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Thread: Discussion: Can There Be True Happiness From Within the Closet?

      
   
  1. #51
    Impish and Mercurial Rolyo85's Avatar
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    Re: Discussion: Can There Be True Happiness From Within the Closet?

    Quote Originally Posted by oakpope View Post
    I don't believe it is entirely true. The closet exists also because homosexuality is in the minority, so anybody would assume you're straight the first time they meet you. So every time you meet a stranger you're in a closet until you step outside (or that visually the clues are self evident). That one has to remain in one because of fear of others negative reactions, there lays the abomination, for me.
    You are right, but only up to a point.

    I think I should have said this at the very beginning of the thread, but when I talk about being "closeted" and being "out", I don't talk about any particular absolutes. First of all, unless you are visibly, undeniably gay, you will never be ENTIRELY out, because every new person will - as you said - assume you're straight, or at least might assume so. However, to me, there is a line, somewhere - and I can't really point at it, because I think it is in different places with different people - before which I'd say you were "closeted", and after which - "out".

    To me, it mostly comes down to "how do you live your everyday life". If someone is out to his family and friends, and "on the street", so to speak, yet isn't out in his workplace, to me that would still be "out". Or as an earlier example here, not being out to family that lives far away and comes from a homophobic culture, while being out to everyone in the place you live.

    But if you are out to your mom and your best friend from high school, yet you have cover stories for everyone else in your life, that is not "out", that's "closeted".

    Basically, I guess I'd put it like this - if you live your life being worried and/or taking extra precautions about being found out, then you're closeted in my book.
    That we are capable only of being what we are, remains our unforgivable sin.
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  2. #52
    Are u haleloo ya ? Telstra's Avatar
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    Re: Discussion: Can There Be True Happiness From Within the Closet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolyo85 View Post
    Since I saw an argument about this issue develop in a recent topic, and we should avoid discussions in other threads, I figured I might as well open a new one, dedicated to this conversation.

    So, can there be contentment and happiness in the long term while at the same time being closeted?

    If you live as a social person no.


    NEVER LISTEN TO A ONE SIDED STORY AND JUDGE.

  3. #53

    Re: Discussion: Can There Be True Happiness From Within the Closet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolyo85 View Post
    Well, too bad if that's how I come across. That would be missing the point, frankly. I don't know what else to say. I mean, you're basically equating being closeted with a lifestyle, as if it's something freely chosen.
    How far in, or out of the closet I am is MY freely chosen choice. Thank You.
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  4. #54
    Impish and Mercurial Rolyo85's Avatar
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    Re: Discussion: Can There Be True Happiness From Within the Closet?

    Quote Originally Posted by borg69unimatrix View Post
    How far in, or out of the closet I am is MY freely chosen choice. Thank You.
    Frankly, no, it isn't, but that's a philosophical discussion that I don't want to have here. Even accepting that it is though, you did not choose to START in the closet. Nobody does. You only "chose" how to deal with it once there.
    That we are capable only of being what we are, remains our unforgivable sin.
    - Gene Wolfe

  5. #55
    IllumiNaughty Overlord. bankside's Avatar
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    Re: Discussion: Can There Be True Happiness From Within the Closet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolyo85 View Post
    You know, while I get the safety thing to an extent, I seriously don't get the job. I encounter this so often, and it baffles me - "I want to be in marketing, and they are very conservative, so I'll be closeted". I mean, to me that's totally fucked up priorities. I am not saying everyone should be in interior design, fashion and musical theater, but to me, if the choice is between living a lie all your life, and going into a different field which is more accepting or at least more diverse, you shouldn't pick the lie...

