1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Former lurker wants to say his piece

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by razorsharp, May 10, 2014.

  1. IamthatIam

    IamthatIam Guest

    I wrote and essay WHY AM I GAY yesterday and posted it on the General Support and Advice forum. Give it a read and see if it makes sense to you.

    I was in my 20s when I came across this advice - thought it made sense then and still do. I just turned 75 and am grateful I understand the process.

    I abandoned my family because they would never in a million years accept my orientation. I think they invented homophobia. Looking back it was the best thing I did if for no other reason then survival. A niece I never knew found out an email address I haven't used in years. I was surprised to hear from her but decided to respond. After a few emails it was quite clear nothing had changed which only made my choice to flee the correct one.
     
  2. Aldrick

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2012
    Messages:
    2,175
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Virginia
    Yes, there are definitely therapists that you can see that specialize in LGBT Issues.

    If you're in the US: You can find one near you by going here. Type in your zip code to find therapists local to you, then on the left hand side there are things you can do to narrow your search. Under Sexuality you can select "Gay Issues". There you can find therapists who have highlighted one of their specialties as dealing with gay people.

    If you're in the UK: You can find one near you by going here. Type in your zip code to find a therapist in your local area, and how far out you're willing to travel. Then look down to "reason for therapy" select "Sexual Identity", under "type of approach" I recommend CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) - it's proven to be one of the best techniques, and finally under "type of client" select "adult". After that you should be able to find some therapists in your area. Browse through the selection, and see which ones might be the best fit for you.

    If you are somewhere outside the US or UK, let me know, and I'll help you find a website that can link you to therapists nearby.

    As you can imagine, a lot of gay people seek therapy. Being gay isn't easy, and growing up in an non-accepting environment as we did leaves scars. The therapist you see doesn't have to specialize in LGBT issues, though. The one I see doesn't, but he's perfectly accepting, understanding, and straight. He also has other gay clients, as does pretty much every other therapist you will encounter - ever. A lot of gay people are in therapy. What's important is that you find a therapist who you feel comfortable opening up too.

    And to be clear, you don't have to walk in there and come out on day one. You have other issues in your life that you need to deal with as well, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and all of that. You can work at your own pace, and a good therapist is going to listen and give you encouragement. They aren't going to judge you, and of course - EVERYTHING you tell them is confidential. You don't have to worry about them going and telling other people, so when you do feel comfortable coming out, you'll know your secret is safe.

    Hopefully that helps.
     
  3. IamthatIam

    IamthatIam Guest

    I had not intended to reply to your thread until I saw "pulling the plug" - trust me when I tell you that this is the worst thing you can do only in that you will have to come back in another incarnation and face the same thing all over again.

    I recently wrote and essay WHY AM I GAY in the General Support and Advice forum. I suggest you read it - it may give you more insight to what you are facing here and hereafter. I discovered this material in my mid 20s and found it made a lot of sense to me. I just turned 75 and it still makes a lot of sense. Believe it or not, you are as normal as blueberry pie.

    I know you are concerned about family finding out. My experience was to flee as fast and as far as possible. I am certain they invented the term homophobia. In looking back it was the best decision I ever made.

     
  4. TTSP

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ireland
    Gender:
    Male
    Sexual Orientation:
    Questioning
    Also suggest reading the Symposium by Plato. Powerful stuff regarding how the ancients thought about such things, although it will offend some in particular reference to older and younger couples but useful for an alternative frame of reference by Plato no less.. Gay love is not evil
     
  5. razorsharp

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2014
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Sexual Orientation:
    Questioning
    Thanks I will read it. I disagree with your advice on leaving my family. I love my family and would do anything for them. There is no way I would ever abandon them. You're also forgetting that I disagree with homosexuality. Maybe you want to be homosexual but I don't. Unfortunately for me, I have homosexual feelings that have troubled me since childhood, as explained in previous posts.

    At least I've decided not to have children, to spare some other poor souls from experiencing this shit ( I mean life in general).
     
  6. wanderinggirl

    Full Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,189
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New York
    First off, not all gay people have gay kids. Second of all, not all gay people are miserable. Self-acceptance followed by surrounding oneself with whatever support one can garner from others can lead many gay people to even love being gay. You need to realize that you can be gay and happy.

    The difference between you and IamthatIam is not that he wants to be gay and you don't (I mean I don't know his story but I assume it wasn't that simple); many of us struggled with not wanting to be LGBT at first. The difference is what you do afterwards: do you (1) give up on life, (2) live it miserable and dishonestly, or (3) live openly and honestly and actually get a shot at being fucking happy?

