I am posting a response here in my thread that I recently made to a young 21 year old gay man who read my thread recently. This young man indicated to me he is "in the closet", confused with his gay feelings and is having strong desires of wanting children and getting married. He stated when he had read my story that it had "touched him" in a way he could relate to. He believed I could help him by understanding what he was experiencing and asked me knowing what I know now, what would I have done different. He was also hoping that I could help him avoid the mistakes I may have made.
I believe my posting this here is important. Mainly to show how important the thread I had started has impacted others whom could benefit from my story and to initiate dialog for those in need. If you remember, I hoped to seek understanding and support from this forum of people when I started my thread. I have received MANY responses here and personal emails. Both good and bad. I have received an email from this young man. When I read his words, I felt I was reading my past. I am quite humbled to be in a position to hopefully provide clarity to a young mans life for which I never had this opportunity extended to me. Second, for those of you who may have responded negatively in my thread, I pray for you and hope you will finally understand how important it is for us, "family", to help and nurture our fellow gay brother. How important my thread really is. We are the only people in society who can actually understand what we have gone through, and through brotherhood, to band together in dealing with any difficulties that may lay ahead. Society is very cruel and unforgiving in itself. It doesn't help for like people to extend such hypochracy and hatred toward a sole who is struggling with the same struggles most of us may have endured one way or another.
Here is what I responded to this young 21 year old closeted gay man (in part):
Well first I would like to say I am sorry it has taken me awhile to review your email and respond back. I have received many. Second, I deeply want to thank you for the time it you took to read my story and write me with your thoughts. Lastly, please never apologize for being too "windy". These are important issues we both have raised and I believe we both could benefit from each other in a positive way not to mention others. After all, this is one of the anticipations I hoped would come from putting my story out there.
You stated you are experiencing much of what I have stated when it relates to my "gut" feelings of gay tendencies. You are 27 years younger than I. Reading your message brings back MUCH of what I had experienced at your age and I often look back upon it in thinking, "what I would have done different", which is your main question to me.
You mentioned, 'im in the closet as well and deal with that gut feeling you spoke about but cant act upon the urge.' First let me say the feeling you speak about I have experienced ALL my life to the present day. In other words, it hasn't gone away no matter how much I tried to rebuke it over the years, and believe me I tried many times during my life. There were times I thought it was gone for good. No... I was only fooling myself to only learn it would only re-surface many times later in life, which at times with great avengence. I never really had girlfriends when I grew up nor was I really attracted to them because I was gay and knew it. I tried to be attracted to girls and it worked at times but the realness wasn't there. Understandably. I acted on my gut feelings as far back as young as 5 - 11 years old. I never acted upon my feelings toward guys again until I was in the U.S. Marine Corps when I enlisted at the age of 19 years old. During my 8 years of honorable service, I occasionally, on and off, engaged in gay activities with other Marines but it wasn't too involved and very infrequent. All during these times I was ALWAYS fighting the gut feelings of being gay and wanting to have constant sex with other men. I had great restraint for most of my life. I left the Corps in 1990. Since then, I never engaged in any gay activity, mainly because I married. I embarked on a life I was brain washed into living. I was over come by the gut wrenching gay feelings which I strongly believe are the result of my declining marriage and the issues involved, and started to engage and act on my gayness this past August of 2012 to this present day. I feel great guilt because I knowingly and willfully broke a trust I freely undertook 20 years ago. That is something that violates a very deep core value I have.
Looking back on this part of my life, I wish when I was 19 years old, essentially on my own, I would of had the courage to explore my gayness much more than I did and NOT fight the very strong gay feelings I was experiencing, which was daily during this time of my life. The reason I state this is because of what I know now and the experiences I have endured since then to this present day. First, I have learned the deep gut wrenching feelings, for me, have never went away but only became much stronger through time. Perhaps because I have been rebuking those feelings so adamantly throughout my life. I know now if I had acted on my gayness when I was your age, I do believe strongly that things would have turned out much different for me to where I would not be in the current position I am in. I do not enjoy or am I pleased where I am at socially, i.e., being married and for over 20 years, and living a restricted gay life. Things are not better between my wife and I. Honestly, I believe it has actually gotten worse. The future of our marriage looks quite bleak with each passing day. With this being said, it only greatly underscores the great importance of what I would have done different if I could be your age once again. I would have never had gotten married for one. Even though I wanted to experience what it would be like and to have children. I state this in the sense I would of had a much happier life at your age moving forward in my life if I had not married and lived a gay life. Yes, I can change that "today" by getting a divorce, which I'm sure will happen in the near future. But the sad part is, like I stated, I would of had a much happier life much sooner than later. Also, what I find the most difficult part in my experiences is the fact of my two children. Like you, I wanted to have children and the only "real way" to do this in my mind is to fertilize a "woman" in an effort to truly fulfill my desire. I did that by getting married first (beliefs) and now I have two wonderful children. I for one second do not regret having my children. I would never give them up for one second. I definitely would give my life for them in a heartbeat. I know eventually they will experience some very real hurt once they learn I am gay. I know this because I have raised and lived with them for 12 and 17 years and know the principles people live by who are apart of there everyday life. This is what has applied the breaks on many fronts, i.e., divorce, coming out of the closet etc. Looking back, if I had acted upon and allowed my gayness to play out without hesitation when I was your age, I know I would not have these strong concerns in regards to my children because I would not of had any. Not to mention all the complications I have brought onto myself. But I am very pleased I have them now and don't regret it. I have no choice. Additionally, I would be MUCH happier today because I would be living the life I really want to and need to...being the real me.
I look back in my life quite often. Sometimes everyday. I always wondered why I wanted to get married and have children of my own. Now after many years of analyzing this in every way imaginable, I come to the realization that I was "programmed" to think this way by by society and the way I was brought up in life. That being a young man you are to