviation from the mean.

    You are not unique in your struggle. You've got it easier than many. But please note that each of your points shares a common tenet: FEAR. Take some chances. Believe in your OWN credo. Trust your body and mind. It's the only way to win.




    The best advice you've received so far.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 28, 2009 3:44 PM GMT
    What does working in a gym have to do with coming out? I am out and I am professional. I don't meet someone and go "hey, I am James and I love the cock". If someone at work wants to out themselves as hetero and tell me about their wife or girlfriend, then I am more than happy to reciprocate.

    And your family. Who are you living your life for? Closet cases make for shit friends or family. You are half a person: half open and honest and half hidden. Who wants to live with only half a person? You probably think no one knows or suspects. But they do. If they act surprised when you tell them, it will only be shock pretending to be surprise for your sake.
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    Jul 28, 2009 3:49 PM GMT
    I would also say investigate your local PFLAG resources. My boyfriend was in a similar situation, and upon stopping for advice at a PFLAG station at Motor City Pride, I learned about a couple things I had never thought about before. Your parents and family are going to feel just as lost as you. I would say, before coming out to them, make sure you have literature they can refer to. And furthermore, contact a PFLAG center near you and see if there are adults/parents who would be willing to talk to your parents if they need consulting/advice. I think it demonstrates to your parents that, not only are you gay and going to be living truthful to yourself, but it also shows that you still care and love your parents and took mature steps in thinking about them.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19129

    Jul 28, 2009 3:57 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie said
    And your family. Who are you living your life for? Closet cases make for shit friends or family. You are half a person: half open and honest and half hidden. Who wants to live with only half a person? You probably think no one knows or suspects. But they do. If they act surprised when you tell them, it will only be shock pretending to be surprise for your sake.



    I think you're being a little harsh here. Maybe you forget what a difficult time this is for a young gay person coming to terms with their own identity and sexuality. Maybe it was an easy transition for you, but I suspect it isn't for most. I remember all too well the fear, confusion, guilt, denial, and angst of that time in my life. It was horrible on many levels because the fear of how parents and friends might react can be overwhelming. Maybe not for everybody, but for many. Everyone has to come out when they are emotionally ready to do so, it really shouldn't be forced.
  • danisnotstr8

    Posts: 2579

    Jul 28, 2009 3:57 PM GMT
    JamesArthur said[...]Your parents and family are going to feel just as lost as you. I would say, before coming out to them, make sure you have literature they can refer to. [...]


    Remember, also, that families often react and make the whole thing about them, rather than you. Examples: "How could you do this to us?" "We are so ashamed." "Does this mean we're not going to have grandchildren?"

    Be prepared to point that out. Examples: "I would never have chosen to live as the object of oppression." "I am proud of my struggle." "You have based your entire perception of me on only an 85% (give or take) chance that I was straight."

    It sounds a little dry and methodical. However, these are words that can be fit into your own defense in whatever way you choose to present them.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 28, 2009 4:01 PM GMT
    I don't have much advice for you as I'm kinda in the same position but your story reminded me of this poem. This poem is part of what is now an urban legend. The story is that it was found on the body of a street person (male) who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He had no identification. Supposedly buried as a "John Doe", this poem speaks the pain of many people who have lived and died - and were never truly known by those around them for who they really were; - Or they were discovered and then rejected. I post it here and dedicate it to all people so badly treated...

    I was born in a little town in the land of free & brave;

    With waving flags & fireworks; where men are equal; -- they say.

    Dad wore a patch with a policeman’s hat, & mom kept house, -- cooked three;

    And life was a dream until I learned as a teen: “Everyone who loves me, -- they hate me.”



    The first time I heard queer mystery “words”, was on the school playground & bus;

    Those hurling the slurs & hate with mean looks, - spoke of some old faceless putts.

    Although I admit, I did not know the meanings, or the things that those words did imply;

    All I felt that I knew, was: “Whatever they meant, I was glad t’was another, -- not I”!



