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Coming Out Stories Gallery - Boy Blue

I am a 57 year old gay man and have acknowledged to myself that I am gay since I was about 18. I grew up in Texas and the South in small towns and in a very fundamentalist Christian home. My father was a Baptist minister to be exact. All through high school I was confused. I liked girls but I never dated. I was fascinated by boys though and certainly never dated them. I had heard of gay people (although the word was "queer" which is why I still loathe that workd.) I was a bit of an idiot I guess because I felt that sometime things would click I would become like all the other guys and like girls. I kept waiting for that to happen, but it never did. I had no sexual contact with anyone. When I went to college I continued in this rather confused state. It simply would not be possible in this day and time, but in those days it was. There was just no information available and in the environment in which I lived I knew almost nothing about gay life. Gay people were sad old men who hung in bus station restrooms what about the way I looked at it. Pretty dreadful. Eventually, about my junior year in college a friend visited me from when I had been in high school. We slept together but did nothing although I wanted to. He had told me earlier that he was gay and I was fascinated. To this day I can't imagine how resisted my obvious advances there in the bed but he did. I never saw him after that. But that experience did have the effect of making me realize I was gay. I was rather surprised by the fact, but it didn't exactly overwhelm me. I found it rather a relief to finally know why the magical transformation had never happened where I would lust after women.

I accepted the fact right off the bat and simply proceeded to make sure that I kept my secret hidden. I did deliberately go out shortly after that to meet a guy on street to see what it was all about. It wasn't a very pleasant experience at all. That was it until I graduated from college and joined the navy. Pretty awful, huh?

In navy I quickly made up for lost time. I had many encounters there but never with anyone in navy. From then on I remained very active sexually but also very closeted about being gay. I led two separate lives which I worked hard at keeping very separate. This caused me far more psychological damage than I knew at the time. It was just more than I could bear but I did it anyway and thought I was doing fairly well. I was not.

Only in the past couple of years have I had the desire to be more public about my being gay. I had told my parents during a major psychological crisis about fifteen years ago and soon everyone in the family knew. It was fairly well accepted, at least above board, although I know my father and mother were never comfortable with it. It was just not discussed. Occasionally my father in a fit of rage would make some terrible remarks but that was about it.

I live in a small town town in South. I have become increasingly unhappy with not being who I am. I have no gay life any more whatever other a few net friends. I see no one who is gay and simply don't have sex any more. Oddly enough, even though I was once extremely active, I don't really miss having relationships. I've always been something of a loner anyway. But I don't like having to pretend I'm something I'm not. I have found, however, that in this day and time everyone knows everything. If you are gay, people tend to know it, especially if you are my age without having married and with my intersts. People are fairly comfortable with it, I think, as long as it's never brought up.

So recently I wrote a letter to the editor of a the major regional paper which made plain where my sympathies lay on gay issues. People have said nothing yet, except for one person whom I didn't even know. But I already regret having come out. It is going to affect me in the small town where I live. It may help other people, but it will do little but harm me I feel. It's a very touch situation.

I am very comfortable with who I am. I have a very profound sense of the injustice which we as gay people must endure. I admire people who have the courage to come out publicly, but I think my own circumstances mean I should have not come out when I did. I regret having done so. It's a tough situation and I don't know if I am looking at it correctly, but that's the way it is. I think one's personal circumstances need to be taken into account very carefully before one decides to come out publicly.

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Drop a note to Deborah at gaylesissues@rslevinson.com

copyright 1986-2010 Deborah Levinson