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Who's in the closet? (an informal poll)


Rick Munroe
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I've been wondering this for a long time: how many of us are in the closet here, and how many of us are out? There is no judgment being passed here; I'm just really curious because I've always assumed the majority were closeted, but I'm not really sure, and I'm curious.

 

There's no need to go into details, unless you want to.

 

OK, I'll go first: I'm out, and have been since about 16. :)

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way deep in the back of a very large walk-in closet here.....

 

trying to get past the whole shame, abnormal, society-view, dirty, gross, freaky, prancing-queens-at-a-Pride-parade thing....

 

seeing a counselor to try moving on....have told Mom and one liberal friend (a chick)....see escorts occasionally for the thrill and body contact, but no real sex occurs (that would be kinda gross, you know!) ....fear losing good friends.....low self-confidence is made worse by this issue.....

 

what I really want to find is a "Larry Craig-like" group....conservative, "straight-acting", low-key, repulsed by queens and swishy-ness...who totally get off on watching good-looking, masculine guys.....

 

not at all homophobic, though....all for gay rights, tolerance, marriage, etc....

 

so does that answer your goddam questions, Rick??.....(!!!!)

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>so does that answer your goddam questions, Rick??.....(!!!!)

 

Yes, Sir! Thanks for being so forced cumming -- I mean "forthcoming" (I guess I have other things on my mind tonight) -- in your response, too. It really does help me to know everyone's status (closet-wise) and to have it all gathered in one place. How so, you might ask? I think it just helps me understand where everyone's coming from when I read their posts and it adds a certain level of empathy. I hope others respond!

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>>so does that answer your goddam questions,

>Rick??.....(!!!!)

>

>Yes, Sir! Thanks for being so forced cumming -- I mean

>"forthcoming" (I guess I have other things on my

>mind tonight) -- in your response, too. It really does help

>me to know everyone's status (closet-wise) and to have it all

>gathered in one place. How so, you might ask? I think it

>just helps me understand where everyone's coming from when I

>read their posts and it adds a certain level of empathy. I

>hope others respond!

 

 

Well--I'm in the closet. Although it's questionable how deep the closet is at least for my family when you consider that I'm a male in my mid 40's who has never had a girlfriend. I mean I know my Mom knows--but on the other hand--she has also fairly recently wanted me to get involved in a singles group--so I think she knows and either likes to forget--or hopes she is wrong.

 

I am going to have to assume that Rick is in his mid 30's--if I'm overstating his age I apologize--but I am going to have to say that coming out in that time period when you were only 16 took some awfully big cajones which I still seem to be searching for--and unfortunately am not sure I will ever find.

 

Gman

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I started coming out to strangers and friends when I finished college at 22, then finally came out to my family when I was nearly 30 and am now out pretty much everywhere including professional settings if the subject comes up. I'm 40 now.

 

It can be difficult sometimes - easy in SF but can still feel awkward when I travel in other parts of the country for work. Still better than dodging the subject though. In those awkward times I liken it to jumping into a cold pool or lake - difficult to contemplate but if you just hold your breath and make yourself do it then you're in and can enjoy yourself. It's a corny analogy but works for me!

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I came out in my 30's, first with my family, and then to close friends. It was a bit awkward doing so at work as I had security clearance for a sensitive government job (diplomacy) and needed to exercise discretion in my personal life.

 

An example of this was when an eastern block diplomat (from behind the iron curtain) made an overt play for me. The next morning I screwed up my courage and told the Ambassador what had happened. I kept strictly to the facts and didn't go into my personal life. He thanked me for the information and I never heard another thing about the incident although I'm sure it went into my file.

 

After I retired I moved to the Gay Village in Montreal where I spend a good deal of my time in a very open way with other gay people. But I don't live in a bubble since I maintain two other residences elsewhere which expose me to more traditional societies.

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I have been out of the closet since my early 20's. I am now in my late 60's.

 

I had decided that if people were going to know me they need to know who I was. Have never made a point of "I am gay" but on the other hand I have not hidden the fact.

 

Living in New York City has, I am sure, made it easier than it would be, for instance, in rural or blue collar America. I have travelled extensively throughout Europe and never had a problem except in one small hotel in France. For the most part no one really gives a damn.

 

I don't "ghettoize" my life by choosing my friends by their sexual orientation. I have friends without limiting myself by my sex life.

 

In my business life - and I have had a number of varied ones - I did not highlight or hide my sexuality. Meeting a cross section of Americans it did not seem to be a problem for most of them. Currently I meet many people on a day to day basis in a high end retail situation. I often mention my partner and don't resort to pronouns to obfuscate.

 

The only friends I have lost are the "born-agains" whom I exclude from my life whenever possible anyway.

 

It is liberating to know that people like (or dislike) me based on who I am, not what I am.

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I'm in my late 60's (and that seems as hard to believe for me as a lot of other unbelievable "stuff") and I have been in the closet for most of my life---due to many circumstances---

First: when I sexually matured and lived in small towns and small cities, being "out" or being labeled queer was a professional stigma that was very difficult to overcome.

Second: information about sexuality was hard to come by and I spent years denying to myself that I was strictly attracted to men---hoping "it" would go away and a new phase would begin----I can perhaps blame S. Freud and the Freudians for some of that illusion.

