Coming out of the closet

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by Astiran402, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. Astiran402

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    Pardon if this is a duplicate post I tried searching for topics similar but I couldn't find any. I come from a family where homosexuality is frowned upon. My family is very traditional and believes in inheritance. For me to be the oldest of my generation with the family name, I'm expected to carry on the name and inherit family property after the older generations pass on, which problably would imply having children with a woman. These past few months I'm beginning to have second thoughts about my sexuality and I'm curious to see the experiences of other people.

    Can anyone share experiences of "coming out of the closet?". How long was it from when you realized that you were gay till when you revealed it? How did your friends and family react? How did it change you? Are there any regrets? Did you lose friends or create problems for your family?
     
  2. B_lrgeggs

    B_lrgeggs New Member

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    I will be 50 soon and have not come out of the closet. This does not mean I haven't told a few people. But for me..Its been a very heavy weight to bear...However, in my case..I do not think that comming outof the closet will lighten my burden...as I really would like to have a wife..kids...(It's just the idea of sex with a woman..brings on a lot of aniety...anyway..just thought I would say my 3 cents before calling it a night...hope this imput helps
     
  3. killerb

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    in case you don't get a lot of replies in this thread, conduct another search...this topic has been covered several times & I've seen a lot of posts that might help you...
     
  4. buddy629

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    I always knew I was gay. I came out when I was 18 (in 1995). I was a difficult adjustment for my family at first...and, about a year later...it was much better. Now, I am accepted by all members of my family "just as I am"...also, most of them admitted to already knowing, or suspecting my secual orientation even before I 'came out'.

    To come out of the closet, takes guts. It is an act of bravery. However, whether or not you are 'accepted' by your family is no matter. Because, the burden that is lifted from your shoulders is worth all of the potential (or actual) pain it may cause initially. But, as you adjust to everyone elses reaction, sooner or later, you begin to realize that it dosen't matter what anyone thinks....you are PROUD of your decision. You begin to feel a sense of pride, gay pride, actually....living your life in truth. No more lies. No more decieving. People know you for who you ACTUALLY are, not for the lies and false person which you present to them. The facade crumbles, and you become the person whom you truly are supposed to be. It is the best thing you will ever do for yourself.

    But, I see my situation as lucky. Having a family who accepts me for who I am, and loves me unconditionially, and recognizes that being gay is only a part of who I am (not all that I am). I can understand when a gay person stays closeted, because of family pressures, family money issues, inheritance, etc... I say, if a family is going to treat you that cruely, like an object for breeding, if you were to come out, disinherit you, ect, then...fuck 'em....stay in the closet...inherit all the money....fuck 'em all. hurt them like they hurt you. revenge is always best served ice cold.

    The risk/benefit of coming out must always be weighed, but I feel more often than not, the benefit outweighs the risks.

    Best wishes.
     
  5. JP0724

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    I was super young when I came out. I was 14 years old, and I just got tired of my parents asking who my new friend was (my first boyfriend) and where we met etc.. lots and lots of questions and finally I just told them, he's not my friend, he's my boyfriend.

    It was tough for my family and it took some time to adjust, but now over ten years later, everything is fine. I have been with my current partner for 6 years and we have a beautiful son together. My family completely accepts us as a family. Everything will work out the way it is supposed to. It always does.

    Good Luck.
     
  6. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    I'd also like to add that being gay is no barrier to having children. There are a whole lot of adoption, surrogacy, and gay/lesbian parental partnership options available today and more are becoming available every day. If your family is worried about carrying on the family name, being gay is not an impediment. Be sure to reassure them of that.
     
  7. mattyacht

    mattyacht New Member

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    Know who your employer is before you come out!!!!
    It was a grenade that blew up in my face!!!!
    You will experience a significant amount of psychosocial anxiety and
    feelings of ostracism. Not that you do in the closet.
    "Who is gay" is a choice morsel of gossip. It will spread like wild fire.
    Think about it long and hard Bud!!!!!
     
