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  1. #1

    Stuck in purgatory, need some help...

    Hey everyone, new here and I just need someone to talk to... Hopefully someone who has shared a similar experience because I'm kind of unsure where to go from here.

    So, I'm gay. Definitely gay. No joke, I've had thoughts about men in highway rest areas since I was... Probably 13? But due to my Catholic upbringing, I never thought anything of it until I was 16. I always thought it was just a phase. I would get over it. I would have to like women at some point...

    I read a lot of atheist literature in high school, and rejected the idea of god around the time I turned 16. It had nothing to do with my sexuality, but it didn't take me long to realize that yes, I'm actually gay, since I no longer believed in eternal damnation for who I am attracted to. My family had no problems with me becoming an atheist (weak Catholic upbringing, haha), and neither did many of my peers (despite attending a Christian high school). I was getting close to coming out to my parents but never did in HS.

    I did tell one close friend though, via text messaging. It was funny because she told me that she was a lesbian. We became very good friends throughout my Junior year of high school after that. Never told anyone else though.

    So my senior year of high school rolls around and I get massive senioritis after I was accepted into my dream college. I started taking a lot of drugs, drinking, partying, going to raves a lot. It was at this point that I started dating this one guy, also gay (and out), who was my age. Honestly, we had nothing in common other than we were both gay and 17. He wasn't even that attractive now that I think about it. I regret doing it, but it felt good to finally be in a relationship with someone.

    My mom didn't take too long to find out. So I told her about it. She honestly had no problem with it at all, she was just concerned about the excessive drugs and partying at my age. Like the little rebellious teen that I was (thank god I'm over that shit now!) I ignored her warnings and continued to party. My father never found out about this (to my knowledge). My mom wanted me to tell him in person but I never did.

    Broke up with this guy a few months after dating him. Here is where my story gets weird.

    I messed around with a few other guys for a couple months, and then I started dating girls. I dated this one girl who knew I was gay, and we ended up having sex anyways (awful experience!). We broke up after about a week. I dated another girl who had no idea I was. This second relationship lasted about 6 months. We never had sex. I told her the reason we couldn't date anymore was because I was moving away for college and long-term relationships don't work, but my real reasoning was I was getting ready to finally come out.

    Then... Nothing. I start college pretty much as a hermit. I'm majoring in engineering and the courseload is pretty rough. I want to focus on my studies and everything, and I feel like coming out would just be a burden. My closest friends, including my straight best friend who I remain in contact with to this day, know the truth, but my parents still don't.

    So about a year and a half into college, I meet this one girl. She truly is amazing, in terms of her personality. And she's gorgeous. She gets hit on by straights all the time. We started talking a lot and were just really good friends because we shared similar interests. At one point we started seeing each other a lot, and then she asked if we were dating. I told her yes and we made out on my couch for about 20 minutes.

    Worst 20 minutes of my life. I knew the truth the whole time and felt awful about it. I really wanted to date this girl because we connected so well, but I didn't know how to handle the fact that I'm not sexually attracted to her. So the next day I broke it off.

    But she didn't leave me alone after that, and it was becoming harder and harder for me to admit my true feelings to her and myself. We started dating again a month after we first broke up. I hated myself for doing it but couldn't stand the fact that I really wanted to be in a relationship with her because we connected so well. My grades plummeted that semester (I was also taking a lot of difficult classes, involved in a lot of activities and juggling this emotional roller coaster). I broke it off by the end of the school year (last year). I told her I just needed space, but about 6 months later I told her the real reason. She's now one of the few people who knows. And would you know it, we're still good friends despite all the shit I put her through.

    So here I am today. A few close friends know my secret. My mom knew I dated a guy in HS, but my dad has no idea. And, as my 21st birthday lurks near, I have no idea what step I should take next. I'm primarily concerned about two things: my father, and the fact that I went from guys to girls to guys again.

    So here I am now. No idea what my next step should be. On one hand, I still feel awful about leading this girl on, especially when I cared for her so much (thankfully we never had sex). On the other hand, I'm getting tired of this shit and just want to move on with my life. The largest barrier I have is just my previous history with women. I guess, my main question is, how do you deal with friends/family after all those years of lying to them, when you knew inside the truth about yourself? I want to maintain my strong relationships/friendships, but I just feel really awkward revealing to people that I like men despite having girlfriends in the past.

