Coming out too early?

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by MarquisMike, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. MarquisMike

    MarquisMike New Member

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    The obvious answer is "it's never to early to be yourself" or something similarly corny, but this question has been weighing a lot on my mind lately.

    I came out when I was 15, and at the time, I was pretty sure I was gay (to the disappointment of my parents who, like many other parent of gay children, were hoping i was "just a phase"). But now, as a guy in my 20s, I'm kind of regretting coming out so early. While doing so opened many, many doors (bringing my high school boyfriend to the prom, meeting a lot of awesome people and some of my best friends at gay clubs/bars/parties, etc), it also closed a lot of windows (losing a lot of my straight guy friends, not getting bids into the frats I wanted, and just generally being type-cast as "that gay dude" before anyone gets to know me). The main thing that's making me wonder why I came out so early is that I've still never been with a chick...which wouldn't be a problem, except that lately I've found myself increasingly attracted to them (I've even had a couple of sex dreams involving girls...wtf?), and now that I'm "that gay guy" at my college, I doubt I'll be able to explore that avenue of potential interest.

    I guess my problem is that I wish I just hadn't put a label on my sexuality at such a young age.

    Sorry for the rant, but has anyone else on here gone through, or felt, something similar?
     
  2. mthomson2020

    mthomson2020 Member

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    well if you are gay and you know for sure, i'd say you can't come out too early

    but you should know FOR SURE when you decide to come out.
     
  3. Chase1600

    Chase1600 Member

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    I’m not big on labels either. When we label – even ourselves – we find ourselves trying to fit the person to the word rather than search the right word to describe the person.

    Trust me, you’ll be able to explore the girl option. For sure, on campus, if you are sufficiently known as the gay guy it may be complicated, but you’re in a big town and can’t be long from graduating. You’ll have opportunity. If you meet a particular girl you like, it wouldn’t hurt to invite her out to do things and see what follows.

    I’m so old; in my day your options were beyond comprehension. How horny I was in college surrounded by hot guys. I was cursed. Good looking, untouchable guys seemed drawn to me. I was in love with my roomie whom I bet was gay and clearly attached to me, but nothing.

    I think you guys are so lucky. Yet you raise an interesting point. There are advantages to remaining a bit child-like. I think it really is what you are discussing although we wouldn’t normally see it thus. To not make commitments, to postpone choice, wait, that is a privilege of not yet having to grow up.

    At age 15 you made an adult like decision. We have business laws that prohibit businesses from enforcing contracts made by minors. Had you purchased a car at age 15 and changed your mind, the dealer would have to take it back. But when you came out at 15, you don’t get to take it back. So at least in one way, you had to grow up pretty fast.

    For example, you mention not getting bids to some frats. Had you not come out, you’d be the same guy, with gay frat brothers surely. The only difference is that you made a choice to be more an adult than your college classmates.

    So in sum, you want to know the truth from my perspective? Don’t worry about it.

    I’m impressed you are the adult you chose to be and mature enough to still be given it thought. You didn’t make a mistake, you made a reasonable choice which carries its consequences. Apparently nothing terrible happened.

    What is terrible is the mistake gay guys make if they never come out and live dishonest lies.

    So all we’re discussing is timing.
     
    #3 Chase1600, Sep 28, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
  4. 8060

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    I was in my mid-twenties when I came out to my family and a few choice friends. I grew up in a very urban environment where being bisexual and black weren't the hottest things to do at the time. So, I waited. I observed things and people while I waited. I found out who I could tell and felt that they wouldn't treat me any differently and I also found those that I wouldn't dare tell this 'real' thing about me.

    When you have something unique about you, the timing is always a big factor for its unveiling. I looked at the pros and cons of sharing myself with the people in my life then when I was your age. Cons outweighed the pros significantly. After I became an adult and wasn't susceptible to the ways of others, that's when I decided to share my real sexuality with people. Even then, it cost me some family members and friends but I was strong enough then to handle knowing that they wouldn't be a part of my life anymore because I was attracted to both sexes. Before they knew that, I was a big part of their lives. So, it felt like them dissing me for knowing that part about me was and is just as fake as me not sharing about myself with them. There are consequences and we become victims of circumstance in that way.

