Being gay is okay: Information and advice for gay, lesbian, bisexual and unsure under twenty-fives.
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From [George] Age  Gender [M]
I am so angry about being gay. It bothers me that I am gay. I would literally give anything in the world to be straight. I can't take seeing the homophobia in the world anymore. It kills me inside that I have to hide who I am every day because people are too closed minded and ignorant. It's not okay that I fear for my safety everyday. I live in an upper class neighborhood and I'm not scared in my neighborhood but there are plenty people in this world who would have no problem killing me for being who I am. We can all sugar coat it and say homophobia and the idea of hating gays is passé, or daft, or 18th century thinking. Use whatever term you want, but the truth is the majority of this world still despise gay people. Yes here in America where I live and Europe amongst other parts of the world are evolving and changing. But even then only half of my country accepts gay rights based on the last tally. I just want to have a husband someday. I want to be able to go out with a boyfriend and just hold hands without getting dirty looks or stares. I want to know that if I choose to have kids someday their livelihood won't be in danger for having two dads. Even if all the homophobia in the world went away, it can't change what has already been done. I'm not out by any means but it's obvious I'm gay. The bullying I faced in the past killed my feelings of self worth. That no matter what I can no longer fully recover. I don't get bullied anymore, some of the guys who were mean to be when I was younger have grown up and I have become friendly with some. But I would never actually become good friends with them. I have been cutting myself on and off for years now. The last time I did it was in December. I see other out gay people in my school, and I'm just so happy for them that they are comfortable with who they are and can be who they are. Where I live is liberal and my family and friends are accepting of gay people. But that's just general amount of people. I hear kids say they hope gays suffer. My state just became the latest state in America to legalize gay marriage. Most people were fine with it, but I saw so many tweets from kids saying its disgusting and wrong. It kills me that when I die there's still going to homophobia in this world. It also makes me mad at myself. Who am I to complain about how hard it is to be gay, when there are people in other countries who get sentenced to death for being gay. Like I am in a place where i could come out and anyone that would have a problem aren't people i socialize with. Ive spent my entire teenage years depressed over this. I will never get these years back. And i feel like i wasted them being so unhappy and in the closet. How can I be happy? I That's my problem, I don't know how to be happy.
I think you’re wrong that the majority of people in the world right despise gay people. ‘Despise’ is a very strong word. I’d suggest that some people, the minority, have an irrational, deep-seated and unchangeable hatred of gay people, but that many more are uncomfortable - rather than hate-filled - with homosexuality, out of fear, unfamiliarity or ignorance. I think there’s room for positive change with people like that. Many more are indifferent, accepting or supportive. Sure, some countries have a culture of intolerance toward gay people, and there are certainly parts of the world I’ll happily steer clear of. But so are there parts of the world my straight friends would steer clear of too, because some cultures would disapprove of sex before marriage, for example. You can’t expect everyone to approve of everything you do and have some kind of global validation or acceptance. Heck, there are plenty of people out there who would still treat people of different races unfavourably. You don’t need approval from everyone. Focus on those who are important to you: loving, kind people who you want to be surrounded by. Hateful nutters from far flung places don’t matter except for those gay people unfortunate enough to live there too.
I know there is hate closer to home and, again, I urge you to focus less broadly. You may not be able to stroll around holding hands with a guy in every neighbourhood, but what’s important is that your friends and family are supportive, that you feel safe in your home and surrounding environment, and that you’re treated fairly at work and have the same rights and opportunities as straight folk. Don’t suffer because some people are hateful. You see other people in school who are out and happy, and you say you live in a liberal environment where friends and family are accepting of gay people. These are important facts and not to be swept aside because some kids repeat on Twitter what they heard their dad say once about gays. The world isn’t perfect, not for gays and not for straights. That shouldn’t paralyse you in your tiny part of it.
