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#273075 - 01/29/09 02:38 AM What is my problem?
blueshift Offline
Guest

Registered: 01/21/08
Posts: 1242
Loc: infinity
So things are going very well for me these days and I am planning to soon do something that I need to do which is come out about my bisexuality with my family. My brother and sister already know, but the rest of my family don't.

I never told my mom or dad or aunt and they are all gone now. There is no anti-gay sentiment at all that I know of in my family, so it shouldn't be a problem, right? Especially if I just write it up in an email like I'm planning. But this is turning out way harder than I thought.

I do know that sometimes you don't really know just how homophobic a person is until you come out to them. But I feel like it's kind of my duty to do it because if I don't, I will be unable to really support someone else comming out if I haven't done it myself...I mean, what am I gonna say.."yeah, do it! Go for it! I didn't have the guts, but...gulp!"

But it just feels triggering somehow. I'm determined to do it. I'm not going to let my abuse be excuse to cop out. I just wonder what kind of whammy this might put on me.

I have had one bad coming out experience with a close friend who later assumed it was my fault when I got raped..and it was only after coming out with him that I found out just how homophobic he really was.

I feel like a wus though. There are people for whom coming out was much harder than it should be for me to do with the family I have. I guess it's just one of those "just do it" kind of things. I don't know.

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#273078 - 01/29/09 02:58 AM Re: What is my problem? [Re: blueshift]
Nate Offline
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Registered: 04/30/07
Posts: 94
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
i've had similar experiences - good luck. i hope everyone is loving towards you.

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#273095 - 01/29/09 09:06 AM Re: What is my problem? [Re: blueshift]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
hiya doug,

if you really feel it a necessary step to take, to out yourself to the family, maybe if you plan it as a process it may be more encouraging and less daunting.

maybe a good place to start is to explore other communities such as




i personally found that until i regularly participated in the community that supported my own orientation i was destined to live this semi opaque existence, one foot in one world and one foot in another. the world community at large is itself set up to assume heterosexuality therefore supports perspective for that orientation. so many of us go around feeling like a fish out of water for that reason.

we have to find our own pond, then once we get used to the 'me' specific water, it begins to feel as natural as heterosexuality does for heterosexuals. once comfortable in your own supportive environment, then you begin to build a greater trust in your ability to express yourself as you are without apology.

yea, because heterosexuality is assumed by the larger culture it is difficult to transition to the culture of another orientation, because there is no model for doing that, and since heterosexuality is the assumed orientation, the entire climate for grooming human being to live in human communities is hetero. as yet no books have been written to guide people through the painstaking process of shifting from the inculcation of the dominant community to the community that better befits their own human needs.

not sure if these thoughts help or not, but in summary, i suggest making your coming out a process, and that the practice of it be done in communities specific to your particular needs.

then, you won't have to feel apologetic. let's face it, we are in a paradigm shift where in a century, people will not have to make excuses for expressing their sexual orientation. there will be an equal distribution of power at each point of the orientation continuum. the topic of sexuality will have resolved its tensions, and then humans will be in a better position to pioneer much more worthwhile and deeper questions than who is putting what where with whom.

in the meantime we have to learn to live 'as if' that were reality for us right now, and it can be, because many people have already pioneered a path for us to do so, and all we have to do is find our comfort climate and make it our home. and yes, that means saying good-bye to 'family' as it is known in the exclusive heterosexual sense.

what a fascinating species we are.......

have a day good friend,

ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#273215 - 01/29/09 11:53 PM Re: What is my problem? [Re: Sans Logos]
Bewlayb1 Offline
Guest

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 243
Loc: NYC
Hi, Blueshift.

I have a convoluted history with "coming out." After freshman year of college, I came out. Everyone knew I was gay. I went to gay parties, gay meetings. After sophomore year, I remembered the sexual abuse. I became angry, bitter, more secretive. My friends still knew me as gay, but I didn't have sex for two years, and I questioned my sexuality. Now, I go to gay bars with my friends and I still don't sleep with anyone. My family knows I was abused, and knows why I don't talk discuss my sexuality anymore. I don't tell anyone else that I'm gay, because I get crushes on girls, and don't want to shut that door.

