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Feeling like a Fraud Today

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by bsg75apollo, Mar 21, 2022.

  1. bsg75apollo

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    For some reason, I am feeling like a bit of a poser wannabe today. I'm kind of feeling like I have no claim on being part of the LGBTQ+ community and that coming out to my therapist is somehow not the same as a public outing. Totally stupid I know, but that doesn't change the feeling of feeling like a fraud.
     
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  2. hopefulB

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    I empathize with that. I wonder if it's part of grappling with a "new" identity, which is actually your true identity. But feelings of shame inject themselves and create negative responses to this new path. I know shame comes at me in al sorts of ways now that I've begun to walk this journey to being fully out. And feeling like a fraud is exactly one of the hydra monster heads that come at me.
     
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  3. johndeere3020

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    Hey, it happens to us all. It always seems like it is easier to think about negatives rather than the positives. Talk to your therapist about ways to recenter and refocus. Your journey will have some bumps, but in the end being authentic is so worth it.
     
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  4. Jakebusman

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    Hey sometimes I feel like I dont belong in the LGBT community too
     
  5. ScottG

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    I get the same feelings- like I must be pretending I'm gay. I have denied it so long my mind fights me.
     
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  6. silverhalo

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    Hey you are definitely not alone I think a lot of people have this feeling at some point or similar feelings. I think often there is so much emotion and pressure on that first coming out (to whoever it is) that when you finally manage to get the words out the sense of relief is overwhelming and for a period things are amazing but I found with coming out that highs of managing to come out to someone were often followed by lows when I looked up from my high and realised all of the coming outs or things I still had to overcome. I also remember feeling that I didnt know how to be gay, as though once I had come out should have been issued a membership number and a handbook on what to do now. Just try and take everything a day and a step at a time and you will feel better.
     
  7. BiGemini87

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    As you can see from the replies, you're definitely not alone. I think for anyone of the L, G, or B variety, this isn't uncommon when you haven't yet/likely won't have a same-sex experience. And you're right: it is a completely irrational thought/feeling to have, because our actions don't make us one thing or the other; our attractions do.

    Regardless, these thoughts/feelings occur just the same. Maybe because we've seen that sentiment projected at other people from within the LGBT community. Maybe we've heard some off-the-cuff remark from someone outside of the LGBT who simply doesn't understand how orientation works. It could be any number of things, in all honesty, and whether we realize it or not, they imbed in our minds, only making themselves present when the time is "right". I think in some ways, it's a minor form of self-sabotage.

    I know I still deal with it, now and again. I imagine many people, even those who have been out and out loudly (and proudly) still do, too.

    I find the only thing that helps is 1) experiencing an attraction to someone of the same sex unexpectedly when I most need it, and 2) reminding myself I don't owe anyone any explanations regarding my life, my choice in partner, or proof of my attractions to other women.

    Once you can quiet the part of you that wants others' approval, even if only a little bit, the happier you'll be. This is something that can be worked on over time, so be patient with yourself; but the more you do it, the easier it should be. :slight_smile:
     
  8. LilLady9

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    As a cisgender, bisexual male who prefers women, wants to marry a woman, and wants to have biological children, I can totally relate to the feeling of not belonging in the LGBTQ+ community and even feeling a bit like a fraud. However, that doesn't take away from the fact that I am bisexual and do belong. Even though I prefer women, that doesn't take away from the fact that I find some men sexual attractive, have had sexual crushes on men, have had gay experiences, and often find myself having same-sex fantasies.

    Like @BiGemini87 said, I also have to sometimes remind myself that I don't owe anyone an explanation of my choice in partner or have to prove my attraction to both men and women to belong in the LGBTQ+ community.

    At the end of the day, I am bisexual and do belong. And that's that.
     
    #8 LilLady9, Mar 22, 2022
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2022
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  9. ThxSens8

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    Hey, me too!
    I came out to my wife and her sister recently, but not with the goal of experimenting, so I'm back to everyday life as usual. I definitely feel like a fraud often. I haven't even told my boss who is gay. I'm not even sure if I want to tell anyone else, actually.
     
