05-02-2006, 08:58 PM
Since there are some people in this forum who are newly coming out, maybe some of us who've been out for a bit could share our stories of coming out?
I'll let someone else be first...
05-02-2006, 10:14 PM
I was in a straight marriage for nearly 18 years. Life became so unbearable that I became emotionally and physically ill. I developed and eating disorder and at the age of 39 I found myself sitting in an eating disorders clinic surrounded by pencil thin teenage girls. I weighed in at 145 pounds (I'm 5'7", but that's still very low for a guy) I was a walking skeleton. I had somehow managed to convince myselft that no one liked me, not even my family (wife and kids) and that I needed to make myself as thin as possible so that no one had to notice me. At one point, my therapist asked me if I thought I might just disappear. The answer to that question was the most revealing and scariest thought I ever had: I was slowly killing myself. I knew that I had to make some major changes if I was to survive, and I knew that I wanted to survive because of my kids. I gained some weight, got some emotional health back, and made my move with the blessing of my teenage (14 at that point) son: he told me that if it meant I'd get better, then I should move out. I moved out on Sept. 7, 2003, and on October 13 (just one day after National Coming Out Day) the soon-to-be-ex confronted me with evidence that I was gay. I admitted it, and began the process of coming out to myself, my family, and nearly everyone.....because the ex decided that everyone should know. She took care of it for me. Her intentions were evil, she planned on destroying me! and although she meant it for evil, God meant it for good! i now find that it is a process, but it is the best thing that ever happened to me! I'm out to nearly everyone (or at least everyone that needs to know) Life is good. I live an open life now, with very little discrimination or rejection from the important people in my life!
05-02-2006, 10:49 PM
Thanks for taking the pressure off me to set the tone, keltic....
I had a pretty good idea I liked girls by the time I was about 14. I heard my aunt was gay, so I asked her for advice. She told me to make sure I was positive about it before I told people, and that it was a hard life, I should take any other options if I had them.
After that I had many short relationships with guys. They usually ended as soon as anything physical was involved because I'd get uncomfortable. I had a few brief encounters with other girls my age, who were also unsure, and it all confirmed my suspicions, but I had a hard time admitting to myself that I was gay. I was very depressed throughout my high school years and never quite felt like I fit myself. I, too, had an eating disorder, keltic, and some other not so pleasant behaviors. :(
When I went away to college, I tried to focus on strengthening myself and clarifying who I really was. I came out on National Coming Out Day 2004 and a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I didn't have as much trouble with my past difficulties after I came out and none of them hurt me now. I lost a few friends when I came out, and was interrogated by quite a few nosy aunts, but I'm better for it. Times aren't easier now, but they're better than they ever were. :love:
It seems like each day, I come out just a little more. :rainbow:
05-03-2006, 12:45 AM
When I was in high school in the late sixties I was very homophobic. Me and my buddies were members of a boys club at school called the Hi-Y. In 1969 I became the president. We only wanted the cool guys in our club and that meant no "faggots".
The Hi-Y was also in competition with other boys clubs at school. As president of our club I wrote a club song sung to the tune of "Nights of the Rising Sun":
There is a school in Winston town
They call Mt. Tabor High
There aint no club in the whole damn school
That can beat the Mt. Tabor Hi-Y
The Key Club is full of pansies
The S.S.C. is queer
But when the Hi-Y comes around
We drink a keg of beer.
At the time I was starting to have doubts about my own sexuality. I was scared.
I graduated in 1970 and went to Mitchell College. In our dorm there were two gay guys who were roomates. The very first week they pushed their beds together. That's brave for this day and time much less 1970. We were relentless with our abuse of them.
We'd shoot shaving cream under their door and beat on their door and call them "FAGGOTS!!" One night me and another guy took a big trashcan from the hallway and filled it full of water. Then we leaned it against their door and knocked. When they opened their door the trashcan fell inside and flooded their room with water. We laughed our asses off.
We called the guys Prixie and Dixie. When they'd walk across the parking lot we'd laugh at them and call them queer. I was right in the middle of it all. We harrassed them so much that they both finally moved out of the dorm and quit school.
Three years later I moved to Minneapolis to attend school there. Within a few months me and another guy became good buddies. He was 27. I was 22. One night we got drunk and had sex. I fell in love. From then on I knew that I was gay.
During the seventies I became active in the gay rights movement in Minnesota working to get the state's sodomy laws repealed.
Then on New Years Eve 1982, me and my partner got in an argument with a couple of roughnecks outside a gay bar in downtown Minneapolis. The cops eventually showed up. But instead of arresting the roughnecks the cops turned on us. Me and my partner were beaten with clubs and arrested. Before we went to jail they took us to the hospital to get our heads sewn up.
While we were in the emergency room the cops taunted us. They laughed and called us queer and faggots. Me and my partner sat there with blood running down our faces and these guys were laughing and calling us fags.
Back in 1969 there was a song on the radio by the Youngbloods called "Get Together". This was a time of war and riots and protests in the streets. Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy had both been assassinated a year earlier.
The song's message was simple:
If you hear the song I sing
You will understand
You hold the key to love and fear
In your trembling hand
Just one key unlocks them both
It's there at your command.
Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
I don't know whatever happened to Prixie and Dixie. But I wish I could tell them that I was sorry.
05-03-2006, 02:04 AM
Oh my God y'all. I just cried reading these.
Mia, I resonate a lot to what you had to say - to much of that, me too!
