Should I come out?

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by BIGdkluver, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. BIGdkluver

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    This topic already has probably been discussed here, but I guess I'm bringing it up again.

    I'm thinking about finally and officially "coming out" to my friends as a gay male. But there are pros and cons to be considered. Here's what I'm hesitating over, and I'd be interested in hearing what you guys think I should do.

    I'm fairly str8 acting and str8 looking. Most of my friends right now are str8 and think I am also.

    The pros of coming out:
    1. I won't have to be afraid of being "outted" by someone else.
    2. A lot of pressure will be off me to continue pretending that I'm str8.
    3. I may actually find another gay guy to be my friend--and maybe more
    than just my friend.

    The cons of coming out:
    1. Maybe the people at my job and at my church (yes, I do attend church!) won't take kindly to my being gay.
    2. I might lose some of the friends I've made already.
    3. I might run into some homophobe who'll beat me up--or worse.

    And there are many more issues on both the pro and the con side.

    So what is your advice? Of course, I'd appreciate sincere and serious responses. Thanks for your help. :smile:
     
  2. Group51

    Group51 Member

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    It should make no difference to your job (but that depends on discrimination laws where you live)

    If your church rejects you, deal with it. Their hatred, predujice and bigotry will be sincere.

    If some of your friends don't like you because of this, then they're bigots. You are still the same person they knew and liked before. Unless you've being lieing to them they might have guessed already - have you had many girlfriends?

    You didn't mention your family - what about them? I'm puzzled because you mentioned your church.
     
  3. KVB

    KVB New Member

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    "To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man." ~William Shakespeare

    So, without sounding trite, that's probably the best philosophy for anyone's life.

    What do you stand to gain might be the best question to ask yourself, not what do you stand to lose. The best friends, and even just good ones, will always let you be you and honor your honesty. They do not need to know the intimate details of your life, whether gay or straight or anything else... And as for churches and acceptance - I'd question the fullness and integrity of their collective and individual beliefs if they can't - or won't - accept you for being gay. "Shake the dust from your feet..." and move on to where you are welcomed if they don't should you make the choice to be out there, too...

    Now in my early 50s, I can see that I waited a lot longer than maybe I should have to be fully out (I was maybe 40-something before stopping the being semi-evasive) and have not looked back since freeing myself.

    We've entered a new century and a new millenium, and frankly, by not being open and honest with yourself or whomever else about who you are isn't taking the fullest advantage of the here and now...rather, I'd say you're trying to just feel safe, but is safety - real or imagined - the most important thing?

    I wish you nothing but the best!
     
  4. UK8x6

    UK8x6 New Member

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    I'm in a pretty similar situation, so maybe I can give some insight.

    Just a little bit about my situation: I'm 22, raised Catholic, parents are Republican and pretty conservative. I'm also planning on going into healthcare, which can be kinda scary as a gay guy because of some of the stereotypes that exist.

    I've sort of been in the process of "coming out" for a couple of years now (first it was just a couple of my closest friends, then my parents, now more people...but I'm still not entirely "out"), and this is what I've learned:

    1.) Coming out is hard. Period. Its going to be scary, and you just need to face your fears and do it.

    2.) Its your choice, and you shouldn't do it unless you're ready. Don't let anybody force you out until you're absolutely sure that its what you want. Take your time (maybe start with a couple of people to "test the waters").

    3.) I know that everybody is different and everyone's friends are different, but I honestly believe that true friends will (or should) accept you for who you are. I know its cliche...but if they're not willing to accept you for you, then its not worth it.

    4.) The people who don't accept you...fuck 'em. You're not going to change their minds. Ignorance is a choice.

    5.) After the terror of actually coming out is over...there's this overwhelming sense of relief and (in my case) excitement/happiness. You don't have to lie to people anymore, and you can just be yourself. And it really is pretty awesome.

    I can't really think of anything else to say...

    Oh, the whole "homophobe who'll beat you up" notion...I'm not sure where you live, but I really don't think that you should lose sleep over that fear. Sure there are people out there who are homophobic, and hate crimes still happen...but I just don't think that those thoughts should deter you from coming out because, more likely than not, you'll never have to deal with it.

    Anyway...hope this helps.
    Good luck!
     
  5. rubberwilli

    rubberwilli Member

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    You don't have to come-out to everyone at the same time. There are no requirements for you to come out to anyone. You should think carefully about who you feel comfortable telling and why you are sharing this information with them, and when.

