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Coming out late in life

Discussion in 'The Welcome Lounge' started by Travelguy, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. Travelguy

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Washington State
    Gender:
    Male
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    A few people
    Hi, everyone. This is my first post, although I've been reading through the forums here for a while. I've come here for advice, but first just want to introduce myself. I've just begun to come out, late in life. It's gone as well as it could so far. I have a small number of friends, and we recently got together (they all live out of state). I'd decided I wanted to first come out to my best and oldest friend. My friend was totally surprised but completely supportive. I didn't expect to tell anyone else, because I wanted to tell each one privately, and didn't think I'd have the opportunity. But as it turned out, I was able to get some time alone with each of my friends, and they were all completely supportive as well. I'm very lucky because I had no fear of a negative reaction from any of them, and I wasn't surprised, they were all very supportive.

    But I was surprised by my own reaction to having come out. I felt such an incredible relief. It sounds cliché, but I actually did feel like a huge burden had been lifted. I realize now how bad not being completely honest with my friends about myself made me feel. I opened up and revealed what was really going on with me, disclosing things I felt embarrassed or ashamed about. Strangely, opening up made me feel strong, even courageous, things I usually don't feel about myself.

    Being gay isn't what I was embarrassed or ashamed about. As I mentioned, I'm coming out late in life -- in my 60s. Up until recently I was genuinely confused about my sexuality, not totally convinced until now I was gay. This confusion prevented me from even dating, much less forming a relationship. (THAT is what I'm embarrassed and ashamed of.) I also tend to be insecure, lacking in confidence, and very fearful of failure, which don't help. I really don't understand how I was able to muddle through life without being in relationships, but I did. I guess the personal interactions with my co-workers on the job were enough for me to get by. But now I'm retired, and I find myself bored and lonely, and maybe depressed, and don't want to spend the rest of my life like this.

    So this is what's brought me to EC. I really don't know where to go from here, or how to get there. I just intended this to be an introduction, and I've written more than I intended, so I'll post more specific questions later in the Later in Life forum.

    Thanks for reading!
     
  2. LostPirate

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2018
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Gender:
    Female
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Some people
    Hi Travelguy!! :grin:

    I am super happy for you. It's hard--and terrifying--to come out, especially when you're older. It's fantastic that you were able to do so, and begin to be exactly who you are, without having to hide any part of yourself. And feeling relieved doesn't sound cliche at all--just about everyone feels a massive amount of relief upon coming out, because your sexuality is such a big part of you, and you finally don't have to hide it anymore. Sometimes you don't even realize how badly being closeted affected you until you're out.

    I'm glad you got a positive reaction from your friends. Being gay nowadays is SO much easier than it was in the past due to the continual rise of acceptance and support for lgbt+ individuals. I hope you continue to be accepted and supported by your friends and loved ones--and good luck in the dating arena :wink: