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  1. #1

    coming out slowly?

    Hi,

    So I'm new here. Not really, but I've never posted here until now.

    Here's some information about me:

    I'm 19, a student, gay (known and identified as gay since I was about 15). I came out to the first person ever last year. About 4 months before that, I randomly made out with a guy at a concert. A few people have asked me if I was gay between the ages of 15 and 18. I only made the commitment to start saying yes last year, but I've only been asked once since then and saying yes was incredibly awkward because it was asked as a joke (I did, however, say that I am). In the past year I have told 6 people, and 7 people are aware.

    I guess my first question is whether this is a stupid approach to take for coming out. Is this too slow? Sometimes I feel like just telling everyone in the world, but such a sudden change really terrifies me. I mean, I've started to hate myself less, but it's an ongoing struggle, and it isn't helped by the fact that I'm already a very negative, cynical person.

    I really wish people would just ask me, also, but I understand that it's probably just as awkward for them to bring up as I feel it is for me to bring up. The only time I've ever cried about being gay was when I realized that at this rate, I'm going to have to tell every single person in my life individually that I am gay. It's such an overwhelming feeling, but I also don't know if I'm ready for it to just be completely public information.

    I'm mostly uncomfortable with boys knowing. Out of the 7 people who know, one of them is male (he's also gay).

    For straight guys, I don't want them to know because I'm afraid I'll be treated differently. And I know what the general response to this will be: (1) that if they're really my friend/important then they won't and (2) that I might change their view of gay people. Honestly, both of these reasons are exhausting. At the same time, so is putting up with the constant use of "gay" and "fag." There are good people who are homophobic. I'm not saying that any of my straight friends would necessarily abandon me as a friend, either. I just don't think things would ever quite be the same. Is it worth it? Probably? Maybe? I'm just too scared to find out, and it's so much easier to do nothing than to make a move that is completely irreversible.

    There are also a lot of gay guys I know that I'm not interested in. Actually, I'm not interested in any of the gay guys I know. Before you say that I'm subconsciously setting unattainable standards for myself (I lurk here a LOT, I can predict a lot of what's coming), just know that there ARE gay guys that I've been into who are real, tangible people in my life. I just don't know any of them particularly well at all. I'm not attracted to a single gay guy that I am friends with (and I'm friends with 10 gay guys), and don't really feel like having to deal with the possibility (in some cases the likelihood) of having to reject them. I've rejected girls and it hasn't been pretty and I can only imagine that in these cases it would end worse.

    Seriously, though, nobody EVER asks me anymore (in a serious way). I think it's because there are so many openly gay people around me who dress a lot better than I do. No joke, I'm just not very into clothes. I have lots of stereotypically feminine tastes, and I don't really make an effort to hide them. Who knows. Is it reasonable to expect to be asked occasionally? I mean I also don't pretend to like girls. I NEVER EVER say fag or "that's so gay." I feel like a lot of people either think that I am or are unsure, but I never get asked anything. Maybe they'd see it as probing.

    Anyway, there are my reasons for being this slow. By all means, tell me why I'm wrong.

  2. #2
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    Re: coming out slowly?

    hi fourozfree,

    Welcome and good you have made this posting.

    I guess my first question is whether this is a stupid approach to take for coming out. Is this too slow? No. But tell all of them that its not a secret that you are gay (so they are free to tell others that you are a gay guy).

    I really wish people would just ask me, also, but I understand that it's probably just as awkward for them to bring up as I feel it is for me to bring up. In general, people won't ask this kind of questions. No, its not awkward for them, as most people don't bother. They will respect you as a friend / guy who likes music / is into music (etc.), and your sexual interest in guys is just one part of your personality.

    I also don't know if I'm ready for it to just be completely public information. Well, find a nice boyfriend and start to go out with him, and put photo's of him and you on Facebook. An easy way to let the whole world around you that you are gay. Same like straight guys of around your age get a girlfriend.

    For straight guys, I don't want them to know because I'm afraid I'll be treated differently. So what? Straight guy friends who cannot cope with the reality that you are gay, are no friends. Please be aware that most straight guys don't bother that some guys are gay.

    Maybe (?), quite a few people in your surroundings are already -more or less- aware that you are gay / they have ideas that you might be gay, as you have told us that you have open gay friends, and that you don't hide that you hang out (etc.) with gay guys.

