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#463389 - 03/29/14 09:12 PM Am I Gay? Part 1
Jed777 Offline

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 46
Loc: New York State
"Am I Gay?" is not a question I am asking in my life right now, but I need to look at what I went through to get to the point that I was able to even ask the question.

In 1961 when I was 12, I was abused by an older boy. It never entered my mind that I might be a queer. Gay liberation had not come on the scene at that time. The abuse when I was twelve left me doubting my own value and confused about sex, but it did not occur to me that I might be a queer. By the time I was abused by my tennis coach when I was 15, the question started coming up. I was a good student and not very athletic. As a result, I grew up with the typical bullying comments - queer, and sissy. The abuse broke me down to the point that I started saying to myself. Maybe they are right. Maybe I am a queer. That was a scary thought.

The image of being a queer was totally unacceptable, but then how was I to explain why other young men turned me on. Every day I had fantasies of mutual masturbation with other young men. In the locker room and showers in the gym I tried not to get caught checking out other young men, but I am sure that some of the other young men knew I was digging their bodies.

The shit really hit the fan when my French teacher abused me when I was 17. I thought he was safe. I trusted him. I was wrong. He had the hots for me and that truth came out. I had intentionally sought out his companionship to avoid being in relationship with my peers who I found sexually attractive. We played tennis together, we went to movies together, we hung out together at his house, and we went hiking together. The only thing left of our relationship after the abuse was that I sat in his classroom every day with a sense of disgust for him.
I was so upset after he abused me that I took it upon myself to go into therapy. It was too much. I couldn't handle the stress.

The therapy did not help me deal with my sexual orientation or my stress. The only thing about the therapy that helped was that I felt I was taking my life into my own hands. No one told me I need to go to therapy. I decided for myself I needed help. The decision to ask for help was what got me through. Every time I went to my therapist's office I took personal responsibility to take charge of my life. The feeling of being in charge did not change the fact that I was deeply traumatized. My sense of the world around me was filtered through the trauma of my abuse experiences and my life was a continual experience of hanging on for dear life. I was in no state to consider, "Am I a queer?" Gay was not even in my vocabulary.

I am going to stop here for now.

#463396 - 03/29/14 11:47 PM Re: Am I Gay? Part 1 [Re: Jed777]
Chase Eric Offline

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 2069
Hi, Jed -

Whatever you are, it makes no difference to me. I hope you find peace and acceptance within yourself. Like you, I also went though serious self-examination. I was convinced that my molester (who was 15 when I was 12) "made" me gay. And I may have realized my orientation during the abuse, and even been "swayed" by the abuse. But I accept my sexual identity now not as something he made me into, but as the strength of my ability to grow around him.

The people who abuse us are opportunists, narcissists. They are selfish and they use others. We were just kids. Most of us responded with the reflexes deep within us, the reflex to return love, even if undeserved by the other.

So maybe I would not have been gay had my abuse not occurred - because I may never have explored that part of me. But I had to bring it out to survive, and those were the tracks I followed. I don't know if that helps, but just sharing.

Click my pic to see why I'm here.

#463400 - 03/30/14 01:21 AM Re: Am I Gay? Part 1 [Re: Jed777]
On The Fringe Offline

Registered: 09/21/13
Posts: 326
Loc: Southeast USA
Hi Jed,

I wish you well on your journey to self discovery. Maybe society has taught you not to like what you really are, a gay man. It is far from my place to say if you are or not.

I would ask you consider the relationship with the teacher. At 17 people are getting married and having kids. It may be he thought you guys were dating.

It would be very tough to not even accept the homosexual lifestyle at all, but deep down feel you are one.

I hope you find your true feelings, and make peace with them.

And in case you are wondering, I am straight and went thru a time of wondering myself. It is all ok. We have to find our way in our own time.
I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.

#463404 - 03/30/14 07:39 AM Re: Am I Gay? Part 1 [Re: Chase Eric]
Jed777 Offline

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 46
Loc: New York State

Your comments hit the spot. The part like the best was "I had to bring it out to survive."

I am glad you brought it out and survived. My brother didn't manage to resolve is inner demons around his abuse experience and he committed suicide.

May God continue to bless you on your journey!

#463405 - 03/30/14 07:43 AM Re: Am I Gay? Part 1 [Re: On The Fringe]
Jed777 Offline

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 46
Loc: New York State
Fringe Man,

Thanks for you support. "It is all OK", is a great place to be.

I discovery the joy in the journey.

#463408 - 03/30/14 07:59 AM Re: Am I Gay? Part 1 [Re: Jed777]
Jude Offline

Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1624
Loc: New England

I also came of age in a time when "gay" just meant happy. Homosexuality was almost never talked about, except in the most derogitory ways. I recall after CSA, reading the book (kept hidden under my bed) "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex...But Were Afraid to Ask"* which was published in 1969. The author, Dr. David Reuben discussed homosexuality somewhat sympatheticly, but as an aberant behavior caused by having a domineering mother and a weak father. He said that all homosexuals were unfortunate, unhappy people. Reading that as a young teen I was devastated at the apparent meaning of my SSA feelings. I feared having to resign myself to a life of misery, and became obsessive about hiding "it".

Then at 16 I got my hands on a girl's body for the first time and was HUGELY relieved that I liked it....ALOT. But the SSA feelings persisted too. Eventually I acted on those feelings in secret, while actively enjoying straight sexuality in the view of the rest of the world, still filled with shame and self-loathing for it.

It wasn't until I began to deal with the CSA, in middle age, that I discovered that what I felt and experienced for so many years was pretty common for male CSA survivors. It was something of a relief to finally have it all make sense. Along the way, many things changed in society, and being gay was no longer considered the worst thing that a boy could become. How ironic that what was such a horrible fear for me then, is viewed positively now. I still have SSA feelings sometimes, but I consider it no big deal, and no longer act out.

*In 1999 a 30th Anniversary edition of "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex...But Were Afraid to Ask" was published, and Dr. Reuben revised the section on homosexuality, describing it now as just a normal expression of human sexuality. Its too bad that so many of us, both hetero and homo, were made to hate ourselves over it.
I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Sarah McLachlan

#463411 - 03/30/14 08:32 AM Re: Am I Gay? Part 1 [Re: Jed777]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 2336

I am glad you are on a road of self discovery. Being traumatized as a child by CSA messes with our minds and emotions. It takes time to work through the trauma and emotions, but sadly for most including myself, we do not undertake this process until later in our lives. This denial enhances our shame and we continue to be effected by what was done to us. Jude said it well, it was not until he began to explore the CSA did he find the root of his emotions and found peace with his sexuality and to realize the SSA was not his sexuality despite feelings long ago imprinted from the abuse. For you it may be a different answer for you but whatever it is, it will help you be who you are and this will allow you to find peace and happiness.

Unfortunately, people believe actions are black and white and ignore the effects of underlying trauma. CSA victims want to be loved but for many of us we do not know how to accept love. We sometimes believe or a part of us believes, the abuse was love.

Trauma is such a complicated subject and it effects are evident in writings and words found here at MS. When we accept the abuse, the trauma and look at ourselves differently we can have final validation of who we truly are meant to be.

Jed whatever you discover about yourself on your journey remember you are a good person and have much to offer. We are here for you.



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