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Coming Out in the Wake of Orlando

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by IamIam, Jun 17, 2016.

  1. IamIam

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    Hi Everyone.

    Wanted to share what I am experiencing right now - not sure if anyone else can relate or has been thru the same thing.

    I am a bit of a later bloomer - just started to get real clarity on my sexuality (Bisexual) a couple of years ago (I;m in my early 50s). It took me a bit to really accept this and get comfortable with the idea of accepting who I am and being ready to continue on with it.

    I believe I've reached that place though. I have a lot of usual Fears/Concerns about coming out but I have really started to be a lot more comfortable, internally anyway, with who I am. And I also had started to feel a lot more safe about the idea of being open with others about this and venturing out - had joined some new Meetup Groups, have people in my life that I know would be accepting, etc. Was feeling a lot better about it.

    Orlando has made this a bit harder again. Feelings of safety, security, etc. are impacted a bit. I'm still me and need to live my life;however, this has been a bit hard for me as I'm sure it has for all of us. Lot of emotions - Fear, Anger, Etc.

    Just wanted to vet this out a bit here and see if there were any others that were experiencing the same thing and how you are addressing/incorporating all of this. Would be interested to hear your stories and share a bit more of my own as Well.

    Thank You!
     
  2. RosePetals76

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    Orlando has made me want to be more open. I've never wanted to attend pride so badly or post more openly. If we all get out there and make our images of same sex relationships more visible and more common, won't some of the hate die down eventually? Kind of like it did with interracial relationships?
     
  3. baristajedi

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    Hi IamIam,

    I totally understand the feelings that the Orlando attack has stirred in you. It has had a huge emotional impact on all of us LGBT folks, I believe.

    Like Rosepetals, though, I had the opposite reaction. Orlando has made me think I need to be out to everyone, to be more visible, not be silent.

    We all have our own visceral reactions, and none of them are right or wrong. I feel like you just need to trust your emotions and respect them, work on baby steps to gaining more comfort in being out. Take it one step at a time.

    I hope that helps.
     
  4. yeehaw

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    Hello IamIam,

    I have also had a ton of safety stuff pop up around Orlando. A week before Orlando I had something fairly traumatic happen that was in no way related to my sexual orientation--but it threw me and my sense of safety, for sure. Then when I heard about Orlando (I was already off kilter from the week before) I basically wanted to crawl into a cave and never come out--figuratively and literally. (I'm out to my closest friends, but not out to most people I know.)

    As far as how I'm handling it--more therapy, a change in meds, accupuncture, and the best self-care I can possibly muster (which isn't actually very good self-care, but I'm doing what I can).

    Another piece of this for me is that being closeted feels more miserable than usual. People around me are sometimes saying things about and around Orlando that hurt--very unintentional--but painful anyway. And I hate not being able to have a real FULL conversation about all of this. But I'm scared, and emotional, depressed, and anxious and I'm sure now isn't the time for me to come out to more people--I don't in anyway feel up for the emotional roller coaster it is likely to be. But I guess from that standpoint I can see why people might be feeling more like coming out than ever--but that's mostly not where I am--I'm scared and I want to hide.

    Where are you now with your process in dealing with Orlando?
     
  5. bibeauty28

    bibeauty28 Guest

    I live very very near Orlando. My neighbor lost a friend in the shooting. I can tell you a lot of the people in my town were affected in all kinds of ways by the Orlando shooting. I overhear so many conversations in restaurants and grocery stores etc.. Some people are sickened by the shooting, others are glad it happened, some are just simply numb and have heard/seen so much violence in this world that it doesn't even phase them.

    I have been out to everyone since May of last year (2015). After Orlando I felt so overwhelmingly sad. I, of course, still have a lingering mixtures of feelings to this day. But now, instead of just crying I want to get up and do something to help.

    I am like most on this thread. I have never wanted to be more 'in your face' with regard to all things lgbtq+ in my life. My facebook page in nothing but rainbows and sharing articles regarding Orlando and everything lgbtq+ issues in hopes that some of my friends read these articles and learn. I gave blood, I wrote an email to my local government rep. regarding gun control and I shared a petition on Facebook banning Ak's/assault weapons (added my signature), became an organ donor and registered to vote this week. I have never been more inspired to raise my voice and be a part of the equal rights movement.
    I just wish it didn't have to take the Orlando shooting to get me off my ass. Nevertheless, I consider myself an activist now. And from now on I will always fight for equal rights and love.
     
  6. Adray

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    I'm with bibeauty 100%. Any wavering I might have done earlier got wiped out by the Orlando event. I'm all in, now, for sure.

    Everybody needs to register to vote, that is a really good point. I won't suggest any issues or candidates here, but we all need to vote, make our voices heard. It does matter.
     
  7. crazydog15

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    For me, last Sunday was absolutely horrible, and I don't even know anyone who was affected by the Orlando shooting. I was terrified to leave my house, even to get gas or to go to the grocery store. Monday wasn't much better, though I was able to get myself to work, albeit with a few tears during the day.

    Since then, though, I've decided that I need to come out more. In the grand scheme of things, my coming out probably doesn't mean much, and I understand that. But finding someone else out there who is gay, and who doesn't have any problems in this community with being gay, helped me deal with my fear. I can safely be gay in my community. I also now have a pro-LGBT bumper sticker on my vehicle; I want people to know that I'm pro-LGBT rights and that I support LGBT people.
     
  8. IamIam

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    Thanks to all of you for your Input! Inspirational and truly appreciated!

    To answer some of the above questions:
    Yeehaw: Where am I right now with addressing Orlando? It's likely more about where am I with addressing my coming out. Still in the early stages of this - a bit of questioning still going on but believe I am just about beyond this and in the acceptance stage. I have a close friend (Female) who is also gay and has been very supportive of me thru all of this. She unfortunately has some personal challenges right now (health issues with Relatives) and is not as available. This means that in order to continue the journey I will need to start to talk about all of this to others - I have tended to be very private about all of this and more guarded;therefore, this will bring up some challenges. But I believe the Universe puts in front of us what we need when we need it and this is likely a bit of a push. If I can choose one or two safe people and start to talk about this, have to believe that will assist with getting beyond some of the Fear. Just need to determine the best choices for "safe" people that will Accept me. Hoping there are some more tips on this in the Coming Out Forum.

    Appreciate the commitment that all of you have to being more Open. I am not fully there yet but hope to be some day - I'm not an "in your face" kind of person as well but certainly to be Out, Proud, not advertising but not hiding, and Okay with talking about who I am with no Fear. We do have an LGBT Health Collective near where I live that has not only Health Services but lots of other Programs. Plan to consider seeing what I can do to start to get involved there as Well - a Safe Place where I can also perhaps do something to assist.