  8. nitzaski

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    I can understand your concerns completely. I am the eldest male of my siblings and I had very similar worries when considering coming out. My father was a very strict, old fashioned man (unfortunately he has passed on) and I felt I would never be able to tell him.

    I came out when I was 18 to my sister first, who was incredibly supportive which gave me the courage to talk to my mother. This is probably the best thing to do, talk to a close friend or a family member who may be more likely to be unfazed by your situation.

    When my father eventually was told he was very hurt and did find it very difficult to begin with, but he softened in time and became to accept who I was and ended upn loving my boyfriend dearly. Time often heals all and it is the first step that seems almost insurmountable.

    (matt's comments are good advice with regard to employment - I was given the same advice many years ago when working for a large firm and I saw with my own eyes how the office 'gays' were treated. I was told purely to protect my chances on climbing the ladder in the company and I found it to be very true that it would have affected my advancement - which is a very sad state of affairs, neverless it was the case)

    Good luck to you and be true to yourself -
     
    #8 nitzaski, Oct 29, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2008
  9. lvsxy808

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    I always knew I was gay - never any question about it. And I did not grow up with any anti-gay feeling in the family, not beyond thoughtless "he's a nice boy" comments, pretty tame for the generation. Once I realized what the word meant, I was like, "Oh, okay then," and carried on.

    I came out when I was 19, once I'd moved away to university. It can be helpful to have a separate support system in place just in case things do go worst case scenario. My sister asked me first, flat out, when we on our own. But then one night I asked my parents if we could turn the TV off cause I needed to talk to them. There were minor tears from Mum, along the lines of "It's a difficult life" (my response, "what do you know about it?") and my Dad asked "Are you're sure it's not just peer pressure because you know a lot of gay people?" (my response, "buh?")

    Basically, after a very short time of acclimatisation, everything was fine. They both made every effort to support me and not react badly to anything. Now they treat my boyfriend exactly the same way they treat my sister's husband. Not that I expected any different.

    Forgive me if this sounds patronising or insensitive, but this sounds very sad. If it's such a heavy weight to bear, why not leave it behind? If you've got to 50 and haven't yet got the wife and kids you so crave, then clearly there's something in your way. You'd do well to confront what that is.

    There's a TV show called Brothers & Sisters, which features both a young and openly gay man and an older, closeted gay man. The latter came out to the former, tearful for feeling like he wasted his life by not having the courage to honest about who he really was all along.

    Although it's not the way I did it, I would actually suggest the exact opposite. If you come out to a complete stranger, then it's a chance to get used to hearing the words coming out of your mouth, and to a person whose opinion matters nothing to you. Basically like you've done here. Once you're accustomed to being able to say it without choking or crying or freaking out, then go ahead and say it to the people who actually matter to you.

    I have never worked at a job where I didn't know in advance they would be perfectly fine with it. I make no bones about it on my resume, I make no bones about it in interviews. I don't walk in waving rainbow flags and singing "I Will Survive" but neither do I hide it or make it a big deal. It simply is. If they can't handle it, I'll know straight away, and I'll move on to somebody who isn't a homophobic ass.
     
  10. nitzaski

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    I dont think coming out to a stranger really comes into anything at all - what does it matter what a stranger feels or thinks about something so important in ones life and whatever reaction they give is not going to give you any help when actually talking to the people who really matter and whose opinion is of most value.

    If you are already in a job I would definately not come out yet - I admire lvsxy808 attitude and it is how it should all be for everyone and is how I live my life now - but there are so many true tales of bigotry in the workplace that it is not worth considering until you have more idea of the reaction you may get from your fellow workers and superiors
     
  11. Snozzle

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    Everyone has their own experience and it depends very much on where you are, but I think these guidelines are general:

    1. Out is better than in. Worrying all the time about who knows and who doesn't know, wears you down and is bad for your spirit. You deserve to be able to live your truth.

