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Proving that you’re gay to yourself (and others) before coming out?

Discussion in 'Sexual Orientation' started by Blue90, Jun 20, 2018.

  1. Blue90

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    Just looking for you guys to share your thoughts on this question?

    Do you/did you feel the need to prove to yourself that your same sex attractions were real before coming out to anyone?

    I’m a girl, 27, and I believe I’m gay. I feel like I’ve known since I was about 18 but been too scared to come out. For a lot of years I thought I’d wait until I had kissed/had sex/had a relationship with a girl to prove it to myself and to be able to prove it to others.

    However, this experience with a girl has never happened for me (neither do I have any experience at all with guys). I’ve obviously felt strong attraction to girls/women throughout my life and those feelings (which I couldn’t act because the girls were straight or otherwise unavailable) are all I’ve got to go on in knowing I’m gay.

    I’m feeling increasingly frustrated and suffocated in the closet. At the age of 27 I feel like I’m wasting my life, I’m living half a life. I’ve become a bit socially reclusive from being in the closet and pushing people away because I couldn’t open up to them. Not their fault, I just didn’t give them a chance. I don’t want to just have a one night stand or seek out a secret relationship whilst in the closet. And I don’t really want to drag a girl into the mess of coming out. Meeting a girl would be much easier if I’m out too.

    I feel really close to coming out, like REALLY close! But it’s still a flicker there at the back of my mind saying “but you haven’t proven it to yourself, what if you’re wrong” or “no one will believe you because you’ve got no evidence”...

    Any advice appreciated? Thanks.
     
  2. Lia444

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    I currently feel like you that I need evidence or let’s say experiences with girls to confirm that I’m gay and have only been trying for a few months with online dating etc but it got too much and I had to tell someone what had been going on with me, so I told my family. A part of me still needs this evidence to fully come out and believe that this is who I am. So I guess I’m half out and am happy to be fully out once I start seeing someone. However you’ve been like this a lot longer and if it was a phase etc then it wouldn’t still be in your head. Have you told anyone this? Do you go to meetups or bars etc?
     
  3. Blue90

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    Hey! That’s interesting that you feel the same but you still managed to tell your family without having those experiences? How did that feel? Did you feel relief and more freedom to go and find that relationship with a girl? Or did it make you feel what if you’re wrong?
    Exactly surely I can’t be wrong after all these years can I? I don’t have much doubt in my mind that I’m gay to be honest. Although I’ve never acted on my feelings, given half the chance and if the girls I’d had feelings for had been available/gay I would have done. And when I think about the future it’s with a girl etc. I guess when you’re risking changing your life by coming out it’s a big thing isn’t it - I want them to believe me and I want to be certain I’ve done the right thing. I don’t want to finally get with a girl and not feel anything - but hopefully that wouldn’t happen!
    I still live with my parents but have now saved enough money and I am in a position where I could be financially independent. Living with parents does make it more difficult to socialise in that way so - no I don’t go to bars or meet ups. I don’t really want a one night stand and I don’t want to seek out a relationship whilst I’m in the closet - it’d be messy.
    I can see myself online dating etc after I’ve come out. But I feel like I’d rather not put my parents through the process of accepting my sexuality and a new girlfriend at the same time. I also wouldn’t want to put a girlfriend through that messy coming out process either. But maybe they’d believe me more easily if there was a girlfriend... ahh I don’t know :frowning2:
    Have I told anyone? No, only one girl I met online a few years ago, she was gay but just a friend. I talked it all though and we chatted lots for several months but lost touch years ago. But no one in real life, so to speak!
     
  4. sjax0628

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    I feel the same way right now. Before I tell my family, I feel like I need to be 150% certain. And I don’t feel like I can be that certain without being with someone first. I have told some close friends, just because I needed to tell someone. I phrased it like “I’m 95% certain I’m gay.”
     
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  5. Lia444

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    I asked myself the same questions as you. If you aren’t gay then you wouldn’t crave intimacy with a women. You wouldn’t think about it all the time. You wouldn’t look at women when out and about. I told my family that I’m 95% certain that this is who I am and that I intend to explore this as I feel that I want a girlfriend and not a boyfriend. I chatted to my sister about things and she said that none of that had every crossed her mind re wanting to sleep with women etc you must be gay. Haha

    Telling them was a huge relief as I’m not hiding anymore and don’t have to watch what I say. They don’t really ask me about dating etc but I think they are just waiting for me to come to them and don’t want to make a big deal over it. They all said they just want me to be happy.

    I’m someone who likes 100% answers to things so the what if I’m wrong question came up a lot. To be honest if you are wrong which I doubt you are then what is the worst that can happen? I do worry that I won’t feel anything too but if you don’t then don’t give up as she just isn’t the one for you. If I’m not gay then I have no clue what I am as I’m not straight or asexual.
     