It's late, I won't be sharing any stories right now - maybe later, but again - I've posted a lot of mine already elsewhere, so maybe y'all have heard enough of that!!
But I wanted to let you all know how moved I was reading these stories! Keltic, I had no idea this all had happened so recently:eek: - that's only 2.5 years ago, it's practically yesterday. And now I know what you meant in the other thread when said something about when you were outted. That must have been such a frightening time! I'm glad you got through it and have found life, real life, now. :love:
And Rick - my heart was in my throat reading your story, especially the part about those guys in your dorm, and the incident with the police harassment. :(
To all of ya, big hugs. :love: :love: :love:
05-03-2006, 04:57 AM
Well, around 1975, when I finally got two numbers in my age, I began to notice my pa wasn't huggin' me enough. Ma used to holler at him and order him to tell us he loved us and mow the lawn and stuff, but by the time he did, just to shut her up, it didn't mean much. She and my sister just took over the house and the quieter he got, the better the presents got, so I didn't mind when he took off. I got left over bridge mix when they slept in... Round this time I decided to start not liking girls and start liking stubble. I got to thinking how stupid the world was and noticed it all had to do with coupling up like they were ordered to do by a little bigger black book. I decided to kill a chicken and ask a Ouija board for advice. It taught me the joys of being a pariah, and showed how rejection was better than stupid friends anyway. I wanted to get kicked out of the house, beat up, embrace being repellent, wallow in becoming a freak against nature, get yelled at by strangers, take a dump on their dumb Jesus, be alone to molest little kids and steal bras from my neighbors clothes line. Hell, thats where the fun was. I could learn to like other penises, and get my hugs from other men. Screw my soul, school, friends, family, love, life... I wanna be a homo!
A little overkill? I've never tried to fake explain myself as if I were indeed the lunatic too many think I am. <Maybe those who truly believe we've made some kind of choice, believe it because they themselves did> The link between intense homophobia and pressures of being closeted explains quite a bit (read Ricks story with that in mind). Ever notice how effeminate the leaders of the right are? (not that there's anything wrong with that) ... just a thought...
Actually, as difficult as it was to get to the point of coming out, and essentially having the luxury of doing it in my own time, my story is cake compared to some of the gut wrenching violence and utter abandonment some of you have endured. I had to get to a place in my mind and real life independence, that if the worst case scenario came down, I'd be as ready as I could. I was about to leave the house regardless.
I realized I was the actual cold, hard fact of the word gay, in about eighth grade. I discovered dope about three hours later. And I wasn't gay anymore. Then, yes I was. Then not, I'm dating Debbie, whose getting pissed and hurt for me not hitting on her... It went pretty much that way until my senior year of the ironically named, high school. It all just got to be too much when I turned eighteen, could buy beer, go to bars, and discovered porn. And OM frigging G, Gay porn. I wasn't alone. It caught up to me, I got expelled with about six months 'till graduation, which allowed my dad to speed up his plans to leave his wife, encourage me out of the house and state and into my moms Axtel Nebraska farm life (I raised their graduating class to 13). I quit the drugs, came to, got my GED, she ditched her ranch hand man about 3 weeks before graduation and we bolted back to Colorado. (Hmmm, it is all her fault...) Carlos Castaneda and heavy metaphysics replaced that supposed god chomping at the bit for my roast able Soul, and I uncovered a pretty healthy and horney gay community back in my home town... out, out and away in my beautiful balloon.
The first old friend I told, responded with a heartbreaking, loving and dread confirming "well duuuhh, we know that" she said, a shot to my solar plexus. All the quick silences preceding me into rooms, the drunken double-entendres I'd let slide while they laughed right at me, the chics set up to test me, all crashed in. "We were waiting for you to bring it up." That maddening thought, 'well why didn't you tell me,' still knocks comically around in my skull... "Does anyone treat you differently?" she asked. I lied and said no.
My mom finally asked what was with all the gay guys hanging around. I told her the baby step of being bi. It didn't soften the blow. She loved me no matter, but blamed herself for causing it somehow, then missing all the suddenly glaring signs, then the years of being unable to really be there for me, and the worry of aids, discrimination and added dangers... Hell never entered her mind... Soon after, my father and I had a good ten hour day of fishing, and floundering for conversation to fill it with. I remained silent until we got back to his home, unpacked, cleaned up, and as I put my coat on to leave, finally said those words aloud. I could still count the times on one hand. It didn't seem to particularly shock him, but nothing ever did, and he said he still loved me, and it wouldn't change anything between us. Which wasn't saying much and it didn't. Until just recently, it wasn't actually mentioned again... You could literally hear the gears click the pieces into place coming from my sisters head. " Ahhh. Ohh. OH! Now that makes sense. Ah ha, thats why-- this, and you --that when, and...", I suddenly was all logical and explainable to her. Hers was a reaction I weigh all others by. Pure and genuine and solidly loving, and completely unselfconscious.
No hint of rejection, or need to carefully choose words to disguise real thoughts, have I ever felt from any of my family. That is something I grow more aware of and grateful for as years pass each other by. And boy howdy has unfurling all this renewed my appreciation for them. I don't often deeply feel "blessed", but in this wonderful way, I've got more than my share... Thanks Mia14 for the space and chance to rant, and if you've read this far, thank you too for the patience and attention... And Lordy, this barely scratches the surface. (and you'll notice I avoided slipping in the "long story short" lie of a cliché anyway. now to post this wall...)
05-03-2006, 08:36 AM
Here is a link to my story (http://www.soulforce.org/article/654#020926).
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