Why should you HAVE to state you're gay?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 22, 2010 10:22 PM GMT
    Ok so I don’t normally post anything on these forums, partly because I don’t feel compelled to do so and partly because I find it hard to voice my opinion constructively. However, I feel I need to vent something so here goes.

    I was out with work tonight (someone was leaving and as I am new (only 1 and half months at the place) I though I would go and be social and meet people) when the conversation came up of who am I seeing and so forth.

    Now I am an open gay guy (all my family know and friends) but I don’t see the need to go and tell people when I first meet them "hi, nice to meet you, oh yeah I am gay"

    So like I said the conversation came up about who I was seeing and I told the people at work that I was gay. Now the response to this is one that I have come accustomed to, but I don’t understand it. Maybe because I am gay, but I don’t understand the shock that people have and then most importantly anger that people feel when they state "why I didn’t tell them before"

    My question is, why should you HAVE to tell people? Straight people don’t go around telling people that they're straight, so why should gay people? I am gay, am I am not ashamed to say that but why should I have to state that fact to everyone I meet?

    Granted I have never met a person who I have told that has ever been anything but cool with my being who I am. However at the same time, I hate that every time I go some where new or meet new people I have to go through the whole process of "coming out" again. Will life be like this, a constant "coming out"?

    I don’t know, I am just rambling and like I said, I don’t normally post on here. I just thought I would voice what is going in my head as the other half tells me I should. Hope you understand what I am going on about.


    Carl
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    Apr 22, 2010 10:28 PM GMT
    Change your perspective, not from having to share that you are gay and it being an issue to more of a proud and factual part of who you are!........

    many years ago I went thru this, then I decided to change my attitude and flip it around, instead of this is my partner, or this is my boyfriend, I was direct and spot on, "this is my husband" took me several months to get over the initial shock and the I discovered a seceret.....People love gays who are confident!
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    Apr 22, 2010 10:44 PM GMT
    Meh, you didn't tell them because it's work, not a social club where you've gone to pick up.. since they hadn't asked until the dinner you never had the opportunity to tell them, if they get the shits about it, tell'em in the most diplomatic way to go screw'em self.

    Also, some people are so desperate to be seen as accepting and open and all that bullshit that they can get cranky when you didn't give them the chance to show you how open and accepting they are.. or at least from my observations.
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    Apr 22, 2010 10:46 PM GMT
    First…thank you for being honest with your fellow employees—true role model
    Second: Yes, you will have to keep coming out, until such time as the straights stop assuming everyone is straight.
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    Apr 22, 2010 10:50 PM GMT
    lilTanker said tell'em in the most diplomatic way to go screw'em self..


    I'm so glad your backicon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 22, 2010 10:52 PM GMT
    Well it's not that I am not confident, I have no problem with telling people that I am gay and I am super proud of that fact.
    I just dont understand why, in the initial point of contact, people react badly that you havent said anything beforehand about you being gay. I dont see the need to shout it out to everyone i meet "i am gay". I am proud of who i am and I am proud of being gay. I will proudly show John (the other hald) off to everyone I meet. But gay isnt "who i am" I am me, with all my qerks and everything, being gay is just part of that.
    I dont know if I am explaining myself clearly?
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    Apr 22, 2010 11:05 PM GMT
    It's all a part of being gay and being open about it...never ending process, you can't change the world, but you can change you, I stopped getting irritated at this a long time ago and decided to change one person at a time, now it's kinda fun seeing people say or run away "cool your gay" then I break into a normal conversation about normal stuff, it's not about being gay, it's about being gay and being like everyone else, I just sleep with a man
  • Nayro

    Posts: 1825

    Apr 22, 2010 11:06 PM GMT
    I totally agree with you!
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    Apr 22, 2010 11:24 PM GMT
    "Why didn't you tell me before?" is coded language. They are also saying "Please don't think I have a problem with gay people. Because I don't. Even if I did make that joke to Linda in the break room."

    It is defensive, rather than reacting they are pushing the issue back on you. What is wrong with you for not telling them.

    Much more irritating is the coworker who is enthusiastic about you being gay and will try to set you up on a date with any old riffraff just because he is also gay. "You have so much in common" they will say. But you don't.
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    Apr 22, 2010 11:40 PM GMT
    sportsnowboarder81 saidMy question is, why should you HAVE to tell people? Straight people don’t go around telling people that they're straight, so why should gay people? I am gay, am I am not ashamed to say that but why should I have to state that fact to everyone I meet?

