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#72663 - 08/06/04 12:13 PM Best way to Overcome Homophobia
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
While chatting with some guys on a gay website/chatroom/anonymous sex hookup thingy,
I had a big insight....OK not that big, but for me it was a moment of clarity.

Plus it would fit on a bumper sticker....my attention span, especially under stress (in other words, most of the time)is fairly brief.

So I want to share this with anyone else who might need a slogan or mantra to help cope with all the crap and bullshit that comes up about how evil gay people are and how having equal rights for homosexuals would undermine the very foundations of civilization as we know it........you know, the usual ridiculous nonsense spouted out by insecure, power-hungry people....(esp. election year politicos).

HELP OVERCOME HOMOPHOBIA,
LEARN TO LOVE YOURSELF


My experience is that by recovering from sexual abuse, I have been able to separate the fact that I am gay from the unfortunate fact that I was sexually abused by a man.

The two things got horribly twisted together as a result. And I hated myself for being gay, because I thought that's why I was abused and abandonned.

Turns out that's not the truth.

And you guys, here, straight, gay and in between have helped me figure that out little bit at a time.

Learning the about the reality of sexual abuse, and separating that from being gay, has slowly but surely allowed me to truly love myself. Not just tolerate or begrudgingly resign myself to some horrible fate....but to eally begin to love myself for being gay.

And figure out that for me it's a lot more than just getting my dick sucked or who I sleep with.

One of the most valuable things the abuser took from me was my self-esteem and the ability to love and value myself.

Well, guess what? I'm taking that back. And it feels great!! A million times better than all the angry, revenge fantasies ever did.

And it's really pretty simple since I spend most of everyday with myself. lol

If you need any help learning to love yourself, let me know. I'd be glad to let you know how it is for me.

It is really the best way to fight against prejudice, hatred, homophobia and all forms of bigotry.

With love,

_________________________
"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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#72664 - 08/06/04 12:34 PM Re: Best way to Overcome Homophobia
Aden Offline
Member

Registered: 07/05/04
Posts: 499
x


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#72665 - 08/06/04 08:29 PM Re: Best way to Overcome Homophobia
Kenn Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/10/04
Posts: 146
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Danny,

Your post really hit home for me. Here in Canada, where the marriage debate continues even though the courts have yet to turn back gains made, I find I am more interested in gay marriage at a rate directly proportional to opposition to it. In other words, the more the 'phobes spout off the more I believe in marriage (not that I ever did not but it has been a moot point given that I've never been in a long-term relationship).

As for why I have not been available, open to, or lucky enough for a relationship, I think it all goes back to the abuse. Even if the abuser was not gay, and I don't know that for sure, he was definitely a conformer - not wanting to be caught dead where we were.

I, on the other hand, was exploring my awakening sexuality and was vulnerable to his illegal, immoral and repulsive advances.

From that experience sex became nothing but a dirty, obsessive drive that had to be satisfied. Relationships? Those, it seemed to me, were too much work when a variety of sexual experience was so freely available. "Free"? Not really. In many ways I sold out my integrity time and again, getting HIV in the process.

And so much of my life can be traced back to that fucking abuser. I'm angry and, yes, have always been struggling with my own internalized homophobia. But anger can turn into self-pity on a dime and I don't want that.

Kenn

_________________________
"This above all; to thine own self be true."

William Shakespeare, Hamlet

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#72666 - 08/06/04 08:46 PM Re: Best way to Overcome Homophobia
jimrh Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/22/03
Posts: 273
Loc: Roswell, GA
Danny, I'd really like to know how it is you learned to love yourself.

I cannot seem to get past the whole self-lothing, hatred, disgust thing.

I have to tell you that the few times I've heard someone say something nice to me (usually it's MY YOU HAVE BEAUTIFUL EYES)...I feel like crawling into a hole and hiding because I just CAN'T have beautiful eyes!

Jimmer


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#72667 - 08/06/04 08:54 PM Re: Best way to Overcome Homophobia
Bill_1965 Offline
Chat Mod Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/29/03
Posts: 1983
Loc: Flint, Michigan
Well I'm not gay, but wanted to say that I have gotten to know and love a lot of the guys here at the site, straight, gay, bi, and undecided. I have no qualms about giving them a great big hug. They (the person inside) is definately worthy of it.

