Hi 24hourclock, and thanks very much for your openness here – you know the saying, for every one who posts there’ll be 10 not posting who will be thinking “Man, I can so identify with that!!” and following the responses.
I’m 32 and in Perth, and had a bit of a crazy path to accepting my sexuality at 18 – however it was somewhat aided by the fact I’d already been exiled from my church for unrelated reasons a few months before. (The whole story is here.) One comment you made particularly resonated with me:
It will change my relationships, particularly with other guys. Growing up I can’t say I ever seemed to have one close mate. In the last few years, I’ve become good mates with a guy from church, and it’s been really great. I definitely fear that coming out to him will have a massive impact on the relationship. […] I’ve never ever been interested in him in, but I do fear that were I to come out to him, he might think that I was/had been.
I won’t deny that there is some truth in that – I too didn’t have consistently solid friendships with my peers, and I lost my best friend (to whom the last sentence applied quite well) over my sexuality – but had already begun to make new friends before that happened and I was truly amazed by some of the people (including at least one conservative Christian) who *did* stick by me. The friendships I formed after that were a lot more stronger and trust-centred than those I had valued previously and were with a much wider variety of people.
More than that, I have heaps of straight friends who I know for a fact would not take it well if I was gay. One even said that he wouldn’t talk to me, or any of his mates if they came out to him. I know what people will say to this, but I guess I’m saying ‘it would just be easier if I was straight’.
I don’t know what your circumstances are re friends, but is adopting a “need to know” principle for coming out a worthwhile strategy? I regard myself as out, but relatively few people I interact with in my real life actually know because the nature of our friendship or connection simply doesn’t lean towards them needing to know a heap of stuff about my personal life.
– I hate the stereotype that comes with being gay.
Don’t we all? I’m a big bloke more at home in a black t-shirt at a hard rock concert than a dance club (and I go to a fair few of the former). Additionally I work in an occupation where if my sexuality were more widely known, I could encounter some issues. This is partly why I use an obscure nickname which I only use at this forum. I guess I am fortunate in the sense that I’ve encountered relatively little homophobia because I am fairly removed from the stereotype.
– Where do you even meet gay guys? When you’re straight, girls are everywhere for you to meet. When you are gay, only one in every very few guys are gay. And then those that are, are often so sex driven that I wouldn’t waste my time.
When you find out, can you please let me know too? I’ve been wondering the answer to that for several years. 🙂
My point is, that being straight would make life so much more simple, but yet, I can’t change it.
I know the feeling. And I wish you the best of luck in your journey.