    As for family, it's a difficult issue that is sensitive for a lot of people, but generally if your choices are suicide or abandoning family, then do you know that your family will love you no matter what? You can't let the family you love drive you to suicide. That does not sound like love to me.

    ---------- Post added 13th May 2014 at 11:40 AM ----------

    Also let me say that I tried for years to be normal and straight and it didn't work so I just came out and hoped for the best and now I'm generally happy though I still struggle. But honesty is a wonderful thing, I wouldn't trade honesty for anything.

    Even though I'm bi I lean more towards women and it wasn't as easy for me to just ignore that and live as straight. I'll never be straight and trying to will only make me miserable.
     
  7. razorsharp

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2014
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Sexual Orientation:
    Questioning
    Well, you said it yourself. There is a reason why many people don't want to be LGBT 'at first'. Why do you think that is? Because LGBT is not normal. No matter what you think about whether it's right or wrong, everyone knows that it strays away from the norm, and therefore most people (even LGBTs) find it undesirable, deep down.

    So you must understand the position I'm in, because, my feelings towards being homosexual are the same as yours were at the beginning. The difference being is that I never stopped not wanting to be LGBT. There's no such thing as happiness, FYI.
     
  8. Linux Lenny

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2014
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Stormwind
    Gender:
    Male
    I am not the best person to give you advice here because I am still struggling . But I mean, why you want to choose being miserable and depressed for the rest of your life ? if homosexuality is normal or not normal , at the end of the day you will still have same sex attraction so there is no solution other than accepting yourself .

    DEPRESSION is really AWFUL so try to get rid of it
     
  9. Choirboy

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2013
    Messages:
    1,638
    Likes Received:
    280
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    "Strays from the norm" in what way? I was in a straight marriage for over 20 years because I was sure that being gay would ruin my life. I was miserable because for me, living as a straight man was not normal. My entire orientation was towards guys and I knew it. The only "norm" it strays from is that of people who are convinced that there way is the only way.

    I did feel that being gay was undesirable for a long time. Do you know why? It was because I listened to a lot of garbage that was thrown at me by bullies in school and by people who were convinced that gays weren't normal, and pointed to a bunch over over-the-top stereotypes that I was foolish enough to buy into. It's not so much that I believed it wasn't normal - it was perfectly normal to me - it was because I had people TELLING me it wasn't normal, and I was unfortunate enough to believe them.

    A year and a half ago I decided I couldn't live the lie anymore and started telling a few people I was gay. I've had close friends tell me how much I have blossomed, how much my personality has changed in a positive way, since I accepted myself. I've told my kids, who have accepted me, and my wife, who is dealing with it in some ways but not in others (not surprisingly), and I am happy, really happy, for the first time in decades. And I've met a man whom I love deeply, who makes me feel all the emotions I thought I was supposed to feel for women but never did, and I can see us having a very wonderful future together.

    There IS such a thing as happiness. It shows up when you learn to think for yourself instead of processing all the negativity that you've absorbed over the years, and realize that you have two basic options: accept who you are and learn to deal with it in a positive way, or call it "abnormal" and fight it for the rest of your life. You would be surprised at how easy it is once you look at things in a positive light instead of a negative one.
     
  10. razorsharp

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2014
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Sexual Orientation:
    Questioning
    Choirboy I see where you are coming from. However, there is little point in engaging in a debate with you about the rights and wrongs of homosexuality. This debate has been going on for centuries and we'll just have to agree to disagree on that one.

    I'm glad that you are at least happy with your choices. I would not have made such choices had I been in your position. I respect your views and I will just say each to their own.

    I think you did well entering into a marriage with a woman. This is something I would like to do one day, but something tells me that it may be unfair on such a woman, and that she could 'do better.' Why should a woman marry a man who has homosexual feelings? She deserves better. That is my rationale. But I am also aware that there is more to marriage than just sex.

    I think the best advice you gave me is to look for a therapist. I initially wanted to see a therapist with a view to eliminating my homosexual attractions. I am not convinced that this will work, but I would at least give it a try. However, there are very few available in the UK, so I may have to seek a more mainstream type therapist who is experienced in these issues. I doubt a therapist would say that 'I MUST embrace the gay life' lol. Every case is different.
     
  11. Aldrick

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2012
    Messages:
    2,175
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Virginia
    Actually, I don't think it's undesirable, deep down. I find being gay as fundamental to who I am as a person. It's part of me, just like everything else. I wouldn't change it, even if I had the power to do so, because to change it would be to abandon my true self and identity as a person. The only reason I'd feel pressure to change is a result of other people, I'm perfectly happy being gay at this point in my life.

