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#72206 - 01/26/04 08:15 PM When did you know...
Doppelganger1 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/14/03
Posts: 37
Loc: Miami, FL
When did you know that you are gay?

We were visiting with a gay couple this past weekend, and one of the guys mentioned that he knew all his life that he was gay. All I could do was tell him how lucky he was.

I didn't know until 1999, when I first got on the internet. That was the first time I saw any positive role models. Up until then, I thought homosexuals were like the man who raped me. I never knew his real name, so I came up with a "funny"-sounding name (which included a derogitory word for gays) and turned the whole thing into a joke. I guess in my mind, I thought gay men were like him, so I could never, ever, allow myself to be gay. Of course, that was faulty thinking. He was a pedophile, not a homosexual. Too bad I didn't know that until just five years ago.

I wonder how many folks out there also have faulty ideas that they believe to be true? I wonder how many guys like me went through inner torture for years, thinking feelings that came naturally were dirty and perverted and had to be eliminated?

Jeff

_________________________
"Tough times never last. Tough people do."

Darryl Kile

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#72207 - 01/27/04 04:06 AM Re: When did you know...
Stephen_5 Offline
BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 667
Loc: Northern California Foothills
Jeff,

Back in 1958, one of the worst things you could call one of your friends/enemies, was some derogatory term for homosexual. When I was seduced by an older boy and I ejaculated, I thought I was gay. He told me that because I got erect, I must have liked it. Some of what he did felt good. Some of it did anyway. I thought that it was my fault and it was something that I did. I didn't tell anybody for 38 years.

I don't know what I am right now. I don't think there's just gay or straight, I think there's a whole range in between. Right now I'm somewhere in between.

Steve

_________________________
I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)

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#72208 - 01/27/04 02:45 PM Re: When did you know...
Brayton Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
Jeff,

I think that Steve is right about the range of sexuality. It might not be true for all but I think the either-one-thing-or-another thing is a structure put upon us by people who want things to be simple and who like to use specific labels instead of treating people as individuals.

I have identified as gay since I was 14 or 15 but what you say about feelings being dirty and perverted is true for me and has been from the beginning.

Most of the the sexual abuse I experienced happened before puberty. I think all my abusers were men, including my father.

Its weird because when I really try to figure out my sexuality I end up thinking that I am nothing at all. While I mostly don't want to have sex with women, the thought (and reality) of having sex with men feels perverted and wrong.

Brett

_________________________
Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

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#72209 - 01/27/04 04:27 PM Re: When did you know...
lee75 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/04
Posts: 37
Loc: utah
i have known that i liked looking at men at an early age. i never thought myself gay. but i still wouldnt say i know for sure after 20 years. i have feelings of guilt and shame. i feel im doing something dirty. i know that is not true, but thats how i feel. i have a boyfriend and im sure its hard for him because of abuse issues and my guilt/confusion of my gayness. thank god he is a really special person.

_________________________
Lord, i hope this day is good. im feeling empty and misunderstood. i should be thankful, lord, i know i should, but lord, i hope this day is good. DON WILLIAMS

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#72210 - 01/27/04 07:14 PM Re: When did you know...
abcd Offline
Member

Registered: 10/20/00
Posts: 189
Loc: GA
I have a known for a long time (even since the days of when I looked at Superman). Still, I did not fully admit it for a long while, hiding and cloaking myself in denial and "yeah, I'm happy as a straight guy," or else lumping it together with the abuse (which I should have never done in the first place). Good thing, I learned otherwise and found this freedom \:o )


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#72211 - 01/28/04 11:05 AM Re: When did you know...
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
One of the things I continue to learn is that there is a BIG DIFFERENCE between 'knowing' and 'admitting' and finally 'accepting'.

I think I 'knew' for a very long time; did not 'admit' for another very long time which was made very difficult by the trauma of sexual abuse and today I find myself on the path of acceptance.

While 'accepting' that I am gay seems more complex and difficult at times, it is infinitely more rewarding and less painful than the darkness of 'knowing' without 'admitting' or 'accepting'; much more pleasurable than 'admitting' but not 'accepting'.

Accepting that I am a homosexual today means learning to love myself as I am, so that I may grow and expand my capacity to love others.