    I think that coming out is an adult decision. I applaud you grandly for stepping up to the plate at such a young age. I bet millions of us never think about that. I am happy with choice that I made as an adult though to share the truth behind my sexuality and its complexities. It has shown me who is worthy to be in my life and loved by me and those that aren't. That seems cold but reality is served cold sometimes.

    So, at 20 you have a completely different life from what you expected. Maturity, kindness, empathy and understanding are handed out sparingly to people. I just hope that you get stronger every day and learn new ways to keep it pushing because there is no turning back for you. If you believe that then every day will get easier than the one before. The past is in the past. Leave it there. Make room for your new 'hookups' in life:smile:.
     
    #4 8060, Sep 29, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2010
  5. SprkE08

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    Looking at your situation, I wish I had something similar to say, to be honest. I am 24, and I just now came out to my closest friends. Everyone has always known me to date and be with girls and when I brought my first "guy friend" around it was a bit of an adjustment. Like 8060, I had to deal with the stigma that came along with being Black and bisexual, which for some reason in the Black community and a bit more-so in others as well tends to be a bit more emasculating, leaving us to believe that establishing our manhood a bit longer is a necessity if we want to be taken seriously (so to speak).

    I'm not sure if you grew up in and around the New Orleans area, but I did and I know how unsettling the environment is for gay and bisexual men and women in the area. I still haven't come out to my parents, who are very religious, but at times I find myself wishing I had years ago. I guess what I'm trying to say is that there doesn't seem to be a "prime time" to come out, no matter when it happens, there's a chance you may find yourself wishing you had done it earlier or later or not at all. There's just bound to be times when you have second thoughts about any major life-changing decision you make.

    As far as the feelings about girls go...I'm one person that believes that sexuality exists on a spectrum. If you can find a girl, who is willing to look past what everyone else has labeled you and you both make an adult decision to hook up...then by all means...there's no rules against who can and can't sleep with whom at 20. :wink:
     
  6. Bbucko

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    I came out in HS in 1977 and in many ways think that I waited too long, but at the time it felt right.

    Our lives are extremely different: I skipped my prom and never went to college. Even if I had, though, I really don't think I'd be drawn to any fraternities (that, like military service, is much more my dad than me). Instead, I started my first day of independence the day after my last day of HS, moving into downtown Boston (from a close suburb 15 miles south) immediately and started working. For the first four or five years, being gay was either a net-positive or neutral 98% of the time, the 2% being the occasional times when I experienced (completely legal, at the time) discrimination. Those were rare indignities, but they did occur.

    Though I had a few near-misses prior to coming out, I didn't actually have sex with women until my 20s: once when I was 20, and again when I was 24. In both cases the women knew that I was basically gay and in neither case did it stop us from acting on our curiosity; of course, neither went anywhere, either.

    I've always described myself as "latent bi", though aside from those two occasions, I've never acted on any attraction I've felt toward a woman (and I can think of several with whom I could have made an attempt). To me, I'm much more in my comfort zone being gay and fucking men; if I'd ever wanted kids I'd have found a woman who'd have understood precisely who I was and what I could offer, both positive and negative.
     
  7. D_Tim McGnaw

    D_Tim McGnaw Account Disabled

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    I never came out to my family, I never had to, my family is extremely gay friendly and there was never a need to discuss sexuality because my family never made presumptions about who I was going to be that I needed to scotch and I never had to pretend to be something I wasn't and then end up having to do a big reveal. My family love me and love who I am and I live totally honestly with them without the need to have some big set piece coming out ritual.

    So I was "out" (in as much as I was comfortable with who I was, pretty much, and had no reason to hide that I was different and going through a process of discovering my sexuality) from the moment I started my adolescent school career.

    I understand what you're saying about being type cast as the gay guy in your social circle, but that's more about the expectations you've built up for yourself.