    Your private life is your private life and nobody's business but your own. Take you're time. Don't tell everyone in one week, you';ll be overwhelmed and so will they. You'll need a group of close friends first. People who will stand by you and support you in this process. You'll have a gut feeling who they are. You'll need them should you tell someone in the future and it doesn't go as you had hoped.

    Coming out is a process, and it's ongoing.

    The first step is your own coming out, and your own realization, which it seems you have done. Sharing that with your closest friends and family will continue for the rest of your life to come extent.

    Good luck!
     
  6. biguy2738

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    With your belonging to a church, I find it appropriate to mention that I have taken off my shoes because I am standing on holy ground!
    Not sure if you've crossed paths with my other encyclopedias, here's a summary of some of my experiences and the life changing lessons that I gained.
    I grew up in a household of a single mom and only sisters, so till today the whole macho role always crashes above my head. At school I was always called insulting terms related to homosexuality.
    The homophobe in me had been born and grew to greater levels on a daily basis.
    I'm Catholic (okay everyone, you can climb back onto your seats), and eventually decided to go to seminary. I learnt that all religious leaders are human and are prone to make mistakes...even prone to be utter scum buckets (to my horror)
    One of my lecturers was a self righteous, hypocritical bastard that didn't display a shred of holiness. We clashed constantly.
    One of the rules in the church is that if seminarians are caught having a homosexual relationship, they get expelled immediately. Fuck Nut spread rumours that my one of my friends and I were lovers, and because I'm not Mr. macho, everyone believed it.
    We were turned into lepers overnight. Nobody would eat at the same table etc. the thing that brought the most pain to me, was that I was experiencing the attitudes and treatment that I so gladly dished out to others.
    Luckily the priest's attempts failed and we weren't kicked out. From that experience I learnt that I am enough. I do not need anyone to validate my worth. I would rather have one friend that can accept me warts and all, than have hundreds, but need to constantly live up their standards in order to be valued and accepted.
    The following year I became friends with a guy that had a destructive childhood. His parents died when he was young, he was raised by his uncle and when he was about ten, was then rented out to his uncle's male friends.
    He had lived a life where he felt dirty, like a boil on the body of life...and worst of all, he didn't know what his sexual identity was. Because of everything I had gone through, he blessed me by turning to me for confidence and support.
    Around the time that all of this happened, we went on a course called Sexuality and Human Development - a psychological approach. The thing that has stayed with me, was when we were told that within every man is a certain level of bisexuality...it may be miniscule or it may be huge, but its there. Which is why men are more homophobic than women. why are men afraid to be picked up by a man, but never have that fear towards women? Subconsciously they know that they may end up allowing the guy to have his way...and may just enjoy it!
    Needless to say that homophobia was more rife than ever, and gay bashing became a hobby. There were times when the look in my friend's eye's was like that of a deer trapped in the headlights of an oncoming truck. This image still haunts me today. It crushes my spirit and brings tears to my eyes. It is during such moments as that, when I am ashamed to profess my Christianity.
    Within a few weeks of that experience, I left seminary. Though not all leaders are like that, I refused to either stand on a pulpit and be a hypocrite, nor could I associate myself with people like that.
    From that experience I learnt that so often religion is turned into an idol, the rules outweigh the God.
    Christ's biggest emphasis was on love. Religion is called to be a temple of love, not a courthouse of judgement.
    The Holy Spirit is a Spirit of love and unity. whenever you encounter division, its a sign of false gods...look at the division amongst Christians.
    When they try the guilt trip approach of "but the Bible says that we are Temples of the Holy Spirit", my response is, "instead of judging me how about worshipping the Divine that rests in me." Anyone can take a sentence from the Bible and make it suit their purpose.
    The God that I love and I worship is a loving God. The greatest images of God in the Bible for me is:
    Before Moses gets the ten commandments, God reveals himself as "The God, the God of mercy, of compassion, abounding in love etc." The Classical Hebrew translation is "Adonai, Adonai El Rahum" which when translated according to the ancient Jewish sages means "The Lord, the Lord, God like a womens womb." In an ideal world, where women don't need abortions, there aren't unwanted pregnancy, you'll find the meaning of God.
