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#385876 - 02/15/12 09:56 AM Homophobia = literally
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3396
Loc: somewhere in Africa
I had a new experience today that just about triggered an all-out panic attack. Sorry - but this is likely to upset some people. My apologies in advance to anyone who is offended. I'm not trying to start a fight - just figure out what i should have done or how to cope if there is a next time.

i was getting into an elevator right after a session with my therapist and there were already half a dozen people in it. Once i was inside and the doors closed, I realized that all of them were gay men. I suppose it sounds bad to say it, but i could just tell from the clothes, manner of speech, body language, etc. Very stereotypical. It was all i could do to force myself to turn my back to them and face the doors. It was not a big enough space for me to get my back to a wall. I was shaking, my heart pounding, and getting short of breath and dizzy. I thought the doors would never open and then i sprinted for the open street. No idea what they thought.

Nothing like that has ever happened to me before. And i reallized 2 things - 1. I was afraid of the men in the elevator, and 2. that is the literal meaning of homophobia - fear, not hatred or discrimination or any other bad feelings or actions.

I welcome insights - but please don't bash me for being honest about the fear - i really had no control of it. I don't hate or wish evil on anyone.

Lee

_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#385879 - 02/15/12 10:24 AM Re: Homophobia = literally [Re: traveler]
DannyT Offline
Member

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 402
traveler,

I had a similar scary experience. I wrote about it a while ago, and here's the link. It might be interesting to you:

http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthr...39941#Post39941

Danny


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#385881 - 02/15/12 10:27 AM Re: Homophobia = literally [Re: traveler]
Ivo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/08/04
Posts: 267
Loc: Germany
Hi Lee,
I think you should think about it in terms of psychological problem that adds to stress and anxiety. I do not know much about phobias expect that they are not easy to get rid off. You should try to talk about it with your T and find way how to minimize it.

Personally I am gay but can understand your fears and feelings, take care.


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#385887 - 02/15/12 11:04 AM Re: Homophobia = literally [Re: Ivo]
petercorbett Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/27/08
Posts: 2435
Loc: TEXAS
Hi, my fraternal brothers.

My fraternal brother, Lee. Great courage on expressing your feelings.

You shouldn't feel bad about your fears & feelings. I have them too.

From this (newly out of the closet) Gay boy/man, you have my compassion & understanding.

From one human being like you to another like me. I wish you well in dealing with your fears and anxieties.

Heal well, my fraternal brother, Lee, heal well.

"I will take that lost boys hand, and I will lead him from the depths of darkness, into the sunshine, forever into eternity." As he is me.

Pete..Irishmoose.

_________________________
Working Boys' Home 10-14 yrs old, grades 5-8. 1949-1953
____________________________________________________________
A very humble alumni of the WOR Dahlonega, GA.
May 15-17 2009, Alta, Sep. 2009. Sequoia, 2010.
Hope Springs, 2010.


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#385888 - 02/15/12 11:06 AM Re: Homophobia = literally [Re: traveler]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1346
I don't take offense. By definition, phobias are irrational fears. Please keep in mind that the phobia works both ways, and while the person experiencing the phobia may be under a delusion of imminent victimization, there is very real victimization on the part of the object of his phobia - often precisely because of the phobia.

That's quite an irony when you think about it. One could argue that in stating your fear of a certain group, you are in a sense subtly targeting that group and essentially are assuming the role of provocateur. Quite a paradox...

I won't go that far, because I know that you are coming from a genuine perspective of insecurity/fear (as so many of us do) - but the fact remains that, by the nature of this site, you will get some very personal - perhaps even "triggered" - perspectives. I hope you invite discussion and engagement of these viewpoints with the same open-mindedness in which you have started the topic. Dispassionate and reasoned discourse is the only way to discuss this topic with any real resolution or insight.

I am glad that you had the courage to put this out there. There is a similar strain in the SSA vs Gay thread as well, and you can and should expect challenges to what you have put down here, just as I have.

_________________________



Click my pic to see why I'm here

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#385890 - 02/15/12 11:42 AM Re: Homophobia = literally [Re: Chase Eric]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1734
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Traveler

As a man that was abused by Gay men I can understand your "Phobia" Or call it irrational fear.
I counsel gay men in my group and I don't have that sort of Phobia about them, fact is, I realize that we are all damaged vessels.

When I read your courageous post, I could feel the chills running up my spine.
It was just an instant reaction that was triggered subconsciously by what had happened to me in my past. It is really not something that I have to-date learnt to control.

In fact I just realized that I have a lot more work to do in that field (Homophobia) Thought I had dealt with that part of my life, (curses, back to the drawing board Pinky)

Heal well
Martin

_________________________
Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

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#385898 - 02/15/12 12:26 PM Re: Homophobia = literally [Re: whome]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3608
Loc: South-East Europe
Hi Lee, sometimes I've had similar experience.
For me problematic part is when I'm felt watched in desirably way by other man (or if I think that something like that is happening). I'm not scared or homophobic but I've felt burning every part of my body where some eyes were resting.
When I've read your post I've almost had such sensation, particularly when you've mentioned that elevator was crowded and you've had to turn your back to other people and your face to doors. My back was almost like burning because I've had feeling that those gays ware watching and exploring me from my back side. One more observation I'm not sure how but similar like you've written I'm also in public places like subconsciously watching and trying to recognize let say "gays". I'm like in some silent alert mood watching from which corner I'll get some stare and I don't need huge time to recognize that kind of people...
I'm sure it is not big deal but certainly I'll need also further discussion with somebody about this. Perhaps in my case that is some anxiety left with source related to my experience with other boys which was obviously traumatic for me... Actually I like company of gay people but in first place I need to be sure that there wouldn't be any romantic connotations in our friendship.
Brother Ivo I hope that you will not get angry on my thoughts smile.
Healing hug for everyone!!!
Pero

_________________________
My story

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#385900 - 02/15/12 12:50 PM Re: Homophobia = literally [Re: peroperic2009]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1402
Loc: California
Hi Lee,

I admire your honesty and am glad you chose to open up about your experience in the elevator.

