Acceptance is Key for LGBT Teens

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Acceptance is Key for LGBT Teens

Postby olywaguy » Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:47 am

CNN has a news item today about results of studies stating that acceptance of their teen's sexual orientation is key to surviving their teenage years.

The organization making a difference is Our True Colors. They are helping LGBT teens battle the unfairness they have to deal with in a daily basis.
Carlos

"I just want to suck his tongue out of his mouth !"--JPaul


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Re: Acceptance is Key for LGBT Teens

Postby Ashpenaz » Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:03 pm

In my thread on my jealousy of straight guys, one of the problems I'm dealing with is the fact that I couldn't accept my sexuality as a teenager. Straight guys are not only accepted, they are encouraged to have sex. They can explore and sow their wild oats. Because I couldn't deal with the fact I was gay, I was left with the choice of having sex in public bathrooms or not having sex at all. I think, IMHO, that much of what was considered normal gay behavior, i.e., blow jobs in public parks, etc., was due to everyone's shame and lack of acceptance. My response to that particular gay scene was to go into reparative therapy. I was not only reacting to my own shame, but I also didn't want to express my sexuality in the way I was being told by other gays was normal.

I'd like to date. To make out. To brag to my friends. I wish that I had access to the kind of sexual adolescence straight guys have, where they have relatively normal, socially acceptable, and even empowering sexual experiences.
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Re: Acceptance is Key for LGBT Teens

Postby CO_RedRocker » Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:03 pm

I think it's dangerous to try to convince a teen they are gay or straight or anything until they are older and have a firmly established identity. Damn near everyone goes through experimentation, so just because a guy messes around with another in HS doesn't mean he's gay or straight, he's just being sexual.

I've known a handful of guys who were "gay" in HS who went straight because they found chicks worked better for them. I've seen the reverse as well. To label someone before their identity is fully formed seems like trying to force them into a box that may not work for them.

Aside from that, it would be nice if instead of all this focus on greater society being more accepting of GLB folks that perhaps GLB folks should work more on being accepting of one another. The reason why a lot of us are on this board is because we don't fit into the "gay scene" yet we are reminded constantly that if we don't conform to those norms that we're just closet cases and self-hating.

Once upon a time being homosexual meant you were a dude into dudes. Today it seems you have fulfill so many additional requirements that it's asinine. Maybe when homosexuality returns to it's original definition and I won't get crap for being masculine, conservative, religiously open-minded, and not some fitness model wannabe, I might consider the gay path again. But so long as I have to be effeminate, liberal, atheist, and look like I stepped out of an AnF catalog, it's not for me.

Oddly enough, my straight friends seem more supportive and accepting if I decide to stick to the gay path than my lukewarm gay friends (I should probably say f*ck buddies) have been due to my differences.
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Re: Acceptance is Key for LGBT Teens

Postby madsglen » Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:27 pm

CO_RedRocker wrote:Aside from that, it would be nice if instead of all this focus on greater society being more accepting of GLB folks that perhaps GLB folks should work more on being accepting of one another. The reason why a lot of us are on this board is because we don't fit into the "gay scene" yet we are reminded constantly that if we don't conform to those norms that we're just closet cases and self-hating.

Some of what you say is sad, but true, sometimes. It would be nice if you were able to see that not all GLB folks self-loathing closet cases but I think that comes with time and experience. And sadly, there are many other situations where people who are in the minority aren't as welcoming and accepting of their 'own kind'. I have a couple of friends who have been told they're not "black enough". A neighbor and friend once told me he got a lot of flack from a few (emphasize 'few') in his circle who told him he wasn't "Asian enough" (which truly hurt and offended him). And one conversation that really blew my mind was with a friend who told me once (and later took it back...) was from a co-worker who told me I couldn't possibly be from the Midwest because I didn't have the accent and didn't act like other Midwesterners (granted he was from New York where "everyone" seems to think anyone east of the Hudson lives in wigwams and tells time by sundial but still...). The only way to combat the perception that we're all closet cases is to be ourselves and be as "out" as we want to be. As far as being "self-hating", that's what many people would like, unfortunately. But I could come up with a long list of friends, colleagues and acquaintances who would debunk that in pretty short order.

CO_RedRocker wrote:Once upon a time being homosexual meant you were a dude into dudes. Today it seems you have fulfill so many additional requirements that it's asinine. Maybe when homosexuality returns to it's original definition and I won't get crap for being masculine, conservative, religiously open-minded, and not some fitness model wannabe, I might consider the gay path again. But so long as I have to be effeminate, liberal, atheist, and look like I stepped out of an AnF catalog, it's not for me.

