On being gay...

There's a lot of discussions about "internalized homophobia" going on here. Talk about racism, prejudice, religion, and all that's on your mind. Now you have a new place to gab.

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On being gay...

Postby medic » Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:28 pm

I might regret this but how have you guys dealt with some of the shame of being gay. How do you deal with th e names you know people are calling you and that you don't want to be called. How do you deal with wanting people to like you but know that some wont and its just because your gay? How do you deal with people looking at you like your half a man just because your gay?
How do you deal with the hurt you feel because of all of the above? How do you deal with the longing to be just like the majority because fitting in would be so much easier? How do you deal with the loneliness of being a member of a fringe group and wanting not to be? How do you deal with the shame and all along wanting not to be ashamed?

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Re: On being gay...

Postby Earl Butz » Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:08 am

People who feel inadequate about themselves will always take comfort in putting down others. So they're the ones who should feel ashamed.

How have I dealt with all that other stuff? Very badly. But nobody said life was easy. Part of the "fun" of being gay is trying to figure out our purpose in life. It's not to be part of a boring majority and have children and do the things straights do. Gay people tend to create alot of the beauty, the trends, art, great literature, etc. Culture, in other words. I think we're here to give this ugly world a little atmosphere.

But, that's just my opinion. Figure out what you want to contribute, and go for it.
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Re: On being gay...

Postby furface » Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:45 am

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Been at this 'gay' thing quite a spell now, goin' on being out for 50 years. Time's taught me Eleanor was right.

The trick is to come out to the only person ya absolutely have to - yourself. Know that you are not defined by your orientation. That is just one facet of who and what you are. While important, even basic, to your identity it don't define you; and you shouldn't allow anyone (including yourself) limit your worth and life by that singular characteristic.

Your primary job and responsibility is to be comfortable in your own skin, a man fully growed. Realize this is a life long project - keep growing and workin' it.

To tweak Tevye a mite from Fiddler on the Roof
I realize, of course, that it's no shame to be gay.
But it's no great honor either!
It just is.

As to the disparagin' remarks, insults, and the like... Like Earl said, life ain't fair. Some folks'll find some reason, any reason that pops into their punkin head to dislike ya. You're black, white, too tall, not tall enough, too hairy, have tats, whatever. Know, I mean know! ole son, you are unique and valuable just as you are. Also know those that would put ya down are not worth your time. Hell they're not even worth your pity for being the miserable folks they've shown themselves to be.

Be civil, smile and ignore 'em. It ain't always easy, but it works; at least it has served me well for years.

Y'all be good to yourself, now. Ya hear!
"Do not ascribe malice to that which can be reasonably explained by ignorance ... or incompetence."
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Re: On being gay...

Postby butch » Tue Apr 13, 2010 4:33 pm

I have NEVER, ever felt any shame about being gay. Not that it hasn't been difficult being a gay person sometimes. It's not shame that is a problem, it's feeling accepted and not feeling loneliness. We are social animals and we all want to feel wanted and accepted. Only you feel your own shame, so why would you burden yourself with it? Being gay is not a moral issue, it's a fact of life. If you aren't hurting anyone, why would you feel shame?

There is a horrible irony that other GAY people sometimes try to make me feel bad about the fact that I like younger guys. That's their problem, not mine. Other gay people sometimes try to make me feel like some kind of gay outcast because I'm not attracted to anything effeminate in men and I'm not being a good "gay boy". Screw them... they can all rot in hell as far as I'm concerned. They are mean and stupid humans. If there are gay men who want to be effeminate, well good for them. They won't likely be part of my life, but... that's life. I don't think any less of effeminate gay men, nor the stereotypes of gay men portrayed in film and TV. Such portrayals have nothing to do with me and it's a bit annoying, but I enjoy diversity among people.

Anything difficult or stressful about being gay is mostly related to others being mean to me in some way or other, but it is nothing more than blatant bullying... others trying to make themselves feel better about themselves by attacking others, including me. I refuse to be a co-dependent person and allow others to try to make me feel different in a bad way.

I was a member of the Vancouver Gay Liberation Front in 1970-71... an almost forgotten kick start movement to gay liberation in Canada. We decided, almost immediately, to turn the tables on shame and take pride in our gayness to the point of DELIBERATELY calling ourselves queers and fagots. That concept is the basis of GAY PRIDE. Turn the tables on the mean and cruel and shallow individuals who are so lacking in self-respect they find the need to make others seem inferior to themselves.

