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I'm pretty sure I'm gay. What now?

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by AppleJacks, Aug 24, 2017.

  1. AppleJacks

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    So I've come a long way from thinking I was straight for about 20 years to now. I have spent the last couple years of my life coming to terms with who I am, and it has not been easy at all. The process has taken a lot from me. A lot of time, and certainly a lot of energy. Just like many others before me, I have made the steps in the right direction to embracing my true self, but with each step I was left more bitter and withered. Although there was a lot of negative energy associated with my past, especially my recent past, I am very optimistic for the future. I look forward to a time when I am comfortable in my own mind; not just when I am drunk or high but when I am in a sober resting state. I look forward to a time when I am just as comfortable around other people as well. The thought of being with someone who I truly share a deep connection with brings me great joy, and that dream is part of what keeps me going. Looking back, I see how far that I've come... but in the present I always feel stagnant. I feel wrong. When I watch other people's coming out videos or if I read about stories of others' self realizations, it helps me a lot. I am pretty alone at this point in my life and It is partially my own doing. I guess I am just looking for stories or advice from people who have been through this before. Preferably 'irregular' stories like mine. I had girlfriends and had sex with women for almost 20 years and it felt 'right'. This was before I realized who I was. I personally find it hard to find stories of people who find out they're gay after a life of straight relationships. Anything helps though, every time I read about somebody else's process it gives me another piece of the puzzle that I must complete in order to come out to myself.

    In particular, this article has helped me a great deal:

    https://www.autostraddle.com/you-need-help-coming-out-in-your-midlate-20s-277178/

    if there are any others that you know of, or maybe videos or movies or books that flush out the details of the same kind of situation, please post them!

    thank you!
     
    slowmo likes this.
  2. Tomás1

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    Applejacks,
    I hear your desire to hear stories of someone who's had a similar experience to u. I've had the same desire, w sexuality similar to me … without any luck. Sexuality is a uniquely individual experience.

    It sounds like you're an introspective guy, examining his life, trying to figure it out. That can be a heady approach … as opposed to going w the flow, doing what feels natural, & hanging w those u like & feel drawn to. What I'm saying is that focusing on your gayness, sex, or your desire for relationship is counterproductive, & not very effective … other than for navel gazing or circular thinking. This may not be orthodox, but it's what I've found to be true. May u go w the flow!
     
    #2 Tomás1, Aug 25, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017
    mattblack likes this.
  3. Pole star

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    I can understand why you feel the way you do. There are plenty of such stoties in the 'Later in life' section. You will realise you are not alone. Reading their experiences will help you reflect on your past and the various times you could have realised but didn't. I think it helps you to grow and move on. also feel free to post your story on EC and also your thoughts and feelings. Men are in general bad at expressing feelings and emotions which is a very unhelpful trait.
    Feel free to open up.
     
  4. PatrickUK

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    I'm not trying to question what you say here, but if you reflect carefully on your past, did your first realisation actually occur after 20 years of dating and having sex with women? Even though it felt 'right' was there something in the back of your mind, perhaps buried in your subconscious, that suggested you might be gay? I only ask this because many guys and girls who follow the conventional heterosexual path know that something is off in their relationship/s with the opposite sex and it's only when they examine their thoughts and feelings closely that they see what that something was. Many of them recall same sex crushes from school and college or paying closer attention to other guys/girls at the gym and that's when the penny finally drops. It might have been suppressed for years, but it was always there and when that moment of realisation finally arrives it can bring a sense of relief, but also a sense of frustration and pain.

    The Later in Life section is a good place to read about the experiences of other members who have been through the same process as you. There's a huge archive of threads and posts there, so you might want to block off some reading time! I'll arrange for this thread to be moved across to that section so other members see it and can easily respond.
     
    Hillary B, mattblack and SiennaFire like this.
  5. Pole star

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    It is always interesting to know another person's journey. Why don't you share your journey and how you have arrived at this point?
     
  6. SiennaFire

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    PatrickUK is asking good questions about whether you had attractions to guys earlier in life. These attractions aren't always obvious. For example, I admired guys in high school with GFs. In hindsight, I had crushes on the guys that I admired.

    It sounds like alcohol and pot are truth serums for you. You are not alone. When I was accepting myself, "In vino veritas" was a large part of thawing my denial. For me, the key to embracing myself when sober was to address the same and internalized homophobia I felt about being gay. I blogged about my experience here

    I found that each step towards accepting my true self made me stronger. There were many challenges along the journey, which while painful and energy consuming, made me stronger as I tackled each obstacle.

    Can you say more about your situation? What is your current relationship status? Did you grow up in a homophobic environment where you learned that being gay was a bad thing to be avoided?

    Best,
    SF
     
    #6 SiennaFire, Aug 26, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
  7. slowmo

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    Welcome Applejacks. I'm pretty much where you are ... just add another 20-30 years (I'm late 50's), a 30-year marriage, a divorce, and three adult kids. I certainly feel for you, and I really identify with your present ambivalence about coming out. I only came out to my therapist a year ago, and so far to no one else.

    I too have only recently come to understand the part about being petty much alone has been by my own doing. Some of it may be an innate personality trait, but I do believe a lot of my self-isolation issues haves go back to keeping people at a distance for fear of being revealed as somehow "off" or "different." And its also a manifestation of the feeling I'm not worth of others' friendship, respect or emotional closeness.

    However, I do think it's more than self-serving rationalization on my part to say there really is a valid place to exist -- for now at least -- between a past of full-blown denial and true self acceptance somewhere in the future. That also seems to be where you are.

    I think at this point there's value from positive "mental exercises" -- call it daydreaming if you will -- about who one might come out to and how. Believe it or not, it's also tremendous progress to be in the kind of place you described: "I look forward to a time when I am just as comfortable around other people as well. The thought of being with someone who I truly share a deep connection with brings me great joy, and that dream is part of what keeps me going." That's a whole lot better than "I wish this feeling would go away" or "I swear I'm never gonna cat on these feelings."

    Hey, we slowpokes have to look for positivity anywhere we can and then build on that with even the smallest steps in the right direction. I'm there with you, guy.. Baby steps.
     
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  8. Pole star

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    So much of this post resonates with me. I too isolated myself while growing up mainly for fear of being laughed at or made the butt of jokes which I had endured in school anyway. I didn't have the confidence to interact with anyone and it was terrible. Add to that I am an introvert and don't mind being on my own at times. Just compounded the isolation. Working through it now.
     
    slowmo likes this.