As a self identified predominantly gay man, I caution you about making assumptions about who is gay based on public behavior. Unless they're obviously kissing each other on the lips, there's really no way to know if someone is gay or not.

I've frequently been wrong in identifying a male as gay by their behavior. Many men are quite good looking, dress well, and act effeminite, and are straight. It's frustrated me to no end!

I can understand the fears about being surrounded by a strange element, though. With working towards self awareness, learning about those fears and how to conquer them, you will no longer be ruled by them.

To health and healing (and peace, Brother!)

D

_________________________
It's a heroes journey, and you are the hero.

Loving Kindness Meditation will dramatically improve your spirits; give it a try for just 3 days: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz7cpV7ERsM

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#385977 - 02/16/12 04:13 AM Re: Homophobia = literally [Re: Magellan]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3396
Loc: somewhere in Africa
DannyT, Ivo, Pete, Eric, Martin, Pero, and Magellan,

Thanks to each of you for your thoughtful and balanced and considerate replies.
OK – I’ve had more time to process this. And here is more background and context:
I know my reaction was not rational. I am old enough to be their father and I’m probly not even their type. Not exactly in high demand if you know what I mean –

But at that moment I felt like I was about 14 and very vulnerable. Part of it was the small enclosed space. There was a mirror on the wall. We were so close that I could hardly avoid touching or being touched. Didn’t put it together then – but the last time I was abused it was at the age of 15 in a tailor shop fitting room with a mirror and by a gay adult man. (Respectfully, Magellan – I was not mistaken. They made their preferences very obvious by their actions toward one another and conversation, and so did that perp. I have been labeled as gay in the past because I dress well, am not interested in sports and am very involved in the arts, though I have never had any male/male experiences except for the abuse events. I know that appearances can be misinterpreted.) I am definitely NOT NOT NOT equating gay with pedo or perp. And if I had met any of them in a different setting and one-on-one, I’m sure we could have had a very civil conversation, though they’d probly never become my best friends. I think part of it was being so out-numbered – like I was in Jr. hi while being bullied. again, not rational - but just an emotional flashback without the visuals turned on.

DannyT- thanks for the link – very interesting and all I can say is I’m so glad for you.
Pete, thanks for the good wishes.
Ivo – the irony is I had just left my therapist and will have to wait a whole week to go over it with him – but we WILL!
Eric – very thoughtful and fair comments. And – yes, I’ve seen the gay/SSA thread and can identify with certain points from people from all over the spectrum.
Pero – thanks for saying you know the feeling.
Martin, just like those weeds that you think you’ve pulled out and then they pop up again.
Magellan, thanks for being kind even tho I may have offended you.

I REALLY DON”T WANT TO ALIENATE ANY OF YOU. I VALUE YOUR “KINSHIP” FAR TOO MUCH! It is not a personal thing. When I “know” someone like here on the forums, orientation is just not an issue. We all have more in common than we have as differences.

Respectfully,
Lee

_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


Top
#385978 - 02/16/12 04:14 AM Re: Homophobia = literally [Re: Magellan]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3396
Loc: somewhere in Africa
DannyT, Ivo, Pete, Eric, Martin, Pero, and Magellan,

Thanks to each of you for your thoughtful and balanced and considerate replies.
OK – I’ve had more time to process this. And here is more background and context:
I know my reaction was not rational. I am old enough to be their father and I’m probly not even their type. Not exactly in high demand if you know what I mean –

But at that moment I felt like I was about 14 and very vulnerable. Part of it was the small enclosed space. There was a mirror on the wall. We were so close that I could hardly avoid touching or being touched. Didn’t put it together then – but the last time I was abused it was at the age of 15 in a tailor shop fitting room with a mirror and by a gay adult man. (Respectfully, Magellan – I was not mistaken. They made their preferences very obvious by their actions toward one another and conversation, and so did that perp. I have been labeled as gay in the past because I dress well, am not interested in sports and am very involved in the arts, though I have never had any male/male experiences except for the abuse events. I know that appearances can be misinterpreted.) I am definitely NOT NOT NOT equating gay with pedo or perp. And if I had met any of them in a different setting and one-on-one, I’m sure we could have had a very civil conversation, though they’d probly never become my best friends. I think part of it was being so out-numbered – like I was in Jr. hi while being bullied. again, not rational - but just an emotional flashback without the visuals turned on.

DannyT- thanks for the link – very interesting and all I can say is I’m so glad for you.
Pete, thanks for the good wishes.
Ivo – the irony is I had just left my therapist and will have to wait a whole week to go over it with him – but we WILL!
Eric – very thoughtful and fair comments. And – yes, I’ve seen the gay/SSA thread and can identify with certain points from people from all over the spectrum.
Pero – thanks for saying you know the feeling.
Martin, just like those weeds that you think you’ve pulled out and then they pop up again.
Magellan, thanks for being kind even tho I may have offended you.

I REALLY DON”T WANT TO ALIENATE ANY OF YOU. I VALUE YOUR “KINSHIP” FAR TOO MUCH! It is not a personal thing. When I “know” someone like here on the forums, orientation is just not an issue. We all have more in common than we have as differences.

Respectfully,
Lee

_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


Top
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