I think the bullying you have suffered in the past has battered your confidence. You sound depressed and you need help for the self-harm. Time for some change. What is stopping you from talking about your sexuality and how you feel to a friend or family member, when you say they’re fine about gay people? Why not reach out and let those who care about you offer some support? Perhaps talk to a school counsellor. There’s no reason why you can’t also be one of the happy, out people in school. The only thing that’s different between you and them is these negative thinking habits and traps you’ve fallen into. You are 17 - a very young man - and have many years ahead. Don’t waste time looking back and getting down about time spent being down! Look ahead. The world is a real mix of positive and negative, and that goes for everyone, but it sounds as though your part of it is pretty good. Give those around you a chance to be there for you. I’m sure they’d be sad if they knew you were suffering. Especially since it seems so needless.
Hi, I'm a 21 year old guy. I've always known I was gay but the problem is I can't accept it. It has caused me to fall into a deep depression that I can't get out of. I have chatted to guys online but ive never been with a guy because I back away as soon as meeting up is mentioned. I am not out as I can't accept it so how can others? It seems like I'm going to be like this my whole life. What am I going to do?
Why is it that you beat yourself up over being gay? Your sexuality isn’t something you can change, nor should have to. Are the people around you very hostile toward gay people? Were you raised in a negative, unsympathetic and homophobic environment? Are your family and friends bigots? Have you seen other gay people being treated badly in your home town? Do a bit of soul-searching and try to identify the blockage here: something is stopping you from accepting your lot and making the best of it. Something is trapping you and preventing you from having a rich and enjoyable time on this planet. I have a feeling it’s you.
What’s so dreadful about fancying guys? You want a family - you can still have one. You want love, romance and sex - you can have them. As a gay man, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t meet someone, fall in love, and build a happy, healthy future together, if that’s what you want. You clearly want to reach out, since you’ve been chatting to guys online. But you choose to deny yourself the opportunity to meet them and allow the possibility of a relationship to come into your life. Why? You're punishing yourself for no good reason; nobody else is giving you a hard time.
You are wrong in saying that because you can’t accept your sexuality then others won't either. You may find that some are very supportive and, via their acceptance, you may find it easier to be kinder to yourself, which is certainly something you need to work on. Allow someone else to be okay about your sexuality. You don’t need to be over the moon about being gay in order to let someone else be cool about it. Let people help. Those who care about you will want to.
I remember a night out in London many years back. I went to a gay bar with a group of straight friends from work. It was a lovely evening. I was single at the beginning and the end of the night, but that was okay. I was surrounded by happy, confident gay men and had no rational reason not to count myself as one of them. After all, being gay wasn’t a crime I was committing. Why shouldn’t I be accepted by friends and have an enjoyable evening, filled with possibilities? On the walk back to the train station I saw a man - probably mid-30s - crying and shouting about his inability to accept his homosexuality. He’d clearly gone to Soho to connect with people and break down a barrier or two, but was terribly distressed at his own insistence on feeling bad about who he was. There was nobody with him giving him a hard time, nobody stopping him from entering a bar and striking up a conversation. Nobody preventing him from seeing that he's not so different from those confident guys who are getting on with their lives. He wasn't a confused teen, but a grown-up man. I remember thinking that life is far too short for good people to feel bad about not being straight. Nobody is born with hangups about their sexuality. We develop those as we grow up, based on the attitudes of others and what we think we should be in order to be acceptable.
It’s down to you to recognise your sexuality for what it is: a foundation from which to build. Nothing more. If it’s bad or wrong or evil it’s only because you’ve decided as much. Give yourself a break.
From [Lee] Age  Gender [M]
I've always been slightly curious i've never experimented but i have cross dressed on and off and can't give it up
A few days ago i went to a fancy dress party and there was a really hot guy in drag
we started flirting and after a lot of drinks we went back to his and had sex
I'll admit i enjoyed it and haven't stopped thinking about that night
now he wants to meet up again and i want to!
I can't figure out if i'm gay or fancy him because he was in drag
any advice would really help!
Sexuality isn’t a black-and-white issue and it’s often not as simple as “I like girls” or “I like guys”, as you’ve discovered with this man in drag. You obviously had a good time, but it’s left you with questions about your sexuality. Even though this man was dressed in female clothing you still knew he was a guy, so it shouldn’t be a big shock when I state here that you had gay sex that night. Once the frock was off, you weren’t shocked to discover a man underneath. Cross-dressing doesn’t make you gay - plenty of straight men enjoy cross-dressing - but sleeping with a man does. At the very least, it’s safe to say that you are bisexual.
