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I think I am ready to start coming out

Discussion in 'Coming Out Advice' started by AnxiousJB, Jul 1, 2020.

  1. AnxiousJB

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    Hi all,

    After many years of confusion and repression of feelings I am finally comfortable with being gay. The shame of being gay is subsiding. I no longer feel embarrassed to be same-sex attracted after experiencing arousal. Whereas before, I would feel disgust at myself for engaging in or fantasising about same-sex activity afterwards, I now feel relaxed when I am in a state of non-arousal. In other words, I am content of thinking myself as gay in day to day life and it doesn't perturb me. I don't sit and think constantly about it or try and convince myself otherwise, as I once would.

    I am happy and relieved. I am so content in my skin now, my problems with anxiety have subsided massively. Even though my anxieties were not always linked to sexuality, they have reduced. Anxieties over things elsewhere in my life have gone, as if this was something bubbling underneath hurting my soul. When I was a teen I had an inner feeling that I was gay, but I suppressed it. It would return consistently throughout my life since puberty, but I would rationalise it and tell myself otherwise. I was wrong to do this, but that's all in the past. All that matters now is that I accept myself and I have.

    I now have an urge to confide with others. I don't plan on opening up fully to everyone, but I have a couple of good friends who would be understanding, and I have a desire to speak things through with them. However, part of me is not sure I should. I ask myself if this is not narcissistic? Should I just mention it in passing, as to not cause a fuss which is all about me? However, that doesn't sound fully satisfying to me. I feel like I want to talk things through with friends, so that they can be understanding and supportive if need be.

    Like I have said, I don't plan on having a heart to heart with everyone, because that would be too much, but I want to with a couple of friends so that I can air this relief, as well as practice for bigger steps (e.g. my parents). Do you think that I am being too self-absorbed for wanting to do this?

    Also, when coming out, how should I go about it as someone who has found themselves slightly later on than usual (I'm 27) and where people have thought I'm straight? My friends know that I have been on dates with women, for instance, and know I was disappointed by them not working out, but looking back my disappointment was twinged with anxieties from the date itself. I have always felt anxious in engaging with women sexually, in that it makes me uncomfortable and I always have thoughts telling me that I wish they don't make a move because I'll become stilted. With men I do feel anxious when engaging in romantic activity, but it's with excitement and butterflies in my stomach. I feel like all this anxiety about it, coupled with confusion over myself, made me feel this way.

    However, I am not sure how to communicate that with my friends. I worry they'll think me a liar, even though I have nothing to base that on rationally. I am 'straight acting' too, which compounds my worries over this. How should I frame it with them?

    I just want to send a message to my friends and speak with them face to face, even if it's just by video chat, but I can't summon the courage to do it for the reasons detailed above.
     
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  2. LostInDaydreams

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    I was 30 when I told a few of my friends. I did so via email and they were completely fine about it. They acknowledged it, were happy for me and that was it really. As I expected, it wasn’t really a big deal to them, and with them all being straight and not having questioned, there wasn’t much more to say.

    I had doubts that anyone would believe me too, but it turned out to be unfounded and they didn’t even question why it had taken me so long to come out. I’ve discussed this with my therapist too and she just told me that I don’t have to answer any questions that I don’t want to answer. As it was, unwanted questions wasn’t an issue.

    I had drifted apart from friends during that course of my (now ended) relationship, so we weren’t in the habit of having deep conversations. Occasionally, we have done, but not very often. So, I didn’t expect or want anything more, but if you do have deep conversations with friends and support each other in that way, then conversation in person would probably be fine, as long as they are happy and you would do the same for them. You know them, so you’re probably the best judge.

    I can relate to the part where you mention feeling self absorbed. I felt that too, went backwards and forwards about whether to say anything. But, my friends tell me about new jobs, moving house, engagements, etc. and all their big news, so I figured that it was fine to tell them. It was big news to me and important, but just not the sort that everyone necessarily expects.

    Good luck. I hope it goes well. :slight_smile:

    And well done on all your progress so far!
     
    #2 LostInDaydreams, Jul 1, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020
  3. AnxiousJB

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    I've messaged one, making a generic how you're doing message. When she responds I will ask for a video chat and take it from there.
     
  4. LostInDaydreams

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    A great start. :slight_smile: Keep us updated.
     
    #4 LostInDaydreams, Jul 1, 2020
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  5. Mirko

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    It is never too late to come out. And starting it generally and then working your way into coming out, is a good approach. Let us know how it goes. :slight_smile:
     
  6. Contented

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    Take your time coming out. Acknowledging who you are to yourself is a huge first step. You will know when the time is right to tell others. No need to worry about anyone thinking your a liar. For many of us, me included,were in our 40s/50s and 60’s before coming to the understanding we were gay. It’s a marathon not a sprint to fulfillment my friend.
     