    As time passed on, between grades, friends & home; I heard those queer words more & more,

    At church & at camp, from strangers & Gramps: “’bominations” & strange “closet doors”.

    In Boy Scouts they showed us a strange ‘parade tape’; - Filmed by the town’s Brimstone preacher;

    Was a queer sight we saw; Left us all open jaw’d: - Now that tape was those “word’s” only teacher.



    I’m not sure when, if age 12 or 13, that I began having feelings of ‘shame’;

    Strange yearnings & passions - new to my mind; -- made me long for a closeness with same.

    My mind was a mess: These feelings, those words; - So, I put on ‘the mask of the saintly’,

    I was well disguised; but by their words I realized that … “Everyone who loves me, -- just hates me.”



    Like an albino-black-man; “Incognito” - my plan: Try to prosper in old Forsythe County!

    I’m at the front of the bus (don’t need Rosa Parks’ fuss); -- Oh Gawd … just don’t let them spy me!

    So, deep in disguise, right in front of their eyes, into sports, working hard at ‘guy stuff’,

    At the head of my troop, & leading youth group: I felt safe in the phrase: ”That guy’s tough!”



    As the calendar tree each week dropped its leaves, my teens gave way to my twenties.

    From my secret place, I NOW looked for real grace, but the “grace-store” in church – it was empty...

    Ex-this & “X”-that; & do “this” & stop “that”; Mouth these words & tomorrow we’ll see… if you're 'free';

    Yet, what was shown me by God was the scope of their fraud: They’re liars, & fakers, for fee!



    So I left them behind – at least in my mind; my departure must have upset their “ship”;

    A week into my job, on my office’s knob was a notice: a pink colored slip.

    My boss meekly said: “My performance was great, but this was the result of restaffing”;

    And, as he explained, I could hear from beyond: the sounds of cruel whispers & laughing.



    So, I wrote it all down, built my case on this “town” ; – at least I could pray to the courts…

    But my lawyers objection; – Overruled: “No protection”: - “Outlawed by God!” – Judge retorts.

    “Equal justice under the Law”, -- “A nation of Laws, - not of men”?

    But even when noone gets hurt or complains; -- they insist the "LAW’s" broken again!



    So now I’m writing this note, - not with ink, but with lead…

    Making sure they’ll remember – picked a color, -- use’n red…

    Look’n back in the past – how when cloaked, all did praise me,

    But the reality, the truth: “Everyone who 'loved' me, -- they hated me”.



    © - Www.g0ys.org
    (spelled with a ZER0)

    General RePrint Permission Granted if printed with URL reference included.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 28, 2009 4:02 PM GMT
    I have no true advice for you.

    There is no right or wrong way to come out of the closet, nor a wrong time - as long as you aren't leading women on or anything like that.

    Its different for everyone and we all have our own unique stories based on our own unique backgrounds, families, beliefs and comfort zones.

    I consider myself to relatively out, but I have found that my comfort zone is telling the people I actually interact with. My immediate family, some of my cousins,

    I usually tell all my friends but i do tend to wait for an appropriate moment to do so. that works for me, probably not for someone else, but it works for me.

    So the only advice I can give you is to trust yourself. no one knows you better than you do, especially not a bunch of people on the internet. Whats your comfort zone, who are the few you can see yourself telling right now? Start there and continue making steps from that point.

    When I was a teenager I couldn't even say I was gay out loud. When I cam out to my friends and my mother and my brothers and sister I wrote it down. It was that hard for me.

    I will say that sometimes I wish I had just made a big spectacle about it so that way everyone knew and that was that. It probably when been easier. But given my family that would not have ever worked and my mother told me just other day she appreciated that I allowed them to warm up to my sexuality and it made it so much easier for them to accept me and now my boyfriend as well.

    So find what works for you man. And you can maintain your faith and be gay at the same time. God is unconditional love man. And not a single person in your church speaks for him. He speaks for himself and he loves all his creations. And if people tried to be more christ like, tried to truly live up to the words they preach, they'd respond the same. But it doesn't matter how they respond because you answer to god and not them.

