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Old 11-30-2006, 02:41 PM   #481
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Originally posted by Mr. Green Eyes
I'm gay, and I was wondering was the best way, in your opinion, to come out to your friends and family?


there is no one way to do it. it is different for everybody.

based on my experience, friends are easier. there's less at stake with them, and chances are, most of them might already have a clue or have talked about it with other friends. they probably won't be as surprised as you think they might be, and most will probably be flattered that you came out to them.

my advice, for friend, is not to make coming out into a big event. i don't agree with the approach of, "can we go get coffee? there's something really important i have to tell you." they might think someone has died or you have cancer. instead, i'd recommend bringing it up as part of conversation if you were to go out together, say at dinner or having beers after a movie, or whatever seems most comfortable. the more comfortable and relaxed you are with coming out, the more comfortable and relaxed your friends will be. it's a big part of who you are, but just a part of who you are, and you should treat it as such.

for me, specifically, i mentioned it in the context of dating. i'd tell people that i was in a relationship (this was a few years ago, my first "real" relationship since it was the first time i'd dated a man) and also that it was with another guy. i remember reavealing the information in a matter-of-fact manner, but with a little bit of emotional emphasis. i didn't want to do a big deep breath, nervous hands, shuffling feet, staring off into the distance, and then pronouncing, "I'M GAY" after a long dramatic pause.

that's my experience and advice. but it is different for everyone. i would choose a gay-friendly friend to start with (though, by the end, i would imagine that all your friends will be gay-friendly) and then move on to others. chances are, they'll talk. and everyone will know faster than you think. and what please me most was that the gossip wasn't, "OMG, did you hear Irvine is gay!?!?!" but it was more like, "hey, guess what, Irvine just came out. good for him."

but i had an easy experience. it is different for everyone. but the younger you are, the easier it will be.

as for parents ... that's a different story. some people never tell their parents, directly, but they know. some people tell their parents before their friends. you really have to take a good hard look at your relationship with them, and take into account their expressed attitudes towards homosexuality, and then make a decision. it might be hard at first, but it gets easier. it does. think of how long it took you to get used to the idea of being gay -- you have to afford them the same amount of time to get used to it. for many parents, there's initial shock, but then once they realize that their child is no different than they were the 30 seconds before he/she came out, it begins to be less of a big deal. try and understand that they grew up in a far more homophobic environment than today, and they have probably been inculcated with horrible stereotypes of gays and lesbians for most of their lives. homophobia hurts EVERYBODY, not least of which the families and friends of gay people.

it might be good to approach a sibiling first. get their reaction, then ask how they think the parents might react. perhaps it's already been discussed.

i don't know your age, but if you are still living at home, make sure there is some place you can go for the night if the reaction is unusually bad. your parents will always love you, but shock can do

here's some info from a goood website:

[q]THEY'LL EXPERIENCE LOSS

Parents and Children Switch Roles

When you come out to your parents, you may find your parent-child roles reversed for a while. They will need to learn from your experience. As your parents deal with your disclosure, you must assume the "parenting" role by allowing them time to express their feelings and make progress toward new insights.

This will not be easy. You'll want them to understand and grasp this important part of your life right away.

It will be easy for you to become impatient. You'll need to repeat many of the same things. Just because you've explained something once does not mean they heard it. Their understanding will evolve slowly -- painfully slowly -- at the beginning. Their emotional reactions will get in the way of their intellectual understandings.

Allow them time and space. Consider your own journey; you've been working on this issue for years! Although the issues your parents will work through are similar to those you've dealt with, the difference is that you're ahead of them in the process. Be patient.



Separation And Loss

Many families take the news as a temporary loss -- almost as a death -- of the son or daughter they have known and loved. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross describes the stages related to the death of a loved one as denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Just as in grief, the first reaction of parents of gays and lesbians centers around separation and loss.

I remember one morning when my son was fixing breakfast at the stove, as I sat at the kitchen table reading the newspaper. I looked at him and wanted to say, "I don't know who you are, but I wish you'd leave and send my son Ted back."

Parents experience loss when their child comes out, but it probably will be only temporary.