In college, I told my friends first. Then, I told my family. I don't think very highly of them, but one thing they're not is prejudiced. My mother and brother just made some sarcastic remarks. They made fun of me all through my childhood. They make fun of everyone. It's just how they are. My father and sister didn't really care.

My family is more unsettled by my ambiguity now than when I came out. My parents accept that I was abused by my teacher. They didn't believe me at first. But they see how much torment sex causes me. I'm young and handsome, but I choose to be alone. The abuse is a much harder issue for them to face than me being gay, or bi.

While I don't actively tell people I'm gay, or bi, if someone suspects it, or sees me at a gay bar, which has happened a few times, I'm apathetic. Homophobia is so obviously ignorant and immoral that I can't be bothered.

My outlook has changed significantly since I remembered the CSA. I'm consistently astonished by the stupidity of people's opinions, regarding homosexuality and child abuse. Why even be upset by them? I've changed. My family has sensed it. They don't make jokes anymore. Partly, they see the pain sex has caused me. Partly, I've become tougher. They know I won't tolerate it. I can cut them off easily. I can affect them far worse than they can affect me. There's been a shift in the dynamics. My parents respect me, even fear me, because they know they fucked up. I stopped speaking almost completely for ten years, and they didn't notice, or once ask what was wrong with me.

I guess I'm saying, it's all about your attitude. You know that you didn't choose to be gay, that it's reprehensible to be hated for who you are, what you were born as. If they don't accept that, who cares? They're wrong. What do their opinions matter? If they have a bad reaction, it's their problem, not yours. Maybe my situation is different, because I still have a lot of anger towards my parents. But the fact that they worry about losing me forces them to treat me well. Just be confident that you're right. If it goes badly, wait for them to come around and apologize.

Do black people tolerate racism? No. It's always annoyed me that gay people seem less willing to stand up for themselves. Sorry if that sounds un-PC. I'm just disgusted by any kind of bigotry.

Best of luck. I hope it does go well. If it doesn't, keep in mind that you have nothing to be sorry for.


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#273321 - 01/31/09 12:44 AM Re: What is my problem? [Re: Bewlayb1]
M3 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 1392
Loc: Central Ohio
Hey Doug,

I understand fear around coming out, but you mention that
Quote:
But it just feels triggering somehow.

I think this is what you should explore. Why or how does coming out feel triggering? Is it that this discussion, your sexuality, directly imply man-man sex which hits too close to your abuse? Does you family know about the CSA and are you afraid that this will bring that back to the surface with questions of the CSA making you bi or confused? I just thought it was interesting that you used the word "triggering" instead of being fearful. Addressing that might make this whole process easier emotionally.

Peace and love...

Michael


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#273337 - 01/31/09 01:58 AM Re: What is my problem? [Re: Sans Logos]
blueshift Offline
Guest

Registered: 01/21/08
Posts: 1242
Loc: infinity
Originally Posted By: Sans Logos
hiya doug,

if you really feel it a necessary step to take, to out yourself to the family, maybe if you plan it as a process it may be more encouraging and less daunting.

maybe a good place to start is to explore other communities such as




i personally found that until i regularly participated in the community that supported my own orientation i was destined to live this semi opaque existence, one foot in one world and one foot in another. the world community at large is itself set up to assume heterosexuality therefore supports perspective for that orientation. so many of us go around feeling like a fish out of water for that reason.

we have to find our own pond, then once we get used to the 'me' specific water, it begins to feel as natural as heterosexuality does for heterosexuals. once comfortable in your own supportive environment, then you begin to build a greater trust in your ability to express yourself as you are without apology.

yea, because heterosexuality is assumed by the larger culture it is difficult to transition to the culture of another orientation, because there is no model for doing that, and since heterosexuality is the assumed orientation, the entire climate for grooming human being to live in human communities is hetero. as yet no books have been written to guide people through the painstaking process of shifting from the inculcation of the dominant community to the community that better befits their own human needs.