You talk about your own cross-dressing in terms of not being able to give it up. Why try? If you enjoy it and it feels right, then there’s no reason why it can’t be a part of your life. I’m sure there are plenty of guys out there who are into it too who you can enjoy it with. And as for this guy who you enjoyed a night with, why not see him again? To deny yourself something you want and enjoy seems bonkers to me. You’ll only make yourself feel down and frustrated. A self-imposed abstinence benefits no one.
You can analyse and pick apart all the things you feel, or just enjoy something that feels right. Seeing this guy again isn't a lifelong commitment or definitive statement about all your sexuality will every be. It’s just what feels good right now, and is giving you some insights into who you are. Have fun.
From [Adam] Age  Gender [M]
Hi I'm 16 and when I was in primary 4-7 I used to get dry humped by this guy in my year every time we had sleepovers and we snogged and watched each other get changed but no proper intercoarse. This, I fear, has severely affected the person I am today. I have never really had a relationship with a female and I never think of them sexually so I'm scared that I'm gay because of what the boy did to me (he offered to shag me and I didn't know what that meant at the time). Now I hate who I am - I want to be able to feel sexually attracted to females and I don't know if I can because I do find them attractive so is it possible that I have feelings for them hidden away? I have never really told anyone this, its a burden I've carried alone and I don't see that boy anymore. I just want to stop having to hate myself all the time and at least discover who I am. How do I go about forgetting him and moving on? Also, the mates I hang around with at school (males) constantly cuddle each other do things that guys do playfully and they’re suspicious of me because people have noticed that I don't allow them to hug me and I think its because I fear that one of them will do what that boy did to me again. A part of me wants to have sex with them and I know that they're straight and that can't happen. Also, any male I get close to I think will want to do sexual things which I know isn't right. There is this thing inside my head that CONSTANTLY makes me believe that every male wants sex with me, how do I turn this off before I make myself vulnerable and try to make a move on a guy and thus revealing who I am? So I don't know why I'm here really, I guess its because I don't know if I can go through this alone anymore... believe it has gotten to the point where I have considered suicide because of all this.
The experiences you had with your friend when younger haven’t made you gay. In fact, these sort of experiences and experiments are common in young people, at a time when sexual feelings are starting to emerge and we become curious about others. But it’s not the case that the first person we get close to solidifies our adult sexuality. Your lack of sexual interest in females is nothing to do with what happened when you were younger. You weren’t sexually abused: you shared - and apparently enjoyed - a level of intimacy with a male friend. There’s nothing wrong with that. Many straight men report that they had some same-sex experiences when younger, and many gay men have had experiences with women too.
Memories of what happened are bothering you and they shouldn’t. Neither of you did anything wrong. Time to accept it and let it go. As you say, you need to stop being hard on yourself and leave the way clear to discovering who you are. It’s in our nature to become a touch obsessive and get fixed on thinking about particular things, but that can change. You may find my mental health section useful when it comes to fostering better and more positive ways of thinking.
So how do you feel about guys and girls now? Many people your age don’t have all the answers, so don't feel bad if you can't answer that question fully, or even at all. It sounds as though there's a degree of interest in guys that you feel bad about, but a lack of sexual interest in females alongside an appreciation of their attractiveness. In my reply to Scott (also on this page) I talk to him about why he feels bad about being gay, so I won’t repeat all that here, but I do urge you to spend some time thinking about why feelings of same-sex attraction bother you so much and why it’s become a big hurdle that you’re struggling with. So what if what happened with your friend was a precursor to your true adult sexuality? Would that be the end of the world? No, it just means you fancy guys and you got an early start in exploring it. As for your lack of interest in women, that doesn’t mean that you’ll never fancy any. You may be bisexual but lean more toward men. Moving through life you'll meet many people who cause you to feel different ways.