    2. It is you who should decide who you come out to, and when and how. If you can't trust someone to keep your confidence till you say, or until it's obvious it doesn't matter any more, they're not ready for you to come out to them.

    2a. You don't have to come out all at once. I would recommend starting with a trusted friend, someone you can share the various issues with, as they arise. Then a trusted family member. Women are often (but not always) better than men for gay men to come out to, older may be better than younger. So your mother may not be ready but an aunt may. With workmates, it depends very much on the kind of workplace. In a macho place like a workshop, someone who might otherwise be trustworthy might be cornered or tricked into springing you (eg, to protect himself). In a mixed workplace, a woman may be better than a man to start with, depending on what sexual dynamics there are between her and the other men.

    3. If you can't stand it, you've gotta fix it, and vice versa. If your family can't cope with you being gay and you can't cope with being closetted to them, get another family.

    4. If all else fails, it may be necessary to move to a different town, probably larger.

    5. You may be surprised how little reaction there is. Don't be surprised when someone says, "I was wondering when you were going to tell me."

    (There's a wonderful cartoon of two women at a breakfast table.
    W1: We're out of chocolate marshmallows, and I'm a lesbian.
    W2: OH NO!
    W1: I'll get some more on the way home.
    W2: Oh, that's all right then. )

    6. Bearing all this in mind, coming out is a journey, and the future is going to be better than the past.
     
    #11 Snozzle, Oct 29, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2008
  12. Nrets

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    So being called a nice boy means people think you are gay?
     
  13. FuzzyKen

    FuzzyKen New Member

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    There is no guaranteed reaction here.

    My own life in this area was not at all typical in that I have always felt that my sexual orientation was a very private part of my life and should remain that way. It had nothing to do with fear, it only had to do with practicality. If I had been born heterosexual it would not have been any different.

    As a general rule the parents of most people initially have negative reactions, but over a period of time tend to come to accept the change in status.

    The problem to consider is that your orientation in fact is really not the issue. It is that they (the parents and family) have expectations that you (at least in their limited scope of vision at present) will never be able to fulfill.

    The problem with all of this is that it does not take your own wishes into consideration, nor does it credit the fact that you did not make a conscious choice to "adopt" being gay. It is your genetic destiny and it is or was how you were born.

    In the workplace there are laws that offer you some protection, but, people at work have no business invading that part of your life anyway and there is in fact no reason to be "out" at work unless it is for some reason a necessity. My life-partner works for a Fortune 500 Company that has domestic partnership. That gives us both full health benefits from his job. The Employer's records may by virtue of those records may document that fact, but, as far as the "water cooler wonders" it has never been a subject and would in fact be against Company Policy.

    The next thing to remember is that your orientation has noting to do with child rearing. My partner and I took in an abused Nephew a few years ago when he was a teenager. We have become the "two Dad's" and in essence it has been very rewarding for me to fulfill I never dreamed that I would be able to do.

    Use common sense and look at desire versus necessity. If there is no reason to come out and you do not have to actually live a "lie" that could be easily uncovered by someone else, than I would just leave it alone as is.

    Good Luck,
     
  14. killerb

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    I can say that this is true...I have a much older relative who was closeted until just a couple of years go...he's in his 50s...he even had a longtime "girlfriend" who helped him hide himself...he eventually fell into a depression, got hooked on drugs & alcohol, and after he hit rock bottom, he went missing for a few months...when he was found, it was discovered that he was living with another man and that the man was his boyfriend...the bottom line here is that once it was known, nobody in the family really cared & still treated him as they always had...and some even mentioned that they had already known since he was a teenager...:dunno:
     
