A Group Blog

This blog's purpose is to give voice to the lived experiences of gay Mormons, because, let's face it, we are awesome. But, I'll need your help. My experiences are going to be just as unique as the next guy, so I'll need input from you readers on your thoughts, experiences, and feelings. When you want to post something, just email me your draft to anothergaymormon13@gmail.com and I'll post it for you. And feel free to comment on any post.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Question: When and Why do I come out?

Saturday, July 27, 2013
What does "coming out" even mean? To some it is essentially linked with accepting the fact that they are attracted to someone of the same gender. Once they have accepted it, they tell others to see who will accept them as well. Other people "come out" or tell someone of their sexuality to gain support or someone to talk to during hard times.

Growing up, those who "came out" were instantly shunned. The military had quite the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy allowing gay men/women to serve as long as they were not vocal about their sexuality. Other kids in my high school were ostracized. The understanding was that if you were openly gay then you accepted all of the "gay" stereotypes and wanted to fit into that category. But, that rarely is true (in my experience). In fact, just like in many social groups, there more variation within homosexuals than difference between straight and gay people.

So, the question is raised: when should I come out and why should I come out? Essentially, every guy and girl is going to make this decision. I can't speak for everyone and so I'll draft what I think and what happened to me:

If you read other posts, you'll remember that I've known I'm attracted to men since I was going through puberty. This was not a recent development, however, the labeling it as "gay" definitely was. After returning from my mission I started to feel the "marriage and dating and babies" pressure of the young adult Mormon community and finally I had to confront my sexuality; it was no longer something I could ignore.

As I started to recognize my options, I knew I needed to talk to someone. I was sure I was the only gay person alive and so I tried to make people bring it up. I stopped dating women. I went through some deep depression. Anything for someone to ask me what was wrong. Never happened. I've learned lately that trying to get pity from people in order to talk about things never works (at least for me). So, finally, I told my brother.

He is serving is mission and was going through some hard times so I was trying to relate by emailing him my struggles about homosexuality. Then I had a really great friend who had come out to me and I started talking to him about it. Virtually it snowballed into telling a few really good friends who were willing to listen to me talk and work out my issues.

I had decided to tell my parents because, at least out of respect for their status as my parents, I thought they should know. Every time I had wanted to breach the subject, there was always some reason to not: a baby born in the family, someone dies, some other happy or sad event that I don't want to distract from, etc. One weekend they were coming up to visit me at college for a performance. So, I sent them an email beforehand telling them I was gay and that I would like to talk about it when they came up. This put it on the agenda and forced us to talk about it. While I'm glad they know, there really wasn't that much good coming from it. Looking back, I'm glad I did it, but it seems to raise awkward and uncomfortable conversations that my parents seem like they don't want to have. So, I've decided to look elsewhere for support when it comes to these matters.

Since then, I've told other people but on strict conditions. This is essentially my "coming out".
- I am not "holding back" the knowledge that I'm gay, but I don't feel that everyone wants to know or needs to know.
- If someone asks me if I'm gay or why I'm not dating women or something similar, I will respond simply with "I'm attracted to men" or "I'm gay" or something similar. I don't hide it, but I don't publicize it.
- I do tell people that I know can be a source of support. So anyone I trust to really be of help, I talk to about my homosexuality. Choosing good listeners and good supporters is one of the most important skills I think someone can have for dealing with any big life situation.

The question of when to come out was merely when it seems right. Again, I never broadcast, I just let it happen. I think forcing it either way leads to too much trouble. But, to each his/her own. Choose what feels right. If you feel that a large "coming out" would give you strength to move forward, I say go with it. Many friends have done "coming out" blogs, facebook posts, emails, etc. Go with your gut (or with the Spirit). Some people don't feel the need to tell anyone (although I think it is appropriate in almost every case to tell a potential spouse before marriage of one's sexuality).



Post a Comment

◄Design by Pocket Distributed by Deluxe Templates