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Giving Gay Another Chance...Why is this so hard?

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by out2019, Jul 26, 2020.

  1. out2019

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    When I accept that I am gay I am happy.
    When I am in denial I am making up excuses, trying to 'fix it'.

    Rationalizations:
    a. I look at guys on the street and don't find them attractive so I think 'see I am not gay'.
    b. I convince myself that my fantasies about me are only symbolic.
    c. I look at beautiful women, find them beautiful and say to myself. 'see, I find women beautiful, I am not gay".

    It's one thing to say "I am gay" but not want to take action it's another to make up excuses that I am not gay.
    I realize how much shame I have about it, and how scared I am about it, but also ever since I came here and admitted it, I deeply long to be with a man physically and romantically. I think about dating men and I get excited, I have no desire to date women. How much clearer does it have to be?

    I made some good progress coming out here about a year ago but went back in the closet.
     
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  2. Chip

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    Especially for folks going thorugh the process later in life it's often that much harder, because we have to redefine who we are, and there are decades of perceptions to sort through and re-evaluate.

    The very fact you're aware enough that you're stepping back and looking at the behaviors is, in itself, a huge step. Give yourself credit for that. And then, perhaps, take a look at what's in the way of being able to own it fully.
     
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  3. out2019

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    Thanks. That what is so hard I guess. I think fear has a lot to do with it, and shame. It's very easy to fall back into denial. I even 'took back' my coming out to a close friend.
     
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  4. Chip

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    So one way to work in the fear and the shame is to work through a logical process... what is it, exactly, that you are afraid of? And then carry that through... if that happened then... and keep doing that. Usually, if you are able to work that through completely, you'll see that the fears are irrational, sometimes laughably so, which makes it easier to face them. Another process is to ask yourself what it is you really want, and then what you are currently doing to get what you want, and whether that is effective. If not... are you willing to take steps to do things differently.
     
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  5. SevnButton

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    I share that feeling -- what seems so clear and certain at one time seems irrelevant at another time.
     
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  6. Nickw

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    Yeah

    I'm feeling a bit of "buyer's remorse" right now myself. I came out as bisexual to my wife, have a FWB I love, have accepted my sexuality. But, that's about it. I am stalled out on the rest of coming out. To family and friends. It just all seems like that part of the coming out process has no value to me or to anyone I can think of. It does feel like a lot of work. Right now, I have lost touch with all my gay friends. Pride was a no go. About the only contact with the gay community is on this forum. Part of it is the pandemic. But, that's an excuse for not really wanting to work on coming out any further.
     
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  7. Contented

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    Nick what do you mean coming out further? Do you mean gay or are you talking about other people in general.
     
  8. Nickw

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    Naw. Not gay. I just wanted to be more open about being bisexual to friends and family. I feel like I just don’t want to carry a banner that says “I’m bisexual“. It’s too much work for right now.

    Plus. With the exception of my FWB, I’m not attracted to any guys right now. It feels really strange...like I’m trying too hard to check out guys. I don’t know if I’m just wanting to go back to faking straight.

    It is so much easier to be a privileged straight guy with my friends. My FWB blends right in as a part of the family and we all hang out...as much as Covid allows. My friends wink at each other about him. But, I don’t take it any further than letting them guess.

    My wife loves my friend. She teases us about our thing. But, I just get tired of the whole “gay” thing. I just want to be me without definitions. Sounds like a bad musical song...
     
  9. OnTheHighway

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    The journey your on ebbs and flows. Based on my experience it is normal to take some steps forward, maybe a few step to the side, and sometimes a step backward. The journey towards self actualization is not a straight line. Also, the initial euphoria you might of experienced could have since subsided. The current pandemic may also be a contributing factor given the situation is much larger than any of us individually. As a result, The current complacency you are experiencing should not be much of a surprise.

    If you feel compelled to continue on the journey, just like you push yourself with the all the physical activities you do, you need to push yourself mentally and emotionally as well. As you know, vulnerability is key. It can be uncomfortable, like looking down the ski slope of a triple black diamond run; but then after you push yourself down the hill you get that massive adrenaline rush and confidence boost. Use vulnerability the same way you do with athletics.

    And if you don’t mind me saying, the relationship dynamic you have set up for yourself is quite comforting, so standing still seems like an easy answer. On the one hand you still have your wife, yet you also have your FWB as you describe him. So in addition to making yourself vulnerable in regards to your sexuality you also have your current unconventional relationship which unsuspecting or naive people whom abide by the heteronormative script may not immediately understand.

    Keep the journey going, continue to challenge yourself. You have made awesome progress, let it keep going!
     
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  10. Contented

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    While I briefly called myself bi on my journey to fully embracing my homosexuality I never came out as bi only gay. I can see that those that identity as bi live somewhat in both worlds and neither at the same time. In my limited experience (3 years) in the gay world I do see a negative bias towards those men that identify as bi. While I don’t personally subscribe to that many in my circle do. As far as I know in this circle it is exclusively gay men. I can imagine that those who label themselves bi have a tougher and steeper road to acceptance. Being a lesbian or gay man seems so much simpler and easy. Perhaps with time as our society slowly alters it perceptions of sexuality those biases will change and ease. We can only hope it happens quickly.
     
  11. Journey616

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    Why does this negative bias for bisexuals exist? I’ve heard of this but I’ve never understood why?
     