    Do you really think anyone will be upset if you start fooling around with girls? You're an adult and entitled to fuck or date whoever you want (as long as they're another consenting adult LOL). Just because you've been an out homosexual for a few years that doesn't mean that you, or anyone else should expect that you will only ever date or screw men for the rest of your life and you're perfectly free to experiment and try out whatever life my throw your way.

    I've had sex with women, and enjoyed it, I'm not bisexual because having done that I don't feel my primary sexual, emotional or psychological focus is women, but just because I continue to think of myself as a gay man I would never rule out the prospect of falling in love with a woman or just wanting to have sex with one.

    Coming out as Gay is supposed to be liberating, it shouldn't become a prison you feel unable to explore outside of. And you should stop caring so much about what other people will think about your sex and love life, because it seems that a large part of your problem is worrying about other people's expectations of what you should be doing as a gay man.

    How your life should be lead, whether in fact you even are a homosexual or bisexual or even straight, is entirely up to you decide and you can change your mind as often as you like. Ultimately who you sleep with and what you want out of life is your business.

    You don't have to wear the word "Gay" like a pink triangle on your shoulder which restricts and controls how you live your life and how you find happiness.
     
    #7 D_Tim McGnaw, Sep 29, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2010
  8. curiouscam

    curiouscam New Member

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    It takes a strong person to come out no matter what the age. Rather than live confined or limited by a title others place on you, how can I say it...fuck it! You can be attracted to whatever you want, whenever you like. Sexuality is fluid and can be anything to anyone at anytime. Do what feels good and what makes you happy. Either way have fun and just put it in something ;)
     
  9. MarquisMike

    MarquisMike New Member

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    Thanks for all the great responses. Really put things in perspective.
     
  10. B_Noctem

    B_Noctem New Member

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    I realized at quite a young age that I had various kinds of attraction toward other boys that I did not have toward girls. Around 13, I did some research and finally comprehended that I was gay, along with everything that it meant. I had no problem with that all. I came out to my family about 2 months after my 15th birthday ( and about 7 months from losing my virginity ) during a family dinner.

    It's actually quite funny. I announced to my parents and my siblings that I had a very important thing to tell them and that they might have a shock. I took a deep breath, said that I was 100% sure that I was gay and explained everything to them.

    Once my little speech was finished, my only brother and my older sister both smiled and winked, my dad looked at me with a smirk, my younger sister burst laughing and my mom blurted out: "That's your big news? Sweetie, we already know. We've known for a long time. As a matter of fact, we probably knew before you did". The surprise was on me. It was reallly well-accepted by almost everyone, except for a few cousins and uncles but their opinion was irrelevant since I was not really close to them and beside, my grandmother gave them a severe warning that any form of mockery or disrespect would not be tolerated. And believe, you do not want to mess with my grandma, lol!!

    I guess I was really lucky AND blessed to have been born into such a cool and open-minded family. I know many people had a much tougher route when they came out
     
  11. dad4you

    dad4you Member

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    I was 35 when I came out to my family... my sisters did not talk to me for 5 years. I still feel angry over that. Of course,, they are Mormons, and most active Mormons discriminate so much against people who are NOT Mormon.
     
  12. DavidXL

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    What a great and amazing family you have! I can't help but think my own family would have loved me less. . . .:frown1:
     
  13. CAM4257

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    Well, marquis, I sympathize with you in terms of the difficulties of coming out, but (and granted I'm biased as you'll see) I think it's better later than earlier. chase was right when he said that in a few years you'll have access to all the decisions you want to make - on your own terms. I just graduated, too, and, though i'm stuck at home now, I'm looking forward to moving out when I can be free to make my own decisions.

    I've only come out to a handful of people - my close girl friends and a couple of guy friends, and it's hard keeping a straight face (bad pun intended, haha) to my parents when they'll mention things like getting married, etc.

    I agree with the others who've said that it's important to accept yourself first and worry about labels later. No one can tell you how to live your life.

    I'm happy for you that you're out already - I think you did the right thing.
     