    #6 Contented, Jul 2, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
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  7. Luckyred23

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    Hey AnxiousJB,

    I've been reading on here for sometime but had to make an accout when I read your post. I feel like im going through the same thoughts but couldn't find the words to describe it as eloquently as you have. I really appreciate you sharing this and I hope all goes well for you, please do post an update.
    I have thought about telling friends also recently for the same reasons, but when I see them I can’t find the courage, and don't really want the attention, but could do with knowing that I can speak openly too them if needed, and no longer feel I'm hiding something from them anytime the topic of relationships come up in conversation.
    I personally think I'm just going to have to dig deep for the courage and push though this, maybe take a tip out of your plan and message them first so I can’t bail out.

    Sorry for jumping on your thread, but it felt so close to home I had to say something.
    All the best.
     
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  8. AnxiousJB

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    No worries, Luckyred. I haven't summoned that courage just yet. I am still trying to work out my anxieties on this through before doing so.
     
  9. Teddy415

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    I too seek gentle guidance toward outing myself.
    I have been or 24 years to a smart, fine looking woman.
    She is now well aware of my proclivity.
    I harbored gay desires for years and didn't act on them until my early 30's. I am now 55.
    I have long since stopped playing the field and have been with one loving man for the past 10 years.


    I now feel that regardless of my fears - the love I feel for my lover outweighs any shame I might derive from revealing my secret.
    As of late I've felt profoundly, that the feelings and emotions I derive from my friendship and ove-making with my lover,
    far surpass the feelings I ever sensed during intimacy with my spouse.. I also feel like they are worth being honest about.

    I live in SF and social pressures and codes are generally less prevalent.
    I live in quarantine - but I still have a social life.
    I have chosen discretion and the "honesty of ommission," over living as an out, gay man.
    My wife and I are still friends. She has encouraged me to out myself in order to live an authentic life.
    I am still relatively hesitant but inching my way slowly toward's this more authentic life.
    I had a chat with my 21 yr old son last week and let him know, unambiguously where I'm at.

    It's both scary and liberating......
     
  10. Contented

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    Teddy415, it is so true that as move closer and closer to living an authentic life it becomes almost impossible to remain in the old life. Like you I was in my early 50’s when I finally realized that the sexual and emotional pleasures of being in a same sex relationship far surpassed any thing I ever experienced with a woman. I knew I had to change my life style. For me the only logical and sane solution was coming out as gay. It was scary, emotional, stressful and the most incredibly liberating experience of my life. I can now hold my head up and say without guilt, shame, or reservations of any kind that I am a 100% openly gay. I am living proudly finally free of the heteronormative brainwashing that keep me captive for years. I don’t need a wife, 2.5 children, a house in the suburbs and a summer home at shore to be happy, I need a man. Free to finally and unequivocally say I prefer men as emotional and sexual partners exclusively.
     
    #10 Contented, Jul 19, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2020
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  11. AnxiousJB

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    So I came out the closet today. I told my therapist and two of my friends. I think I'm going to leave it at that now for planned comings out, as I don't want some big show and dance about it all. I just wanted to know the reaction and to know that at least some others know the real me, and the reaction was positive. I am pleased how they all treated it as being normal, because it kills the worry about how others would treat me stone dead. I don't want it to be that different to before; I am still me. There was no difference in how they spoke to me or anything, and made it realise how inconsequential it is really, which I will focus on for when I tell others in a more 'in passing' setting.

    I feel like a weight is off my chest and I am glad my friends were appreciative and happy for me.
     
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  12. LostInDaydreams

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    Congratulations! :slight_smile: I’m pleased that it went well.
     
  13. Mirko

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    Congratulations! Wonderful that it went so well and that your friends are supportive. :slight_smile:
     
  14. Contented

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    Let me include my congrats. You have achieved a true milestone on the path to your authentic self. There is no rule that says you have to come out to everyone at the same time. This is your life, your sexuality so the choices are all yours. Take your time enjoy your new found freedom in being the real you. The rest will all fall into place. You have embarked on your voyage to liberation and personal fulfillment. Enjoy the ride.
     
  15. AnxiousJB

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    Thanks everyone!

    I can't believe I've actually accepted it. I'm still adjusting. Part of me feels like I am in mourning for losing a part of me, but I know it was a part of me that wasn't real and the real me is me, and I'm not that different really.

    It went as well as I could have hoped for. I had so many worries that my friends wouldn't believe me, but they all accepted straight away with no querying, as I had feared. Just realising that they treat you just as you did before is a big help.
     
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  16. out2019

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    Denial is pretty strong with a lot of us who come out later in life. All sorts of rationalizations and excuses...it's not as easy as people think to sort out when you've spent years repressing it.

    What helped you achieve this? This 'cycle' is what keeps a lot of people in the closet. So overcoming this is huge!

    Yeah it's weird, it's like how you describe sex below - anxiety lessons, its more 'butterflys; about the changes you have to make to your lifestyle- coming out made me nervous but I felt so good after.

    That's not uncommon I think its just you want people to know who you are.

    It took me a long time to understand this too. I now also realize I had a little bit of a feeling of disgust when I tried to have sex with women, even if it felt good, it felt like work.

    Yes. A lot of 'dreams' you have to let of, i was hoping for years some woman might 'cure' me.