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  6. Blue90

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    Annoying isn’t it! I don’t want to have to tell my family I’m 95% certain though and leave with with hope that I might be straight, but I guess I could tell them “I’m gay” whilst only being 95% certain!
    You know the biggest reason I want to come out to them is to allow myself to start dating and experience a relationship with someone. I don’t want to do any of it whilst in the closet. If a relationship had just happened organically before I’d come out then so be it. But it hasn’t, and now I feel pretty much ready to be out I don’t want to start looking for one actively whilst I’m still in the closet. I don’t know why, it’s just how I feel?
    It’s weird isn’t it. You worry “what if I don’t feel anything with a girl when it happens”... I don’t know why I think that? Because in my mind I think about feeling EVERYTHING :wink: And I never think about what if I could feel something with a man, because I just can’t be bothered even thinking about them, does nothing for me, I just don’t get it!? Not since the “crushes” I had on male celebrities and one guy over 10 years ago anyway, and I think I was only trying to subconsciously prove myself wrong with those!
    Even watching gay women together on TV, I feel it where as straight couples - nothing. I guess being out before a relationship would just allow me honesty talking about my future, even the little comments when people say about the ‘hot guy’ and I’m just like ‘nah can’t see it’ - I’d be able to say why! I don’t really know why I need to prove it to myself? Probably just because most people my age have some sort of experience don’t they!?
     
  7. Blue90

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    Yeh true. And I do crave intimacy with a woman. And I do think about it all the time. And I do look at women when I’m out and about (like the hot waitress who put her hand on my back when she brought my drink to the table last week.. :wink: )
    Haha I suppose it’s sounds obvious to your sister. Wanting to sleep with women = gay! Why isn’t it that easy for use to be 100% certain then - I guess it is really. Unless it’s the 5% of you thinking you could have feelings for men? That’s not my problem I don’t think. My concerns don’t stem from thinking “I need to be sure I DONT feel anything with men”?! Because I know I don’t despite no physical experience with men at all - the thought of it does nothing for me. My only problem stems from “what if I don’t feel anything with a girl when it happens?”. But I don’t know why I think that because in my head I feel everything when I think being with a woman. And like you say I guess if I didn’t she might be the wrong girl.
    That’s a good point, I’m the same, not straight, not asexual. And not attracted to men sufficiently to be bi so what the hell else can I be except gay!?
    I think part of my problem is trying to bring it up in converstation with people when I haven’t got a girlfriend. How do you come out without making a big deal of it when you can’t just drop it in that you’re dating a girl. It feels like dramatising it, making a big deal when all any gay person wants is for people to NOT see it as a big deal?
    The closet is becoming suffocating though so I can’t wait much longer, it’s doing me no good at all, 10 years is long enough! And that feeling when people say you’ll just know when it’s time to come out.. I’m starting to think I’m feeling that now.
    I’m writing my parents a letter but struggling because it’s too long. I’ve already written my extended family a letter ready to send - I don’t want them to find out by gossip but neither do I want to make a big deal of it and the letter might seem that way. It’s a nightmare and exciting in equal measure. But it’s exhausting me going round and round in my head...
     
  8. Biguyjosh

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    I don't think you need to have experiences to prove it to yourself or others. In sure there are people out there who have never had experiences but know they are straight or gay. I think its more of what/how you feel and what your attractions are.
     
  9. Lia444

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    I have no interest in men either. If you were thinking all those things about men though then you would assume you are straight and that would be it and you wouldn’t doubt or question. I think you are ready as you sound like you really want the next stage to happen. You just need 10 seconds of courage. Plus they might already suspect anyway as you haven’t really shown interest in dating guys but are waiting for you to come to them.
     
  10. Blue90

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    Very true. I guess it’s only because of the ‘coming out’ involved that you question it isn’t it. That level of certainty would never be questioned if you’re straight! Tbh I’m not really questioning it anymore, as you can probably tell. I know I’m gay. I just wish I had some “evidence” to use when coming out. But that’s not how my story has worked out is it, so I guess I’ll just have to go with the stories of the various women I’ve fancied over the years if anyone asks about my experience and how I know.
    Yeh they probably already know but are hoping it’s not true. My mum asked if I was gay during an argument a few years ago. I kind of admitted to it, but then her reaction was bad. She was “devastated”. And I wasn’t quite ready to defend my sexuality with confidence 4 years ago, so I agreed with her that I was confused, and told my parents that yes I was in fact straight and would marry a man one day.... I knew I was lying there and then but couldn’t face it. I wasn’t brave enough or confident enough in my identity. Hopefully this time I’ll be braver! That’s why I’m planning on doing it with a letter and not a conversation. My dad was great about it last time though. He said “whoever you have as a partner will be very lucky”. I cling onto that with so much hope that at least one of them might be ok.
    It’s never been discussed since. Just makes it harder in a way because I’ve had a sneak preview at what the reaction might be. But I’m not starting from a blank canvas.
    None of this should be a big issue or announcement should it. It feels like even having these conversations when I haven’t got a girlfriend is like ME making a big deal out of it. But I feel like my life is on hold til it’s out in the open because it consumes my mind and is affecting my life keeping it a secret... so I guess there’s no other way!?
     