    As for fearing for your life, it is quite the same. Unless you are a kid living with your homophobic parents, or if they pay for your school, you are rarely stuck to any place. Why do so many gay guys live in the big cities? Because more gay people are born there? No. It's because people who want a better life, move to where better life happens. I moved a continent and a half, plus an ocean, to get to a place where better life happens, but someone growing up in Bumfuck, South Carolina, can't move to DC?
    If you are a kid who could be beat up by abusive parents, or cut off by fundamentalist parents, I believe you should lie, hide in the closet, change the subject, pretend you've "seen the light" or do whatever it takes to keep them quiet. Take every advantage you can grab until you're through school and can have a normal career like anyone else.

    If you're a person just looking for a nicer job, don't hide in the closet. But if you need to keep a basic job to survive, I don't blame people.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte.

  6. #56

    Re: Discussion: Can There Be True Happiness From Within the Closet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolyo85 View Post
    … that's a philosophical discussion that I don't want to have here…
    What kind of discussion do you want to have here? Another absolute discussion where some are absolutely right and others are absolute wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by G-Lexington View Post
    Was this a professor question, then? One where there already is a decidedly correct answer?…
    I think individuals are individuals. I prefer not to listen to the dictates of others.
    Last edited by pat grimshaw; February 16th, 2013 at 07:38 PM.

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    Re: Discussion: Can There Be True Happiness From Within the Closet?

    I think one's happiness is individual and unique to their situation and/or mentality. For some, coming out is liberating and allows them to do what makes them true to themselves and be happy with themselves. For others, staying in the closet is just fine, and they can be content to "conform to society" to stay away from all the drama that can ensue if they should decide to come out. In their mind, they are happy that they are not found out.

    I can imagine that coming out is happier, and those that stay in the closet are just "settling" for second best.

  8. #58
    GiancarloC
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    Re: Discussion: Can There Be True Happiness From Within the Closet?

    For me personally the most unhappy parts of my life were when I was in the closet, so I don't think being in the closet is equated to happiness. It's basically about living a double life. This is about me only. If one can find solace and is happy in the closet because of certain circumstances of not being able to come out to family... I wish more power to them. We shall not insult or attack those who are in the closet because we all were at that point. And technically we always are when we meet new people... coming out of the closet is a life long endeavor.

    I cannot lie to anyone and if they ask me I will tell them the truth. I have lost friends, but I have gained new ones. I don't tell people the first time I meet them "Hello, I'm gay"... no, but if it does come up I do not keep a secret. Some may assume it already about me... but that is beyond the point. I am out of the closet in the sense that all people I know (most of my family and all of my friends) have an idea. The unfortunate truth is I am in the closet when it comes to certain family members, including my maternal grandmother who is in her 90s.

    There are times and circumstances where I will not confirm or tell because of the situation. But for the most part I am indeed out of the closet, and I can never see myself going back in the closet. And answering the original question, it's all a matter of the person.
    Last edited by GiancarloC; February 16th, 2013 at 07:43 PM.

  9. #59
    Impish and Mercurial Rolyo85's Avatar
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    Re: Discussion: Can There Be True Happiness From Within the Closet?

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    If you are a kid who could be beat up by abusive parents, or cut off by fundamentalist parents, I believe you should lie, hide in the closet, change the subject, pretend you've "seen the light" or do whatever it takes to keep them quiet. Take every advantage you can grab until you're through school and can have a normal career like anyone else.

    If you're a person just looking for a nicer job, don't hide in the closet. But if you need to keep a basic job to survive, I don't blame people.
    Isn't that what I just said? If it didn't come across, then let me say I totally agree with this. I don't aim to discuss whether there are reasons to stay in the closet, or whether people should be out.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by pat grimshaw View Post
    What kind of discussion do you want to have here? Another absolute discussion where some are absolutely right and others are absolute wrong?



    I think individuals are individuals. I prefer not to listen to the dictates of others.
    I don't know why you bother posting in this forum, seriously.
    That we are capable only of being what we are, remains our unforgivable sin.
    - Gene Wolfe

  10. #60
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    Re: Discussion: Can There Be True Happiness From Within the Closet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolyo85 View Post
    Since I saw an argument about this issue develop in a recent topic, and we should avoid discussions in other threads, I figured I might as well open a new one, dedicated to this conversation.

