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Thread: Coming Out of The Closet

  1. #1

    Coming Out of The Closet

    I know this is about being gay but I always admire the feedback from this forum and figure I'll get good feedback on this topic as well.

    When I came out, it was like a check list. I met with people I knew and told them each individually. Some, I wrote letters too. I was nervous as hell and some were high risk (loose job?) but most were positive and one of my coworkers told me that the minute I told her I was gay, a weight came off my shoulders and she said I looked so much unburdoned and happy.

    Well, years later, it appears that I have went back in to the closet, not be choice but I guess by default. Things always come up "do you have a girlfriend?" and I simply just said "no" instead of extending the sentence to include that I am gay.

    Point is, I don't think I should "have to" come out. I mean, why should aquantances need a sentence that says "no, i do not have a girlfriend, I am gay."

    I guess if I had a boyfriend or a husband it would be easier to say, "no, i am dating a guy named Brock." hehehehehe.

    I do not think I would EVER want to get married but even if I had a Master maybe, I wouldn't say, no, but i am currently a boy to a Master named Robert.

    I don't know if Master / boy relationship is work able for me either.

    Point is, I am really not a straight gay guy. I don't want to get married or have kids. Maybe I want an open relationship, maybe I want no relationship. Maybe I don't ever want any of it defined either, not to myself, much less the general public.

    So, I was on the bus with a guy I worked with like 5 years ago. He kept asking me about girls. I didn't feel comfortable, on a city bus, saying I was gay and not knowing his reaction. It really didn't matter anyway.

    But, at the same time, I don't like being assumed to be this way or that way and fear that I am reverting back in to the closet maybe and thus not advancing more rights. If every gay person came out, then everyone would know a gay person and maybe give out rights.

    I am not sure.

    Anyways, if you are gay, how do you handle outing yourself?

    If you are straight, how do you think a gay person should tell you?

    I know it is complex.


  2. #2
    Senior Member IshbelRobertson's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    The other side of the pond
    It's up to the individual how much he/she tells people about his/her sexuality.
    However, many of us (who are not 'gay') have probably guessed about that individual's sexuality, but failed to comment upon it!

  3. #3
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by heydude View Post
    ... how do you think a gay person should tell you?
    When either one of us is asking the other out on a date :-) Or asking for pointers/introductions to suitable partners.

    Otherwise, it doesn't really matter so much.

  4. #4
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Central Jersey
    Some people think labels are important. Others don't. I guess it depends on what you think. Is it important to you?

    I became "vegetarian" and stopped eating meat. But then I realized that saying I was vegetarian conveyed certain things about me to others. That's OK, but now I really just prefer to say, when necessary, I don't eat meat. I'm abdicating the label.

    In terms of how a gay person should come out to a straight person, there are no shoulds, as far as I'm concerned. I had a really close colleague who was gay, but funnily enough, I never expected him to tell me he's gay, and we've never really talked about it. But I feel we are close. I just get the vibe that that's how he wants it--I expect if he wants to bring it up, he will. At the same time, we had a more activist gay guy in the office, and he clearly just had a different agenda than my quieter friend. But there's no right or wrong.

    You have to do what you want to do. You can label yourself, proclaim yourself, or protect yourself. Or not any of those. The most important thing is just to be yourself with no explanation or apology.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town

  5. #5
    Senior Member Sad Eyed Lady's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    I don't feel a person should be required to give an account of themselves to others in casual conversation, whether gay or straight. If I were a single, straight woman, (all that describes me except I am married), and an acquaintance/co-worker/new friend kept asking me if I had a boyfriend then just saying "nope, sure don't" ought to be enough. I should not have to say why I am not seeing anyone. With close friends it might be different in so far as how much you personally want to tell.
    "Like a bird on the wire, like a drunk in the midnight choir, I have tried in my way to be free." Leonard Cohen

  6. #6
    Helper Gregg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Macondo (or is that my condo?)
    Lets think about this. You aren't exactly sure how your life is going to play out. Not sure if you will find that 'special someone' and not sure you would want to commit the rest of your life to them even if you did. Not sure precisely what kind of setup you're looking for in a relationship. Etc. Dude, forget all the gay or not gay junk, the only label I'd put on you is "normal". Not very dynamic, I know. Sorry about that. Don't know what to say except to let you know life is a work in progress for all of us.