  14. NCbear

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    I came out at 18 to my parents and at 19 in college. It was my choice: I wrote an editorial in the campus paper slamming an ignorant statement (basically, "It's OK to discriminate against gays because of the 'ick factor' when thinking of gay sex").

    Yes, I lost acquaintances, and yes, some people I'd thought were friends. Yes, I also was pointed out as "the gay man" on campus. Yes, it hampered my sex life--guys who were in the closet didn't want to be seen even near me, much less talking with me. And yes, for a moment gangs of frat boys tried to make me feel threatened.

    (I was once surrounded by over 20 men obviously eager to beat me to death. I think I'm here today because I showed no fear and in fact helped them understand that as a scholarship student who was strongly supported by key people in the administration, there'd be a lot of questions if I died--and they wouldn't be able to hide from forensic experts their role in my death. That sobered them up quickly: Not only did I talk matter-of-factly of their intent to kill me, but I also explained rather clearly that they couldn't hide from the law.)

    Things got better. People congratulated me for having the courage to be openly gay, and I made new friends who didn't care whether I was green or purple (or whether I liked to have sex with green or purple people). I knew I was no longer the center of attention when I overheard two guys talking about "the gay guy on campus" and it wasn't me. (I strolled over and said, smiling, "He's not the only one." They didn't get it.)

    These days, I have to come out over and over again. Apparently, I'm not the stereotype, so people can't figure it out. "You're going camping? Hiking? With your girlfriend?" "Um, no. With my boyfriend." "What, you're gay?" "Yep. Have been all my life." And then it's over. They get over their initial shock and soon realize I'm me, and part of being me is being gay, but it's not my entire life and it's not even my primary characteristic. (There are so many others: height, deep voice, beard, sense of humor, work ethic, consideration for other people, etc. Gay is only one adjective, really, that describes me.)

    Once the ice is broken, I talk about my man in exactly the same kinds of ways and at exactly the same times that heterosexual people talk about their heterosexual spouses or life partners. "My husband/wife does this [doesn't help do the laundry, spends too much money, can't drive well, whatever]." I respond, if it fits, "So does mine. I completely understand you." If it doesn't fit, "Mine doesn't do that. Mine does something else."

    I do make a point of sharing my humanity with others and helping them understand that our petty little differences mean nothing in the face of our essential sameness--that we can all connect with other people, even the most stubbornly individual loners, the craziest antisocial people, the most fundamentalist religious types.

    I also make a point of not being ashamed to be gay. Plenty of famous people throughout history have been gay, including plenty of honorable people who showed significant moral courage and strong ethics.

    The way I see it is this: Homosexual desire is present in every generation, and some people are (almost) exclusively homosexual. That's normal, judging from recorded history. I am merely part of the current manifestation of that area of quintessentially human existence.

    Sorry for the long-winded post, but I felt I needed to establish a point of commonality with you (the OP), to show you that you're not alone, that others feel or have felt the way you do, and that people are here for you. PM me if you'd like.

    NCbear (who has apparently waxed a bit sententious this morning :rolleyes::tongue: but who really means what I wrote)
     
    #14 NCbear, Oct 1, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2010
  15. B_jeepguy2

    B_jeepguy2 New Member

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    That is why I am 37 and have never come out. I didn't want to get labeled as "that gay guy" either. I was pretty sure I was gay by age 13 but I had never been with a girl so I didn't want to identify as gay. This was also the 90s and people were not as accepting of homosexuality as they are now. I really see no need to label myself. I am who I am. I find some women attractive and have slept with women before, but I am mostly attracted to men.

    I am pretty sure my most members of family and friends have figured out but they haven never mentioed it and I do not feel the need to bring it up. Mom and dad finally stopped askign when I was going to find a girl and get married. LOL

    I am guessing that you did not get bids to those frats because they are homophobic. There is a reason for this. Most frats have a number of brothers who are struggling with their own sexual identity and having an openly gay brother would make them really uncomfortable. My buddy was in KA and a bunch of his fraternity brothers have come out since graduation. I went to a large east coast university and knew closeted gay guys in every fraternity on my campus. The president of one fraternity was a closeted gay man. Frats are great places for closeted gay men to hide. You put on those Greek letters and everybody on campus just assumes that you are a stud who is shaggin sorrority girls every weekend.:wink:

    Check out the book "Out on Frat Row" it is a book by gay fraternity men about their experiences in college fraternities.