    Sorry for the really long and awkward post, but I just needed a place to get my feelings out there (I would ask my friends but none of them are gay and I kinda wanted some advice from people more experienced). If anyone has any experience that is at all similar to mine I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for any help you can give, it means a lot.

  2. #2
    I'm now a grandfather! JUB Moderator Seasoned's Avatar
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    Re: Stuck in purgatory, need some help...

    Welcome to the forum.

    Even the Catholics gave up Purgatory so I suggest you do the same. Many people come out when the pain of the closet is greater than the fear of the reaction of family and friends. Now's the time to build on your earlier positive experiences. You already know your mom is fine. Your next question ought to be to yourself. Are you fine with being gay? Answer honestly and you will know what steps to next take. Best wishes.
    Last edited by Seasoned; February 24th, 2013 at 05:53 AM.
    "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

  3. #3
    Coward92
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    Re: Stuck in purgatory, need some help...

    I think it is very good that you want to focus on your studies first and foremost. However that doesn't mean that you have wear a "mask of normality" all the time.
    Being gay is allright and it is completely normal, but it is natural that you will find yourself isolated a little after you come out. People will very slowly open up to you however.

    A few moths and you will get used to it and you won't have to give crappy explanations on why you do what you do.
    I hate when people ask if I have a girlfriend or what types of girls do I like for example.
    But those who know I am into men, doesn't aks that.

    I think you shoul study hard, work hard and maybe find a good therapist who can help you sort this out.
    I have this opinion that you still have to embrace what you truly are.

  4. #4
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    Re: Stuck in purgatory, need some help...

    hi ThermoPyro766,

    Welcome to JUB and good you have made this long posting. Its good to write down all your experiences and to ask yourself where you are standing right now. I have some questions. Where are you living? Within the US? Or in any of the European countries? Are you 100% sure that your mother will never have discussed this topic (= her beloved son is a gay guy, and she is fine with this) with her husband?

    So there are already quite a few people (guys and girls, and also your mother) who are aware that you are gay. I cannot find any indication in your posting of a negative reaction of any of them after they came aware that you are gay. Apparently, all these people were fine when it became clear that you are gay (and some of them might already have found out by themself). Maybe some of your friends will also have told to other friends (etc.) that you are not interested in girls?

    OK, so you are 20 years old right now and you have experience with guys and with girls as well. At least your mother is aware that you are gay and that you also have experiences with other guys. Likely, (some of) your other friends are also aware that you have experiences with other guys.

    I tend to think that you should not feel too much stressed that you have 'messed around' with girls for a while. Somehow, and this is even more or less the reality, you were still trying to find out the real identity of yourself. Well, right now you have found out (and also by experience) that you don't like sex with girls and that you don't have any sexual interest in girls. Does not mean that you cannot be good friends with girls.

    Its not really lying, especially as you also have a history with guys. Any idea how your schoolmates / classmates would react when it becomes obvious that you are gay?

    So I tend to advise you to open yourself, as well to your family/friends as to your classmates, and continue with your life.

    Feel free to react and/or to ask additional questions.

    Best wishes & good luck.
    I am Dutch, so please excuse me for my low level of English.

  5. #5

    Re: Stuck in purgatory, need some help...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ganoderma View Post
    hi ThermoPyro766,

    Welcome to JUB and good you have made this long posting. Its good to write down all your experiences and to ask yourself where you are standing right now. I have some questions. Where are you living? Within the US? Or in any of the European countries? Are you 100% sure that your mother will never have discussed this topic (= her beloved son is a gay guy, and she is fine with this) with her husband?

    So there are already quite a few people (guys and girls, and also your mother) who are aware that you are gay. I cannot find any indication in your posting of a negative reaction of any of them after they came aware that you are gay. Apparently, all these people were fine when it became clear that you are gay (and some of them might already have found out by themself). Maybe some of your friends will also have told to other friends (etc.) that you are not interested in girls?

    OK, so you are 20 years old right now and you have experience with guys and with girls as well. At least your mother is aware that you are gay and that you also have experiences with other guys. Likely, (some of) your other friends are also aware that you have experiences with other guys.