Your sexuality will form and make more sense to you as you get older. The distress over your past hasn’t helped you to see clearly, but perhaps you can start to be kinder to yourself now and pave the way for greater clarity. It’s absolutely essential that whatever way your sexuality leans that you feel okay about it. Guilt and hang-ups won't change who you are - they’ll just make you feel dreadful about it and prevent you from getting close to people. Again, there’s nothing alarming or unusual in your email and, of course, there’s nothing wrong with being gay. The problem is how you choose to classify what happened in your past and how you choose to feel about your present, burgeoning sexuality.
From [Katherine] Age  Gender [F]
I get bullied on the bus because everyone things i am gay but infact i am bi-sexual. I would like to tell my head of year so he can sort it out. The only problem is after telling him i have suicidal thoughts he now has a habit of ringing my parents every time i speak to him. I haven't told my parents and want to keep it that way. Any ideas on what to do?
Your teacher did the right thing by contacting your parents after you told him of your suicidal thoughts. If you were to hurt yourself and he hadn’t informed anyone about what you said, then he’d have failed to protect you or to get you the proper help. Often counsellors will keep everything confidential, whether dealing with a child or adult, but break that confidentiality only if they think their client is in danger. It’s a similar situation with your teacher.
The problem now is that, as far as he’s concerned, you’re in a risk group and he will be more likely to discuss your case with others in order to protect you and ensure that he’s doing his job properly. Having said that, discussions around sexuality shouldn’t be reported to parents unless he feels that it’s linked to the suicidal thoughts.
When it comes to reporting the bullying you suffer on the bus, sexuality is completely irrelevant. It doesn’t matter what names the bullies call you or what excuses they use for giving you a hard time. The relevant information that a teacher needs is that the bullying is occurring at all and who the perpetrators are. What you choose to tell the teacher about your sexuality - if anything - is up to you. In other words, you can report homophobic bullying without coming out. Your teacher may ask you what words the bullies use to hurt you, but listing them is not an admission of bisexuality. Please speak to your teacher about the bullying as soon as possible. It’s not fair or right that anyone should be afraid and unable to get the most out of school. Please see my bullying section for more.
If you feel that you want to talk about your sexuality generally, then perhaps speak to a friend or family member, someone who won’t report to your parents. You have a right to privacy, but as a yound person this can be harder to find.
From [Angel] Age  Gender [F]
I came out to my family about 1 week ago and now they hate me and the wont talk to me what should I do By angel </3
You did a very brave thing by coming out and I’m sorry that you haven’t had a positive reaction from the people around you. You haven’t done anything wrong by asking your loved ones to accept your sexuality and to treat you the same as before. You paid them a great compliment by being so open and honest. Many homes are full of secrets and unhappy people, but you opened up and told the truth.
Since your family have reacted in such a negative way and are being cruel by not speaking to you at all, it’s best that you don’t raise the subject of your sexuality in the immediate future. You’ve given the news, so there’s no need to emphasise it or press the issue. Your family have decided not to create an environment where a family member can discuss sexuality freely, and this isn’t something you can change easily, no matter how frustrated you must feel. Allow time for the dust to settle. Try to be calm and not create or get into situations of conflict. In time, your family will have no choice but to accept - or at least tolerate - your sexuality, especially when you meet someone special that you plan to build a future with. If they choose not to budge, then they risk missing out on being an important part of your life. That would be their decision and not as a result of something you’ve done wrong. Remember, they are supposed to be the grown-ups here, with all the wisdom that suggests, but they’re choosing to behave in a childish and cruel way. Try not to judge them too harshly, as they are products of their own upbringing, but know that by coming out and being honest with your family you have shown far greater maturity and a desire to create an open and accepting - a better - family dynamic.
Be patient, be the grown-up. Make plans, talk to friends and adults who are more accepting and supportive. Make the most of any resources available to you. Don’t let this unfortunate start put a negative light on future coming out plans. Not everyone will behave as your family have. You can be happy, and surrounded by accepting people. And there’s always hope that your family will come around, even if it takes a while. Coming out was an incredible brave and positive thing to do. Don’t lose that optimistic momentum because you’ve been let down on this occasion.
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