    Oh yeah, church groups on campus are also great hiding places for closeted gay men. They can hang out at a church group and everybody just assumes that the reason they are not getting laid by a different chick every weekend like the majority of college dudes is because they are very religious.:rolleyes: I know of at least 7 dudes from the campus Christian fellowship I was in while in college who have come out since graduation.
     
    #15 B_jeepguy2, Oct 1, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2010
  16. nzsomebody

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    Well said :)
     
  17. AM_092

    AM_092 Guest

    I don't think I came out too early (14, then gradually to others between 15-17). But I'm at university now and I think I've let people know too early. So I'm hoping next year I'll be able to hold back and make some straight mates. Because being an openly gay guy at uni does make things difficult with other guys. They're not going to get out their way just to be friends with a gay guy.
     
  18. B_jeepguy2

    B_jeepguy2 New Member

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    Yeah, I think guys take it better if they already are friends with you then they find out that you are gay.
     
  19. Corius

    Corius New Member

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    The first real love of my life was the new guy in town and the love we had for each other was so deep that we were both receptive to showing our affection for each other sexually. Our first was getting and receiving a blow job in the 69 mode. We did not stop thinking of ourselves as regular guys but decided that our "doing what came naturally seemed so right because it strengthen the bond we already had.

    The summer after our junior year in high school he was off on his grandparents' ranch in Montana and, by common consent we were both free to pay attention to the girls. That was the summer I had such a wonderful introduction to the body of a a young lady (five years older than I) who had been my friend all of my life. It did not hurt my ego one bit to be told that I was good at it when we finally "put our things together" and I discovered that this was indeed for me the dominant side of my sexuality.

    I have never "come out" in all my life. What the world sees is all they ever get from me in the way of declaration of my sexual leanings. I have been happily married for more than half a century and have never cheated on my wife or any previous partner. male or female.

    I would say that I am grateful that I learned at a very early age that boys can indeed love other boys and that the sex between such loving boys and loving men is genuine and right.

    Unfortunately, we stilll live in a world where it is still often risky to express even that thought in many social circles. Friends, we have lived a long time in a world where surviving happily depends on careful observance of the rule: Don't tell and with luck "they" won't ask.

    However, the advent of this medium has made it possible for those of us who have divided attractions and those who are set single=mindedly on one sex or another to be in conversation with those who are just beginning their journey into the fullness of their sexuality. It is good to have a place where you can be yourself, even while you are still in doubt
     
  20. Over-reaching

    Over-reaching Active Member

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    This doesn't have to be so: even if girls at college aren't interested, there are plenty of girls available in other places. In fact, though, I suspect some of the girls in college would be interested: some might see it as a way of "converting" a gay guy – lol. (Mind you, you might not want to go down that particular avenue.)

    More generally, often things relating to sexuality (and religion, and many other matters too) can become labels that people use, and people often like these labels because it makes it simpler if we can "pigeon-hole" people. You've alluded to this in your post when you talk about "generally being type-cast as 'that gay dude' before anyone gets to know [you]". But you don't have to feel that you have to stick to what the label says you ought to do or be: people are not boxes of chocolates with a list of the contents on the outside, nor are they pieces of machinery where we must "read the instructions before use".

    And also, although sexuality is an important part of who we are, it is not the only aspect of who we are (despite the fact that some of the popular media would seem to like to make us think it is). Actually, I'd add that for most of our acquaintances it's really none of their business what sort of person we're sexually attracted to or whom we choose to fuck or form romantic relationships with.

    So in this case I'd say that you need to decide what you want to do and go ahead and do it, regardless of any "labels" that might be attached to you – or even any "labels" that you might have attached to yourself.
     
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