Coming Out

10/29/2011

 
Jonathan / 28 / California / chat_master17@hotmail.com

Wow, where to begin? I suppose I should start with, hey... my name is Jon. I am 28 years old, and I currently reside in Irvine, California. I am originally from Sioux City, Iowa. I consider myself to be a very quiet, shy, reserved type of person. I would like to think that is due to a proper, Midwestern upbringing; however, I think it relates more to my sheltered lifestyle as a child. I am the youngest of two children, and my father passed away when I was 7 years old... leaving my sister with the task of pretty much raising me (since mom had to take on more jobs to cover the bills). I never really felt quite right as a child. I don't like to use the word "normal", because normal for me may mean something completely different to someone else. We all have our own journeys of self-discovery and "body awareness". Every little boy is curious. But I can't say as if I had a true "coming out" experience... all-in-one... wham-bam-done... type of thing. For me, it was more of a journey, and a process.

Here goes... Growing up in Iowa, without a father, left a lot of responsibility to myself, my sister, my mother, and my grandparents. My sister would take care of me after school (if we weren't at day care), and we both would share our time with mom late at night after work, and on the weekends. But even at day care after school... I remember putting on dresses from the old closet...instead of picking out a toy to play with. I just wanted to spin! I could have spun for hours!! But that was just me playing. Wasn't it? I didn't think anything wrong with that. The time for being a kid was quickly ending, and I was being forced to grow up fast. My Grandpa Jack was a huge role model for me... needless to say, he stepped into my fathers shoes. He would take me to my Cub Scout meetings, and even taught me how to drive...in a vacant parking lot, under the age of 7!! haha

My mom's side of the family is from Nebraska. They are your typical farming families; everyone has a role in life. In their minds, you go to school, graduate, get a job, get married, raise a family, etc. I always felt different at the family get-togethers.

When my mom remarried, we moved to a small town of 680 people; I was now 9. Small towns are great when you have friends... but suck if you have a secret. Maybe it's because I lived in Iowa... or the fact that it was a small, rural community... but you didn't see two guys walking together. EVER. It seemed like everyone was boyfriend and girlfriend, and all these couples had strollers filled with multiple screaming little-ones. I remember that the only shows on TV that depicted the gay lifestyle was Will & Grace, and Ellen...both of which depicted the lifestyle as a comedy (which only made small town kids think it's ok to make jokes about it). To say the least, I kept quiet at school. I was already the talk of the town because I was the "new kid". It didn't help matters much that I am artistic... that I love to sing, and am good at it!; that I love to act... I draw/paint/sculpt. Oh, but did I ever go our for sports? Did I even know what sports were!?? No one picked me during P.E. No one asked if I wanted to play during recess. It's no wonder why to this day, I still don't know the concept of most sporting events. I never really had the interest. I would rather be creating something, singing something, being a part of the school play... than dealing with the tormenters on the field/court. Because I didn't play sports, in a small town, I was already labelled. Great.

I remember when I was 12 or 13... I had my own room, and a small 13" TV. I would stay up real late to watch Cinemax (aka "Skinamax") I was developing urges... but it wasn't until one night that I noticed something. I was literally waiting to touch myself until they would show more of the guy on screen. I could have cared less what was going on with the girl... I wanted to see more of HIM! That hit me like a ton of bricks... I didn't release that night. Instead I cried myself to sleep. I had come to the realization that, hey... I think I'm gay...OMG, what is my mom going to think!?!?! When I was 14, I sat my mom down on my bed and told her, "mom... I think I like guys." She immediately welled up with tears, and said, "No you don't. You're too young to know what you want! How do you know? This is just a phase... you'll grow out of it." And that was the end of it. I never approached the subject again... even to this day. I couldn't stand how hurt she was... but also of how neglectful she was of my own hurt, my own fears.