    In fact, I rank my highest life achievement - the thing I'm most proud of - is my coming to terms with being gay and learning to accept it as part of who I am. I'd give up pretty much everything else in my life before I gave up being gay, simply because my finding acceptance was so hard fought and won. The struggle for that changed and shaped me in ways that made me the person I am today.

    I used to think like you did, that being gay wasn't "normal". You hear people toss that around all the time, but really - what is normal? People throw the word around as if it had some moral weight behind it. Look at our lives in totality and then look at the lives of others in totality. We all have differences that make us unique.

    Normal is nothing more than average - it's a statistical measure. When you start measuring the lives of others, you'll find that no one is perfectly average in all aspects of their lives. Even if you attempted to achieve the average in every aspect of your life, by the very nature of doing that you'd no longer be normal because so few people are so closely aligned with the average - or the majority - of others in every aspect of their lives. There is nothing wrong with being different. It's part of what makes us unique individuals.

    The problems only arise when people attach notions of 'right' and 'wrong' to a particular difference, as they've done in our case. Whether it was this particular aspect of me that they didn't like or something else, at the end of the day it's their problem. I'd ask myself questions such as this:

    "Who are we hurting by being gay?" Well, if the relationship is consensual we aren't hurting anyone.

    "Who are we hurting by accepting our sexuality?" The answer is no one, not even the people opposed to us because it doesn't directly impact their lives unless THEY CHOOSE to make it an issue. The flip side to that is if we don't accept our sexuality, then it causes harm to us as individuals, leading to the dark place you now find yourself.

    "Is what I am doing natural?" The answer to that question is... yes. Many of our opponents would argue that what we are doing is unnatural, but the reality is that human sexuality has never been black or white - gay or straight. The idolization of heterosexuality is a cultural phenomenon that goes against human nature. Homosexuality is a natural variation of human sexuality, just as heterosexuality is a natural variation of human sexuality. Homosexuality has been documented and observed in many other species outside of humans. It is observed in every human culture, and we have documents of same-sex romantic love and sex dating all the way back to the earliest human civilizations. How we interpret same-sex romantic and sexual attraction varies considerably based on culture and time; throughout history we have been revered, reviled, seen as sacred, and shunned. But no matter how we've been viewed or treated, we've always existed. To see ourselves as unnatural is to not understand the nature of human sexuality.

    I know what I write likely isn't going to be persuasive to you right now. However, hopefully with time you'll be able to find some degree of acceptance of yourself, and find a way to undo the damage that others have inflicted upon you.
     
  12. BMC77

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2013
    Messages:
    3,259
    Likes Received:
    107
    Location:
    USA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    A few people
    Really? Choirboy did well? Even though he indicated above that he was miserably unhappy in the marriage? And how about how his wife feels?

    Gay men will get married to women for a range of reasons, and often have the best intentions. But...all too often it ends in disaster.

    It would be unfair, as I said before:

    Yes. She does.

    Yes, there is. But sex does tend to a big part of marriage.

    The only way I can see a gay man married to a woman working is if the woman has zero interest in sex with her husband, past what might be necessary to have children.

    There is zero reason to believe a therapist can make someone straight. A reason why therapists who can turn people straight are rare where you live may be because that sort of therapy is worthless.

    Maybe not, but I think any competent therapist would want to see you reach a point of acceptance.

    And frankly that is the only solution I can see for you. You don't need to live the "gay life" (whatever that might involve). If you want, accept that this is the way it is, and then go on to live a celibate life.
     
  13. Aldrick

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2012
    Messages:
    2,175
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Virginia
    I want to make two important points.

    First, a qualified and decent therapist isn't going to tell you what you should feel or do. They're going to listen, and maybe give you advice depending on the situation. They may counsel you against certain actions if they think it will be harmful. They aren't going to tell you, "You MUST do this." or "You MUST be this way." That's entirely for you to decide.

    Second, there is no such thing as 'the gay life' or 'gay lifestyle'. That implies that there is a right way or a wrong way of being gay. Being gay is innate, and something that cannot be changed. There are as many ways of living 'a gay life' as there are gay people. Just as there are as many ways of living 'a straight life' as there are straight people.
     
  14. Fallingdown7

    Fallingdown7 Guest

    It's sad to find so much self-hatred here. Maybe you should relook into why you think homosexuality is wrong and why you want to cure it. I'm not hear to insult your beliefs, but I think It's another thing when you hate yourself so much to the point of wanting to off yourself.
     