not sure if these thoughts help or not, but in summary, i suggest making your coming out a process, and that the practice of it be done in communities specific to your particular needs.

then, you won't have to feel apologetic. let's face it, we are in a paradigm shift where in a century, people will not have to make excuses for expressing their sexual orientation. there will be an equal distribution of power at each point of the orientation continuum. the topic of sexuality will have resolved its tensions, and then humans will be in a better position to pioneer much more worthwhile and deeper questions than who is putting what where with whom.

in the meantime we have to learn to live 'as if' that were reality for us right now, and it can be, because many people have already pioneered a path for us to do so, and all we have to do is find our comfort climate and make it our home. and yes, that means saying good-bye to 'family' as it is known in the exclusive heterosexual sense.

what a fascinating species we are.......

have a day good friend,

ron


Thanks again for your thoughtful and though provoking response.
I think living with three gay guys and having their support and the support of my MS freinds as well is helping a lot. I'm afraid though that now that I've got to read this it's already too late to make it a process as you suggested. I did the deed all in a single email last night.

I still haven't checked my email today. eek smile I'm feeling ok about it now though. I was pretty anxious about it last night. I had a friend hold my hand as I pressed the send button.

I think in the long run this will have been a good move. smile

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#273338 - 01/31/09 02:21 AM Re: What is my problem? [Re: Bewlayb1]
blueshift Offline
Guest

Registered: 01/21/08
Posts: 1242
Loc: infinity
Originally Posted By: Bewlayb1
Hi, Blueshift.

I have a convoluted history with "coming out." After freshman year of college, I came out. Everyone knew I was gay. I went to gay parties, gay meetings. After sophomore year, I remembered the sexual abuse. I became angry, bitter, more secretive. My friends still knew me as gay, but I didn't have sex for two years, and I questioned my sexuality. Now, I go to gay bars with my friends and I still don't sleep with anyone. My family knows I was abused, and knows why I don't talk discuss my sexuality anymore. I don't tell anyone else that I'm gay, because I get crushes on girls, and don't want to shut that door.

In college, I told my friends first. Then, I told my family. I don't think very highly of them, but one thing they're not is prejudiced. My mother and brother just made some sarcastic remarks. They made fun of me all through my childhood. They make fun of everyone. It's just how they are. My father and sister didn't really care.

My family is more unsettled by my ambiguity now than when I came out. My parents accept that I was abused by my teacher. They didn't believe me at first. But they see how much torment sex causes me. I'm young and handsome, but I choose to be alone. The abuse is a much harder issue for them to face than me being gay, or bi.

While I don't actively tell people I'm gay, or bi, if someone suspects it, or sees me at a gay bar, which has happened a few times, I'm apathetic. Homophobia is so obviously ignorant and immoral that I can't be bothered.

My outlook has changed significantly since I remembered the CSA. I'm consistently astonished by the stupidity of people's opinions, regarding homosexuality and child abuse. Why even be upset by them? I've changed. My family has sensed it. They don't make jokes anymore. Partly, they see the pain sex has caused me. Partly, I've become tougher. They know I won't tolerate it. I can cut them off easily. I can affect them far worse than they can affect me. There's been a shift in the dynamics. My parents respect me, even fear me, because they know they fucked up. I stopped speaking almost completely for ten years, and they didn't notice, or once ask what was wrong with me.

I guess I'm saying, it's all about your attitude. You know that you didn't choose to be gay, that it's reprehensible to be hated for who you are, what you were born as. If they don't accept that, who cares? They're wrong. What do their opinions matter? If they have a bad reaction, it's their problem, not yours. Maybe my situation is different, because I still have a lot of anger towards my parents. But the fact that they worry about losing me forces them to treat me well. Just be confident that you're right. If it goes badly, wait for them to come around and apologize.

Do black people tolerate racism? No. It's always annoyed me that gay people seem less willing to stand up for themselves. Sorry if that sounds un-PC. I'm just disgusted by any kind of bigotry.

Best of luck. I hope it does go well. If it doesn't, keep in mind that you have nothing to be sorry for.