Back in school, I had close friends from choir that looked out for me. But no one really knew what was going on. It wasn't until high school that I found I really couldn't take it anymore. Constantly seeing my best friend bring his girlfriend along on our movie nights. Always asking my friend if she would want to go to Prom with me my Junior AND Senior year... only because I didn't have a guy to ask... I didn't think there even was one to ask. It was hard in high school. Not dating anyone, and seeing everyone else go out on the weekends...while I worked. Granted, I messed around with my best friend in high school... a lot. He was ok with it when I lied to him, telling him I was bisexual. I had no interest in girls, but I was afraid to tell him I was gay. He had a girlfriend, but we fooled around on the weekends, after school... whenever. So I thought he would be more "ok" with me being bisexual... more relate-able for him. It wasn't until my senior year when I finally told him, "dude... I'm not bi, I'm gay!" That crushed me. I lost my best friend... he stopped talking to me that day. He didn't talk to me again until my junior year of college. He regretted acting that way, and I guess just needed to get education of his own?

College was in-and-of-itself one large coming-of-age for me. My freshman year, I pledged a fraternity. In doing so, at one of our events I felt that it wasn't right for them to initiate me, when they didn't know the real me. We sat around a campfire... everyone told what the fraternity would mean to them, or what it has meant for them. My turn... I told them I was gay. I told them my story, and why I wanted to share it with them. Why I didn't want to be alone anymore. I had friends, but I was so weak... so tired of hiding from myself. I couldn't bare to even look up at the guys... my head was down, my eyes were filled with tears. The next thing I knew, I had 20+ guys surrounding me, comforting me, hugging me...telling me that it's ok and that they were so moved that I had the courage, as a 19 year old freshman in college to come out to a group of guys he hardly knew. I never felt so loved and cared for.

It was after that experience, that I felt it was only fitting to tell my sister. I think I was most afraid to tell my sister. She's two years older than me, and growing up was filled with a lot of spats and arguments. Typical brother sister stuff. I waited for the right time to tell her... haha, not really. We were watching TV in her apartment. I sat quiet for a long time, contemplating how I would tell her. Until I finally said, "Can I tell you something?" She responded with... "Jon, you don't need to say anything. I know." I was shocked. I didn't need to tell her? How did she know? Were we on the same page? Did she know I was going to say, "I'm gay"?!? She continued with, "I know you're gay, and it doesn't bother me like it bothers mom. I've always known. You're my brother! I still love you."

From that moment on, we became that much closer. It was a huge relief knowing that she was ok with it. It was even greater to know that I had now told my mom, and my sister... the only people I really cared the most about, and wanted them to know. I really don't care who knows that I am gay... but I want it to be my story, MY experience to share with them. Being outed is a horrible feeling... yeah, I get over it and move on with my life. But it's my story, and my life to share with people. This is why I am choosing to share it with you. I may have rambled on, and on, and on... hehe; but I wanted to give you as much of my experiences as I could. Hopefully you will find something to relate to. It is always so nice for me to know, that I have experienced something similar to someone else. It makes me feel like I am not alone, that I am not a freak... and that others are/were struggling with life just as much as I did.

Whether or not you come out to people... coming out to yourself, letting yourself be YOU and be FREE is most important. Once you discover yourself, you are able to really live life. There is always someone out there who wants to hear your story... someone who wants to be your shoulder to cry on... and I think this site is going to do just that. Empower yourself, and remember that you are not alone.

It only gets better... Hugz!
 

Brother

10/29/2011

 
Jacob / 18 / Indiana / jacob_pence@yahoo.com

Hello, my name is Jacob. About 10 years ago my oldest brother, Josh (Yeagley's Design's), came out to me and my other brother. When he told us, it went a little something like this..."Guys, I am gay.". To witch we replied..."Ya, we know". If you have a family member, or friend, or anyone close tell you they're gay, it doesn't quite come as a shock, because deep down you already know. But just because that person is gay, it doesn't change anything. They are still the same person as before, just a little more "open" (no pun intended). My brother is successful, self dependent, and living his life. He is crossing thing's off his bucket list all the time, which some people never accomplish.