  15. Corius

    Corius New Member

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    Some of us have 'solved' this problem by simply assuming that what happens sexually between two consenting adults is personal and private and is best kept that way. My private life is my business and I respect the right of privacy of all other persons. Never, whether my partner in sex was a woman or a man, have I ever 'come out' to anyone. What others see is all that they are entitled to. Today they see me as a happy married man. My thoughts are still my own and I share those thoughts on a site such as this. People are not blind and they are free to judge me according to what they see. Generally, I have found that others do not ask (probe) and I simply do not tell!Unfortunately, many people are in denial about their own sexuality and are therefore threatened by frank talk on the matter; it is simply wise to avoid disturbing such folks. I see this whole matter as requiring one to live one's life as one sees fit; yet, knowing that not all persons are open-minded, one does not invite criticism by being too open with regard to ones views on human sexuality. This has worked for me and I have had a very happy journey into the fullness of my sexuality.
     
  16. auncut10in

    auncut10in Well-Known Member

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    I grew up in a very religious Mormon family. Being gay was really not an option. I really wanted to be straight. So I thought that if I just got married somehow I would learn to change. I did like being married and having kids. But my whole life felt like a lie. While I was well liked and love, I always felt that if they really knew me they might not love me. So you end up not trusting anyone's love. It eats away at you and is very difficult.

    I knew I would have to come out but I felt like I had made a commitment to my kids to raise them and did not want to be a weekend father. So I waited until all but the last one was out of highschool. Then I came out to everyone. Yeah it was difficult. And they did not take it well. Some tried to understand, but I was definitely on the outs with my family.

    We ended up getting divorced. I am still very close to my exwife and kids. I know now that they want me in their lives for who I am. The rest of my family is still struggling with me being gay. Yeah it is difficult. I don't blame them for not easily accepting that I am gay. After all, it took me a long time to deal with it myself. But I never have regretted the decision one moment. It was the right thing for me to do.

    Being gay is not something you can pretend that it is not there. It is just who you are sexually. Feelings never change. We all have to deal with those feelings in our own way and in our own time. Yeah it does take courage, but it is worth all the tears and sadness to be truthful in life.

    Good luck to you.
     
  17. Stephenmass

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    auncut,

    Very well written. I am out to all that know me, including family, but felt no need to come out at work. I make excellent money on my job. People don't come into my job exclaiming they are straight, so I don't feel the need to exclaim I am gay.

    Most probably suspect anyway, but I don't care. There is a major part of me that enjoys keeping them guessing, the ones that try to do that are usually the ones that are either homophobic or jealous that I've done something that none of them are willing to (at least the ones that have considered it but never acted on it).

    It's who I am, or a major part of me for sure. I don't have to hide "my husband" on significant holidays, he is there as my mate and all know it.

    He is well liked and accepted by everyone. For me, coming out almost all the way, made my life simpler.
     
  18. lvsxy808

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    That was my mother's euphemism of choice, yes. She didn't mean it in an unpleasant way, i don't think. And as soon as she realized about me, she stopped.

    Mind you, she also always said "posterior" or "BTM" instead of "bottom."
     
  19. sexplease

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    First, coming out is an ongoing process. You will find that there never seems to be a substantial length of time that someone somewhere has some interest in something about you. It may be your sexuality or political views. Or your education or thoughts about religion. They may agree, they may not. Such is the inherent diversity of human thinking.

    I spoke with my parents when I felt happy about a gay relationship I was in at the time. Mom took it harder than I though and resorted her bible dipping. My dad, who I thought would show some sort of angry male posturing, treated me as a great friend would. I'll never forget what he said. "You are my son. I want you to follow your path and find your happiness in life. You can always come to me and talk, though I may not understand the some of the problems you'll face in your type of relationships, I love you and always will love you."

    Your process, no doubt, will be as unique as you are to the human race. Hold on to the friends and family members that embrace you, respect you and the intimacies you choose to share.

    You will also find that, the struggles and challenges in your life are and will continue to make you a stronger and wiser person.

    M*
     
  20. SpeedoMike

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    what outstanding well thought out replies!
     
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