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The power of shame to cause denial

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by out2019, Aug 27, 2020.

  1. out2019

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    I know everyone feels shame, but I started to realize feeling shame about being gay about your capacity for love an intimacy. Straight people might be ashamed of behavior or something they did in a relationship - but being ashamed of being gay on the idea you deserve to even pursue a relationship. I doubt straight people feel ashamed about being straight.
     
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  2. out2019

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    I was just thinking about this - I fought these feelings for years. For some reason I stumbled on this site. I was more here to convince myself I wasn't gay. Someone suggested "look into the mirror, and say I am gay" - I did it, half hoping to prove it had no effect on me....I wasn't prepared for the rush of warm feelings and happiness that came with doing that - like nothing I have ever felt.

    I have been working on acceptance for a long time but I am amazed that I could have denied I was gay:
    • I fantasize about being with a man constantly - about giving oral sex and receiving anal.
    • I finally let myself consider the idea of romance and my heart raced and I felt so excited about the idea of being with a guy,
    • Since admitting I was gay, I don't get aroused by women, at all.

    Yet I told myself I wasn't gay?
     
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  3. OnTheHighway

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    You probably have heard about arrange marriages is many cultures? While conceptually I agree with what your saying, it is not exactly universal. I have had friends whom have participated in arrange marriages at the demands of their families. They married not for love but for ceremony - they definitely feel shame for not being able to love whom they want to love.
     
  4. Contented

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    Qut, I think many of us could have written this reply. I lived in denial for many years it now is apparent. As I started to evolve as a gay man I too denied wanting to be with another man while actively fantasizing about being with one. I acted like the idea of romantic love with another guy seemed ridiculous but in my heart that exactly what I wanted. That gay sexuality oral, anal cuddling kissing rimming was unnatural, perverted and disgusting all the while secretly craving exactly that. Ironically what really helped me come terms with shame was losing the attraction to women so completely I could no longer be physically intimate with a woman nor did I want to. The idea started to gross me out. This some how started to ease the shame aspect and helped me start to realize I was perpetuating the shame by not acknowledging who and what I was -a gay man.
     
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  5. RD Spencer

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    There is a bigger price to pay when feeling shame about your own sexuality.

    Yes, everyone does feels shame about things now and then, but most of those are one time things they can move on from and leave behind them. Being gay or bi is with you for life, no leaving it behind you.


    In grade school I must have thrown a gay vibe. Occasionally I was question about being gay and made fun of for the way I acted. There was a time at home when my mom angerly pulled me into the bedroom and scolded me for the way I was acting. She said I looked like a fa***t. After that my self-esteem and confidence plummeted.

    At that time I thought gay was just the way a person acted and looked. A few years later sexual desires kick it, I felt like I was doomed. Never did say anything to my family about my sexuality and did everything I could to act straight.

    With that being said it is highly likely that most of my family thinks I am not straight. Aunts and uncles who remember how I was as a kid, Brothers and sisters who drop vague hints no and then, A sister who is out as a lesbian dropping not so vague hints. Still I say nothing.

    Even co-workers have dropped hints or made suggestions. I was even directly asked once. I said no. If my co-workers are being sarcastic in a playful and respectful way, also depending on who they are, I have played along but still not giving a definitive answer.

    Its weird that when even people I know are catching on, I just can’t bring myself to say anything.


    As for checking out other guys I have checked men out at on and off times when I am a bit more comfortable with myself. When I was younger, I would think about which male friends were more attractive to me (actually I would think about my female friends as well). When it comes to random strangers though, I generally ignore other men, unless I think they are gay. For some unapparent reason I feel more ok with checking out gay men than straight men. No idea why.
     
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  6. Songful

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    A major reason, or maybe the only reason, it took me so long to come to terms with my bisexuality is because of the guilt and shame I have felt for having sexual thoughts towards women. It all stems from my religious background and faith. It's hard to accept yourself when your religious beliefs call your thoughts and desires a sin. It's been difficult to reconcile my bisexual identity with my religious beliefs, but I know that I didn't choose to be bisexual. Why would I choose to be part of a community that is often ridiculed by society? That just doesn't make sense. I feel like I'm in a weird place spiritually right now, but I feel so much better after finally accepting myself for who I am. It's very freeing!
     