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  12. OnTheHighway

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    Many people that are gay had historically used the bi label as a middle ground prior to fully embracing their sexuality. It created a sort of comfort zone so as not to have to address their true sexuality if they were in fact gay. With this some believe you are either gay or straight and there is no grey, in between, or bi zone. As a result, there is skepticism that the bi label is authentic rather than some intermediate zone. Those that have struggled with their sexuality may often look negatively on someone whom embraces the bi label because they themselves feel its just a continuation of the lie they have lived.

    I certainly fell into this category where I previously used the bi label rather than fully embraced myself as being gay. I did it for 19 years while I was married and convinced myself I could live a life consistent with the heteronormative script because I was bi and not out right gay. And just the same after doing the hard work to fully embrace my sexuality I was historically skeptical that a person could be bi and I assumed others that claimed to be bi were actually gay but not willing to accept themselves.

    Now, on the one hand, research that has lead to the Kinsey scale would argue against that position and would suggest sexuality lies on a spectrum. And at the same time as I even continued on my journey and met others that were sexually fluid I began to realize that people could in fact be somewhere on the spectrum rather than either gay or strait. I have met and seen a lot of direct evidence that younger generations are much more open minded and willing to embrace a sexually fluid identity in comparison to their older counterparts. And that has lead me to evolve my own thinking whereby I can understand and appreciate others whom do identify as bi or somewhere on the spectrum (although I remain skeptical if someone is on the spectrum but claim to be straight).

    But this is all conjecture and irrelevant for your own journey towards self actualization. All you need to be concerned about is understanding where you believe yourself to be and then working to live your life as authentically as possible based on your own truth.
     
    #12 OnTheHighway, Jul 30, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
  13. Nickw

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    I think the bi-erasure as it is sometimes called is, at least partially, because many of us bisexuals who are in straight marriages, don’t feel a need to engage the same sex sides of our sexuality. Why would we? I guess I’m not really monogamous since I have a boyfriend. But, I, sorta am. I don’t want another female lover or another male lover. So, we stay hidden because many of us are monogamous by nature and we are, mostly, satisfied with our lives. The "bisexuals" who come out are often on the "way to gay". So, there is always this question that we are going to become full on gay. I get the question on this forum on a regular basis. I don't mind anymore. Mostly, I think people are just trying to be supportive.

    My gay friends will often ask if I have left my wife yet. They just cannot understand the concept of being attracted to women and to men because they cannot feel it. I think the straight guys think the same thing. Prejudice is a bi productive of applying what we know and who we are to other people. It is hard to separate this out. It takes work to overcome these prejudices and the only way to advance is to have positive role models for bisexuals. This is hard to do because we are a binary society. You must have a wife or a boyfriend. If you have both, you are a pervert. So, guys like me just hide away.
     
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  14. OnTheHighway

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    I have had discussions with friends and acquaintances which would suggest some are just simply jealous of others who have their cake and want to eat it too! :grin:
     
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  15. Contented

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    I get some of the same reaction from my gay friend albeit not some much anymore, how could I have been with a woman all those years. They simply don’t have any reference points as all have been gay their entire life. The idea that I actually had sex and found it at least mechanically satisfying is a mystery to them. Trying to explain for the most part really doesn’t work. Most just feel that I finally saw the light and embraced my gay nature. I stopped worrying about their opinions on this and just moved on. Now pretty much a non issue with them. I am just one of the tribe now.
     
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  16. out2019

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    I am afraid someone will find out .. I am ashamed to be gay. I don't know why...
    The problem is I seem to be float between 'denial' where I don't think I am gay and in fact repulsed by it, and now when I want to embrace it...but when in denial it doesn't fee like denial and I wouldn't call it that.

    Seems like I am either rejecting the label or accepting it, but bi just doesn't feel right.
     
  17. out2019

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    Yeah this is how I feel most of the time - and i just don't feel gay it feels all 'in my head'.
     
  18. Nickw

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    Your first post in this thread mentioned that you do want to be both physically and romantically involved with another man. So, that doesn't seem like it is just something that is in your head. If seems like it may be more a part of who you are. Have you had any same sex experiences?
     
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  19. OnTheHighway

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    Allow me to suggest one possible reason why you feel shame, one which I often articulate in various posts (consider using the search feature as there is a lot of discussion): Early and ongoing exposure to a Heteronormative Script.

    We were socialized to believe relationships should occur only between a man and a woman. And while the messaging has evolved, expanded and in many places have become more open minded and accepting, the historical messages from family, friends, teachers, religious figures, politicians as expressed at home, in classes, at work, in sermons, as well as throughout media (television, books, movies, etc) all diminished homosexuality and supported heterosexuality. In addition to being exposed to all the messages, whether they were direct messages, subtle comments or even subliminal, the messages might have also coincided with physical trauma as well.

    As we developed earlier in life while being exposed to the heteronormative script and while we might have also began to feel like we were different from others because of our sexuality (either consciously or subconsciously), we began to develop shame for being whom we are. In turn, our self esteem, self worth, self respect and an ability to love whom we are were diminished. Even now, you may be reading this and understand what is written, but the shame may prevent you from fully embracing the magnitude of what this means and how it has impacted you.

    Take some time to digest how the heteronormative script may have impacted you. Try and think about instances when you were exposed to the messages and how it made you feel. And then try and reconcile those feelings.
     
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  20. out2019

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    Years ago, when I was drunk and in denial, I started giving a guy a blow job (hookup). I liked it but I freaked out and stopped and felt guilty for months.