    You don't have to tell people. And just because you don't doesn't mean you're ashamed, though some around here would suggest otherwise. Next time someone asks why you didn't tell them before you could say, "Because it isn't an issue for me." icon_wink.gif
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    Apr 22, 2010 11:47 PM GMT
    unfounded7 said
    sportsnowboarder81 saidMy question is, why should you HAVE to tell people? Straight people don’t go around telling people that they're straight, so why should gay people? I am gay, am I am not ashamed to say that but why should I have to state that fact to everyone I meet?

    You don't have to tell people. And just because you don't doesn't mean you're ashamed, though some around here would suggest otherwise. Next time someone asks why you didn't tell them before you could say, "Because it isn't an issue for me." icon_wink.gif


    Ditto. It sounds like they were maybe a little hurt that (their perception, but it matters) you didn't trust them enough to tell them.

    Be grateful that it's not even ten years or so ago, when such a simple conversation could have ended your career or worse. Not that it still doesn't happen today, but that USED to be the norm.. and now this is. I'll take this.
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    Apr 22, 2010 11:47 PM GMT
    unfounded7 said
    sportsnowboarder81 saidMy question is, why should you HAVE to tell people? Straight people don’t go around telling people that they're straight, so why should gay people? I am gay, am I am not ashamed to say that but why should I have to state that fact to everyone I meet?

    You don't have to tell people. And just because you don't doesn't mean you're ashamed, though some around here would suggest otherwise. Next time someone asks why you didn't tell them before you could say, "Because it isn't an issue for me." icon_wink.gif


    Great answer, I was going to say something similar to this but you beat me to it.
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    Apr 22, 2010 11:49 PM GMT
    lilTanker saidMeh, you didn't tell them because it's work, not a social club where you've gone to pick up.. since they hadn't asked until the dinner you never had the opportunity to tell them, if they get the shits about it, tell'em in the most diplomatic way to go screw'em self.

    Also, some people are so desperate to be seen as accepting and open and all that bullshit that they can get cranky when you didn't give them the chance to show you how open and accepting they are.. or at least from my observations.


    Yep, completely how I feel.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 23, 2010 12:08 AM GMT
    Its gonna keep happening man because we're dont fit into the social norm, it sucks people will always assume youre straight unless u wear a rainbow flag lol.
  • jrs1

    Posts: 4388

    Apr 23, 2010 12:12 AM GMT
    MunchingZombie said..."Please don't think I have a problem with gay people. Because I don't. Even if I did make that joke to Linda in the break room."

    It is defensive, rather than reacting they are pushing the issue back on you. What is wrong with you for not telling them.

    insidious: 2a: having a gradual and cumulative effect (see: Miriam-Webster).

    What may have become increasingly difficult for today's gay man is the fact that he is living amongst all kinds of people. Some of those people genuine and some not so. Those that come to you and truly wish to get to know you at work ... will. Others will wait until an opportunity to arise so that they then will have a ' reason ' to associate their time speaking with you.

    It is a given that not everyone, even those who are gay, knows what it means to be gay. One of the statements that I repeatedly make is that you have to define your life as per your experiences; you are who you are and no one can take that from you ... not even with subversive actions that undermine your self-concept and/or self-confidence.

    What may become increasingly clear is that those who are amongst the majority may feel their sense of esteem threatened when someone from a minority group exhibits a sense of efficacy. " Why is he so smug? He's not like me, why's he so damned snap happy? " So, as the astute MunchingZombie has pointed out, those are some examples of individuals who may attempt to project their insecurity back upon you in order to deride your sense of self.

    You identify as a homosexual man who does not feel the need to paint his personal life for all to view; you're not an art exhibit seeking the unsolicited criticisms of everyone around you, including strangers. If people wish to know more about you, they were given the same leg structure and vocal chords in order to walk up to you, introduce themselves, and inquire about who you are and present small talk until further depth can be reached.

    sportsnowboarder81 said
    My question is, why should you HAVE to tell people?
    ... I am gay, am I am not ashamed to say that but why should I have to state that fact to everyone I meet?
    ... Will life be like this, a constant "coming out"?


