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Coming Out - How Did People Deal With It?
# 1 : Monday 15-8-2011 @ 22:42
So I guess Im a little late to the gay parade. I'm 26 years old and am only recently after coming out after many years of denial.

Ive always been one of the lads, and blended in easily with the straight crowd. I've lived the last 10 years of my life convincing myself and others that I was straight. Other than the whole pretending not to be interested in guys thing, it was relatively easy. I'm into sports, beer and belching, and not why you might call the stereotypical gay (as I know most gays aren't).

Anyway, over the last few months, my life has gone through some dramatic changes. Generally it's been for the better. I feel much more confident and at ease with myself, more tolerant and accepting, and for the first timr in mylire i feel truly proud and happy about the person I am. Its not necessarily something I would have said a year ago. I also never imagined I would have had the courage to come out to family and friends but I have done so and it's getting easier to do all the time.

At times though, it can be somewhat over whelming realising how far I have to come. It almost feels like I'm starting from scratch in another world. I never had any gay friends before. Maybe I tried to avoid them, not being comfortable wit my own sexuality myself. But my friends are all very straight, and I feel very alone on this journey. It's not something I can feel any of my male friends can relate to and I don't know how comfortable I'd feel talking to them about it.

While I'm comfortable with the idea of being gay, I don't really know how go a out being a gay man. As I said, I don't fit any stereotypes, and I don't think you'd really think it to talk to me (unless your gaydar is finely tuned). My friends have all been great so far, but the are also trying to politely ignore it I feel to a certain extent. It's made me a little unsure of how to carry myself around them at times. I know that sounds strange, but I felt so long suppressing that side of me, I don't know how to really express it now.

So far it's only been close friends and family I've told. I'm somewhat apprehensive about telling the my wider circle of friends and acquaintances. I don't want to hide it, but again I'm not comfortable carrying myself as a gay man to the world. I feel like I'll be the talk of the town and don't know if I'm ready for that. At the same time I hate having to hide it.

I have a wedding coming up at the end of the month, and I don't want to tell anybody from that circle until afterwards. I'm not comfortable with being the talk of the wedding, yet at the same time I feel very uncomfortable around that group of friends not being able to be myself around them.

Things like gay bars are also a struggle. I've been a few times, and have enjoyed the experience. But it's tough as well, as I've mostly had to go on my own. I've never been the most confident type and always struggled to strike up conversations with strangers. I've forced myself to do it at times, but it's been tough and awkward. Ive felt out of place and awkward, and it's hard to approach a guy or a group of guys on your own.

Im not necessarily looking for advice here, as I know that things will get easier as I get more used to things and I'll find my stride. With regard to meeting new friends, I'm hoping to make the next Gaire meet and get to know a few of you, and maybe try the outhouse as well to try and make contacts.

I guess I just needed to share some of this stuff with somebody, as I've been finding it hard not being able to talk to anybody about it. I would also like to know some of your experiences - how you dealt with these things, and what the experience was like for the rest of you. i know I'm not the only one to go through it.
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# 2 : Monday 15-8-2011 @ 22:47
I do hope everything will get a little easier for you with this part of your life.

So many people have passed through Gaire and used it as a starting point in making friends and getting acquainted to the scene etc.

I'm sure if you come back to this thread in 3, 6 months you'll be amazed at how far you've come.

Just go with the flow though, it will hopefully fall into place for you.
# 3 : Monday 15-8-2011 @ 22:56
Thanks for sharing that. You'll come to realise that there's no such thing as a typical gay. You don't need to conform to anyone else's rules or to any stereotype.

I decided one evening I was gay. Only a few years younger than you. My first ever night out in a gay bar I went in alone and came home with a boyfriend who lasted a number of months.

From there on in I went out alone, sometimes three or four times a week. I scored. I brought boys home. Some I fucked and waved goodbye to. Some I contracted yukky things from, but with some I became friends.

I gradually became more comfortable with being gay and making friends. I don't dance and am not really interested in the stereotypical gay things.

My only advice would be to take it at your own pace and do what feels comfortable. If you enjoy it then do it some more, if not then chalk it down to history.

Enjoy the next Gaire meet. You'll find out we come in all shapes and sizes.
# 4 : Monday 15-8-2011 @ 22:57
Fair play to you, I'm only out to very few people, I wouldn't try to be anyone else or fit a stereotype just be yourself
# 5 : Monday 15-8-2011 @ 23:40
26 is hardly late.

If you are into pubs and clubs, you could probably tag along with members from here on various weekends until you find your feet. Its also worth checking out the various activity groups, football, badminton, hillwalking etc.

https://www.gaire.com/e/d/gay_lesbian_and_bisexual_activity_and_s etc ...
# 6 : Tuesday 16-8-2011 @ 00:04
Great post Floggg.

Know some of what you're going through. When I first came out to myself, I struggled with how to get to know people. Random chats in bars are not my strength, and I'd spend half the evening staring at the phone. I went to a Gaire meet and talked away to everyone and found it much easier.

