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.