  15. Spaceman

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2013
    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    USA
    It seems pretty clear you "disagree with homosexuality" because you were taught that it was wrong by people who matter in your life. But how could you truly believe that something that is a fundamental part of who you are is wrong? That would be like believing that being born a certain ethnicity is wrong. Clearly it's not wrong, it's just a fact about who you are.

    Of course it hurts to hear people speak ill of homosexuals, especially when it's the people who are supposed to love and care about you. You fear losing their love if you reveal yourself to them. It's terrifying, I know. But the fact that you actually have pulling the plug on your list of options should be a wake up call. I know it was for me.
     
    #55 Spaceman, May 13, 2014
    Last edited: May 13, 2014
  16. razorsharp

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2014
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Sexual Orientation:
    Questioning
    There is no evidence that anyone is born homosexual. No one knows exactly what the cause is but the evidence points to it being multi-factorial. This is completely different to race/ethnicity.

    Also, just because this behaviour is observed in nature, it does not automatically make it right. Animals carry out all sorts of horrific acts that we would be imprisoned for, yet these acts are 'natural'.

    Homosexuals are not necessarily bad people. Remember, I'm not homophobic/ anti-gay etc. I'm in the same boat as you guys are. I just feel that although I have these desires, I would rather not act on them. This is where I hit a brick wall and become depressed/ unsure how to progress in life.
     
  17. greatwhale

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
    Messages:
    6,581
    Likes Received:
    409
    Location:
    Montreal
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    Hi razorsharp,

    Clearly there is no convincing you that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality (although that is the key to making that brick wall disappear). Of course, we can agree to disagree, you have every right to your opinion and you obviously are sticking to it.

    You received many well-thought-out responses from the posters above...what more can we do for you?
     
  18. razorsharp

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2014
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Sexual Orientation:
    Questioning
    Hi greatwhale,

    You ask a good question. When I first joined this forum a couple of days ago, I actually thought it was more diverse than it is. I have realised now that it is more of a pro-gay/ gay pride type of forum. So I obviously misunderstood the context of this site. I thought that there would be different types of suggestions but the only messages I'm getting so far are:

    1. just accept that you're gay and you'll be happy
    2. see a therapist

    I obviously cannot pursue suggestion number one because I don't want to be gay and even if I did, it is not possible with my life set up. Hence I'm still at the brick wall stage on that one. Suggestion number 2 is more sensible, it is just a case of finding the right type of therapist and finding time to actually attend a few sessions.

    In the long run, I do not envisage a good future for me. It has already been a long hard struggle since childhood, and to be honest, if it were my choice completely I would rather be dead than alive.

    I'll keep working on myself and see where things take me, but if things continue as they are I will certainly draw the line somehow. There is only so much constant mental torture a person can withstand.

    Anyway, thank you all for being kind and patient with me, despite our differences in opinion. Good luck and God bless.
     
    #58 razorsharp, May 14, 2014
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  19. BookDragon

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2013
    Messages:
    4,605
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    Gender:
    Female (trans*)
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    When I first joined this forum a couple of days ago, I actually thought it was more diverse than it is. I have realised now that it is more of a pro-gay/ gay pride type of forum.

    That's because we are a SUPPORT forum. Our sole purpose is to be here for people who have problems and help them deal with them in a healthy way.

    The thing is, nobody here is going to help you try and force yourself to not be gay. We can all understand your circumstances, believe me, but what can we do?
     
  20. PatrickUK

    Advisor Full Member Away

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2014
    Messages:
    6,229
    Likes Received:
    1,461
    Location:
    England
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    There is nobody on this forum who will be able to to come up with the answer you are seeking, I'm afraid. There is absolutely no way to eliminate feelings of same sex attraction. If such an option existed, I feel confident that some members (like you) would take it up, but we have to deal with the reality that it's not happening. Sorry!

    The reason you are getting the messages about self acceptance and therapy is because our collective wisdom and experience tells us they are the only viable options. Many of us have been forced into this realisation after long and painful journeys of our own with our sexual orientation. It's just the way it is.

    Unfortunately, your refusal to engage with the idea that homosexuality is not inately disordered or wrong frustrates any possibility of us supporting you on a journey of self acceptance. If you could be more open minded about this issue and meet us even part of the way, we might be able to help, but you have totally closed your mind to the idea of being gay or ever coming out.

    Being honest, it would go against the whole ethos of this forum to suggest that you slam the closet door shut forever and wipe out (if it were even possible) any thoughts of being gay. That's not what we're here for.

    I really hope you will change your mind, but I don't think you will.