    I will say that if we are close you owe it to me to tell me the truth (IMO). I deserve a chance to support you when you need support, be happy for you when you're happy or help you move the body when you need that. As far as casual social situations and simple acquaintances you're the one who gets to decide what is out there and what you want to keep private. It's no big deal if you feel differently in different situations or different groups. We all encounter some version of that. Go with what makes you comfortable. I don't think you're breaking the gay code if you don't open up at every opportunity. Tell them you're gay if it feels right. If it doesn't then hell, you can tell them you're James Bond for all the difference it will make.

  7. #7
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    It might depend on whether the person asking if you have a girlfriend is female and making sure that the coast is clear before asking you out. What about saying that "no and at this point, I am not looking for a girlfriend?'
    Other than that, what everyone else said goes for me as well.

  8. #8
    Senior Member peggy's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    Personally, I feel you don't need to explain yourself to anyone. Unless it's in a dating situation, at least, and really in that case, if you are not interested, you re not interested. I'm guessing your close friends know, or strongly suspect. Let's be honest here, they know, trust me, they know. But everyone else, it's really none of their business. Heterosexuals don't go around declaring their sexual preference so in a professional setting folks just don't need to know. You really don't need to define yourself by who attracts you to these people.
    When my daughter came out to me, I had already kind of suspected. I thought it was very brave of her to tell me, although we accepted her no matter what. I did advise her on her work situation as there is still some discrimination, but her close work mates know she is gay and everyone else, well, it isn't their business. I told her to say, when anyone asked her if she had a boyfriend, to simply say no, as that is the truth.

    I'm guessing if anyone seems too interested in your love life, they suspect and want confirmation. It is up to you to determine if that person is close enough to you to let them know that you are gay or not. Frankly, heterosexuals, at least adults, don't sit around talking about their sex/love lives, so don't feel like you need to divulge your private life to fit in. It's really not like TV in that respect.
    With my daughter, her work mates accept her and it's not an issue because she doesn't make it an issue any more than heterosexuals make their sex lives an issue. And the ones who do, on either side, are generally considered jokes and bores. Just be yourself, be professional, and those who need to know, know already or suspect.

    You're just a person. You don't need to define yourself by your gayness. That's not being in the closet, it's just growing beyond a one dimensional aspect that makes up the you. I'm guessing you have hobbies, interests, books you read, movies you watch, ideas you have. This is you. Who you love is just one small part of you. When you first came out, it was such a huge part of your life, all consuming your thoughts and actions. But now, you and those close to you, have accepted and made peace with this part of your life, it is shifted to the small section it will live in your existence, which is huge. It's just part of who you are. Not a defining part. That's OK.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Toronto, Canada
    I'm straight, but know a lot of gay people. For me and almost everyone I know (I live in a big city that hosts an amazing pride parade) a person being gay is about as exciting as a person being left handed (which I am).

    It's just a non-issue here-not a dirty secret to whisper about. If a person is gay and is being hit on by someone of the opposite sex or asked about someone of the opposite sex they normally just shrug their shoulders and say' naw, I'm gay' Just like left-handed people will tell people when they get handed a pen in the wrong hand

    I am very surprised that everyone doesn't know a gay person, huh?

    My husband's brother is gay. He is married (no kids) my kids call both of them 'uncle' now the older one is questioning why there are two uncles. And I explain (matter-of-factly, no hushed tones) that sometimes it's 2 moms, sometimes two dads, but most of the time a mom and dad. Just like sometimes a person is left handed but most of the time they are right handed.

    Our school has it's fair share of same sex couple and a few transgenders parents and yes, a few left handed parents too!

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    This is so thought-provoking, Marky, thanks for bringing it here. My circle of friends is so mixed up, gay/straight, all races, all political persuasions, that it never really pops up. But in a case where you might lose a job, or (let's face it) get beaten up by the wrong crowd in the wrong city, I don't blame you a bit for being careful. From what I've observed in my gay friends, they just act the way they act, and if someone asks them a question like "do you have a girlfriend?" I've seen a big smile and the response, "Well, in my case it would be a boyfriend, but no, at the moment I don't have one of those either."

    When someone mentions their "partner," it is often code for "my same sex partner" here where we live, and so that clears the air automatically. So maybe that's an option in the future if you settle on a long term relationship.

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