Not An Absolute Progression

Although the stages described here apply to most people, they are not an absolute progression for everyone. Sometimes a stage occurs out of order; occasionally one is skipped. Some progress through the stages in three months, others take years.

A few -- often due to self-pity -- make no progress at all. In any case, the initial feeling is usually one of loss.

Most parents think they know and understand their children from the day of their birth. Even though they cling to old stories -- and sometimes evidence confusion in telling some of them -- most remain confident that they know what's going on inside a child.

They lose the perception they once had of their child and don't yet know if they will like the real person who is replacing that idea. Those who experience the biggest shock when their child comes out probably are those who suffer the greatest feeling of loss and rejection.

It's not that they separate from the child as much as it is that they feel their child has willfully separated from them.



A Traumatic Discovery

They sense the separation -- which you've probably been aware of for years -- for the first time. It's a traumatic discovery. With understanding and patience from all parties, that relationship can be restored. In fact, in most cases it improves because it's based on mutual honesty.

http://www.outproud.org/brochure_coming_out.html

[/q]

in fact, i encourage everyone to read that website, gay or straight, parent or not, because it's offers many good, humanizing insights into the coming out process.

goood luck to you.

please PM me if you need to.
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Old 11-30-2006, 10:42 PM   #482
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Thanks, so much. I never knew that it could be so confusing. I went on that website that you posted, it was very informitive. Just out of cursitity, do you have any suggestions for gay books, like memiors? I've already read all of Augusten Burroughs memiors, and a little bit of David Sedaris. They were both very good authors. Once again, thanks.
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Old 11-30-2006, 10:48 PM   #483
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Old 12-01-2006, 12:33 AM   #484
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
my advice, for friend, is not to make coming out into a big event. i don't agree with the approach of, "can we go get coffee? there's something really important i have to tell you." they might think someone has died or you have cancer. instead, i'd recommend bringing it up as part of conversation if you were to go out together, say at dinner or having beers after a movie, or whatever seems most comfortable. the more comfortable and relaxed you are with coming out, the more comfortable and relaxed your friends will be. it's a big part of who you are, but just a part of who you are, and you should treat it as such.

for me, specifically, i mentioned it in the context of dating. i'd tell people that i was in a relationship (this was a few years ago, my first "real" relationship since it was the first time i'd dated a man) and also that it was with another guy. i remember reavealing the information in a matter-of-fact manner, but with a little bit of emotional emphasis. i didn't want to do a big deep breath, nervous hands, shuffling feet, staring off into the distance, and then pronouncing, "I'M GAY" after a long dramatic pause.
I'm not gay but having had several friends come out to me before, I think this is really good advice--to do it in as natural and relaxed a social setting as possible. As stupid as it sounds, the biggest anxiety most straight friends are likely to feel about the situation has nothing at all to do with you; it's about them and their uncertainty that they'll be able to hit upon the "right", perfectly timed, super-supportive thing they really want to say--if they only knew what that was. And so the more your behavior suggests that you see this as a crisis situation of some sort, the more anxious and uncomfortable they're likely to feel...even though, as mentioned, the chances are very high that they either already know, or else have at least wondered about it many times. If you do happen to be in a relationship, I can definitely see where that would put straight friends more at ease, too, since there's a topic we can relate to from experience and know how to make conversation about. I'm sure it may not always feel very natural or relaxed from your end, but like Irvine said, most friends will more be moved and flattered that you came out to them than anything else.

Bringing siblings into it before parents is something I know several of my gay friends found very helpful, too.

