Saturday, September 22, 2007

Gayly Forward

October 11 is National Coming Out Day. The Human Rights Campaign has some good stuff for celebratin, including some YouTube opportunities. I watched some folks' "coming out" videos and laughed, and cried. Really cried.



How much longer I can stay in the closet one can only guess. Maybe I'm trying to create some situation in which I will really "out" myself. Not a good plan.

Feelings have continued to be very close to the surface. This week, however, the drama is not about longing for straight normalcy as it has been longing for complete out-ness.

WTF am I doing coming out at 51 years old? Better late than never?

Yes. dammit. Better late than never.

In so many ways, I do not have a clue what I am doing.

But that never stopped me before! gayly forward.

12 comments:

Lemuel said...

That "wtf question" is one I keep asking myself and I need to add 9 to you magic number.

Who the hell would want a 60 y/o bf/husband?!

But I keep coming up with the same answer as you.

A Troll At Sea said...

BearToast:

Numbers do depress you, but in the end they are meaningless. Love is not an accountant. Love is lightning.

I'm four years older than you are, and an inch further along the curve you dream of following. I was absolutely convinced that I would never find anyone again, let alone anyone who would reciprocate my feelings.

I was wrong.

Love, like lightning, strikes. You can't make it happen -- yes, there are rain dances, but what really draws the bolt? who knows?

I would say, stop looking, go about your business, try to be yourself under what are terrible conditions, and hope for the best.

It may not be the first thing to strike, but you never know.

Hang in there.

yr Coming Out Poster Boy
T@C

Derek said...

Just thought I would let you know I enjoy reading your blog. I, too, am in the closet. Being 46 I am not too far behind you. Your not alone in this....

Derek....a new reader. :-)

Anonymous said...

Someone once observed on my site that it's not a question of defending what we're doing, but of whether the consequences are worth it.

We are not spring chickens. We don't have a whole life ahead of us with endless opportunities and youthful energy. We are men of an age where society is edging us over out of the way career-wise, financially, and emotionally. We are the sum of all those choices and decisions we made over the decades, elections which others came to rely on, and base their own lives on--whether family we were born into, family we gave birth to, friends of our own or of our families, even our business associates. Coming out at our age means coming out to homosexuality, not coming out to the full peacock array of a gay lifestyle. In coming out at our age, we stare in the face those demons of rejection, of repudiation, of abandonment, of growing old alone after a lifetime of living in what probably seemed to be grand central station of family life. The young do not have these realities. All they have to worry about is what are Mom & Dad gonna think?

What is served personally for you by a flagrant bounding out of a closet? Nothing, actually.

Divorce. Live quietly. Continue your function as father to your children, and ex-husband to your wife (YES!!! THAT IS A ROLE, TOO!). Continue to be productive in society without calling attention to the one thing in your life they won't deal with and which will color their perception and dealings with you. "Be all things to all men," St. Paul advised. Blend in with them, but all the while keeping the faith, so to speak.

I'm writing this anonymously because I am not as far along as you. But I think you know who I am.

BentonQuest said...

Hey, my Sweetie is 59, what's so bad about that?

You got to do what you got to do. Just remember, each of us only get one life, we can't let others live it for us, 'cause they only get one too!

When the time is right, you will know.

Jeremiah Andrews said...

Bear:

You have to know who you are before you can present yourself to the world.

"Outing is so 1970!"

Be who you are and go into the world and be fruitful. WHAT you are is secondary to WHO you are. Stay AWAY from labels that would separate or segregate you from society at large.

Worrying about coming out will make you SICK! Just go into the world and be grateful for the air in your lungs. There are other things to worry about than having to admit to someone that you are queer!

Be the Man you were meant to be without labels or issue!

Jeremy

Anonymous said...

day by day we grow stronger...

Ur-spo said...

coming out is a gradual ongoing process for most
i had one fellow who came out at 71.
he was quite relieved.

john said...

You know we are here for you. Your progress is important, so you must do as you get to feel more comfortable. I don't have any answers as I'm not yet out at all. This is just the advice passed on to me by many thoughtful bloggers (like Ur-spo).

JJ said...

I agree with Anonymous.

Joe, I know you are in a tough spot, and it must take a lot of internal focus in order to come out. But, I am thinking of your children.

If I am remembering correctly, they don't even know you are gay yet. What would it do to them if you do have a public outing before they have the opportunity for you to tell them personally?

Without being surrounded by trauma, in a surprisingly short period of time, your children will have adjusted to your news. Let them learn about it in the least traumatic, personal, and respectful manner as is possible.

When my ex came out, he anticipated everyone would hate him, so he figured he didn't have anything to lose and acted out so badly. Is that what you are thinking? It doesn't have to be that way. My kids still love their dad very much, but they still feel the trauma of learning too many of the details of his gay life (due to info becoming public).

What about your idea of moving to a job where being gay will be more accepted? I've read your blog for a long time, and I know that first opportunity fell through. Don't give up, keep searching.

Hang in there, Joe!

Journeyman said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog, and for leaving behind some words that were profound and richly encouraging. It gives new meaning to the words, "Bear with me."

Geoff said...

I believe you'll find that your age doesn't matter one whit. Life is better on the otherside of that closet door. It's different yes, rocky sometimes...but SO much better. Welcome and I admire you.