    I may not be particularly religious, but I have a holy enough background to know that.
  • danisnotstr8

    Posts: 2579

    Jul 28, 2009 4:05 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ said
    MunchingZombie said
    And your family. Who are you living your life for? Closet cases make for shit friends or family. You are half a person: half open and honest and half hidden. Who wants to live with only half a person? You probably think no one knows or suspects. But they do. If they act surprised when you tell them, it will only be shock pretending to be surprise for your sake.



    I think you're being a little harsh here. Maybe you forget what a difficult time this is for a young gay person coming to terms with their own identity and sexuality. Maybe it was an easy transition for you, but I suspect it isn't for most. I remember all too well the fear, confusion, guilt, denial, and angst of that time in my life. It was horrible on many levels because the fear of how parents and friends might react can be overwhelming. Maybe not for everybody, but for many. Everyone has to come out when they are emotionally ready to do so, it really shouldn't be forced.


    He's not forgetting anything! He's giving sound advice and true advice. He has not forgotten the struggle. The OP asked for advice, and that's what he's getting.

    A lot of RJ'ers will present moderate answers, dressed in language and rhetoric and decorum that seeks to avoid hurting feelings. MunchingZombie offered the words of a wise old sage-- one who has completed the struggle and can sum up the experience with brevity. He has completed the circuit and he now speaks from a pulpit he earned through strength and struggle. He has not forgotten the terrible emotions; he has, instead, put them in his past.
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    Jul 28, 2009 4:07 PM GMT
    I also came from a conservative, religious family. My dad was a Southern Baptist minister. I grew up hearing many of the same things you mentioned. I was closeted, sad, depressed. When I finally came out my parents views began to change. It takes time. My dad has remarkably been way more accepting than my mom. Not that my mom doesn't love me and she has loved my past boyfriends but mother's (and father's) have hopes and dreams of families and grandchildren. It just takes them a bit longer to get over their dreams for you and learn to love and accept your dreams for you. When there is true love in the family they come around eventually regardless of belief systems.

    Good luck
  • outdoorjunkie

    Posts: 118

    Jul 28, 2009 4:09 PM GMT
    My money is on danisnotstr8's advice, to employ his betting metaphor.

    I can only add that I work out in a university gym full of 18-23 year old, built little gym bunnies. When I need a spotter, I ask one of them and not once have I received the side-eye. We undress around each other, shower with each other, and considering I have an enormous HRC sticker on my Nalgene, it's not exactly a secret that I'm gay. I also hum Broadway tunes as I bench. Kidding.

    What I'm saying is that generally (thankfully in my experience, all the time), people will treat you as you treat them. If you just calm yourself and not worry about whether they're examining your sexuality, chances are, they're not. Or at least, they're not going to make a big deal out of it.

    That said, I am fully aware of the fact that there are places where it is truly unsafe to be out. I can only add my voice of experience, which has been that acting confidently goes a very long way.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19129

    Jul 28, 2009 4:12 PM GMT
    danisnotstr8 said
    CuriousJockAZ said
    MunchingZombie said
    And your family. Who are you living your life for? Closet cases make for shit friends or family. You are half a person: half open and honest and half hidden. Who wants to live with only half a person? You probably think no one knows or suspects. But they do. If they act surprised when you tell them, it will only be shock pretending to be surprise for your sake.



    I think you're being a little harsh here. Maybe you forget what a difficult time this is for a young gay person coming to terms with their own identity and sexuality. Maybe it was an easy transition for you, but I suspect it isn't for most. I remember all too well the fear, confusion, guilt, denial, and angst of that time in my life. It was horrible on many levels because the fear of how parents and friends might react can be overwhelming. Maybe not for everybody, but for many. Everyone has to come out when they are emotionally ready to do so, it really shouldn't be forced.


    He's not forgetting anything! He's giving sound advice and true advice. He has not forgotten the struggle. The OP asked for advice, and that's what he's getting.

