What does being gay mean for you?

Discuss sexuality, whether your own or someone else's.

What does being gay mean for you?

Unread postby WinterIsHere » 11th January, 2018, 10:30 am

Hey guys,

I have been pondering this question for a while. What does it really mean to be gay to the individual?
I have reached a point in my life where I am pretty sure I might be gay. Up until now, I tried to avoid the topic in a weird state of admiring girls while noticing guys. Truth is, there are several layers that really terrify me and keep me from figuring out who I really am as a person.

Growing up in a small town in Iceland, my family is very traditional and my parents and grandparents are not accepting of non-traditional relationships at all.
I have three older brothers, one is married and has kids, one is engaged and the other is not yet in a relationship. We are all really close but I cannot relate to their desire to form a family and marry a woman. The thought of disappointing them by liking guys breaks my heart.

The social level of being "gay" is really scary to me. It seems there is still so much stigma and prejudice involved with the topic and even the thought of being "different" is really scary in a community based on family and group-based society.
Do you think we will ever reach a point where we will not have to come out as gay but merely fall in love with whomever?


One of the main reasons for my thoughts is my best friend. We grew up together and we are together all the time. We are in a weird place where we are like brothers but not. Over the years, I had to admit to myself that I am attracted to him and that I am absolutely in love with his personality and looks after we sort of hooked up casually one day. Things have happened since like stealing kisses or holding hands, cuddling etc. all sweet and innocent.

No one knows and because we are so close, our siblings (especially his sister) call us out on our close friendship and they joke about us getting married one day because we are losers and will never find girls who might like us. My brothers call us fags as a joke. My friend and I never really talk about the situation but let the whole thing happen every time like cuddling and kissing over a campfire or sleeping in the same bed when sleeping over.

I have tried dating girls in the past but it never worked out and I never wanted a relationship beyond friendship. My friend, over the past year, has been seeing this girl but they are on and off and he says he is not sure what he wants from her. She is really pushy, though, and I have to say I'm jealous but I try not to interfere. I tried bringing up the topic several times but I never knew how but he shut it down like "stop being so strange today." From time to time, he sets me up with a date when we go out and do stuff as a group but it only makes me feel worse.


Whenever, I'm not with him, though, I feel like a central part of my life is missing and I could not imagine growing older without him. I know it sounds naive but my biggest with is for us to be together forever.

This is where my question ties in, telling my family is not an option (mainly due to my conservative grandma) and I'm scared to admit to myself I like him. I don't want things to change but I also want to let him know how much I care about him without ruining things.
My biggest fear is people reacting badly and seeing me differently if I tell them.

Therefore, I would like to ask you, what is your experience with feeling towards being gay, self-acceptance, dealing with family and telling others? Do you have any advice on these thoughts?


This topic is really dear to my heart, thank you so very much!
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Re: What does being gay mean for you?

Unread postby Dolly » 11th January, 2018, 11:53 am

Being gay to me just means I feel romantically attracted to other males instead of women. There is no wildly different lifestyle I am subscribed to because of my sexual orientation. Whatever stigmas exist are only there because of stereotypes; not everyone behaves the same. You should admit to yourself and your best friend that your feelings are more than sexual. I don't think there is any room to question whether or not he is interested in you because of the kisses, hookup, and holding hands. In a few decades, perhaps there will be no reason to come out. Don't feel rushed about coming out to your family yet. If you're only just now trying to come to terms with your own orientation, you don't need to tell them. Do you know if your family would cut you off financially or socially? Some families are traditional but not to the point where they would disown their children. Best of luck. :)
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Re: What does being gay mean for you?

Unread postby Sokol » 11th January, 2018, 12:19 pm

Being gay just means being able to only fall in love with other men, to me. No other words needed, to be honest.
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Re: What does being gay mean for you?

Unread postby wolbre04 » 11th January, 2018, 1:12 pm

Being gay means a variety of things for me. Beyond the obvious being attracted to men, it is a sense of identity and happiness for me, as being able to express it freely is liberating and makes me feel more comfortable. It also means that I have unique experiences compared to some of my straight friends, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing.
My immediate family is generally accepting, and it's important that (if you do decide to come out) you can set aside enough time to explain the situation and communicate that you're not any different than before and that you aren't making any huge life changes to family. Additionally, (and Sokol gave me this wonderful advice when I was new to GTF before I came out), if you feel like your family might not be very accepting, don't come out to them until you are able to financially and emotionally support yourself or have a friend or relative who can help you. Even though most parents wouldn't, the threat of being kicked out is terrifying and you want to make sure you have a decent idea of what you would need to do.
I personally would have to forgo college in favor of getting an apartment if it didn't go as well as mine did.
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Re: What does being gay mean for you?