    I feel like a lot of people either think that I am or are unsure, but I never get asked anything. Maybe they'd see it as probing. Seems a likely scenario, especially for polite people. Maybe some girls have such 'probing questions', but you don't react on them. So they don't ask, but assume (its 2012). Do you fear they will shun you when it becomes obvious that you are gay?

    Take your time, don't ever pretend you are straight, tell people that you are gay (and that its not a secret), and -sooner or later- you just assume that people are aware that you are gay. Of find a boyfriend.

    Feel free to react and/or ask additional questions. In which country do you live?
    I am Dutch, so please excuse me for my low level of English.

  3. #3
    Grumpy Old Man jft245's Avatar
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    Re: coming out slowly?

    However you choose to go about the coming out process is up to you. There is no right or wrong way and it has to be comfortable for you.

  4. #4
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    Re: coming out slowly?

    just something to think about.. If you told 7 people then ALOT more people aready know. People talk, and that kind of "secret" doesnt stay quiet long. Whether you think they told others or not, chances are they did but they will tell you they havent... Maybe the reason that nobody is asking you is because they already have heard by now. I thought the same thing when I came out and told only a few people, and thinking that it was a small circle of people that knew, that it wasnt known to all, but come to find out, it was already known by everyone. All it takes is 1 person to start the entire chain, and it spreads quick. imo.

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    I'm now a grandfather! JUB Moderator Seasoned's Avatar
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    Re: coming out slowly?

    Welcome. I sense your mind racing because you don't have an outlet to discuss these things in person. That might be where the other gay guy that you're out to comes in. Have you spoken to him about this?

    As long as you are honest with yourself and others there's no one way to come out. Most of us did not shout it from the rooftops. Living life honestly and openly is also a way to be out.

    As far as homophobia is concerned regarding your male friends, there is a huge difference between homophobia and homophobic slurs. I don't think it's possible for a homophobe to be considered nice. Nice people can and do say stupid things from time to time. If you truly have nice friends they'll be supportive of you once you're out to them.

    Good luck to you however you chose to come out.
    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."--Dr. Seuss

  6. #6
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    Re: coming out slowly?

    What he said... ^^^^ Perfect answer!

  7. #7

    Re: coming out slowly?

    I live in the US

    Quote Originally Posted by jensu846 View Post
    just something to think about.. If you told 7 people then ALOT more people aready know. People talk, and that kind of "secret" doesnt stay quiet long. Whether you think they told others or not, chances are they did but they will tell you they havent... Maybe the reason that nobody is asking you is because they already have heard by now. I thought the same thing when I came out and told only a few people, and thinking that it was a small circle of people that knew, that it wasnt known to all, but come to find out, it was already known by everyone. All it takes is 1 person to start the entire chain, and it spreads quick. imo.
    Yeah, I'm aware of this. The thing is that most of these people don't really know a lot of people I see. For instance, my friend from high school has probably told a bunch of his friends from college that I am, but I've only met most of his friends like once in my life. Either way, I don't really have a problem with people knowing, as long as they don't have a problem with me. It's mostly just getting over that initial hump of just telling someone that is the problem for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seasoned View Post
    Welcome. I sense your mind racing because you don't have an outlet to discuss these things in person. That might be where the other gay guy that you're out to comes in. Have you spoken to him about this?

    As far as homophobia is concerned regarding your male friends, there is a huge difference between homophobia and homophobic slurs. I don't think it's possible for a homophobe to be considered nice. Nice people can and do say stupid things from time to time. If you truly have nice friends they'll be supportive of you once you're out to them.
    I've spoken to him about it, but I don't see him much anymore because we don't go to the same school. I have another friend who I talk to about it semi-regularly. It is helpful to be able to talk in person.

    I misspoke—didn't mean like violently homophobic, just people with some homophobic sentiments.

  8. #8
    I'm now a grandfather! JUB Moderator Seasoned's Avatar
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    Re: coming out slowly?

    I think I know what you mean, but some people use slurs because until they learn differently they think they're being cool.
    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."--Dr. Seuss

  9. #9
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    Re: coming out slowly?

    I have a slightly different POV on the subject of coming and and being gay so I will give you my story in case you can use anything....

    I had about 10 minutes as a sophomore in HS between the moment I realized I was gay and the moment I announced it to my family at the breakfast table...I was done with it and went off to school. My motivation was that I was a bit of a bad boy and a rebel so I was hoping it would piss my parents off. It wasn't because I was particularly brave.