    I tend to think that you should not feel too much stressed that you have 'messed around' with girls for a while. Somehow, and this is even more or less the reality, you were still trying to find out the real identity of yourself. Well, right now you have found out (and also by experience) that you don't like sex with girls and that you don't have any sexual interest in girls. Does not mean that you cannot be good friends with girls.

    Its not really lying, especially as you also have a history with guys. Any idea how your schoolmates / classmates would react when it becomes obvious that you are gay?

    So I tend to advise you to open yourself, as well to your family/friends as to your classmates, and continue with your life.

    Feel free to react and/or to ask additional questions.

    Best wishes & good luck.
    Thanks.

    I'll be blunt and say I live/grew up in Seattle. So, I grew up in a pretty liberal area.

    I am not entirely certain whether my mother has talked to my father about the topic. At this point I honestly have no clue how he would react. Sometimes he is very homophobic and against the idea of even using the word gay (he thinks that gay should be reserved only when referring to the word happy), but other times he says it's something he doesn't mind. I'm not entirely sure if he would even understand it; he has a very one-track mind and difficulty seeing things from others' point of view.

    None of my friends have reacted negatively to my telling them so far. I really think that telling my father would be the last bridge I'd have to get over before this becomes a done deal. I'm hoping to do it soon, but I'm also anxious as to what he'll think.

    Thank you all for your insights.

  6. #6
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    Re: Stuck in purgatory, need some help...

    Catholics never gave up purgatory. You're thinking of limbo. Purgatory is still there. But you can't go there until after you're dead. Not for the living.
    Last edited by bullwing413; February 24th, 2013 at 06:01 AM.

  7. #7

    Re: Stuck in purgatory, need some help...

    I was outed, without my permission, when I was a senior in high school. My mother didn't take it well at all. My father had died the year before of cancer. My dad would have been better at accepting the news than was my mother. We have a very tenuous relationship even now. I hate that because she is very old. It is what it is. My case is different because I didn't get to prepare the way, so to speak. When I was outed it was like throwing acid in someone's face. There was a lot of anger, hate, betrayal, shame and disillusionment.

    I would be very conscious of how I told my dad, if I were you. I don't know what your relationship is like. I was very close to my dad. Only you can gauge how he will react. The thing about my case was I wasn't able to be prepared myself too. I forgot to mention that. How people react is how they react. Different people will have different responses. You have to let them have their own feelings without it bothering you...too much. Rejection is always a possibility. It never feels good. No matter how you prepare for it, it never lessens the sting.

    One other thing....... Drinking and other pastimes doesn't help lessen any angst. I would recommend not employing that coping maechanism.

  8. #8
    Porn Star Brian Smith's Avatar
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    Re: Stuck in purgatory, need some help...

    Okay, so your mom found out and didn't care. Your girl found out, and she still likes you. Some of your friends found out, and they are still friends with you.

    It does not require a rocket scientist to work out the nature of this pattern. I don't even know if it requires you to have a mammalian neocortex. There is nobody, who remotely matters in your entire existence, who is going to give a purple fuck about the fact that you are gay. The sooner you wake up to this fact, the easier it will be.

    If your father were not to immediately take a shine to the idea of a gay son, he does not have a single card to play against you. You tried to make it work with girls. You made a very noble effort to try to make it work out. You have not only dated girls, but you have tried having relationships with girls. You have tried fucking them. It does not work. There is no way, in the upper circles of Hell, it is ever going to work. I think that you and your father have enough intelligence, between you, to figure this out.

    Take in a bit of reality, here: I was a little kid during the 80's, and that decade was pretty fucked. It was the decade of crack. Your father has probably dipped more acid and smoked more dope during his lifetime than you could even contemplate. He has fucked a few guys in his lifetime, most likely while buzzing cocaine. He has seen things, in his lifetime, that would curdle your blood, make your hair stand on end, and put the fear of God back into you, in that order. You are not going to shock him. If you really think that you can pop something new on him, then you are a delusional, little boy.
    Last edited by Brian Smith; February 24th, 2013 at 07:22 AM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Stuck in purgatory, need some help...

    hi ThermoPyro766,

    Thanks for your quick and friendly reply. Ah, so you are living in the US and even in a liberal area. Well, the opinion towards gay (etc) people within the US is currently changing quickly, and in a very positive direction. So no need to worry about alot of people around you.