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Old 12-01-2006, 12:37 AM   #485
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irvine, why did you make 9/11 happen?

i heard this...
in person

asked, but i won't say where. but it was in person.

you and your lot were blamed for 9/11.

clearly you have a LOT of explaining to do!
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Old 12-01-2006, 09:52 AM   #486
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Originally posted by Zoomerang96
irvine, why did you make 9/11 happen?

i heard this...
in person

asked, but i won't say where. but it was in person.

you and your lot were blamed for 9/11.

clearly you have a LOT of explaining to do!


wow.

well, i've been blamed, in here no less, for the destruction of the family and the decline of western civilization, so i suppose 9-11 is just another piece of that puzzle.

that, and our long-standing alliance with the Jews. and the French.
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Old 12-01-2006, 09:54 AM   #487
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Originally posted by diamond


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Old 12-01-2006, 10:21 AM   #488
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Green Eyes
Thanks, so much. I never knew that it could be so confusing. I went on that website that you posted, it was very informitive. Just out of cursitity, do you have any suggestions for gay books, like memiors? I've already read all of Augusten Burroughs memiors, and a little bit of David Sedaris. They were both very good authors. Once again, thanks.


Burroughs and Sedaris are loads of fun, especially Sedaris, but i would also explore some more serious stuff as well as coming out stories.

there's a huge amount of literature, and if you're up for it, you can try and locate a gay bookstore in your area and find mountains of novels on pretty much every area of gay life. i can recommend some of the following from my own experience:

"Who was that Man? A Present for Mr. Oscar Wilde," Neil Bartlett (LOVED this one in college)
"Love Undetectable," Andrew Sullivan (sometimes annoyingly self absorbed, but beautifully written and emotional)
"Openly Bob," Bob Smith (fun, funny)
"The Line of Beauty," Alan Hollinghurst (this won the Booker Prize in 2004, i think, just made into a saucy BBC miniseries that you can catch on LOGO)
"Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story," Paul Monette (explores the pain of the closet)
"The City and the Pillar," Gore Vidal (the first major novel to put gay men front in center, published in 1948)
"Giovanni's Rooom," James Baldwin (a classic)
"The Hours," Michael Cunningham (depressing, but moving, and the movie's quite good too)

there's also a huge world of LGBT blogs that's well worth exploring, and there's TONS of queer cinema as well:

"Gods and Monsters"
"Being John Malkovich"
"Boys Don't Cry"
"The Talented Mr. Ripley"
"Wonder Boys"
"Hedwing and the Angry Inch"
"Y tu mama tambien"
"Far From Heaven"
"A Home at th eEnd of the World"
"Kinsey"
"Brokeback Mountain"

and anything by Pedro Almodovar
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Old 12-01-2006, 05:37 PM   #489
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Originally posted by Irvine511


"One day you will look...back
And you'll see...where
You were held...how
By this love...while
You could stand...there
You could move on this moment
Follow this feeling"

i mean, that could be about coming out.
That's funny that you mention that, because these lines would always go over and over in my head when I was hesitant to admit to myself that I was very much attracted to my now girlfriend (I'm a girl.) And it really resonated with me because I wanted so badly to just "follow this feeling."

That's just my little anecdote, but I do have a question:

What is your opinion on bisexuality? Because I know that some people (both gay and straight) view it as sort of a trivial on the fence thing, or a transition period before fully coming out. Do you believe it is a legitimate orientation, or as merely sexual confusion?

(I don't know if that was worded in the most clear way, I hope it makes sense).
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Old 12-02-2006, 10:14 AM   #490
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511




if i had gone into academics instead of television, i imaigne i would have spent a good amount of time -- since i would have done either American Studies or Media Studies -- going back over media "texts" and unearthing homoerotic subtext. there's loads of it through cinema -- just look at some of the more obvious examples: "lawrence of arabia" or "rebel w/out a cause." it's rather amazing how such subtext was woven through these stories, either intentionally or unintentionally, and you begin to learn the semiotics of gay "code" -- all fascinating stuff, and which is why i thought "far from heaven" was so brilliant, because it took what was once subtext and made it into the actual text, yet retained that perfect look, and managed not to play any of it for laughs. that, and Julianne Moore was so utterly perfect in every way imaginable.

as you know ... "sometimes a hero takes me/ sometimes i can't let go/ hello, hello/ stories for boys ..."
I really hope you do this anyway, it looks fascinating and I'd love to read it!
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Old 12-02-2006, 11:57 AM   #491
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I really hope you do this anyway, it looks fascinating and I'd love to read it!


if you go digging through "EYKIW" you'll find a thread titled, "Boy is a Gay Album" that has some really interesting stuff.