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  10. staticinmyattic

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    I’m a sub teacher for 7th-12th graders, and they all think I’m awesome. There are a few trans kids at the school, and I support them as best I can. I wish I was out. It hurts to know that I could be a highly visible, well-respected, and effective trans educator. But no one knows except my wife and therapist. I feel like a fake cis man AND a fake trans woman.
     
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  11. Leafern

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    I think you are putting too much pressure on yourself, just the fact that you identify as bisexual means that you are part of this community, the coming out part is something you have to take without pressure and approach when you feel ready and of course if you want and feel safe doing it, not being out doesn't have anything to do with being or not part of the LGBTQ+ community.
    You don't have to prove anything to anyone, expecially if it means coming out to people you dont want to o dont feel safe around, just feel good about yourself as you are.
    (sorry for my bad english, i hope you get the message).
     
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  12. Nickw

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    @bsg75appollo

    I have felt, and still do feel, the same way. I have two gay siblings who are out. I have my network of gay friends and a long time FWB. Some days it feels like I am just dabbling in the LGBQT community because I can live in the "straight world" so easily. What I have learned is that there are some in the LGBQT community who don't like it. But, for the most part, I think no one really thinks about it all that much. I just try and be who I am even when if sometimes feels like I am playing a part...in both worlds. In my case, I have tried to compartmentalize when I am gay and when I am straight and I don't think that works all that well.
     
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  13. ScottG

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    Up until a year ago I felt like I was "play acting" I was gay- you know? Like it was just an act I was playing with myself. I could stop at any time.
    But then the very real attraction to men I was seeing in "real life" started changing me. Without forethought I'd see a stranger and feel like kissing him. And more.
    It was like my subconscious decided for real because my conscious mind was indecisive
     
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  14. Gay Brett

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    I exclusively have sex with men now but don’t consider myself more gay than before I started dating them. I was just as gay then even though I had never been with a man. My desire to want to go down on a guy meant I was gay. Not the fact that I have now done this or do it regularly. You are not a fraud. You are just someone who finds men attractive. I think this is normal. They are :wink:

    Same goes for being out. I am not more gay because now a lot of people know I like men. I was just as must a big homosexual when no one knew I fantasized about guys all the time and kept it private. If you want to come out do it but you don’t need to. Your sexuality is already a very real part of you.
     
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  15. out2019

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    community is not the same as your sexual orientation. There are many gay men who don''t march in parades or get involved in the visible part of the 'community' .
    I have been on EC for a few years, and not everyone, especially later in life, has done the full 'out', and it usually takes a lot longer than someone younger because at this point in life there are usually more tangled relationships.

    I, and many others don't feel the need to announce to everyone that I ever knew that I was gay, rather I want to live my life going forward as someone gay, if someone finds out because they see me with a boyfriend that's another thing - I am actually looking forward to that 'problem' :slight_smile:

    You made a big step to come out to anyone especially after years of heaping on denial! Just live your life forward as you see fit.

    Yes! It pops in surprising ways!

    A reverse of this that is common with "Later in Life" is feeling like a fraud for being 'straight' like somehow you were deceiving everyone you knew all these years, even close friends.
     
    #15 out2019, Mar 28, 2022
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2022
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  16. hopefulB

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    So so so so true. I am right there right now.
     
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  17. bsg75apollo

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    I said something almost like this to my therapist.
     
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  18. out2019

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    I think it can be extra hard if you spent time over compensating, as I did, that's why I think it's better to just move forward.
     
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  19. slowmo

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    I sure can identify with what you're feeling. I came out to my therapist at 57. It took me two more years to come out to a few friends, siblings, and my adult children -- I had been divorced several years after a long and horrible marriage. One of my huge initial trepidations when I started attending a "rap" session at the local gay center was that I was somehow unworthy since I had not been fighting all those battles the other gay men had fought for all of those decades. You know what I quickly found out? Not one of those life-long out gay men ever judged me or looked down on me. They were all completely supportive. Moreover, I was hardly alone in coming out later in life. Fast forward several months, and I started dating. Six months later I met my partner. And we've been together now more than three years. The lesson? Sometimes we need to ignore the insecure voices in our heads and just go for it! We're often (perhaps very, very often?) our own worst enemies, and the most critical and unaccepting judges of ourselves.
     
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  20. hopefulB

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    I love this story. Thank you for sharing. As a man grappling coming out later in life (mid forties) this gives me great courage.