    I tend to think that your mom will have discussed your behaviour (ie excessive drugs and partying when you were around 17) with your dad (they are married with each other?). So why shouldn't she has told your dad that you were also involved with gay guys? How did your mom found out that you like guys?

    Besides that, I am quite sure that both of your parents are currently very happy that you are not anymore involved in things like drugs and alot of partying, but that you are right now a serious college student who is doing well as a student. Well, you might also ask your mom if she has already discussed this topic with your dad.

    Brian Smith is totally right. Currently (= anno 2013), the huge majority of people (especially within the US) don't bother if a guy is gay or straight (or anything in between). Finally, you can always tell your dad that you have tried (and once again) dating girls, but that you have definately concluded that you don't have feelings for girls.

    Hey man, how about other nice gay students at your college. Any idea how they can find you?

    So I would advise you to tell your dad soon that he has a gay son.

    Good luck & take care & feel free to react.
    I am Dutch, so please excuse me for my low level of English.

  10. #10
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    Re: Stuck in purgatory, need some help...

    The girl-dating thing is a pattern that you slip into in a subconscious attempt to postpone coming out. You know it's what you need to do, but hey, there's this girl here, and how could you do this to her. It's self-sabotaging.

    Your dad will get over it. Maybe not right away, but he will. And either way, being out is about you, not him. In order to fully live and appreciate yourself, you need to be out. You are in college, and away from home. You have the perfect opportunity to do it, and the perfect environment to explore and learn about who you are as an out and proud gay man.

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  11. #11
    On the Prowl Aussie-Cub's Avatar
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    Re: Stuck in purgatory, need some help...

    Just remember that your parents will love you regardless of what your sexuality is.

    I also went through a tough stage of dating girls to show the world that I was a normal teenage boy, however I soon found out that holding onto that secret for so long can do some serious damage to your mental state.

    Concentrating on your studies is important, especially seeing as how you don't want to waste your time and money dropping out of college, so I would suggest choosing a time like spring break of the christmas holidays to come out to your parents. This gives both you and them ample time to adjust to the news and you can start your new semester fresh and worry free.

    From what you have said so far, although your father has mentioned only using the word "gay" to reference happiness, I wouldn't so much take that as a homophobic trait, instead I would see it as simply using a word for what it was originally penned for. Just remember, the word "faggot" actually describes a bundle of wood but society has pinned this word to be an offensive term for homosexuals. Also, the fact he says he doesn't mind gays could be his way of subtley letting you know he is aware of your sexuality and is ready for you to tell him.

    When I came out to my parents, instead of been shocked, they were instead releived that I finally had come to the realisation that I was gay and ready to move on. Most mothers are aware of their childs sexuality from a very young age, although some hate to admit that their son or daughter will turn out to be homosexual, and most won't confront you about it until you speak to them, allowing you to come to terms with it and are ready to "come out".

    Either way, it still takes courage to expose your feelings and concerns in a public manner, especially when it comes to your fear of telling you parents.

    Although you may see it as lying about liking girls to your friends and family, and let's be honest, it is, nearly 100% of people are fully understandable of why your lied to them for so long.

    Best of luck and stay strong with this.


    P.S: Don't dwell on the purgatory and burning in hell, it'll only cause grief.

  12. #12

    Re: Stuck in purgatory, need some help...

    Hey everyone.

    Sorry to bump this thread but I wanted to thank you all for your help. I told both my parents today and... They're all totally okay with it! It was really quite surreal. I'm still a little in shock by how well both of them took it. They said that they both love me and just want me to be happy.

    I guess I have a habit out of making a big deal out of things that don't need to be made a big deal of. Anyways, I guess I'm free to live now? Again, thanks for reading my really long drama post and maybe you'll see me around here in the future

  13. #13
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    Re: Stuck in purgatory, need some help...

    I am glad to hear that that albatross is off your neck, and your parents sound like nice folk. I hope to see you again in the future.

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