    The second image, is when the Israelites are wandering in the desert and start to lose faith. God tells Moses, "remember when I brought you out of Egypt, how I bore you on eagles wings." If we slow down a bit, and instead of reading passages, absorb sentences...and reflect on what we are reading, one may ask, "why is God choosing an eagle? why not a sparrow in his image? There is a reason for that choice. The eagle teaches its young to fly, by carrying them on its back. it will drop them and leave them to plummet, but when it senses that they aren't able to fly, will swoop beneath them and pick them up. Also, it is one of the highest flying birds which means that when they are carrying their young nothing can really attack them from above. the attacker will need to get through the body of the parent in order to get to them ie God would rather die before harm comes to us.
    From that I believe that God doesn't just cast us aside. This has created my own beliefs on the meaning of hell. I don't believe that there is a hell when we die. i believe that there is a hell when we live, and that we create it for ourselves and for others.
    I'm not trying to Bible punch you or anyone else. i can sense that you are a person of faith, i hope my own convictions were able to either strengthen your own, or encourage you to decide on your own vision of God and what the true meaning of your religion is.
    Despite all that I said, I am still a practicing Catholic. I have learnt not to take things of faith at face value, find out for yourself.
    I opted to study Biblical studies, Biblical Archaeology, Judaica and Classical Hebrew, at a secular university so that I could gain unbiased knowledge. I wanted to know more about the human Jesus that had blisters on his feet, took a dump and hung out with sinners.
    I am still Catholic because it is a faith that I find is closest to my own religious beliefs and convictions. Though its role is only to be my sounding board as I strive to live my life and worship according to how I believe is most pleasing to God.
    Now that I have addressed that dimension of your post, time to move on...
    In or out the closet? I have no right to advise you...only you are wearing your shoes and will have to face the consequences. its a decision that only you can discover for yourself... Be assured though, that along the way, you will grow and be a better, braver you... Which will make you more pleasing to God, you will be true to the Divinity that rests within you.
    What that means is that YOU are ENOUGH! You don't need friends or religion to make you whole...they are just as fractured... and two halves in that aspect cannot make a whole. Only you and God can make you whole, God aint broken and he is already in you. It rests with you to make yourself complete, the good news is that you are everything you need, and you have all of us to support you.
    Have a look at my preference at the top of my post. And then there is my user name as well. What do you visualise? A guy that either bats for both teams, wants to do so, or is curious to do so. If those are any of your answers you are wrong. hehehe
    I grew up with women, and that has rubbed off on me...I embrace it and am proud to acknowledge that. If it enables me to be sensitive enough, to build people up, heal wounds, comfort others and strive to be a better and more complete version of me, then I have truly lived life to the full.
    I embrace homosexuality with as much love and respect as I would heterosexuality. One is not above the other, they are different truths for different people and thats great. It frees me to live my life according to my own set of values and principles.
    I don't mind if you call me gay, bi, straight it means all the same to me...best of all, call me friend so I know that I have lived up to what I've been called to be!
    I hope you don't feel that I took your thread and made it about me. I have learnt that if I share about myself, as opposed to address you, it prevents me from making you feel judged, preached to etc. Above all else, it prevents me from being a hypocrite because I am preaching what I practice. I am speaking about events, not ideas, prejudices etc.
    My only concern, and I'm saying this from a place where I am standing in your shoes. If I were gay, and I stayed in the closet, the way that I would read into it (bear in mind you aren't me, so your perceptions may differ) would be that I am hiding it because I'm ashamed of it. My shame would tell me that there is something bad or wrong with being gay. If I then accept that I am gay, that would mean that I am ashamed of myself and thus, that there is something bad or wrong with me. In my world, I'd be destroying myself by hiding it, more, than if they knew. You need to discover what your real world, and values, and faith tells you. i can't, because I am not you...thank heavens - otherwise there'd be two people that write such lengthy posts.
    I speak to you with much love and concern. I weep that in the midst of your confusion, you aren't able to see that God is looking down on you and telling his angels "he's mine. He's my child"...and when your final moment on earth passes, and you see your maker face to face, you will be deafened by the applause in heaven...with God clapping the loudest of all!
    God love you and be with you, you wonderful, sacred, unrepeatable gift to all of humanity!
     