WHAT IS THERE TO BE ASHAMED OF?

I can't think of a single thing. Those who were brainwashed into certain religious beliefs may feel outcast and ashamed because of their religious teachings. That is, unfortunately, a problem related to religion, not being gay. Anyone who believes in any kind of religion has been brainwashed into a way of thinking and belief and is, therefore, mentally ill. Fortunately, it can be cured over time with education. Once one realizes there is no basis to any religion... there are no facts to make them real, then one can come out of the cloud and look reality in the face. Most shame related to being gay is based in cultural and religious beliefs.

Be proud of yourself and your achievements in life. Feel happiness in being offered a chance to see life differently than most. It's not like you are without sight, limbs, hearing. You aren't disabled because you are gay... in fact you have opportunities that the majority don't have in that you can take a different path in life by exploiting the opportunities presented by being gay. In countries that have severe penalties for being gay, it is not YOU who has a problem, it is the society in which you find yourself. This can be an opportunity to help change history by seeking opportunities to change the status quo. Stand up for yourself or work with others to eventuate change in attitudes, however small the change may be.

If you do feel shame you are a co-dependent person and you are allowing others to enable your feeling of shame... which shouldn't be there in the first place. It is people who are mean to you who should be feeling shame. They are the scum of the Earth, the lowest forms of life on the planet. Get them out of your life. Leave your family if necessary to escape mean and ignorant relatives. Tell your so-called friends to "go to hell" if they are trying to make you feel less worthy of being here on planet Earth... they were never friends in the first place. There are lots of people out there in the world. Why would you allow the mean and ignorant into you life?

Don't associate with humans who try to put you down... eliminate them from your life. If you don't you are a co-dependent masochist and you deserve every second of misery the idiots in your life are bringing you. Obviously you WANT to be unhappy, so soak up the misery mean and rotten humans try to heap upon you. You must want it or you wouldn't put up with it. You have to accept that if you feel shame about being gay then you are a hopeless idiot with no desire to change anything in your life. Good luck, you're going to need it and enjoy your misery to the fullest.

The real problem here is feeling lonely or isolated. You just have to ditch the idiots and realize there are plenty of people out there just like you who will make really nice friends. If you always do what you've always done, you will mostly get what you've always got. It's up to you to make the necessary changes in your life. I'm not saying it's easy and I'm not saying it will work out. But don't extend your unhappiness by associating with humans who make you unhappy. Dump them in the trash where they belong and never look back. There is no guarantee you are going to be happy every day of your life, but don't drag around the baggage of bad friends or relatives. Ditch them. DITCH THEM.

P.S. Sometimes it's useful to remember that some of the most famous people in history have been gay... Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar come to mind.
"You know it's going to be bad, but you just can't prepare yourself" ... Homer Simpson
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Re: On being gay...

Postby PhillyAgenda » Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:09 pm

I don't really feel ashamed of being gay. Not now anyways. At some point you really just have to say f**k 'em to the people who would put you down because of your sexuality. I try to keep people like that out of my life. If someone refuses to socialize with me because of my sexuality, that is a person I want nowhere near me. I don't normally walk around thinking I'm better than others, but I would never reject someone just because they didn't look like me, had a different religion, or different sexuality. So in that sense I view people like this as not being worth my time. And if it's family, then so be it. If they cast me out, I cut them out.

Another way I've dealt with it was to just plain challenge some people's preconceived notions about gay guys. A lot of the people who call gay people names and put you down for your sexuality usually have these ridiculous broad sweeping ideas of what every gay guy or girl is like. And sometimes when you call them on it, they become a little confused and embarrassed. At least 3 or 4 times at work somebody I knew said something anti-gay or offensive to me, maybe a little joke from one hetero to another. I let them know that I'm actually gay. I think it helps, because for every person who unknowingly insults a gay person right to their face and is then confronted about it, that's one more person who's got a face to relate to now. Their little caricature of gays as some group femmy rainbow queens just got brought down to a personal level with someone who may be just like them.

I don't long to be just like the majority. But honestly sometimes I do resent them for all the double standards they place on gay people. Might say I'm a little angry about it. And yea being in the majority would be easier, but it's not an option, so that reality must be accepted. But that doesn't mean you have to take sh*t from people.
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