Monday, August 29, 2011

Another Man's Life

When I was at the Pride Festival, I talked to a group of older gay guys.  They say their group is open to men 21 and older, but I did not see anyone that seemed under 35.  I chatted for just a couple of minutes and then I took their flyer.  I folded it tightly as I put it in my pocket.

After I got back to my car, I opened it up and read it carefully.  There was a section that listed the "ideal" reason to join their group.  "Whether you are new to town, coming out late in life, of just want to make new friends..."

As I thought about that for a while, there was an awkward moment when I was talking to them when I wanted to say, that I was new to being open about being gay and did not know many gay people. .  For some reason, I just could not.   I thought about why, and though I already knew the answer, I had a mental block about it.

Then as I was poking around the internet I found this picture.  This guy, is me (no, this is not my picture).  For the past 40 years I have been living another man's life.  I have been pretending to be someone else.  That is why it is so difficult to come out at this age.  I have a lifetime to being someone else.

It's different when you are a teenager.  You are supposed to be figuring out who you are.  It€'s normal.  You could even accepted from someone in their early 20's.  But by the time a man hit's is 40's he should be pretty well established.  He should know who he is.  What's more, all the people (or at least the close ones) that he has known over the years, should know him too.

But they don't.  They don't know who he is at the core of his being.  That is such an uncomfortable thing to reveal.  Feels like a betrayal.  It's seems that not only is it uncomfortable to reveal to friends, but also to strangers.  Even when there is a very high likelihood, they would accept me more because of it, not less.

One more thing to work through I guess.


amtop said...

I don't feel that I've pretended to be anyone else, I may have kept some things close, but I've been happen. It's only now that I'm exploring the side of me that may be gay that I'm started to have some conflict, keeping secrets that may have big impacts on my relationship with my wife. I'm starting to think that I just need to come out.

Buddy Bear said...

On the plus side, I'm finding that by coming out at 49 I have a million times more self-confidence than I would have had as a teenager or a young man in my 20s.

That self-confidence and the attitude that goes with it has served me well in every unfamiliar gay situation I've been in so far.

CM said...

You have a massive part of the world telling you that being gay is being less then a man, that it's against God, that it's a choice (but we know we are all born gay, straight, bi or whatever), that it's disgusting and a lot more.

So to admit that you are gay is not easy. It's about understanding and reaching for information - because prejudice is all about ignorance.

Now, gay people can MARRY! Think about it: when you were born that was a distant reality.

So don't be too hard on yourself. I really hope someday people don't have to come out of the closet because we won't assume everyone is straight. But for that to became a reality it is necessary to show you can be a gay parent, a gay teacher, a gay fighter...


CM said...

"*than a man" not then lol

Anonymous said...

On my journey out - I decided to tell all my family and close friends personally (as much as I could practically anyway) - having told many many people, its been very refreshing (& I live in the mid-west) - with a lot of male friends, they've accepted (can't understand) - but now its out - we don't particularly talk about it & they are happy to stay close friends & this is why I've need to make some good close gay friends (which i have) to keep the balance in my life. Coming out, while hard work is so rewarding to help you switch your identity - I think that surviving an identity change as we all have is harder than any illness (cancer etc) that you can goes to the very fabric of who we are & how people know us. But, I don't want to live life with regrets, I want to help my family - but be honest about who I am.....Good Luck, Nick

T said...

Get over it and stop posting your naked pictures.

Biki said...

While I think that many gay people struggle with an identity that fits them, and is acceptable to others, as a whole it seems to be a common thread with nonconforming humans. Try being a geek who isnt a sci-fi lover. Or a being a femme t-man. We all walk paths of self discovery, balancing who we are, what we want and need, and whats seen as acceptable to the world at large.

An insight I've just come across, and I'll share it with you. Be the most genuine you possible. If they love you, they will love you. If they leave your side when they see the real you, they werent good for you anyway.

stay strong friend and you'll make it thru this too.