    A lot of RJ'ers will present moderate answers, dressed in language and rhetoric and decorum that seeks to avoid hurting feelings. MunchingZombie offered the words of a wise old sage-- one who has completed the struggle and can sum up the experience with brevity. He has completed the circuit and he now speaks from a pulpit he earned through strength and struggle. He has not forgotten the terrible emotions; he has, instead, put them in his past.



    That's all well and good but one man's past may be another man's present and things are unique and different for every person based on their own upbringing, family values, background, personality, and support system.
  • danisnotstr8

    Posts: 2579

    Jul 28, 2009 4:12 PM GMT
    outdoorjunkie said[...]

    That said, I am fully aware of the fact that there are places where it is truly unsafe to be out. I can only add my voice of experience, which has been that acting confidently goes a very long way.


    If you pretend to run like a runner, you eventually become a runner.
    If you mimic the sound of an opera singer, you eventually become an opera singer.
    If you act with feigned confidence, you eventually become confident.
  • danisnotstr8

    Posts: 2579

    Jul 28, 2009 4:23 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ said
    That's all well and good but one man's past may be another man's present and things are unique and different for every person based on their own upbringing, family values, background, personality, and support system.


    OK, you are absolutely correct!! I only approached from the angle that MunchingZombie forgot nothing. You are correct, and he is correct, and I am correct.

    For trliber:

    Some of us will offer you an image of the end result. Some will share their experiences and offer you here-and-no,w step-by-step instructions.

    I think you should put all the replies on a virtual timeline. It doesn't matter how long it takes, but maybe if you see that the stages of coming out are basically the same for everyone, you'll have an easier time at recognizing the onset of those individual struggle.

    One more thing, in general:

    Don't take advice from people who don't have face pics and/or are not out. They are not in the position to offer it. You are looking for advice on how to come out, not how to remain in the closet.
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    Jul 28, 2009 4:24 PM GMT
    trliber saidCan I get some advice? An Amen? ...Something? haha

    When I came out late, at more than twice your age, one of the obstacles I faced was my existing notion that being gay was horribly perverted & awful. Certainly my military career had reinforced that, and all my life experiences for 45 years.

    But I also have a very strong sense of myself. I know exactly what I am, and what I am not, even if I suppressed the gay part. I know I am a good person, a decent person, not an evil person.

    And so when I realized who & what I really was, I had to logically conclude that being gay cannot be a bad thing after all. My previous notions were wrong. Now clearly that could be viewed as a subjective and self-serving view.

    I remember a comic strip I once saw, of soldiers marching in a parade. And only one of them was out of step. The words of a female spectator were captioned, who said: "My son is so good! He's the only one not out of step!"

    Maybe I'm that biased mother, but I do know myself. I'm not out of step, I'm in step with many other gay men. I know myself to be a good & decent person, and if I'm gay, well, that must be good, too. I refuse to be told otherwise when I know better.

    My other great obstacle to my coming out was the stereotype that gays are all flaming sissy boys. Since that wasn't me, I couldn't be gay, despite my realization of my attraction to men.

    Once I belatedly learned that masculine men can also be gay, my denial mechanism collapsed, literally in minutes. I don't know if that cliche has played a part in your own life to any great extent, but be aware it has no validity. Gay men are every kind, from swishy queens to NFL linebackers, or even retired Army Colonels. I consider being gay a wonderful gift I treasure; I hope you do, too. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jul 28, 2009 4:31 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidI think you're being a little harsh here. Maybe you forget what a difficult time this is for a young gay person coming to terms with their own identity and sexuality. Maybe it was an easy transition for you, but I suspect it isn't for most. I remember all too well the fear, confusion, guilt, denial, and angst of that time in my life. It was horrible on many levels because the fear of how parents and friends might react can be overwhelming. Maybe not for everybody, but for many. Everyone has to come out when they are emotionally ready to do so, it really shouldn't be forced.


    As Dan very nicely said, I am speaking from experience. Both of my folks are conservative Catholics. One is a lay minister and both are social conservatives. So, I can appreciate where the OP is coming from.

