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Fri Sep 4, 2015, 10:25 PM

I have a question for my LGBT friends.

My wife and I were watching the final episode of "Glee" last night. We haven't had cable or satellite for about the last 6 years and we watch our tv by streaming Netflix through our Wii system. Nobody in the family misses it, either.

Anyway, in the course of the show, 5 years in the future, Curt & Blaine, 2 of my favorites of the Glee kids who'd gotten married, are guest speakers in NYC at the Harvey Milk school and they're visiting a class of kids who look to be about 3rd or 4th grade kids. They're there as an example of LGBT happiness and success and the teacher tells the kids that they'd just done a gay version of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe?". I believed there was an implication that the implication was that the kids were gay and that it was a school for gay kids.

My question is, at what age did you know that you were LGBT? I knew that I was straight at a pretty young and it was pretty much confirmed when I was 8 and my father, step mother and I frequently saw one of the men who worked for my father and his family socially. He had 2 daughters, 1 my age and another 2 years younger than us. When we went to their house, the 3 of us would go up to the girls' attic playroom and we played the usual kids' games, but the older girl and I would just play with no clothes on. None of us knew what sex even was, but we knew that we certainly enjoyed playing with our clothes off!

So, again, at what did you realize that you were LGBT? When did you come out and what was your reception when you did? When my son was in 5th grade a classmate came out to him and my son's response was that regardless of anything, the boy was his friend no matter what. In 2012 when he was 12, I was a delegate at the Maine state Democratic convention and my son was a very hard working page. One of the buttons he bought said "some people are gay...GET OVER IT!" My wife and I were (and are) very proud of him. This is purely for my own curiosity Thank you in advance for sharing!

PEACE!

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply I have a question for my LGBT friends. (Original post)
MarianJack Sep 2015 OP
Betty Karlson Sep 2015 #1
MarianJack Sep 2015 #3
Betty Karlson Sep 2015 #8
MarianJack Sep 2015 #9
Betty Karlson Sep 2015 #11
nomorenomore08 Sep 2015 #12
nightscanner59 Sep 2015 #2
MarianJack Sep 2015 #4
Prism Sep 2015 #5
MarianJack Sep 2015 #6
dsc Sep 2015 #7
MarianJack Sep 2015 #10

Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Sat Sep 5, 2015, 10:40 AM

1. I think I was 15 going on 16 when I first realised I was gay.

 

I had (completely clean) dreams about my best friend. And one day he explained what being in love felt like, and I was shocked to realise that is what I felt for HIM.

I spent the next years hating myself, eventually coming out to my sister at 17, my parents at 18.

Sister was fully supportive but mostly clueless ( as was I), mother assured me she loved me "however I was", my father beat me up. He now denies that, and also claims that he knew I was gay when I was as young as 14, 13, 12, 10, 8... It's his way of compensating for the beating, to imagine his prescience of my sexual orientation to have been the first.

My classmates were mostly supportive when I came out to them, months before graduation. I ascribe the success to a pro-active approach.
When B**, one of my friends, said: "I'm fine with your being gay, but watch out that N*** doesn't hear it, he might bully you", I immediately went to N***, and asked him: "Hi, quick question for you. You may or may not have heard I am gay. Which I am. B** says you might have a problem with my being gay. Is that the case with you?"
N***'s answer was a resounding: "No, that's fine. Good for you for coming out."
"Thanks, I'm glad we had this talk. Have a nice day."

(The above is the abridged version of course.)

And later, at prom, the biggest two bullies of the class, N*** and W*****, were dancing together. N*** told me that he was glad to see how much my coming out had been a non-issue with the class, so he felt free to be more himself - and the same with W*****.

---


That being said, coming out is an ongoing process, and there will always be people you have yet to tell about your sexual orientation. I can pass for straight, and as such new people I meet will initially ascribe the default sexual orientation to me.

Last Monday, my (Muslim) hairdresser for instance, asked whether I had a girlfriend. It's at moments like that I wonder: do I simply say no, or do I declare my boyfriend's existence? Is it worth the fight to rile the man if he should have a problem with my sexual orientation (taking into account that he is at that very moment defining the way I will look for a month)?
"Actually, I have boyfriend, if that is all right with you."
"Of course that is all right with me. Why wouldn't it be?"
"Well, some folks have a problem with it. Not you, I'm glad to hear."
"Are you guys getting married soon?"
- talk about the question that made my day.