  11. Lia444

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    You’ve got this! You shouldn’t have to justify your actions or decisions. It’s your life and if you believe you are gay then you are gay. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Be proud. Easy said than done I know. Keep us posted.
     
  12. Blue90

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    I know I shouldn’t have to justify myself.. if only! Don’t know whether to justify what I feel in the letter I write them by telling them about some of the girls I’ve had feelings for, or whether I shouldn’t go into that level of detail and only tell them if they ask. In a way it’d be easier to write those experiences down than say them. Makes me feel sick the thought of talking about it all.
     
  13. Lia444

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    I wouldn’t go into all that detail. It’s none of their business and they wouldn’t have told you all that. I sent a message to them all, along the lines of I’ve been doing a lot of soul search lately and have come to the conclusion that I’m gay and I want a girlfriend and I’ve started online dating. I did write a bit about not having always known and denial and heteronormativity etc. All they came back with was that they love me and support me and it doesn’t change anything. I stressed over doing that for ages and it wasn’t a big deal in the end.
     
  14. JaimeGaye

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    First off, realize this. Coming out isn't a once and done thing like virginity.
    Like sex coming out is a this is going to and ongoing part of your life.

    I don't think you need or have to come out if you don't feel comfortable doing so without confirmation proof through sexual or emotional involvement with an intimate partner but remember this, in order to find and connect with that intimate partner and you are going to have to come out to them what your intentions are.
    Remember that you will essentially come out to each and every partner you have whether you say it to each other or not.
    Just the act of forming a same sex relationship confirms you are out to your partner even if you are not out to anyone else.

    As for worrying about your partner rejecting you for not being open to the world about your sexuality when you connected, don't be.
    A serious relationship means your partner will be more than agreeable to bringing others around up up to speed on exactly what your relationship involves.

    I have been with guys who wanted a quiet involvement and did not want anyone to know about us. Those relationships never lasted long but I kept their wish and never outed a partner who wished to remain closeted.
    On the other hand, I never worried about an intimate partner outing me.
    In fact, I welcomed it.
    Ask yourself where you fit between those two spectrum's and go from there moving forward. HTH
     
  15. Caraldo

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    I think that that you have to acknowledge that in most cultures, it is still drilled into our heads that being straight is the only way people naturally are. So many people don't have the need to prove they are straight, live as so, until they realize they aren't. You may feel like you are likely gay, and are maybe bi. Those of us on this board can see people as gay, bi, pan, and how many other things. Many in the hetero world see people as normal, or fag/dyke. They see no nuance. Its obvious you don't believe you are heterosexual and don't want to be seen as such. At 27 years old you probably know yourself enough. Maybe start there. If you are feeling the desire to let people know you aren't interested in being hetero, start there, cone out as bi. If you decide you are a lesbian later, not unheard of for a bi person to decide they are actually gay.
     
  16. Blue90

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    Yeh I probably won’t, it’s a bit embarrassing listing the type of feelings I’ve had for girls with specifics. I’ve put something in the letter like “how did I know I was gay?... the same way you knew you weren’t/when did I know I was gay?... about the same time you knew you weren’t”. I’ll just have to face telling them about how I know I’m gay if they ask. If they don’t ask then I guess they don’t want to know. Just hope they believe me because the last time we had this conversation my mum was saying things like “they’re normal feelings for freinds/I used to want to always be with my friend/I used to go out of the way to catch the same bus as my friend just to be with her”... :frowning2: .. yeh mum but you did want to kiss her and erm... well do lots of other things to her! Haha!
    Hopefully with a little more time I can finish off the letter and give it to them in a few weeks. As I still live with them I can imagine it’ll be uncomfortable for a while and I will probably have to go out for the day/night when I give it them. Won’t be able to stand being there whilst they read it.
     
  17. Blue90

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    But I don’t believe that I’m bi just like I don’t believe that I’m straight. And I don’t believe in coming out as bi just to make everyone else more comfortable or to break in my same sex attraction slowly. I’ve lived lying to people close to me this long, why would I want to unfold another set of different lies which would only inevitably unravel later down the line and I’d be back to square one. I’d rather they got their head around the fact a husband etc isn’t going to be in my future now than cling onto false hope. As much as I’d have liked some experience with women to validate my gay identity for myself, I’m not that insecure in it that I could say I was bi and believe it. It sounds like unnecessary trauma telling them that!
     
  18. Lia444

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    Well said. Come back and let us know how it goes when you give them the letter.
     
  19. Caraldo

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    Well that's great. I personally believe that if you believe you are gay, without having had that experience, you are probably correct. I guess my point was you feel like coming out do so. I thought maybe you had some question. Go for it! Even if you decided later that lesbian isn't your definition, learning about yourself is a life long experience. I have been down the road a bit with this. From believing I was bi, even though frankly sex with women was really blah, while I really found gay sex mind blowing, to 15 years ago acknowledging I was gay, to now at age 46, finally coming out as such. I really knew as a small child, before I developed sexual feelings, I didn't have the knowledge of what it was, though. Good luck!