Man, you're hanging out with the wrong crowd. The definition of homosexual really hasn't changed, except that at one time it was only related to sexual preference and activity. I'd hazard a guess that the "effeminate, liberal, athiest folks who look like A&F models" is the minority amongst most gay folks. At least from my experience. Maybe most of the time that group of gays is the most visible (mostly because they want to be or can't help it) because the silent majority of gays are just average guys. Which is why it appears that we're hiding. We, like most people, don't attract attention to ourselves or have attention focused upon us. I can tell you (for lack of a better phrase) that "it get's better". Can I promise anything specific for you or your situation? Well, no, unfortunately. But working to find those with whom you have more in common is worth the effort. Me, I found that volunteering in some organizations focused on gay-related services or issues to be a great way to find people similar to me and where some of my best friends turned out to be. I don't get crap for being masculine (well, I think I meet that descriptor...), a bit conservative, religiously open, etc. Never have I had someone tell me that I "have to" be effeminate, liberal or athiest". The term "open minded" also has to apply to you. Giving people a chance is sometimes hard, but worth it even if sometimes it doesn't work as you'd hoped it may.
The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek - Joseph Campbell
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Re: Acceptance is Key for LGBT Teens

Postby CO_RedRocker » Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:55 pm

Fair enough, and perhaps I'm just being "bitchy", but let me give you a quick bio about me and why I feel like I do today about the GLB folks (and why I could really care less about their issues at this point):

I didn't have my first sexual experience until I was in the military at 19, with a married older classmate (he was 24). I agonized over it for several months after and even got into a huge fight with him because he wanted to forget it happened and I wanted to try to understand it. So from there it all went downhill, typical story, lots of hookups, lots of psychos, a few boyfriends of a month or so, etc. etc. I didn't "come out" until I got out of the military, so pretty much from 22 on, I was open with most people about my sexuality (still aloof at work, but would answer honestly if asked, rarely asked though). I even joined the HRC, donated time and money to their causes, volunteered with a few local organizations, went to pride, went to the gay clubs, wrote for a gay magazine, and generally did the whole "scene" thing, dressing in the typical AnF/American Eagle/Aeropostale gear, hanging out with only gay people, going out every weekend to the gay clubs, random hookups every weekend, etc. etc.

All that said, all my life I've been more conservative, so I was one of the few "log cabins" in the gay organizations I was a part of. While I was in Texas, this wasn't a big deal since even most gay democrats were a little blue dog on a lot of the fiscal issues, so we saw eye to eye on most things. However, once I moved to DC, everything changed. I was an outcast almost instantly because I didn't hold the same views, so as a result, making friends was tough, so I only had a small handful of gay friends in DC. Still went to pride, still did the gay clubs, still had the hookups, etc. etc. But once my membership with HRC ran out, seeing as we didn't see eye to eye, I let it lapse, even the log cabin folks in DC were more liberal for my taste, and of course, in DC everything was about status and I didn't work for the government or have any government connections.

Coming back to Denver, I had very few gay friends, started to get more straight friends, stopped going to the clubs, still hooked up randomly, but the final straw was joining the website Connexion, where any time I would stand up for a Republican or Christian, or anyone who didn't conform to the "you MUST be femme, out, atheist, and liberal" requirements I got a lot of crap from the militant members there. What's funny, is when I was in DC, I found the Heritage Foundation interns from Liberty University more tolerant and accepting of me than these militant gay liberals on Connexion. Even today, I don't get much in the way of acceptance or respect from "mainstream" gay folks.

Anyway, all that said, like I said at the beginning, I'm probably not giving the peeps here enough of a shot. I've just been attacked by gay people so much that I've developed a strong dislike for them in general, and currently have only one gay friend. There was a guy that offered to hang out here in my city, but I turned him down because at this point, I don't know if I really want to hang out with gay people any more. I've pretty much moved on to bi guys and straight friends.

So I might be a lost cause, I'll never really feel the way about the gay community as I did back when I was young, "hotter", and more in demand. But if one day gay people get their collective heads out of their asses and stop bullying each other, maybe other guys won't feel the same seething hatred I have for gay peeps in general and why I can no longer associate with them without feeling very very uncomfortable.
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Re: Acceptance is Key for LGBT Teens

Postby Ashpenaz » Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:57 pm

I'm going to support RR on this one. Most of the gays I've met in my life have been as he describes them--effeminate, liberal, atheist, and look like they stepped out of an AnF catalog. I get all kinds of crap from gays for being conservative, religious, and masculine, so I don't hang out with gays anymore. The concept that the gay community is NOT monolithic is a myth--it's pretty darn monolithic, and you really have to be in denial not to see that. RR is spot on in his observation. And his reasons for wanting to quit the gay community are valid.

I tried to get out. I tried reparative therapy. I tried dating women. I just don't like women. I don't like the visible, stereotypical, Pride gays either. I like men.

My observation is this: There are gay guys who identify as gay first, and they end up on one end of the spectrum. There are gay guys who identify as guys first, and they end up on the other end of the spectrum. Neither one is bad as long as you are happy with your choice, but the two groups don't have much in common. I'm just not interested in guys who identify as GAY FIRST, and they're not interested in me. But they are definitely in the majority, and it's hard to find gays who are simply guys who like guys.
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Re: Acceptance is Key for LGBT Teens

Postby PhillyAgenda » Sat Dec 18, 2010 9:47 pm

it's hard to find gays who are simply guys who like guys.

That's generally how I've thought of myself for a while now. And I am an atheist, more on the liberal side, and masculine. I've only been attracted to masculine guys and I don't find myself having much in common with gay guys who are "scene" if that's what we're calling it. I'm a movie nerd, like star wars, lord of the rings, harry potter all that crap, current events, hip hop and rock music and video games. I'm pretty sure most of that doesn't fit in.

I'm a pretty low key person. I'm out to immediate family, my close friends, although I'm sure some people always suspect that when a guy has never had a girlfriend he must be gay. And I don't often bring up religion as a topic of conversation. I don't have a problem being friends with guys who are religious or conservative. I don't think I'd have a problem dating a guy who is either. Hell, Matalin and Carville make it work somehow.
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