    That said, I was a shit friend. To my good friends I would lie about my sexuality. I would lie about my secret group of gay people I knew. I would lie about dates I went on. And who wants to be friends with that?

    I was a shit son and a shit brother. By hiding my sexuality I told my parents that their religion was right, my sexuality was a dirty, sinful thing that should be hidden. I told my younger brothers that their sexuality couldn't be anything other than hetero. And what family needs that?

    Everyone has to come out when they are ready to do so, of course. But sometimes people are so caught up in their own tiny little world they can't see the bigger picture. I know that I would have lived much more honestly and openly at a younger age had I a friendly kick in the ass. icon_biggrin.gif
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Jul 28, 2009 4:40 PM GMT
    As a note of caution, if you have genuine concerns about how your family is going to react, you might want to consider holding off on telling them for a while. Despite what some of the more militant might say, there are circumstances in which you're better off in the closet. I've known a few guys (definitely a small percentage of gay men I've known, but a non-zero number) whose families essentially kicked them out to fend completely for themselves upon finding out their son was gay...and in the current economy, even an understanding financial aid office at your University may not be able to come up with aid to bridge the gap between what the school calculates your family as being able to pay and the $0 that they might choose.

    Every family is different, of course. You're in the best position to judge what's in your best interests. I had no fear of negative reactions from my own immediate family (and was proven right in the lack of fear when I did come out). I've had several friends terrified to tell their families, who then reacted quite positively once it finally happened. But if you think there's a realistic chance that they'd cut you off, it may well be worth remaining in the closet in regards to your family for a couple of years to finish up your degree first, and be much more confident and able to stand on your own if the need arises. Pragmatism trumps idealism in my mind.

    As for being out at work, well, you don't need to make any big announcement. If a coworker asks you about your love life and you feel like sharing, go right ahead. But the guys working out in the gym are neither going to know nor care that one of the gym employees is gay. Realistically, even at a conservative school people have to assume that there will be some gay men in any crowd over a certain size. Don't lurk in the showers for no good reason and it'll be a non-issue.
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    Jul 28, 2009 4:44 PM GMT
    Everyone has the right to live their life the way they want. Some people distance themselves from both sides of the situation for their own peace of mind......others become active about finding solutions to make things better.

    I say, if you don't like what you see within the "gay community", then help change it yourself, not by "giving back your gay card" but by being an example of the kind of gay man you are.

    The haters and bigots (within and outside gay circles) love to see gay men quiet and not visible......confined to gay enclaves, dark bars, self destructive behavior and self imposed limitations.

    "Masculine" (whatever that means) gay men should be more open about their sexuality just as more stereotypically gay men are. It seems that the media, and society in general (gay and straight) encourage guys who are easily identified as gay and less tolerant of those that aren't.

    I don't want to be tolerated or understood. I want to be accepted as just a man who lives in the human community.

    Isolating myself is not an option for me. Being gay, proud and "normal"...(whatever that means) within the human community is how I try to live.....sometimes its scary and a challenge but ultimately worth the effort.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Jul 28, 2009 4:50 PM GMT
    What you have to realize is that you have to be confident in who you are and what you believe. Your family's position on gays are obviously based on themes and stereotypes, so when you do come out to them, you will have to lead by example and show them what it really means to be gay. They may not like it nor accept it, but that's on them. As long as you're around with confidence and doing good things for yourself and others, then they will realize the falsehoods of gay stereotypes.

    I like to remind my devoutly Catholic dad how history shows the wrongs of the Catholic Church. On my last visit, we talked about how the church acted as the scientific authority and how Galileo had to be tactful in proving them wrong on their "scientific" understandings. My dad went on to say of some program he got from EWTN on how the church imprisoned Galileo for subverting the authority of the church and not for his scientific reasonings because they let him practice science while imprisoned. I then asked my dad if the church was correct for imprisoning him to begin with. He said nothing.

    The truth resonates with confidence. Know yourself. Be yourself. Share of yourself.