  7. invisibleman

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    This topic already has probably been discussed here, but I guess I'm bringing it up again.

    I'm thinking about finally and officially "coming out" to my friends as a gay male. But there are pros and cons to be considered. Here's what I'm hesitating over, and I'd be interested in hearing what you guys think I should do.

    I'm fairly str8 acting and str8 looking. Most of my friends right now are str8 and think I am also.

    The pros of coming out:
    1. I won't have to be afraid of being "outted" by someone else.
    2. A lot of pressure will be off me to continue pretending that I'm str8.
    3. I may actually find another gay guy to be my friend--and maybe more
    than just my friend.

    The cons of coming out:
    1. Maybe the people at my job and at my church (yes, I do attend church!) won't take kindly to my being gay.
    Find a church and a job that can handle you being gay.
    2. I might lose some of the friends I've made already.
    If you lose friends because of you being gay--they weren't your friends. You can find some more friends. Trust me, there are a bunch of people out there in the world that would be your friend.
    3. I might run into some homophobe who'll beat me up--or worse.
    You could learn how to fight unfair, too. Learn to use a semi automatic weapon. Double barrel shotgun. Sig Sauers. Desert Eagles. Watch some Matrix movies. Be unexpected. Learn to be aware of your surroundings.
    Start a gay night patrol and make streets safer in gay neighborhoods. Affiliate yourself with local Law Enforcement. Get support from them as well.

    And there are many more issues on both the pro and the con side.
    PREPARE YOURSELF. :smile:


    So what is your advice? Of course, I'd appreciate sincere and serious responses. Thanks for your help. :smile:
     
  8. CUBE

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    If you are young and dependent on parents, for example, think it all through. You need a roof over head and food to survive. I have know guys that lost everything and had a tough time of it for a long spell. Being out is great...but you don't need to take the burden of the entire thing right now if you can't handel it. If you are on your own, secure to a degree, then come on out.
     
  9. sdg475

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    This is a situation i would never want to be in, and i'm thankful i'll never have to go through it. That being said, as hard as it may be, i would say it's really for the best. I imagine that it would be extremely stressful to have to constantly hide such a thing, and it would probably be the healthy thing to just get it off your chest and be yourself. If the church rejects you: fuck 'em, it may be hard depending on where you live but i know there are tolerant churches. In fact, i know an openly gay man with a husband who is a respected pastor. If your friends treat you any differently i'd safely say they were never true friends and aren't worth your time and effort. Friends rejecting you must be the hardest part, but i really believe that if they're good people they will see right past your sexual preferences. As for being attacked by a homophobe...i'm not sure how likely this is to happen. I guess it again depends on your location a little, but i think as long as you are respectful of other people you will not be bothered (at least i would like to think so, never delt with this firsthand). Anyways, good luck to you with whatever you decide to do, i'm rooting for you!
     
  10. dolf250

    dolf250 New Member

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    I do not know that I can give much advice about coming out, but I would probably remember that you do not need to do it all at once. With most big decisions and actions in anybodies life I would usually say that you do not need to do it in the same day. You do not need to tell your family, friends, co-workers, bank manager and the IRS all in the same day.

    I would start with those who you are closest and trust most; they would be the ones least likely to gossip and tell the world before you are ready. It would be the same with your friends, I would tell those closest to me first. It would also mean that a few of your closest friends would probably already be “on side” and probably quite prepared to make a stand if one of your friends who is “on the fringes” of your social circle had a problem with it.

    I know that you did not ask how I would go about it, but rather if you should. I guess my answer would be yes you should, but just little by little at your own comfort level. If, on the other hand you are prepared to do it all at once then I suppose a public announcement on your local T.V. Station is as good a way as any.:wink:
     
  11. BIGdkluver

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    My sincere thanks to all of you gentlemen--particularly to Biguy-- for your meaningful, sensitive, and beautiful responses. I will take all of this into consideration. I thank you with my whole heart! :smile:
     
  12. davidjh7

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    COming out is a VERY personal decision--and you should never feel pressured into doing so. Remmeber, the ONLY person you really HAVE to come out to, is yourself. Anybody else is a choice. I'm not saying you have to hide your sexuality, nor do you have to advertise it, either. THose who you want to share this with, if you feel it is important for YOU< then do so. If your work discriminates, then you have to be careful to hide it, or find a more accepting company. You will lose some friends, but gain others. Mostly, though, accepting yourself, and choosing to be who you are, whether someone knows it or not, takes a HUGE personal weight off of you It doesn;t make life any easier, nor does it necessarily make it harder. If people ask, be honest. Or tell them it is none of their business. People will make assumptions one way or the other regardless. Pick your battles, and decide what the real costs will be, then choose. Once you do it the first time, it gets easier. Good Luck!!
     
  13. B_dxjnorto

    B_dxjnorto New Member

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    It may not be as big a step as you think. Unless your friendships are very superficial, they may know you better in some ways than you know yourself.

    In my experience, gayness may be more obvious to associates than it is to you.
     
  14. B_dxjnorto

    B_dxjnorto New Member

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    In my experience, gayness may be more obvious to associates than it is to you.

