SELF LOATHING...

Are all hairdressers fem boys? Are all construction workers macho? Explore stereotypes on these and other issues here.

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How self loathing are you?

None at all. I'm Out and Proud.
24
36%
I'm not out, but I have accepted my prefs and feel little or no regrets.
28
42%
I have some self loathing. Life would be easier if wish I didn't have these desires.
10
15%
I hate myself. If there was a brain operation to remove this "decease", I'd have it done right now.
4
6%
 
Total votes : 66

SELF LOATHING...

Postby Ben » Thu Nov 04, 2004 3:03 pm

As soon as we discuss certain topics, there is one argument that always seems to arise.

Self loathing

This concept is like a thorn in our side. Something that nobody wants admit to anyone, especially in a heated discussion.
It is looked down upon, laughed at, seen as a sign of weakness - when it infact should be seen as a sign of the hard reality we live in.

While I think this term "self loathing" is being overly exploited as an argument against somebody we don't agree with, there is no doubt in my mind that it exists. I just wonder to what extent.

This poll is, as you know, anonymous. HowEVER, after you answer, you also get to motivate your answer in a post, there by being given a choice to give up your anonymity. Please DO NOT.

The reason for this is obvious. Answering this question honestly is also admitting to ourselves. The last thing we need is somebody Out&Loud broadcast gloats about it. That would seriously compromise the credibility of this poll. Those who actully have some self loathing would not be so anonymous after all since they probably would prefer to leave the text area blank - or lie about their pick.

So if everyone follows this simple rule, lying in this poll would only be lying to yourself and nobody else.
How self loathing are you - about being gay and your personality that comes with it?
Last edited by Ben on Fri Nov 05, 2004 12:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ben » Thu Nov 04, 2004 3:04 pm

:wink:
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Postby nathanjones » Thu Nov 04, 2004 4:34 pm

Uh.....

:P

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Postby RedMenace » Thu Nov 04, 2004 6:32 pm

Perhaps this should be titled "How self-loathing are you because of your homosexuality?"

I think you can be self-loathing for other reasons as well. ;)
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Postby Thomsen » Thu Nov 04, 2004 10:47 pm

Given the choices, I picked the first. That said I don't wake up and thank God I'm gay in the morning. Not sure what I would do given a choice between gay and straight, but I wouldn't be easy either way. I'm over self-loathing, requires too much energy.
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Postby Ben » Fri Nov 05, 2004 12:36 am

Red, given the context, and the alternatives, I think it's pretty clear what self loathing means in this case. But I have made some ajustments in the introduction based on what you say. Thanks for your input.
That goes for the rest of you too. :yawinkle:

I'll be watching this thread, but I won't post anything more.
I let the numbers speak.
I hope we'll see some kind of pattern emerging.
Remember, don't tell you answer.
:wink:

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Postby foxeyes2 » Fri Nov 05, 2004 7:52 am

I am out and proud but I did have a great struggle with self loathing for a very long time. Now I see others who are self loathing and it either breaks my heart or pisses me off depending on the circumstances.
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Postby rovie » Fri Nov 05, 2004 9:38 am

In my teens and early 20s I may have disapproved of my sexual orientation - even though I didn't act on it then. However, I always recognized that I didn't choose to be a homo, I was born and developed that way without anyone's assistance - if you know what I mean. That's the way it went all by itself. Therefore I never experienced self-loathing.

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Postby Cajun » Fri Nov 05, 2004 11:38 am

What Rovie said - I spent 28 years trying to make everyone happy, except for the one person that mattered. Once I got over that hump, things started looking up substantially :lol:

I never felt that I was a "bad" person for being gay, though....
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Postby dabonsteed » Fri Nov 05, 2004 5:09 pm

um, I'll just let this speak for me:

Wild Geese
by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.


Meanwhile the world goes on.


Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Last edited by dabonsteed on Fri Nov 05, 2004 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Crowley_strokes » Fri Nov 05, 2004 5:11 pm