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Response to Betty Karlson (Reply #1)

Sat Sep 5, 2015, 05:54 PM

3. I'm sorry about your father's reaction, but...

..I'm very happy that so many others have been so supportive.

BTW, ARE you getting married soon?

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Reply #3)

Sun Sep 6, 2015, 10:44 AM

8. No, we leave that to the good folks in Hillary's campaign videos

 

A lot of folks are asking us the question, and it is heartening so many already can picture us in a lifelong commitment. But we are happy as we are.

And maybe we are subconsciously trying to avoid a few difficult moments. My grandfather, for instance, is generally supportive, but may not wish to attend a religiously diverse (Calvinist and Jewish) same-sex marriage ceremony. He's in his late eighties; if we wait another few years he'll be dead and we will have avoided a painful refusal.

On my father's side of the family one aunt has come to see things from my father's perspective, the other sister is still holding out (their mother was blatantly homophobic). If we wait a few more years, maybe my father would have BOTH his sisters at the wedding, which would save him a lot of embarrassment.

On the side of my boyfriend, there are a few similar problems which might be solved with patience rather than haste. Discretion is the better part of valour.

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Response to Betty Karlson (Reply #8)

Sun Sep 6, 2015, 11:40 AM

9. My mother, good woman that she was,...

...could suck the joy out of Mardi Gras. She was an ultra puritanical Irish Catholic who probably hoped that I'd marry a girl from Dublin who had no vagina. She almost had a fit when I married a Puerto Rican woman. She believed that My sister married a Jewish man and I married a Hispanic woman just to spite her! She did, however, eventually grow to love and respect my wife.

Again, I wish you nothing but Joy!

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Reply #9)

Mon Sep 7, 2015, 01:23 AM

11. Thanks! And the same to you! n/t

 

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Response to Betty Karlson (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 8, 2015, 11:39 PM

12. If you don't mind me asking, when was this? And what state (again, you don't have to answer)?

I was just wondering, out of pure curiosity. Sorry for my nosiness.