Being gay shouldn't define a person, it should only define their sexual preference on Facebook.hahaha. Sure, every time that a gay guy see's a manhole they might laugh, but that is who they are. Gay people are judged way to harshly, but I don't get why; is it their incredible sense of style?, their friendliness?, and you know what I have never met a gay man who wasn't funny.

If someone comes out to you, just accept it. In my opinion, I think gay people are born that way, just as we straight people are, and there is nothing you can do about it to change it...If a child is born with two noses, do you make fun of that person? No you accept them for who they are. Not saying gay people are a deformation of any kind, I'm just saying. Gay people are only people, just a little more fancy. lol. No one should feel insecure or unsure about who they are, it is the people around them who make them feel welcomed and not judged. So if you are going through your "grand opening", or know someone who is, just be accepting.

If you have any question about someone you know coming out, feel to e-mail.
 

Coming Out

10/29/2011

 
Josh / 29 / California

11+ yrs out and proud!!:-) Growing up I have a always struggled with the feelling of knowing I was different by having feelings for men.  As I grew the feelings never went away, and it confused me more as I was told it was wrong to think or act that way.  I was  a churching going boy when I was growing up and that was the hardest part to deal with as they preached about how wrong it was almost every sunday.  I didnt know what to do so I tried to hide my feelings.  I will admit growing up I did act on my feelings every once in awhile, but I thought that ws just curiousity.  At the age of 9 I decided I wanted to be baptized and felt this will get ride of all this feelings and confusion i was going cause the church said it was so wrong and i felt this would wash away all these so called "bad" feelings.  I stood there in the water waiting to be saved I prayed for one thing and and that was "Lord if these feelings are not right and that is who I am not meant to be then please wash these sinful feelings away."  As i went under and came back up the door opened and the ose feelings came pouring threw me.  I was meant to be this person and I got my answer right then and there.  So now I had to figure out how to still keep this hidden as living in a small town in indiana was not the best place to be free in.  So for the next 10 years growing up was a challenge, I was picked on bullied and called all names under th esun as my true self was trying to break free and it was showing on th eoutside.  My senior year in high school was the hardest as I was fighting with my true feelings hardcore now the real me wanted to break free.  As the year started I slowly began to let the real me out and knew within a year I would be free to be me.  It was hard alot of name calling and fights and at times I just wanted to runaway or disapear, but I stood my grounds.  After high school I left for New Jersey and as I was driving I told myself this is it your free to be who you are, an I ripped that door off its hinges adn let it all out.  Though I was in a different state the times were still not up with the gay scene, so there were still alot of names calling and some backstabbing.  I was labeled as "the gay" the name josh never existing again, but I pulled threw and stood my grounds.  After 6 months of being out I finally told my mother and that was the hardest part,as my mom always told me she loves me no matter what and I can tell her anything, well this was one thing that I guess I wasn't suppost to tell her.  Bascially for 2 years she avoided the whole situation and bascially could not talk to me or look at me and that almost killed me in side, but I knew she just needed to be educated and eventually she would come around and realize I am her son and I am happy with being me and that I was strong and will be fine.  Now she has learned that I am who I am and she wouldnt have it any other way.  All my high school friends came around and love that I became so comfortable with myself and that I was myself, apparently thats all they wanted all those years in high school was for me to just be me, but they didnt know how to express that in the right way.  I love my family and friends more than anything.  Finally I made it to Cali 2 years later and now time has finally got up with the world and I was finally free to be me, yes there was still alot of closed mided peole but I educated them and showed them we are still the same just prefer a different partner.  I had my official coming out to the world on a TV show in 2004 and It showed how strong I was as a person and showed my true personality, and it brought me closer to everyone I knew cause I was officially free!!:-)  I love my life now, I have the best of friends (even still from high school), family, and supporters.  I would not change anything I went through to get here as I am the strongest I have ever been in my life.   Now I have started this site so we all can help educate
 everyone!!:-)