Unread postby WinterIsHere » 12th January, 2018, 9:49 am

wolbre04 wrote:Being gay means a variety of things for me. Beyond the obvious being attracted to men, it is a sense of identity and happiness for me, as being able to express it freely is liberating and makes me feel more comfortable. It also means that I have unique experiences compared to some of my straight friends, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing.
My immediate family is generally accepting, and it's important that (if you do decide to come out) you can set aside enough time to explain the situation and communicate that you're not any different than before and that you aren't making any huge life changes to family. Additionally, (and Sokol gave me this wonderful advice when I was new to GTF before I came out), if you feel like your family might not be very accepting, don't come out to them until you are able to financially and emotionally support yourself or have a friend or relative who can help you. Even though most parents wouldn't, the threat of being kicked out is terrifying and you want to make sure you have a decent idea of what you would need to do.
I personally would have to forgo college in favor of getting an apartment if it didn't go as well as mine did.



Thank you, I think those are really important points.
For the moment, I don't think telling my family is the best idea; I just don't want them to find out accidentally.

As for my friend, I think it would be a great relief to be able to talk about it more openly but he (subconsciously) blocks attempts to do so. I don't think he is ready to talk and I accept it. What really confuses me, though, is the fact that he "distracts" from the topic whenever we get close to addressing it by doing stuff like saying "I don't want to talk, let's just make out." I don't know what this means for both of us.

For now, I want to respect his relationship with his gf but it's hard when they break up frequently and we spend so much time together which leads to affectionate gestures between us.
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Re: What does being gay mean for you?

Unread postby Siversx » 17th January, 2018, 3:01 am

How can we invite people to comment on this issue?
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Re: What does being gay mean for you?

Unread postby glückspilz » 21st January, 2018, 5:52 am

Hm, it seems like you fell in love with your best friend. Does he have a girlfriend and still make out with you from time to time? If so, he probably is confused about his sexual orientation, even more than you are. The way you describe your situation, it seems to me that you're fairly aware of your orientation. And that's a good thing. But hiding your true feelings isn't the best idea, I think.
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Re: What does being gay mean for you?

Unread postby Auralnauts » 21st January, 2018, 2:06 pm

Dear boy, this is by far one of my favorite threads that have been posted on this forum. Thank you for taking the time to write about your situation.

I think a majority of us were haunted by the possible opinions of our family members and close friends before having come out. You say you are afraid of disappointing those around you but, ask yourself, are you also disappointing yourself for not living the way you would like to? People say that family is all we got, and this is true to a certain extent. They are supposed to love you unconditionally and support you in your life decisions, but if they don't, then what? In reality, at the end of the day, it is all about the person who looks back at you when you stare in the mirror. He will be with you until you die, gauranteed. If living to others expectations truly makes you happy then by all means continue to do so. Just remember that if you don't enjoy that, and are simply lying to yourself, you're just disappointing that handsome gentleman staring back at you when you look into a mirror.

I say this because I have been in your shoes. I am Latino, 100%. Homosexuality is still something that gets you killed where I'm from. The first openly gay man in my Village was whipped with a machete by his brothers when he came out. So when I realized that I wasn't entirely heterosexual, my world slowly crumbled around me. I began to become more anti social and conversations with my family about the future made me uneasy. I knew the consequences if I told them that said future may include a man, and the constant replay in my head of what they might say or do was driving me crazy. But I fell in love, and that changed everything. For all of a sudden, the coldness I would receive didn't seem THAT bad, and what if life got rough? So I took a leap and told my mother the truth, and it went just as expected. We didn't speak for a while but I was usually at my boyfriend's house so it didn't matter. Sadly, me and him did not last and so I had nowhere to escape to after my days anymore.

I strongly believe you shouldn't come out for anyone but one person, and you guessed it, that person is you. For when him and I broke up I was like, "why did I go through all that to end up alone and not even with the guy I loved?". I began doubting myself a lot, since I had told my friends about my sexuality as well and things with them were also odd. But slowly everyone adapted to it, and me being bisexual became accepted. My mother still hopes I find a nice girl, but she still asks if I'm happy with whoever it is I'm seeing and jokes about nudes of my ex boyfriend that she had found on a laptop I left for her. My very popular, very macho friends slowly began asking questions, and then began even wanting to meet guys I was seeing. I became comfortable with it all after I had come out, but I feel as if it would have been better if I had come out once I fully understood myself and was comfortable with it all. It took a whole 6 years after my coming out to finally feel comfortable in my skin. BUT I never hoped I never came out because of how my family initially reacted. The day I came out I promised to never allow the opinions of anyone to ever make me feel ashamed of who I am, or make me be more hetero.

I think you and your friend need to have a serious discussion. Tell him how you feel, maybe not the part about you wanting to spend your life with him but more along the lines that you like him and you want to be with him. It's only going to hurt you more if you keep acting as if nothing is wrong. Since you already have all these possibilities and "what ifs" roaming in your head, let me give you one more; what if he feels the same way?

Silly me, I've gone quite off-topic! To answer your question, being gay to me means being me, and boy, it truly is quite lovely.
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