of course, it was derailed by people who, bluntly, were misinformed (or oblivious to) the mission of queer studies, but there's some interesting stuff in there.

and, seriously, "Boy" is a fascinating album read from a queer standpoint. while "Pop" is the most overtly "gay" album, it borrowing so much from dance culture, the most textually "gay" U2 album is "Boy."
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Old 12-02-2006, 12:46 PM   #492
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What is your opinion on bisexuality? Because I know that some people (both gay and straight) view it as sort of a trivial on the fence thing, or a transition period before fully coming out. Do you believe it is a legitimate orientation, or as merely sexual confusion?


i don't have an opinion on bisexuality, because like homosexuality or heterosexuality, it is neither intrinsically good or bad, it simply is. some people are bisexual, some people are straight, some people are gay. simple as that. it's absurd to say that you "agree" or "disagree" with a sexual orientation.

but i know what you are getting at, and in my experience, it's a bit different for men than it is for women.

it is true, and i plead guilty here, that many gay people (men especially) claim that they are bisexual when, 9 times out of 10, they'd pick a guy over a girl. claiming bisexuality is a way for many men who haven't fully come to grips with their natural sexual orientation to keep open the door to heterosexuality and conforming to societal expectations. that's a powerful motivator, and i claimed bisexuality well into my first real (i.e., gay) relationship. for me, bisexuality was a stop on the bus to gaytown, and many people suspect that it is that way for many, if not most, men who say they are bisexual. however, there are of course bisexual men, and their attraction to men or women tends to ebb and flow over time, and it does more come down to loving a person.

women, on the other hand, for whatever reason, seem to be able to go back and forth between the genders in a way that men don't usually seem to be able to. i also think that because there's a much stronger notion of the political in lesbianism, as well as the fact that now women are almost encouraged to "explore" with other women (though this is usually for straight male fantasy-fulfillment), there are more women who are willing to try on the bisexual label out of curiosity, and perhaps a bit of pressure, when bisexual might not be their true orientation. men, however, do not have the same freedom to explore that women do. if a guy is caught with another guy, he's considered gay; if a girl is caught with another girl, she's just experimenting, fooling around, having fun, etc. (and i think women themselves would be far, far more suspicious of a "straight" man who's had some same-sex encounters in the past than a man with a straight woman who's had some same-sex encounters in her past).

however, this is speculation on my part; a woman would have to speak to this.

underneath all of this, some old gender stereotypes rear their heads, and while i'm always suspicious, they do tend to be true more often than not in my experience. generally speaking, a man's sexual attraction starts in the visual, a woman's sexual attraction starts in the emotional. there are women i love emotionally, but i could never be physically attracted. it's very simple; they possess the wrong anatomy. women, on the other hand, don't get as hung up on anatomy, or it isn't as critical to the female sexual response, so they can thusly slide between different anatomy due to their emotional attachment to whichever person they are currently with.

so ... long-winded, i apologize. but i think it's important to trust people. if someone says they're gay, believe them; if someone says they're bisexual, believe them; if someone says they're straight, believe them.
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Old 12-02-2006, 12:59 PM   #493
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Irvine, I agree to an extent that many women go back and forth more easily, that society is more open and encouraging to women exploring, etc. But I've known several lesbians who used bisexuality as a stop on the bus to lesbiantown. I've known others who've been truly bisexual, most going back and forth in phases as to which gender they were more interested in at a given time.
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Old 12-02-2006, 01:22 PM   #494
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
there's also a huge world of LGBT blogs that's well worth exploring, and there's TONS of queer cinema as well:

"Gods and Monsters"
"Being John Malkovich"
"Boys Don't Cry"
"The Talented Mr. Ripley"
"Wonder Boys"
"Hedwing and the Angry Inch"
"Y tu mama tambien"
"Far From Heaven"
"A Home at th eEnd of the World"
"Kinsey"
"Brokeback Mountain"

and anything by Pedro Almodovar
You forgot "Top Gun."
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Old 12-02-2006, 01:38 PM   #495
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You forgot "Top Gun."


indeed i did. good call.

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