I'm 30 years old and I've been with my partner for nearly 8 years. I've never been happier. I found my soul mate, the love of my life very early and we're inseparable but up until this moment I've struggled with finding the real me. I've never been a massive fan of labeling people or peoples preferences like gay, bi, straight - we're all human and we all deserve to love and be loved. I honestly think my personal acceptance of being gay was a lie all those years ago. I told myself I was to feel better but I think it's only now I am truthfully accepting it. For so long I have disliked the word "gay" when people used it to describe me, I closed up and shut down. Felt embarrassed and my body temperature would rise through the roof!
Over the past few weeks I've begun to really surprise myself. I suffer from anxiety and my emotions and mood can turn faster than a cake lover running towards a bakery. I've always been a little hermit crab. Staying in, messing around on the computer but lately I've taken a real positive approach to who I am. I'm actively trying to make like minded new gay friends (it's very difficult), going out a little more and have started to feel strongly towards helping those who are struggling to accept they are gay or in need of guidance.
The real challenge for me and where I feel I need help is that my job prevents me from really being me. I sometimes feel like I'm an actor. I act the part of 1 person 90% of the day and the other 10% I'm hiding who I really am and boxing away my emotions, feelings, relationship to protect myself. I worry how others will judge me if they really know me and worry how they will look at me. I shouldn't worry about the things I can't control but I do and it's a downfall.
I have considered attending a town LGBT get together but back out when I think of how I would be judged or looked down upon by those who have no fears in the world.
I feel I'm revealing and finding the real me but there's still work to be done and I would love any feedback, help or guidance. I don't want to proudly walk the streets wrapped in a rainbow flag (that's just not me) but I want to do my part to help my community become more accepted, become a role model for people wanting advice but I find all this so challenging when I can't fully find myself to start with.
Hey mate, I know the feeling. For years I didn't like the label gay because of all the negative thigns it meant, and even though I was out to people, I was quite a judgmental tosser and tried to put across that I was better than 'those other gays'.
Congrats on happiness with your man. When you say you can't be really you at work, do you mean that you aren't out to others? I think it's a bit easier when you are in a relationship, because instead of 'waving the flag', you just talk about yourself in the same way that a straight person would... like if your'e asked what you did at the weekend, and you went out with your partner, that's what you say. If anyone says, oh what's HER name you just correct them.
When you say you want to go to a LGBT event but fear being judged, do you mean being judged by the other people who are there? Or non gay people?
How did you settle to be ok with that word? Accepting that word gay? When did it happen for you?
When I say I can't be me at work it's difficult because of my line of work. I work in the media. People in the office know but when it comes to facing a public forum it's difficult and I think that's why I have struggled for so long to allow people into my live (friends) for the fear of being judged by people as being that "gay" guy when I am so much more than what my sexuality is.
It's only recently that I have started wanting to do things and make friends with people because I didn't want people judging or thinking otherwise of me. I've kind of reached a stage now where I don't really care what other people think.
As for wanting to go to a local event with other LGBT people, my fear isn't being judged for being gay it's being judged for my line of work and gossiped about, talked behind my back. This is where the anxiety and fear kicks in.
Thanks for taking the time to reply as well 🙂
Hmm, well I guess for me it was part of a long process of losing religion, I was raised Catholic and it took a while for that to get out of my system. Once I had my eyes opened to the idea that all that dogma was a load of crap, I started to question everything, including traditional "morals", who set those ideas up and what they had to gain from it... which was basically to control people.
I think its one of those unfortunate things you have to deal with in aminority group where if you are in a large group of straight people then you can be thought of as "the gay one" whether you like it or not. Think of how often people get described by the colour of their skin, it's not intended as a racist thing but it reduces you to a physical trait.
From what you say about yoru media job, it sounds public and I can understand you wanting to be private about who you are. Having said that, there are more and more media people who are out these days, even newsreaders like the guy from CNN.
Gay events can be cliquey, no matter what type of work you do. But if you get yourself a good bunch of friends, then you can rise above it and not get caught up in the drama.