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Any positive in coming out late?

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by crazydog15, Apr 27, 2016.

  1. crazydog15

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    Okay, I'm just going to throw this out there: is it possible that coming out a bit later in life could ever be a good thing? Are there any positives to it that people who come out when they are teenagers don't get?

    I ask because I'm not satisfied with the answer that is typically given to people who (had to) come out late: there's nothing you can do about it, so just try to not think about what might have been. I want there to be something positive for me in this particular experience. I've gotten tired of only hearing that coming out late is a tragic thing; I have much the same anger, regrets, and deep, deep resentment that many other people in this forum have, and I want there to be more to this experience than just that.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Katchoo

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    I'm really grateful that i'm financially independent and safe so I don't feel so scared and threatened about coming out to my family. I don't have the risk of getting kicked out, being homeless, not having support through college, etc.
     
  3. OnTheHighway

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    Abaolutley there are positives!!!

    1. Your coming out with a lot more life experience, this helps you to avoid alot of stupid mistakes that you might have otherwise made if you came out younger,

    2. If you let yourself, you can experience similar adolescent themes as you would as if you were an adolescent again, but per #1, be smarter about it,

    3. If you had children, well, you have children! What's more to say?

    4. You get to do what so many people in never do (whether straight or LGBT) - find themselves and become self aware. Most people walk through life comfortably numb following societies standards rather being whom they are supposed to be.

    5. You have the benefit of living two lives! Most people go through life living one life, bored and predictable. You lead two lives, with new adventures and new experiences. Nothing boring about that.

    6. You get a do over and start with a clean sheet. Did you make mistakes previously? Haven't we all? Well, now with new queer life, and with all the experience of life per #1, you can redefine your life if you want. And whom can blame you? Unsatisfied with where you live? Try moving, unhappy at work? Find a new job? Or, satisfied with everything but your closeted self, then stay put with everything else but be gay and free.

    I can go on and on.......
     
    #3 OnTheHighway, Apr 27, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
    Alisa likes this.
  4. Mirko

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    Hi there! There are certainly positives that you can hang on to, and OnTheHighway has started to write up a great list of positives. Coming out later in life does give you a different perspective on things, and it allows you to have concrete experiences that will verify that living your life as an out gay person, was/is the best choice you made. This in itself could already be a positive. As you continue living your life, and continue coming out to others, that reassurance could become one of the most valuable things in your journey. :slight_smile:
     
  5. yuanzi

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    I totally second Katchoo. I would never think of coming out to anyone if I still lived with family and were dependent on them financially (I don't think I would get kicked out or anything but it wouldn't be pretty either). Not that I am out to my family now but I have told all my close friends so if I lived at home my family would surely find out.

    It also makes me feel better that I am not just 'going through a phase' (no offense to all the younger users here. Just talking about myself). I know I am not pretending to like girls to gain attention or be unique or get back at someone etc. Those were the doubts I would have when I was younger but not any more.
     
  6. guitar

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    I came out around 25 and it is what it is. In that time it has done WONDERS for my mental health. I'm so much happier and easy going. It takes some time to explain WHY you took so long, but once you do, people get used to it and life goes on. I think that would be my argument in favor of coming out no matter what your age. It isn't a guarantee it will make you happier but most people wind up being happier as a result. Repressing a major part of you isn't healthy.

    Do I wish I came out at 18? Sure. But I came out with a much greater support network and being super comfortable with who I am. I'm financially independent so if the worst had happened, oh well.
     
    #6 guitar, Apr 27, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
  7. OnTheHighway

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    This is so spot on! and to add to expand on what you just said, so much prior anger gets diminished!
     
  8. Weston

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    A positive aspect to coming out late? Well in my case, I'm still here!

    Just to be clear: I don't think I would have made it through the 80s and 90s had I been out.
     
    #8 Weston, Apr 28, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016
  9. OnTheHighway

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    Amen!
     
  10. greatwhale

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    One positive, for me at any rate, is the much ballyhooed "second adolescence" that people of a certain age (such as yours truly) experience after coming out; it is like pushing the reset button, but without erasing the memory chips. I have given myself permission to experiment, to try on this identity, and it seems to fit me better and better with each passing day.

    Everything that I have learned from my former marriage, the good and the bad, the lessons in love that my children taught me, it's all still there, but it has been re-purposed for a better fit, it is indeed like a broken-in second-hand heart, still beating but glowing brighter than ever.

    My boyfriend is currently in Spain walking the Camino de Compostella...yesterday he sent me a brief video of a mountain valley next to the trail he was on, he recorded himself shouting at the top of his lungs my name and that he loved me.

    I can say that a lot went into that shout; all 56 years of my life to be exact...
     
  11. Spaceman

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    I'd say having kids is the big one for me. And missing the worst of the AIDS crisis.
     
  12. baristajedi

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    This is so sweet. I'm so happy for you greatwhale :icon_bigg

    And reading through this thread is so encouraging.
     
  13. xenu

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    Yes, it is. I agree with the part about a second adolescence, especially given how horrible my first one was.

    PS
    Love the signature.
     
    #13 xenu, Apr 29, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2016
  14. dirtyshirt84

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    Love this list OTH!

    Especially No. 4, so true, most people probably don't question too much and follow what society expects of them without even realising it.

    I used to hate being different but now I love it! :icon_bigg
     
  15. Weston

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    I second this: For me, this second adolescence, or "gaydolescence," as some people call it, has been, above all, FUN! (My first was not fun at all.)

    GW: Have you seen the movie "The Way"?
     
  16. greatwhale

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    Yes, I did actually, and it informs much of what I imagine my BF is seeing right now.

    He organized this trip well before meeting me, it was a "way" for him to recover, or heal after ending a 17-year relationship with his ex-partner back in October of last year.

    However, since he met me, along with the deepening of our relationship, the purpose of this pilgrimage has taken on new meaning; we now both see it as an experience that he needs to take care of his soul...for me.
     
  17. greatwhale

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    Besides...had I come out sooner, I would have never met him! :grin:
     
  18. YermanTom

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    I came out at 50! It was the best thing I've done for myself.
    Everyone has noticed that I'm much happier and more fun to be with.

    I think being honest with myself and everyone else has made life better.
    It doesn't matter when you come out, it matters that you do come out.

    (*hug*)
     
  19. crazydog15

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    I appreciate your responses. I can see that one thing I'm really wanting, and that's causing me frustration, is that I want to be able to be a (real) teenager, but with the knowledge or wisdom or whatever of an adult. That might be something that lots of people want, even straights. And I'm sure there are loads of straight people out there who have had their own dreams deferred, too.

    I know now that had I come out when I was a kid, the bruises I probably would've gotten at home would've been pretty bad, to say the least. At least I avoided that. I also did get to become more self aware than most people probably do, too, so that's a positive.
     
  20. WanderingMind

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    I experienced 25 years of pure, unconflicted love. I have two amazing children. I'm whole. I'll find my way with time. I've learned patience. I have strength I didn't have when I was younger. And, I can afford good gin.