    Since that day...I have only announced I was gay to a few females who were doing the crush thing on me to save them some time....the idea of telling anyone I was gay was ghastly because I thought about how I would like it if someone sat me down to tell me they were straight..it would make me uncomfortable because when someone says they have "something to tell me" instead of just telling me I think they are ready to emotionally blackmail me or make me responsible for their feelings. Instead...I just dont' hide it. Instead of saying I am gay...I will introduce my boyfriend as my boyfriend in a normal course of conversation or comment on a cute guy as if it is a non issue because for me it is a non issue. Oddly enough...it has been a non issue for pretty much all the straight people I have ever met.

    I also am a little different in that I know what I would like from my acquaintances and friends in regards to my sexuality. They dont' need to like it or approve of it in any way because if they have any judgements they are none of my business (and I dont' really give a rats ass)....and since I don't accept and approve of alot of things other people do and I do judge sometimes I would never ask others to do something I am unwilling to do myself. Instead...I bring up the subject of equality under the law because that IS important to me and important if I am to sustain any kind of friendship or connection.

    So my advice would be to ask yourself what it is you want from the process. Acceptance? Approval? Identity? Self Respect? Something Else?

    There is no right or wrong way to come out...we are all individuals and as such you have to be true to yourself.

    I wish you all the best.

  10. #10
    Execuvette Rolyo85's Avatar
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    Re: coming out slowly?

    That is a good point, and one of the easiest lessons to learn, and the hardest to believe - people don't think it's a big deal if you act like it's not. They can't. It creates a mismatch that they can't deal with. The stereotype is that the gay boy is fretting and worried about showing his sexuality. So if you aren't, how could they make it an issue?
    That we are capable only of being what we are, remains our unforgivable sin.
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  11. #11
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    Re: coming out slowly?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolyo85 View Post
    That is a good point, and one of the easiest lessons to learn, and the hardest to believe - people don't think it's a big deal if you act like it's not. They can't. It creates a mismatch that they can't deal with. The stereotype is that the gay boy is fretting and worried about showing his sexuality. So if you aren't, how could they make it an issue?
    BINGO

    You summed it up very nicely.

  12. #12

    Re: coming out slowly?

    Quote Originally Posted by eastofeden View Post
    BINGO

    You summed it up very nicely.
    Pff... I probably agree with you.
    But having had as much difficulties as I did coming to terms with my sexuality and finlly coming out of the closet...
    I think it's also very important for "straight" people to know that sometimes it IS a big deal for people and the HAVE to make a big deal out of it...
    I find this very important.
    Of course your attitude and approach are great, but you can't expect it from everyone, nor should we (I think atleast) make it out to be to the general public that "we are making a big deal out if it".
    There is a difference between announcing you're gay and announcing you're straight...
    Why? Because 90% of the people are straight and everyone expects you to be straight, ...

    Don't get me wrong, I agree that we shouldn't over-dramatize, but I will keep pleading for understanding and compassion for people who have a difficulty announcing that they're gay.

  13. #13
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    Re: coming out slowly?

    You misunderstand. When I say "not a big deal", I mean only the negative stuff. I did not skulk in the shadows, fret about how people would react, worry how they would accept me talking openly about sex etc. THAT is the part that you should act like they are supposed to accept and that's where the "no big deal" thing comes. Being gay and coming out is a very big deal. But we should never be apologizing for it and act like we need permission and approval.
    That we are capable only of being what we are, remains our unforgivable sin.
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  14. #14

    Re: coming out slowly?

    Oh, then I agree, ass usual

  15. #15

    Re: coming out slowly?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolyo85 View Post
    I did not skulk in the shadows, fret about how people would react, worry how they would accept me talking openly about sex etc.
    Lol, this is exactly what I'm doing... I think I'm just used to it at this point, honestly, and getting used to it has ultimately hurt me. At least I'm at the point where I know there's nothing wrong with me. I'll keep working on it.

    P.S. Maxxie is awesome.

  16. #16
    Execuvette Rolyo85's Avatar
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    Maxxie is made of rainbows and sluttiness ^_^


    And yes, I know how it goes. The trick is to take a deep breath and just go for it. You'll get vertigo from how quickly the fear will disappear
    That we are capable only of being what we are, remains our unforgivable sin.
    - Gene Wolfe

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