That poem is so good! I especially like the first verse; the phrase 'soft animal of your body' is infinitely cute.
When I first realised I might be gay, back when I was 13 or so, I had no problem with it. I didn't intend to tell anyone and I intended to act straight forever. As time progressed found it harder to suppress the urge and I seriously started to hate it. It wasn't the fact that I was gay so much as that I was pretending to everyone I cared about that I wasn't. Once I'd decided to come out it totally dissipated, and now I'm quite content with being gay. I don't recon I'd have it any other way because my sexuality's played a part in shaping who I am. I seriously can't imagine what a straight me would be like; a straight me would be someone else.
In short, I like being gay :D
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Postby medic » Sat Nov 06, 2004 10:01 am

gay life is hard. I think that straight life would be easier for a number of reasons. I dont jive to well with the majority of gay people. i dont like the mores that permeate through gay society and feel more comfortable with my straight freinds. I am black and gay and in this society that is like a double whammy as far as struggle for equality and treatment goes. I cant change being gay so the pragmatist in me says i have to accept it. Is there some homophobia in me? Yes. I think self loathing for being gay is to strong, but there are unhappy moments. I am an only son to west indian parents, need i say more on that? For the longest i wanted a family with kids and house in the suburbs and sometimes in my fantasies i still picture that. But i know that it will never happen. So good or bad i am gay and with that fact i am trying to find some measure of happiness.

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Postby dabonsteed » Sat Nov 06, 2004 12:42 pm

medic wrote:gay life is hard. I think that straight life would be easier for a number of reasons........
For the longest i wanted a family with kids and house in the suburbs and sometimes in my fantasies i still picture that. But i know that it will never happen. So good or bad i am gay and with that fact i am trying to find some measure of happiness.
gary


let me tackle these one by one. . . . .
Yes, Gay life is hard but straight life ain't no picnic. One thing, off the top of my head: pregnancy scares. Just about every straight girl I've ever met has had one at some point, And well, that can end up changing a man's life abrubtly. Along the same lines abortion is something straight folks deal with first hand.
One thing I think that gets some gay guys down is the thought that if they just changed that one part of themselves, if they could just be straight, then everything else would be okay. But life doesn't work that way, changing one thing about your personal makeup would affect everything else. People are like cakes, they have all these different ingredients that make up who they are as people. Cakes have flour, sugar, eggs, etc and if you substituted something else in, took out the sugar and put in splenda, or salt, or sweet and low, the cake would feel and taste different.
You folks will probably not like the guys you date or the one you end up with for the long haul-----but who's to say they'd approve of the girls? My mom has hated several of my brother's girlfriends.

Secondly, who says you can't have the kids and house in the suburbs? Last time I checked they still let gay people buy houses and there are plenty of states in the US that let gay people adopt. Will it be as easy as marrying some girl and buying a house? No, but it's still very very possible. You don't have to give up your dreams, just tweak them so they're realistc and reflect your reality.
My brother just wants a wife and kids in the suburbs, and he'll probably get it, but he's been wanting this forever and it's still not happened.
There are lonely striaght guys too.
"this is your life, are you who you want to be?"
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Postby Crowley_strokes » Sat Nov 06, 2004 2:19 pm

Personally, I think artificial insemination (implantation of a fertilised embryo into the womb of a woman) would be a good option for gay couples of both genders if it was simpler, but there's so much controversy around this with straight couples that the chances of it happening, at least within our lifetime, is pretty low. In our case you'd need two couples, one of each gender, for it to go ahead, and there'd always be comflicts as to which person from each couple should donate, which couple should be allowed to adopt which child etc.etc. In order for each person from each couple to adopt a child with their own genes the process would have to be carried out 4 times, and not only would it be costly in terms of both time and money, it would also drastically increase the chances of complications. Alterantively you could ask a friend to have the child for you, but personally I don't think I could ask that of anyone.

If it was possible I would absolutely love to have the opportunity to have a genetic son or daughter, but it's not gonna happen. We just have to deal with that; it's only one thing. The situation could be far worse. We should just be thankful that we've been born into a society that's as accepting as it is.
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Postby J » Sat Nov 06, 2004 9:16 pm

I have dealt with a lot of self hatred for as long as I can remember. I remember all those psychologist sessions as a 5 year old..."You're special, one of a kind" "Why don't you like yourself?" All those endless conversations where I just didn't know what to say, but can remember them like they were yesterday, not 1979! The whole gay thing has nothing to do with it. If anything it's one thing I actually pride myself on- I'm living a life that would have been a lot more difficult if I was with a woman who wanted kids. No thanks! I have very little self esteem, and it's completely unrelated to my sexual orientation.
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Postby abcdefghivan » Sun Nov 07, 2004 3:34 am

Crowley_strokes wrote:If it was possible I would absolutely love to have the opportunity to have a genetic son or daughter


hoho i would never want that because then my children might inherit my neuroses. plus i figure there already are enough unfortunate children around so the world would be better off with more adoption. this mightnt make sense, but adopting children who are already born certainly beats conceiving children who might then wish they were never born. but then maybe thats just me.
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Postby rovie » Sun Nov 07, 2004 9:59 am

J
I have very little self esteem, and it's completely unrelated to my sexual orientation.