    - Do you have to tell people?
    People will always make demands of you. People will always want ... but that does not entitle them to have. No, you are not required to answer people unless you feel as though you want to do so. It is not hiding who you are if you are not interested in divulging bits about your personal life to perfect strangers ... for those who give a damn actually won't seem to be affected and are more than likely to continue on speaking with you as though you've just said that you paid a tax or bought an apple ... e.g., " You're gay? Oh. Thanks for telling me. I suspected for a moment or two but was not entirely sure. I'm glad you've decided to tell me. Would you like to go and grab some lunch with me? I'd love to hear more about your experience(s). "

    That is a relatively normal reply from a more genuine or less threatened individual, rather than: " Oh! Why didn't you tell me sooner ... (even though you've been here only a short period of time and I barely even know your first name)?! "

    I, personally, do not think life is this rehashed coming out experience. I think that it is more a journey of defining yourself as per your unique experiences and finding out that, in time, that a good deal many others have had to experience some lessons concerning personal growth as well. I think it is this journey of discovering the individual self by serving, helping, teaching, mentoring, and listening to others. If humans were meant to be both solitary and isolated beings then, according to nature, we simply would be and our focus would be elsewhere. Man has erstwhile been an individual unit of a community ... and he has had roles ... the gay man is assumed to be many things ... but until you are faced with one that you will learn the variance with which he lives.

    In your writing, you have so much of which to be proud. Silent and strong, you have affected those around you and they will be looking to see how it is that you live your life ... some from glass houses ... and others there, with you, helping sew the seeds in order to help with your garden from which further life with germinate.

    If someone is going down the wrong road, he doesn't need motivation to speed him up, he needs education to turn him around.
    - Jim Rohn

  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Apr 23, 2010 12:14 AM GMT
    dustin_K_tx saidFirst…thank you for being honest with your fellow employees—true role model
    Second: Yes, you will have to keep coming out, until such time as the straights stop assuming everyone is straight.


    I just can't get worked up over heteronormativity. Most people *are* straight. It's a totally reasonable default assumption when you don't know any better.

    At the risk of someone misinterpreting what I'm about to say as somehow equating homosexuality with a disease, it's the same way I assume that people aren't color blind unless they tell me they are. Somewhere around 4-5% of people are color blind, which is right in the range of the percentage that are homosexual. I'm no more offended by someone assuming I'm straight than by someone assuming I'm not color blind.

    As for the original poster: I echo what many here have said. You don't have to tell anyone, and if new acquaintances are upset that you didn't tell them the moment that you met them, that's their problem. They really have no basis of feeling deceived unless you've deliberately avoided telling them at a time what it would have been reasonable in the course of a normal conversation. Even then, you're perfectly entitled to be private about your love life. However, you sadly don't get to control how other people are going to react to you. It may be best to have a stock answer along the lines of "It never came up in conversation" for when they ask why you didn't tell them sooner, and then just learn to let their annoyance roll off your back. All you can really control is yourself, not anyone else.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 23, 2010 12:16 AM GMT
    79149_172235.jpg

    Well clearly your problem is:

    1) The guys all had secret crushes on you and were upset they didn't know they had an option.

    2) The women all had secret crushes on you and are upset that they no longer have an option.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 23, 2010 12:16 AM GMT
    When being gay stops becoming such a spectacle to people is when the "constant coming out" process will stop.

    Until then, all we can do is say it prouder every time icon_biggrin.gif
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    Apr 23, 2010 12:25 AM GMT
    I ponder when are the gays going to get over the need to have coming out parties, or do it in such a spectacular way, they themselves are making an issue of their sexuality, so how can others be criticized for doing the same thing about making a big deal over another homosexuality, or even bisexuality, when do many gays and bis are guilty of the same thing. When is it going to become like the colour of our eyes, and gay nad bis get over the need to come out?

    I never come out, nor have I really ever lived a lie either. I'm just me,and this they get to see.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 23, 2010 12:50 AM GMT
    hmm..interesting...
    now, when do we get to see john ?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 23, 2010 12:56 AM GMT
    When directly asked, would you rather lie?
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    Apr 23, 2010 1:03 AM GMT
    I totally understand you.....i hate labels, a person should be valued by their moral and their respect to others and to life....not about being gay or not. If asked, you shouldn't lie, but if no one asks, i feel its totally unnecessary to state your sexual orientation.

  • Mohannned

    Posts: 280

    Apr 23, 2010 1:34 AM GMT
    it's not important to others
    but ?I think it's more important to u that people know it
    just like they know the color of ur skin or hair
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 23, 2010 1:37 AM GMT
    In life, I believe, there are few things one is mandated to state. This is one of them:
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    Apr 23, 2010 1:40 AM GMT
    It's going to be a constant coming out process unless you fit into the stereotypes that would make people assume you are gay when they first meet you. I don't think you'd be getting that reaction if they already thought you were gay, but maybe in the future your coworkers won't be as inclined to assume someone is straight when they are first getting to know him or her.