It's all about the person inside.

Bill

_________________________
Pain is Temporary; Quitting lasts Forever. - Lance Armstrong

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#72668 - 08/08/04 11:47 PM Re: Best way to Overcome Homophobia
whendoIcry? Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/02/04
Posts: 34
Loc: Metro Boston
Danny and others...it is really good to see this string...I just posted about how it feels to be a 52 yo married man, abused 32 years ago by a priest who I came out to...and now...healing and integrating and waking up to a life I really have no business being in. I am a gay man, not a straight man...and feel like I am in a long running play that is about to close...and my true self will need to emerge in order to survive...survive I will...thrive...not sure...recently met a man who touched me in a way no other man has done...I did not make it a one night stand, I went back and now feel deeply...care...desire...love? I have never known love...but danny is right...I have come to love the crazy, mixed up me...here is a taste..

Loves his pickup truck, especially listening to show tunes....prefers cooking to baseball...goes nuts when the Olympic men's swimming event comes on, second only to male figure skating...found out I love to wear leather and rubber! I am very good in bed with men. I am handsome! And the first part of me that I learned to love (ok, the second part) was my eyes...finally can look myself in the eyes. I can use power tools to cut down trees and build things with...I can also make a mean quiche...it is just me, folks...the omnisexual, multiple lover, show tune loving wielder of a chain saw and hammer...just me...Marty.

_________________________
I survive, one day at a time...knowing that I now can accept the things that cannot be changed, change the things I can and find the wisdom to know the difference.

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#72669 - 08/11/04 09:53 AM Re: Best way to Overcome Homophobia
abcd Offline
Member

Registered: 10/20/00
Posts: 189
Loc: GA
Dwf (and others),

Thanks for your post. I especially hear you about the confusion about sexuality and abuse. That too was so hard for me to untangle, and there are times when I waffle back to anger at my abuse because of the confusion it caused and the toll it has taken in my life. Like you, I too understand how anxiety and stress can shorten one's attention span.

Most important, I too understand that we can beat this though. I agree with you that it is about loving one's self, but I would also add, "and not caring about what others think." At least for me, I have found that that is a crucial part of the problem. Yes, we must accept our sexuality--indeed that must come first, but we must also pose a strong sense of self-confidence to live on with our lives no matter what others may say.

If you really think about, at times that is the root of our anxiety and stress--we are so overtly concerned about the outside world. In essence I think that could be explained by an insecurity and not loving ourselves enough. However, just like with our sexuality and abuse being two separate issues--there are two here as well: one is being confident in ourselves and the other is not being concerned about others reaction of ourselves.

Especially in today's world of image and expectations, we can not succumb to that pitfall of having our happiness depend on others' thoughts of us. I say that because I KNOW how this has personally affected me--how what others think, or even "might" think is truly what I fear and what drives some of my self-isolation and fragmentation of my life (between those who know I am "homosexual" life and those who don't).

Do not misunderstand, I am not advocating losing one's sense of community and desire to help others understand. Indeed, I am all for political activism to oust Bush and others who would seek to judge our fellow brothers and sisters so hastily and prevent "stabilization" in relationships. Indeed, as men who were abused, we may find an innate need to help others as part of our "healing."

All I am saying is that there is a point where we must also step back and say, as trite as this sounds, I do not care what they think anymore. It is okay if they judge me the way they do. I am not the first person persecuted for my relationships (look at interracial marriages which only in the 70's had a 4% acceptance rate), and I will not be the last. It is okay, and I will survive.

Indeed, it is ironic perhaps that after everything we have been through with our abuse and the sheer violation of our personhood, it is our sexuality that causes the most problem (at least that is how it is for me). Then again, if we think about it, our abuse is not a "part" of us. It happened and affects us, but our sexuality is actually a "part" of who we are as human beings.

Okay, enough rambling for today...bottom line:
"Overcome homophobia...Learn to love yourself AND to not care what other people think."


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