The sports groups are also a good idea. You've a common interest with the other members. Other than the fact that y'all just happen to be gay. There's also plenty of other social groups like dining and drama etc. that might be of interest. They're all examples of how the scene is diverse and not just a bunch of camp stereotypes.

Outhouse also has a number of different groups meeting. Not sure but I think one of them might be more focused on new people. If not, like you said, everyone's been there and can offer advice.

Well done on coming out to people and remember it is up to you who you come out to and when. Don't give out to yourself if it's not happening fast enough, you'll get there. I wouldn't worry too much about friends maybe not too sure how to talk about it with you, things like that (as in anything different) gets normal with time.
# 7 : Tuesday 16-8-2011 @ 00:06
I was "the talk of the wedding" a few years ago. My godfather who, with a second brandy too many, decided to tackle me. It was great seeing his confusion when my cousin laughed at him and told him off for pretending to be concerned when he was being nosey. And then an aunt -- his sister -- told him it was old news and that's what he got for living in the middle east.

I didn't enjoy the experience, but it was great to see other family members put him in his box.
# 8 : Tuesday 16-8-2011 @ 01:40
Thanks guys. Guess I needed to get some things off my chest.

I think part of the problem is I feel like I almost have two different sides to me - the regular side of me and the gay side. I dont know how to go about bringing the two together. I'm the regular old me most of the week with the odd interval at a gay bar or something.

It's not that I'm particularly trying to hide the gay side but I don't even know whereto begin in merging the two!

I don't know if that makes sense to anybody!
# 9 : Tuesday 16-8-2011 @ 01:43
It makes perfect sense,great thread BTW.
# 10 : Tuesday 16-8-2011 @ 02:06
Someone said :

I think part of the problem is I feel like I almost have two different sides to me - the regular side of me and the gay side. I dont know how to go about bringing the two together. I'm the regular old me most of the week with the odd interval at a gay bar or something.

Well it makes perfect sense to me, because you basically described me too in that paragraph there.
# 11 : Tuesday 16-8-2011 @ 14:47
Good post floggg and thanks for sharing. I also came out quite late (in these times anyway) and was your age before i was fully out to my family.

I don't really know how go a out being a gay man.

There is no instruction manual or particular way you should be. Just be yourself and go with the flow, dont change a thing. You dont need to conform to any stereotype!

I'm the regular old me most of the week with the odd interval at a gay bar or something.

There you said it - just keep being the regular old you, all the time. You will find you'll make friends easily and things will fall into place. In a years time you'll look back and you'll be surprised how you've gotten along and your "old" and "new" life blend together.
For me the main thing i thought at the time was i wish i'd done this sooner!

My main worry was probably coming out to new people in my life, work colleagues mostly, and still can be a little tricky sometimes-that old fear of how will they react or that they wont accept you or your relationship will change, but almost always its a non-issue as it ought to be. But you handle these things as time goes on in whatever way suits you and it gets easier as you get more confident in yourself.

The gay stereotype is just that - a stereotype and you will find that most of us are just regular joes! As Cheezy said we come in all shapes and sizes, and from every walk of life. You'll find most are like yourself and ultimately there's really no difference between gay & straight (bar sexual preference) we are all the same.

Gaire is a great place to start and you are sure to make friends here. And you are far from the only one in fact I would say most of us have had a similar experience and know how it feels.

You'll be fine
# 12 : Tuesday 16-8-2011 @ 15:45
Thanks X&Y.

I know it will get easier and it takes time. It's just a strange time in my life right now I guess. I guess it's hard at times because for the first time in my life I know who I am and am willing and able to open up to people, yet I feel as if I have nobody who I can discuss it with and be able to relate to me.

Family are supporting but I can't really seem to relate to them on this. They've all gotten upset for what I went through but none of them can appreciate how happy and excited I generally am abou this. I just don't think they'll get what I'm going through now.

I don't really feel I can talk to any mates on this either. Again, it's hard to merge the two. There's been a few light hearted jokes about it, but it's always awkward laughter between us. I've made a few references but I know they never now what to say. I don't really know what I'd want them to say!

Sloelad - glad it strikes a chord. I would have thought it might have been easier to deal with it at your age when you're young your identity hasn't fully formed (hope that doesn't sound condescending) but clearly not! To be honest it's good to hear that your not the only one in the world going through it and that it's just part of the experience. Helps you not to feel so alone in this.
# 13 : Tuesday 16-8-2011 @ 16:25
"regular side of me and the gay side"

There will come a time when they aren't different, and being gay will be as different from "regular" as having red hair, or as not liking tomatoes, or being into chess, etc.
# 14 : Tuesday 16-8-2011 @ 16:28
Someone said :
"regular side of me and the gay side"

There will come a time when they aren't different, and being gay will be as different from "regular" as having red hair , or as not liking tomatoes, or being into chess, etc.

Sick b@stards... you could have chosen a better example FFS
# 15 : Tuesday 16-8-2011 @ 18:36
I came out to my parents today. I told my dad that i had some news that might shock him. He thought that i was going to tell him that I had cancer. He was delighted that the news was only that i was gay. He said as long as i was happy that is all that matters. I thought he would have serious problems with it. How wrong was I. I am delighted now.
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