    This is a statement made by the posting prior to mine...A very brief but important statement. I am a senior man now in my 70's. I never had a real relationship until I was 65...and with a woman who I had wanted a relationship with for many yrs. But I was mentally unable to take the necessary action..and was unble to physically touch. Odd, Yes! but it is a "disease" call it that has a name in the medical field. So after we become intimate friends she asked me "are you gay?". So this really caused me to reflect. Am I gay? I had wondered for in the past. I acted str8 and I looked str8 as far as I know. I was a professional man in the suit and tie. I liked ladies and had dated in college. Then it was skiing, travel, Military Reserve and many activities that kept my life busy. I just never had a time that requried me to make the decision of what I was sexually. Sexual things were not discusses in my circle of friends or business associates. So when she asked "are you gay" it really caused me to think. I also had another woman who was coming on to me as this one was pushing me out the door. So I moved on. We were best of friends but not sexual. So in this time, I tried out homosexual intimacy. I liked it better than what I had with that first woman. I gradually met gay men and just thru normal conversation they could assume correctly I was living gay and liking it. That circle of friends grew. My older friends were sort of left behind. Our conversations never included anything sexual so "coming out to them
    was never nessary....and I never brought up the subject. Now I think do they know I am gay...like the woman said "are you gay". Well thru politeness, they never ask. In recent conversations with my gay friends it is said more often that it is not necessary to announce that I am gay. Just live life as we like and let the other person figure it out for themselves. I was raised in a protestant home and went to church...but to my knowledge I never heard sex or sexual orientation discussed. My "victorian" family never said anything sexual...until I was in my 50's and my mother asked "have you ever slept with a woman?". Wow, that was a tough one to work around. I don't think I actually ansered her. I was wrong in her eyes to say yes or no. I think she must have heard some discussion on TV that caused her to bring this up. She must have known the answer was NO...but the answer was really yes...and the time I did it in Europe was not a pleasant one. So I never tired it again.
    So in my final statement, I don't think anyone has to come out and make a strong statement "I am gay". I have no relatives now so family discussion is not an issue. Friends are, and friends can assume what they want. If I were to walk in with a partner and make introductions, then is the time to face the facts. So each of those type of situations can be handled indivisually.
    The long message above from Johanesburg is wonderful. From a very wise man.
    Thanks
     
  15. Cardinal

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    I think you will be alot happier if you do. That won't mean that it won't be difficult and scary, it won't mean that you won't lose friends, or be aliented by your church, or feel threatened at your job - but it does mean that the next round of friends that you make, the next church you join, the next job you get and the next guy you get it on with will all love you for exactly who you are and with nothing to hide you'll have nothing more to fear.
     
  16. D_Coyne Toss

    D_Coyne Toss New Member

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    How I would like to be really helpful, but all I can give are words.

    Istinctively I'd advice you to come out, so that you can stop pretneding being somebody else.

    I do however realize that this world can make lives of all "diverse" persons a nightmare, and what is worse is that "diversity" is based on some narrow minded persons' stereotypes.

    Persons might abandone you, you might experience hatred and solitude, but keep in mind that who really loves you loves what you are, no matter what sexual choice you make.
     
  17. blackbirdsandfloorboards

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    I'm glad I read this post. It has helped me too. Thanks for the question, and thanks for the answers.
     
  18. ekybottom

    ekybottom New Member

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    When I finally came out, I thought that there would be a big deal about it. But nothing happened. everyone was supportive. My friends were still my friends. My sister asked me what took me so long. Said that she had known it for years.
     
  19. SoFla8

    SoFla8 New Member

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    Wow, great thread! It's made me think. Biguy, your post opened my eyes to a few issues and I thank you.

    I've never thought myself gay, but a straight guy who likes cock. I've never considered a gay relationship, even though the few women I've been with have treated me badly. Why? I dont know...

    Maybe a man would give me the love and attention I want. Maybe not.
    Maybe I haven't met the right woman. Maybe she isnt out there...ever. Who knows.

    Life is too short, be glad you know who you are. Some of us aren't as lucky!
     
  20. solexes

    solexes New Member

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    Whats more important --- being someone you're not? Or being who you are? Would you rather lie to your friends and to yourself?

    For me - coming out was an affirmation of who I am. People who loved me and cared for me - STILL loved me and cared for me. Those who were superficial - well - they;re out of my life - and there were fewer of those than I thought there would be.

    Trust me - be who you are - if you are gay - then be gay - come out - and you will thank yourself for having the courage to do so...
     
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