    So, can there be contentment and happiness in the long term while at the same time being closeted?
    For me...absolutely not. I think each person needs to define what happiness means to them and so there probably isn't a "correct" answer.

    I would think that people who define happiness as having money and power would be fine in the closet. Just look at the Politicians and Preachers (Larry Craig/Ted Haggard are two examples) who seems pretty "happy" in the closet.

  11. #61
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    Re: Discussion: Can There Be True Happiness From Within the Closet?

    Tricky subject considering the contexts... If I was Ugandan, I'd more than likely be closeted.

    I've said before that the closet could be a "better" place, but it can never be the "best" place. We are sexual creatures and there is no way to hide that.

    Going back to Treacle's post and the Buddhist who doesn't function on the plane of sexuality... That's good for that guy, but the majority of society consider having an openly acknowledged, functioning sexuality as a marker of "happiness"/ "normalcy". In short, belonging to that majority average or feeling the pressure to conform to that average... That's why I think this discussion could veer off into other directions as well, i.e. asexuality.

    How many gay men or lesbians have convinced themselves that they are asexual or should be asexual?
    Please do not apologize for your opinion.

  12. #62
    Rest in peace, mom. JUB Moderator Seasoned's Avatar
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    Re: Discussion: Can There Be True Happiness From Within the Closet?

    Bemoaning societal ills is one thing but blaming the victim is quite another. Frankly, I can be sad or even angry if someone is in the closet, but it's really not my place to lecture or pontificate as to what they ought to do unless they ask me. Likewise for their happiness. If I work on mine they might see what I have and want what I have. In the end, happiness is relative and situational to all life's activities and nuances. The happiest days of my life occurred both in and out of the closet. Can you really be happy spending this much time trying to prove you're correct?
    "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

  13. #63
    TheSpectatingLoner
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    Re: Discussion: Can There Be True Happiness From Within the Closet?

    To asnwer the OP's question: NO.

    Quote Originally Posted by oakpope View Post
    So every time you meet a stranger you're in a closet until you step outside
    Completely disagree here. The second you step out, you are out. The second you throw that denial away and let everyone know you are GAY, you are out. That feeling of being locked in by shame is gone--hence coming out of the closet.

    Anyone else's assumption is their own ignorance.

  14. #64
    Impish and Mercurial Rolyo85's Avatar
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    Re: Discussion: Can There Be True Happiness From Within the Closet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seasoned View Post
    Bemoaning societal ills is one thing but blaming the victim is quite another. Frankly, I can be sad or even angry if someone is in the closet, but it's really not my place to lecture or pontificate as to what they ought to do unless they ask me. Likewise for their happiness. If I work on mine they might see what I have and want what I have. In the end, happiness is relative and situational to all life's activities and nuances. The happiest days of my life occurred both in and out of the closet. Can you really be happy spending this much time trying to prove you're correct?
    I am not blaming the victim. But thanks for adding to the chorus of the victimized :/
    That we are capable only of being what we are, remains our unforgivable sin.
    - Gene Wolfe

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    FEAR THE LIBERAL DETENTE! TX-Beau's Avatar
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    Re: Discussion: Can There Be True Happiness From Within the Closet?

    Hmmmm. curioser and curioser.

    First off, if you live in Iran and are gay - your circumstances are vastly different to a guy living in England or Canada - so different as to make ANY comparison of the two utterly ridiculous. IF someone can legally to KILL you, HIDE!!!!!!!!!!!! But no, that isn't the case in Ottawa, or fuck even in Austin.

    So lets just say that particular dog won't hunt. In the west (which is where most of us are) the decision to be closeted has nothing to do with legal murder or societal banning, which is the number one justification for the closet, and frankly, this board of all the gay boards I've ever posted on, does the most justifying of the big lie, the closet.

