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Covid Closet

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by cjmiller, May 28, 2020.

  1. cjmiller

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    Hi All,

    Haven't been online for a bit and so glad to catch up on everyone's post. I've said a million times, this is such a great site.

    Prior to Covid, I really started to feel like I was taking steps towards coming out of the closet. I fully accepted that I'm gay, attend a few support groups and became active on this site. I was even close to telling a very close friend.

    Then boom, the pandemic happened and we all become so isolated. The family is together 24/7 and we've been doing family game nights, movies nights... etc and I am back to feeling guilty and questioning if I should upset this life we have built and just stay in the closet and grin and bear it.

    Has anyone else experienced this?
     
    lavalamp, don72tx, Nikka and 2 others like this.
  2. Joolz66

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    Yes...while i dont think i am as far down the path as you CJ in coming out (from reading your posts my experience is very similar) i do kneverthless understamd what you mean.

    After 3 months of focussing on protecting my wife and family through this terrible pandemic, its almost impossible to contemplate disrupting the protective fortress we have built. If anything it has exacerbated the gulf between what i feel inside and my external persona..it feels more acute but i know now is not the right time...when things have settled down, maybe...
     
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  3. chicodeoro

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    My own experience is similar, but different.

    I don't think I would be at this position without Covid. It was the combination of my partner's death + no work + an empty house for long periods of time leading to lots of time to think that led me to having an epiphany about my gender.

    But taking the next step after that is really difficult under the present circumstances. The LGTB support networks I really need in IRL aren't functioning at the moment. Counselling just isn't happening at the moment. I've hardly seen any friends for the last nine weeks. I feel like I have this massive secret now and nothing to do with it.

    If it wasn't for boards like this I would be going insane. But you're both right - being in the closet is stressful and lonely and it's even more so in the middle of a pandemic.

    The only thing keeping me going is the idea that years from now maybe maybe I'll be able to look back with a wry smile and think '2020? I can laugh about it now but at the time it was terrible.'
     
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  4. SiennaFire

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    Hey CJ,

    I certainly appreciate the difficult position that you are facing. It must be difficult (if not impossible) for you to attend support meetings via Zoom because you are with your family. As a result you are losing momentum in your journey to come out. This must be incredibly frustrating for you.

    When I was facing questions about my own guilt (albeit not during a pandemic), I did a thought experiment. I imagined myself on my death bed, and I asked myself if I had any regrets (assuming my life continued status quo). This powerful question crystallized my need to come out.

    Please try and cherish the family memories time during the safer-at-home period, as they are part of your journey. The rest will take care of itself in due time.

    Best,
    SF
     
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  5. RainbowMe

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    COVID-19 does have many impacts. I'd say it's been in both ways for me. It's opened up time and space to think about these issues and want to take steps - like you mentioned about the deathbed question @SiennaFire.

    But, it's also meant some real life steps are on hold that would involve going out to meet people or attend groups. Good point about how our perspectives will probably be very different looking back later @chicodeoro. Maybe a good time to keep a journal.
     
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  6. otteralan

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    Thanks for the sharing of your post. I'm finding the COVID situation feels as though I'm heading back into the closet. I feel as though I don't exist again, back at being 17 again in the village in the middle of nowhere without access to any sense of it being okay to be different. It's excruciating, and I find myself struggling to be okay with it. I'm glad to have found these forums to at least know I'm not on my own.
     
  7. quadratic

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    I work at a university, and I'm a member of the Ally group, which supports LGBTIQA+ staff and students. When the lockdowns began in my part of the world, I asked the group whether there might be students for which the University was their only safe space; they may not feel safe at home. I never got an answer - but I was hoping if there were such students we could somehow reach out to them. Even without a definite answer, your post has showed that there are people who have simply been forced back into the closet by circumstances.
     
  8. lavalamp

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    Relate to all of this, my marriage was ending (we were separated) and I was gathering courage to come iut and move on when the pandemic returned us all to sheltering in place. Now I just move quietly through the days and put coming out behind me indefinitely. I have no way to build a support network right now.
     
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  9. LostInDaydreams

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    That’s really tough. It was difficult enough keeping up a pretence without a pandemic to keep me stuck in place. Hang in there!
     
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  10. Nickw

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    When I came out to my wife, she made the comment. “You cannot not be gay and you cannot be gay alone” when I told her I needed to be around other gay men. This pandemic has made being out as an LGBT difficult, if not impossible. I think you need a network of other LGBT friends when you first come out.
     
    VanBo likes this.