I always want to go from 'knowing' or having the 'knowledge' of a thing directly into the full acceptance of it. But there are many steps in between and some hard work at clearing away the destruction of the past so that my new acceptance can blossom and grow.

For whatever it's worth; that's my experience.

With love and compassion for those of us who struggle,

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

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#72212 - 01/28/04 12:58 PM Re: When did you know...
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
Just thought I would add my personal stuff on this discussion.

During my years growing up until leaving for college, I was sexually molested on almost a daily basis. My sex life never developed outside of being molested at this frequency. I wasn't allowed to date or go out with friends and I know now that if I would have been allowed to do this, the secret may have been exposed.

I do remember though that I was more attracted to guys and would catch myself trying to check other guys out. I didn't know anyone who was gay when I was a kid nor did I really know what gay meant. Someone said it one time to me, but I was so sheltered, I thought it meant happy and nothing more.

In gym class when we were in the shower, I used to get "turned on" in the middle of all the other guys. I didn't understand it at the time and just equated it with me being a pervert like my abusers. None of it made sense and I had no frame of reference to even begin putting it together or understanding it.

After I left home, I tried to "date" girls which wasn't often and was not for long periods of time (I think 6 months might have been a long time for me). But the dating was hanging out with them and usually their friends or families. It never involved being intimate in anyway and I could count on one hand the number of times I've kissed a girl (probably with some fingers left over). I saw them as friends, companions but nothing more. I couldn't picture myself having sex with them in any way although I knew that my father held conquering sex with a girl in pretty high regard.

So I got more and more depressed as time went on not knowing who or what I was and having my sexuality undefined. I was not able to develop it growing up and maybe that was a good thing living in my house. Then I began to venture out to strip bars with people from work when we would go on company business trips. You know, there was no one I knew there so I didn't have to worry in my mind. But there again, I used to watch how the guys would get turned on by the girls.

As time went I spent time looking at porn, going to strip clubs when I could afford them and in fact one time I went to an adult place to meet a girl where only a handjob was what happened. And that night I was so humiliated because undercover cops forced me to testify against the establishment that I had just been too (that is an entirely different story all together).

Anyway as time went, I started visiting porn video places and having the anonymous sex with guys. I didn't really know better and was not the safest thing in the world but I did enjoy the sex part just not the anonymous part.

There were other things as time went that kept showing my interest in guys and I just never had the desire to have sex with women. I still don't to this day. So I probably knew when I was a kid but just didn't have anyway to define it or reference what I saw in myself.

The world I grew up in wouldn't have accepted someone that was gay and I don't feel that the world really accepts it now. I'm probably more in the admitting phase and trying to move more into the accepting phase. It is easier to talk about this online amongst people who understand but much harder to talk about with everyday people I meet in town. For a long time, I couldn't say I was gay and initially I started out saying I was bi. Than I moved to a point of saying that I was in a relationship with a guy and enjoyed it but again not saying I was gay. Now, I have been more able to say I am gay and start to identify with it.

Anyway, that is a long answer to this question, but sort of where I am at. It has taken me a long time to really start getting to know myself and to accept myself. Those are the things that anger about what the abuse prevented me from doing.

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#72213 - 01/28/04 01:28 PM Re: When did you know...
Brayton Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
Hey guys,

I want you to know that I have been moved by what all of you have written on this thread.

These are difficult journeys. All of you (we) have experienced pain that was not in any way deserved. For the most part it doesn't make sense at all in a logical way.

The roadblocks that are put up in the way of our understanding of our sexuality are the "re-abuse" I wrote about in another thread. These labels we struggle with should not be weighted with such importance as they are.

We are each individuals. Our attractions and intimacies are our business. They belong to us, not to the label-makers, and we are responsible for them.

Congratulations on being survivors. We are on journeys towards self-understanding. If we are not ready today to celebrate who we are sexually then lets try to believe in the hope that we will one day.

_________________________
Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

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#72214 - 01/28/04 01:50 PM Re: When did you know...
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
Very well stated Brayton....

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#72215 - 01/28/04 06:24 PM Re: When did you know...
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
My brothers there are no labels here for any of us. We are all brothers and I want you to know that it is a privilege for me to know and share your journey to be the men we were all meant to be and to actually live life.

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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