  7. Songful

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    I'm sorry that people teased you and that your mom made such an ugly remark. I imagine that your mom's comment was ultimately the most hurtful. People can be so cruel sometimes, even our own parents.
     
  8. QuietPeace

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    Especially our parents and the rest of the family, they were my first bullies and some of the worst. If my family had been accepting I most likely would have been strong enough to bypass much of what has made my life difficult.
     
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  9. Songful

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    Sadly, I know that what you say is true. The words and actions of our family members often hurt the most.
     
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  10. Andrew7

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    I can relate with what you're saying. Denial seems to be a natural thing when it comes to things we haven't accepted, even if we have no logical reason to deny it. I too was fantasizing about guys for quite a long time but still had some denial and acceptance issues. It feels a lot better when you can accept that side of yourself.

    Sounds absolutely horrifying.

    I partially feel the same way, though I like to check out guys regardless, if I knew they were gay, I would find them more attractive. Knowing that they like guys or even have the potential to be into me can increase the intensity of the attraction.
     
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  11. PatrickUK

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    It's already been mentioned in this thread, but toxic religion is very significant in bringing on feelings of shame. In some cases it amounts to nothing more than low level disapproval, which can be bad enough and induce us to shame, but at a deeper level it is very insidious and when we factor in fiery preaching and so-called conversion therapy it actually amounts to abuse (a term I don't use lightly).

    If we have a faith, we need to be very discerning about the places of worship we attend. Religion that affirms and includes LGBT people has the potential to be life enhancing, but religion that denies our identity and seeks to dehumanise and convert us is both toxic and repellent and should be totally avoided, because it crushes us with shame and throws us against the closet floor. It's the complete antithesis of what faith is really all about. As adults we need to recognise that the religion or religious denomination of our childhood may not be a good fit for our lifetime. Severing ties with a prejudiced church (or other place of worship) is not "back-sliding" at all. It could be the most significant thing you do on the journey to authenticity, openness and healing and it may even restore your faith.
     
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  12. QuietPeace

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    I call it torture. Tomato/Tomahto
     
  13. out2019

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    Another thing I have been in denial about - since accepting I was gay- even when I tried to go back into denial, not only can I not even try to fantasize about women, the idea is kind of disgusting. This is not something I have consciously done.

    I realize I still have a lot of shame about my sexual desires, but since even considering I might be gay they are so vivid and strong that I want them more than ever.
     
  14. Contented

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    Out2019 this was and is exactly how I felt once I came to terms with being gay. The idea of being with a woman just seemed disgusting. Just before I totally split with my then gf I couldn’t stand her touching me or I touching her. The idea of sexual intimacy with her was simply grossing me out. This is not something I did consciously it just evolved as I did in my homosexuality. Since coming out I still can’t understand how I managed all those years. I know 100% I could never be with a woman again. I miss absolutely nothing about heterosexuality. Intimacy with a man is so much easier, More sensual, erotic, pleasurable and just seems so incredibly right.
     
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  15. out2019

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    I have noticed this has become even more pronounced recently and my immediate gut reaction was to be happy about it because I could no longer tell myself the lie that I like looking at women, want to touch them therefore I am not gay.
     
  16. Contented

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    Out2019 there seems to a number of posts both gay and lesbian that reflect this evolution in our feeling towards the opposite sex. Not only was I happy that sexual intimacy with a woman was grossing me and freeing from the jail of heterosexuality but I also lost physical ability to be with a woman sexually. Rather than be upset , it was a relief. It was like the game playing is over and this was absolute proof I was gay. It allowed me to move on. It was so much easier to embrace my homosexuality.
     
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  17. out2019

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    Yes this is how it feels! I can't even hide behind that lie anymore.I also realize now that little bit of revulsion was always there - I was really like a teenager trying cigarettes and pretending I liked it because it 'proved' I was straight.

    I was scared to lose this but now it feels like a burden lifted.