I used to say that I'm only intolerant of intolerance but that had me being intolerant so much that I had to pick my battles even with that!

But one battle I will always fight if it comes my way is homophobia. I use the word "fight" loosely though, because fighting things like homophobia is best done without fighting if that makes sense. It's more changing than fighting.

But worst case scenario someone is homophobic, I want to know that anyway because I don't want to spend time with someone who sees things that way.

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#273339 - 01/31/09 02:37 AM Re: What is my problem? [Re: M3]
blueshift Offline
Guest

Registered: 01/21/08
Posts: 1242
Loc: infinity
Originally Posted By: M3
Hey Doug,

I understand fear around coming out, but you mention that
Quote:
But it just feels triggering somehow.

I think this is what you should explore. Why or how does coming out feel triggering? Is it that this discussion, your sexuality, directly imply man-man sex which hits too close to your abuse? Does you family know about the CSA and are you afraid that this will bring that back to the surface with questions of the CSA making you bi or confused? I just thought it was interesting that you used the word "triggering" instead of being fearful. Addressing that might make this whole process easier emotionally.

Peace and love...

Michael


Yes, I think that's really more what it is for me than concern for someone else's opinion. I feel triggered. (speaking of triggers,**Trigger warning**) I think the memories it triggers are of my being in a foster home with a religious lady and my perp (an older foster child) and thinking that I was gay (because my penis according to perp had indicated such)and trying to somehow make it all not be true so that it would never be found out that I was gay.

I think even though I knew that if I told someone it would stop the abuse, I would much rather have endured the abuse than have my foster mother find out about it..to this day the whole idea of having someone other than someone I'm having sex with knowing anything about my sex life makes me ill. I think that's probably the core of it.

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#273395 - 01/31/09 04:25 PM Re: What is my problem? [Re: blueshift]
M3 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 1392
Loc: Central Ohio
Quote:
I think even though I knew that if I told someone it would stop the abuse, I would much rather have endured the abuse than have my foster mother find out about it..to this day the whole idea of having someone other than someone I'm having sex with knowing anything about my sex life makes me ill. I think that's probably the core of it.


That's pretty big. Does the distance the Internet provides between you and us make it easier on the site or is it just as difficult with us? More of this type of triggering is bound to be coming. How are you going to handle it? Directing the conversation away from sex and more towards abuse (and keeping the language that way) could help. Seems like much of the conversation right now with your family will be online. How will this be different when you see them in person?


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#273486 - 02/01/09 01:10 AM Re: What is my problem? [Re: M3]
blueshift Offline
Guest

Registered: 01/21/08
Posts: 1242
Loc: infinity
Originally Posted By: M3

That's pretty big. Does the distance the Internet provides between you and us make it easier on the site or is it just as difficult with us?

It's definitely easier with people online who I've never met before, but it can be hard even then.
Originally Posted By: M3

More of this type of triggering is bound to be coming. How are you going to handle it? Directing the conversation away from sex and more towards abuse (and keeping the language that way) could help. Seems like much of the conversation right now with your family will be online. How will this be different when you see them in person?


Yes, there will be more. I think I'll come out ok...no pun intended. I got a reply from an uncle and it was a very nice reply..not triggering in any way. I'm thankful for that. I'm very happy that I don't have to go through anything like what others have to go through coming out.

I've thought quite a bit about how it will be seeing them all again. Gotta admit that's probably the scariest part about it all, because, unlike you MS brothers, I have to see these folks in person sooner or later.

But being triggered is something I deal with so often anyway that it's really not a huge deal for me any more. I sometimes need a time out, but most of the time I pretty much take it in stride--even if it's a faltering stride.

This one is a little bigger than most, but I think I can weather it. I guess it's the unpredictability of it that scares me. I really don't know exactly how everyone will react. I heard some pretty homophobic remarks from one of my nephews once regarding gays in general, but he was only thirteen or fourteen then so I just tried to tell him he should think more about what he was saying and I know his parents would likely have tried to instill an attitude of tolerance in their kids.







Edited by blueshift (02/01/09 01:26 AM)
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