That's exactly it J. I've got issues with myself too but none of the important ones relate to my sexulality. I also agree with Steed that straight life is no picnic necessarily either. I think a gay guy's struggle is more often than not socially related - who you get to be friends with, how you are accepted as part of your community, work and social institutions.

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Postby Antonkucinski » Sun Nov 07, 2004 3:35 pm

I'm with J and Rovie. As far back as I can remember, I've never fit in. With VERY few exceptions (my maternal grandparents being one of them) I was ALWAYS 'too much' or 'not enough' of something. It never really mattered how old I was, where I was, what I was doing, or who I was with. There was almost always some kind of problem and it was almost always my fault. When I was able to avoid problems, it was usually because I'd watched the situation and figured out what was acceptable and what was not. This is work, of course, so situations that were relaxing and rejuvenating for most people left me exhausted.

So, when an interest in girls failed to materialize, I simply figured it was one more way that I didn't fit in and I never gave it any thought beyond, "Oh crap....one more scenario I have to figure out how to negotiate."

When lightning struck and I started going out to gay bars, events, etc., I was amazed. People found me interesting and attractive...some for my body, some for my looks, some for my brains, some for my personality. This had never happened to me before!!!

My life would have been so much easier if I'd known I was gay. I'd still have had the same struggles, maybe more, but at least I would have been struggling for me, not for some impossible ideal everyone held up.

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Postby crankycurmudgeon » Sun Nov 07, 2004 4:42 pm

rovie wrote:J
I have very little self esteem, and it's completely unrelated to my sexual orientation.


That's exactly it J. I've got issues with myself too but none of the important ones relate to my sexulality. I also agree with Steed that straight life is no picnic necessarily either. I think a gay guy's struggle is more often than not socially related - who you get to be friends with, how you are accepted as part of your community, work and social institutions.

Rovie


I think I've wasted a lot of time figuring out what life was going to be like as soon as I figured out that the normative models that I saw growing up would not apply for me. And as I've probably also said elsewhere the decisions I made were solely influenced by how I perceived the world, how I made decisions and my capacity to accept risk and uncertainty (I'm a real chickenshit).

Like it or not, in my case, none of this would have turned out any differently. :-k
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Postby toothync » Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:07 am

Would've have been nice if we could all stay anonymous Ben but it looks like everyone's pitching in.

I'm glad to say I'm out and proud - but having gone through about ten years of self-denial and hatred I know what it's like to be in that place. Therefore I don't necessarily begrudge people who have a hard time dealing with their sexuality. What I can't stand is people who have come out and have been in deep and loving relationships with men, and then retreat back into themselves and try and sleep with women - because that's not just hurting yourself but other people.

In my ase once I'd accepted myself there was no reason to go on feeling disatisfied. It was the happiest day of my life when I realised I could say to myself that I am gay and that it didn't matter to me. Moreover that I am HAPPY I'm gay. I used to want to cut out whever part of me made me a fag, but I can't see things any other way - because realistically they can't be any other way. I am who I am. And men are damn sexy.

I'll say again that I understand people who are in a place where they find it much harder being gay - I'm bloody lucky to a) live in a country like Australia - despite our bigotted government and redneck population I still have the right to be myself to a certain extent, at least enough to live my life, and b) to have the family and friends I do. I know there are heaps of people for whom coming out is simply not an option and I can't fathom how hard that must be.

D'argh it's 1am here. I've got to sleep. I think this is a great topic to talk about because what causes damage is silence.

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Postby mikeoas » Mon Nov 08, 2004 6:53 pm

I'm out (mostly) and although not exactly proud - I don't tell every single person I meet unless they ask - I am still very happy to describe myself as gay.

I have to admit that, unlike Toothy, I didn't really hate myself for being "different" to other people in my school, although my coming-out process was still not especially easy. I did deny that I could be gay (or bi) for a couple of years after I started effectively falling in love with my (male) best mate :o , but because we got very close (although my love wasn't exactly reciprocated) I found that I could certainly have a relationship with a man and be comfortable about it. By that time, my attitudes towards gay people had developed from tolerance into more or less full acceptance. (You may be interested to know that the UK version of Queer As Folk came out at about the same time and while I didn't identify precisely with the characters, the general idea about being gay rang a few bells.)