    If you live in a family of fundies - who knows they just might surprise you - mine did - but you will never know until you give them the chance to be decent people, and I don't see how you can tolerate a life of lie and find happiness, and I really don't think that "happy" is the right word anyway. I suspect what Rolyo was getting at, and the dudgeon of a certain poster that created this thread was about self worth, arising from a conversation about "labeling."

    If you go through life hiding who you are, fearing discovery, lying to some woman, pulling away from people, being anti-social, etc, all the things the closet forces you to do, I fail to see how that doesn't take it's toll - in fact I know it does, the closet is not some benign "lifestyle choice," it's fear, it's internalized homophobia - it's accepting that being who you are must be shrouded in shame and secrecy.

    We can pretend that it's something else all we like - but that is what it is - the acceptance that we are lesser, that our sexuality must be hidden from the view of decent people, that it's somehow "privacy" when really it's just what it is, fear and shame.

    There isn't a single one of us who chose to be in the closet. We were all pushed there, and if we don't out people, it's because we know what it's like to live in that place, how hard it can be to find your courage - NOT because there is any validity or "lifestyle" or right to lying to our friends and families.

    I don't know what "happiness" means to whomever, but I do know that hiding who you are isn't anything more than thinking there is something about yourself that needs to be hidden, and that, is where the poison seeps in. I don't think anyone can live like that without repercussions.
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    Re: Discussion: Can There Be True Happiness From Within the Closet?

    It depends and varies on person. But personally I would say no.

  17. #67
    Huntneo(PT)
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    Re: Discussion: Can There Be True Happiness From Within the Closet?

    I suppose.

    but I don't think it would work for everyone (myself included).

  18. #68
    Impish and Mercurial Rolyo85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX-Beau View Post
    Hmmmm. curioser and curioser.

    First off, if you live in Iran and are gay - your circumstances are vastly different to a guy living in England or Canada - so different as to make ANY comparison of the two utterly ridiculous. IF someone can legally to KILL you, HIDE!!!!!!!!!!!! But no, that isn't the case in Ottawa, or fuck even in Austin.

    So lets just say that particular dog won't hunt. In the west (which is where most of us are) the decision to be closeted has nothing to do with legal murder or societal banning, which is the number one justification for the closet, and frankly, this board of all the gay boards I've ever posted on, does the most justifying of the big lie, the closet.

    If you live in a family of fundies - who knows they just might surprise you - mine did - but you will never know until you give them the chance to be decent people, and I don't see how you can tolerate a life of lie and find happiness, and I really don't think that "happy" is the right word anyway. I suspect what Rolyo was getting at, and the dudgeon of a certain poster that created this thread was about self worth, arising from a conversation about "labeling."

    If you go through life hiding who you are, fearing discovery, lying to some woman, pulling away from people, being anti-social, etc, all the things the closet forces you to do, I fail to see how that doesn't take it's toll - in fact I know it does, the closet is not some benign "lifestyle choice," it's fear, it's internalized homophobia - it's accepting that being who you are must be shrouded in shame and secrecy.

    We can pretend that it's something else all we like - but that is what it is - the acceptance that we are lesser, that our sexuality must be hidden from the view of decent people, that it's somehow "privacy" when really it's just what it is, fear and shame.

    There isn't a single one of us who chose to be in the closet. We were all pushed there, and if we don't out people, it's because we know what it's like to live in that place, how hard it can be to find your courage - NOT because there is any validity or "lifestyle" or right to lying to our friends and families.

    I don't know what "happiness" means to whomever, but I do know that hiding who you are isn't anything more than thinking there is something about yourself that needs to be hidden, and that, is where the poison seeps in. I don't think anyone can live like that without repercussions.
    This. Exactly. It just isn't possible to spend your life hiding yourself and not have that fuck you up to a degree.
    That we are capable only of being what we are, remains our unforgivable sin.
    - Gene Wolfe

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