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Sat Sep 5, 2015, 01:43 PM

2. About 14. But it was an extended hair-rasing realization, at first, for me.

My older brothers realized my preferences long before I acknowledged such. I wish they'd given me more (information, courage), but being preoccupied with their own adolescent conundri, I was on my own.
Here was the real shocker to me. Over 2 years I was coming to the realization I was homosexual. This was the early 1970's in a very small, isolated and backwards western cowtown. The only resources available in our school library were published in the 1950's (not unusual, the local population had voted down any education-related funding, ordinances, support for years. our building were overcrowded and resources so old and useless it was ridiculous) and... listed "homosexuality" as a disorder to be treated, hospitalized, electrocuted, shunned, oh my fucking ghod.
I kept my deep, dark secret to myself for 2 years. Some of the materials I had read referred to homosexuality as a "stage" towards heterosexuality. So I kept waiting for the "change" to come around, that never came.
I know I was 14 when I finally mustered up the courage to talk to someone about it. One of my older, occasional babysitters, Debra, was a "hippie", and very open-minded. She enlightened me to a few things, that at least I wasn't alone, that there was a great movement for homosexuals to live openly that started with some riot in NYC, but... she still damaged me with "It's probably a phase you'll grow out of".
The same year, I made a mistake. Oh, I made a horribly miscalculated trust mistake. I told one of my closest friends (suddenly my nemesis after) that when I grew up I didn't want to marry a woman, I wanted to marry another man.
My life went straight to shit. The next two years were sheer hell until I ran away from the bullying. I even had an ugly encounter with the master of hate himself, Fred Phelps, whose extended relatives lived in our town. They held a "hate fest" in my honor, a trick: invited me to "party" at their house that I quickly realized was an ugly ritual "send my soul to hell" gathering. There was no outreach, no love, nothing but the ugliest man I've ever seen in my life spitting and screaming in my face. Needless to say I didn't hang around for this long.
But the bullying from all peers escalated on the Phelp's families fanning the flames. No one, not my parents, no faculty, no authority lifted a finger to protect me. My mother's words in response to her attitude change towards me: "Love you? I don't even like you anymore". Between that and all that I knew was one odd factoid Debra had told me 2 years earlier: something about San Francisco being a refuge for homosexuals.
After a few trial runaways to local friends, to come back home to no better conditions each time and winter coming on fall of 1976, I'd had it. I packed up a large backpack with all the clothes and food I could steal and was gone before morning. It was snowing, but I got rides all the way there.
Coming out can be a very convoluted process. I will tell you I very nearly ended my life hanging from a freeway overpass one night I spent under one with all the PTSD in my head from my rough adolescence. I had very little contact with my parents until many years later when my other half attempted a forced reconciliation, a hair raising surprise to find out he'd flown my parents out to visit just before I graduated from college. He was sorry he did that. And I'm afraid my coming out was not pleasant for either side of the equation. I lambasted them up one side and down the other until my mother was in tears and my dad took her to a motel room.
I explained to Eldon that I appreciated what he'd attempted, but he realized himself this wasn't going to turn into the happy family reunion he'd planned.
I can't change the past. I have to swallow and just live with the PTSD nightmares of it all which even nearly 40 years later sometimes still haunt me. If I could sue every last idiot who made my coming-of-age into a nightmare I'd leave them every bit as devastated as I was as a turnabout fair play. The list of defendents in the case would be quite long. But I assure you I have thought about class-action towards the Phelps bunch. I've thought about it a lot. It makes me wonder how many other young lives have been wrecking-balled by their hateful "ministry".
Sorry for the long explanation, the whole thing is a novel in the works with lighthearted spiritual details mixed in. Had my circumstances been different, I'd have busted out of that scary closet at 14. I cringe that there are still the likes of this dipshit county clerk attempting to demonize gays.
I am so happy to see this day when our president himself said: "It gets better". I'm shouting from the rooftops inside that we got our day in court to no longer accept second-class citizenship. I keep the ugly angry monster who wants vengeance in check.

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Response to nightscanner59 (Reply #2)

Sat Sep 5, 2015, 06:04 PM

4. Thank you for sharing this touching story!

If you're unable to reconcile with your parents, I hope that you find people in yours and Eldon's circle of friends to form a chosen family. I share your feelings about the 4 times married Kentucky jailbird/future Fox "News" contributor.

I wish you much happiness and joy.

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Sat Sep 5, 2015, 07:56 PM

5. 4th grade?

 

I always knew, but in fourth grade, my sexual impulses married themselves to actual people in my life, and I caught what I was feeling. So, 10 years old? And I wished ever second since I wasn't gay. Looking on my mom's mirror, screaming, "stoooop being gay!" Didn't work.

I didn't come out until I was 22, despite whatever relationships I had.

I'm 36 now.

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Response to Prism (Reply #5)

Sat Sep 5, 2015, 09:05 PM

6. I'm sorry that you had such a difficult time.

I hope that you are in an environment where you are loved and accepted and supported for who you are. Your post reminds me somewhat of what Dr. Sachs went through.

I think a remarkable and wonderful thing about my son's generation of kids is how accepting they are of different races, nationalities, sexual orientations they are. I'm sixty, and in m lifetime, it wasn't until I was in my teens when being LGBT stopped being considered a mental disorder. As a young man, I was somewhat of a homophobe myself, although I couldn't hold a candle to my father and step mother. They made my little sister's life MISERABLE when she revealed her bisexuality. I think hat that may have contributed to her suicide at 29 in 1996.

I wish you happiness, joy and peace.

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Sun Sep 6, 2015, 09:34 AM

7. The chorus I am in did a concert with this theme a couple of years ago

as I wrote then looking back I should have known something was up very early. But I think it clicked for me as a freshman when I just kind of fell for this kid I was helping with his school work. He had the loveliest hair but sadly he was as dumb as a box of it. It took me time, a lot of time, and quite a few bottles to get OK with it.

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Response to dsc (Reply #7)

Sun Sep 6, 2015, 11:44 AM

10. I'm glad...

...that you're ok with it today.

PEACE!

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