However, coming out was not an option in the little town I lived in - not very gay-friendly and particularly not in my school. It was only when I started at university in Manchester that I was finally able to openly discuss my issues on sexuality and confirm in my mind I was gay before coming out (at the age of 21). It took longer for me to pluck up the courage to come out to any of my family (this year, in fact): the eldest of my three younger sisters was very supportive and while my mum wasn't shocked or disappointed in me, she wasn't convinced I was certain about it (I was and still am, but that's another issue). Apart from my step-dad, no one else in my immediate family knows (for sure) at the moment, although this may eventually change ... watch this space! :)
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Postby toothync » Tue Nov 09, 2004 4:36 am

Isn't it funny how some things like that make you go "Hey that feels familiar? But I don't think I'll explore why..." My Mum has some really old friends from uni who are a couple - I remember being terrified when I met them at about 13. I have no idea why I was so scared, but I know it had to do with the fact that they were gay.

I remember before coming out to myself I was desperate to watch things like QaF but I didn't have the courage - but I couldn't even admit to myself what I needed courage for.

Gore Vidal describes it perfectly in "The City and the Pillar." the main character is in love with a guy from his home town, but unwilling to accept that he is IN LOVE with him. He's surrounded by gay men in LA and New York and sleeps with a heap of them, but still manages to justify it in his own head. Sounds pretty absurd, but the way Vidal writes it you can see how the guys thinking works - heartwrenching to read, mostly because it's so familiar.
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Postby aussienick » Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:19 am

It was the happiest day of my life when I realised I could say to myself that I am gay and that it didn't matter to me. Moreover that I am HAPPY I'm gay. I used to want to cut out whever part of me made me a fag, but I can't see things any other way - because realistically they can't be any other way. I am who I am. And men are damn sexy.


toothy - I know exactly what you're talking about. I was very much closeted during High School. I remember having a crush on a guy in year 8, but hating myself for thinking like that. That continued for a while I guess. Watching QAF and Will & Grace helped me a bit - to see what I was thinking acted out in a soap/drama/sitcom. I guess by this time last year I remember thinking I was ok with it, although still didn't want anyone to know. I was pushed along a bit when my best friend came out of the closet early this year! That surprised me a bit, but it sure made it easier! Since that day, I've found I've been a whole lot happier, and I'm more myself. It is like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I'm not out to my parents although I am almost certain that mum already knows, just going on things she has said this year. :lol:

Anyway, I'm really glad that I've accepted who I am. I'm happy and yes, men are damn sexy :wink:
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Postby mikeoas » Tue Nov 09, 2004 9:00 am

aussienick wrote:... I'm not out to my parents although I am almost certain that mum already knows, just going on things she has said this year. :lol:


Yes ... I'm fairly sure mothers tend to have this intuition about their sons being gay - my own mum apparently picked up on it much earlier than I thought (when I was about to go to uni and when I was still not exactly sure). She didn't ask me at the time and only started asking me those sorts of questions when I actually came out - although she apparently did ask my sister a few months before she knew whether she thought I was gay (my sister said no, BTW). :?

aussienick wrote:Anyway, I'm really glad that I've accepted who I am. I'm happy and yes, men are damn sexy :wink:


Hear hear! :D
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Postby ChunkJGZX » Tue Nov 09, 2004 10:52 am

Hey guys--BRAND new to these forums, guys, but figured I'd start off posting right away...

It almost seems that in this whole topic, the terms "self-loathing" and "out" are mutually exclusive... As if, the moment one comes out of the closet, all those problems are solved, everything's better (I know that's not how it is for all y'all, but just seemed how the poll/discussion was pointed).

I personally have been out of the closet for two years and am still struggling with it... I live up in New Hampshire, in an area that everyone says "has a high gay population," but the gay guys I've met up here seem to be on an entirely different plane than I am. I still spend a lot of time miserable about the fact that in all the circles I socialize with, I'm always the only gay guy, always hearing the, "Oh, wow, I would've NEVER guessed!" I spend a lot of time very down about it--seriously, coming out, in retrospect, almost seems like the beginning of the end to me. In these past two years I haven't had any relationships save a couple of dates with guys who were in the closet--who soon after decided that my "out" status was too much of a liability for them to deal with. Never had anything good come out of being gay, just a lot of hurt and heartbreak and loneliness. No light at the end of the tunnel--and the worst is, no one's out there for me to talk to. I've made a couple of acquaintances who were gay, but they didn't understand how I felt, what it's like to unintentionally pass for straight but not BE straight, to have no sense of kinship with other gay people whatsoever.

It's been a major bone of contention with me for the past six months (well, it's been REALLY bad these past six months, not as bad the time before that)--it's hard not to feel like my life would be better if I were straight. I'm 24 now, and I feel like because I'm gay I miss out on all of these experiences and opportunities--good and bad--that straight people (like all of my friends) just seem to fall into. It's not that I'm not "out"--I never hold back telling people. IT's that I'm not happy about it, and I don't know how to get to that place.
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