Third: I put myself in the category of those people who prefer NOT to stand out in a group. I'm not a total introvert, but I prefer/preferred the comfort of belonging to "the majority group."

That's history. Today? I assume that most of my surviving relatives and friends who are straight, realise that I am not, but rarely does a discussion come up when my sexual orientation would make any difference. I guess if one of younger nieces or nephews came right out and asked me, I would say "Yes" and leave it at that.

I honestly believe that being in the closet or out of it is more of a generational thing. The older I get, the more tolerant I am to other's philosophies and stances. It bothers me a little when young activists feel that being out is the ONLY alternative. Perhaps, but then again, perhaps not.

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Very interesting question. Hope you get lots of replies.

 

Anyone who follows this group will know that I was married for 18 years (yes, to a woman) and lived a "straight" life. I have been divorced for a year (on May 18th actually) but we had been separated for the year before that. Our divorce had nothing to do with the "gay" issue. I didn't cheat and didn't engage in any gay activity during our marriage. And didn't before.

 

I had several "close" friendships with other married guys that probably could have turned into something more if either of us had admitted how we felt. But we didn't.

 

I have found the past 2 years quite liberating. It has allowed me to be "myself" for the first time in my life. However, that has limits. I am completely "out" (whatever that really means) to anyone I've met since the divorce but except for 2 or 3 gay friends I knew before the divorce no one who knew me in my "prior life" knows that I am gay (by the way, I don't believe there is such a thing as true bisexuality).

 

I envy those in their early to mid 20s who have been out and free from the beginning. I enjoy talking to them and getting their perspective and advice. I often find they cannot remotely understand the situation I -- and so many others -- found ourselves in. Afterall, when I was a teenager it was the mid-1970s. It wasn't easy. There were no role models. No one to talk to. I did the conventional thing. Do I regret it? Probably.

 

I have lately begun testing the waters. I picked my most liberal friend. A woman I've known for 35 years, very open minded, was a teacher of mine in prep school, was a founding member of NOW. We talk on the phone 2 or 3 times per week. She's 65. I told her about the experience I had with a young man recently and I flippantly said "I haven't had such luck with woman, perhaps I should try being with a guy." Her enlightened response? "You really need to find a good woman to fuck." And so it goes.

 

Divorce is difficult on many levels. Friends take sides. You lose friends. It was painful. I'm not know willing to risk losing anymore people by coming out. Perhaps someday, but not now.

 

Too much information?

 

Mark

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Guest josephga

I came out at the age of 31 after my term in the military had ended. I met a guy on line and dated him for just over 1 year. prior to that i had never been with anyone sexually male or female..

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Guest backbaygayguy

Always out. In childhood, was the "special" or "artistic" chlid, no sports (yes, a stereotype!). Always had crushes on other boys in grade school, can remember standing behind one in line to "accidentally" feel his ass. Had my first sex with an adult man at 12. Hung out with the "swish" guys in high school and college -- art, no sports, theater, opera, etc. Yes, we were teased.

 

Then liberation when I moved to NYC -- and Gay Liberation and the gay movement. Have been out on every job since 1971. Was never butch -- wore inches of bracelets and had pierced ears in 1969 (I really stood out in a leather bar, but I knew where to find good sex!). Family mostly accepting, they met my lover in 1970 without too much of a problem (one male cousin has been in a 30-year relationship with a "special friend").

 

Always attracted to men. Have slept with a few women, for fun, not romantic.

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I realized that I was attracted sexually to men when I was 13, but I didn't start to have sex with them until I was 17. At that time I came out to my best friend, who admitted that he was gay, too (and had been having sex with men since he was 12!). Like most teenagers, I was confused and thought that it was a phase that would pass: I would eventually marry a woman and settle down like anyone else. At 19, torn between a girlfriend and a boyfriend, I had a mild breakdown, clarified my identity in my own mind, then came out to my bemused parents. From the time I graduated college, I have been openly gay. At 22, I moved in with my first partner; at 25, we split, and I moved in with the partner with whom I have spent the rest of my long life.

 

All of these things happened long before Stonewall. I have never been alienated from any member of my family because of my sexuality. I went through graduate school and had a fulfilling professional career. Being gay never affected my ability to get or keep a good job. I have always had many friends of both genders and all sexual orientations, and usually socialize in mixed groups. My partner and I never hid our relationship from co-workers or neighbors (my partner was also a professional, and not in a stereotypically-gay occupation). I decided very early that if I was comfortable and matter-of-fact about who I was, other people would be the same, and it seems to have worked out that way.

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I decided very early that if I was comfortable and matter-of-fact about who I was, other people would be the same, and it seems to have worked out that way.

 

The same has been true for me since age 20. As someone else said above, just because I chose to lead my life one way does not invalidate the paths others chose. The heavy pressure by the activist gay community to enforce their values of the moment upon everyone who happens to be gay has, on the whole, been amusing, bemusing or infuriating.

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I'm in my mid-40's and have been out to my friends since college.

 

As far as co-workers, it has been a delicate situation since I work for a church. I don't discuss my private life as part of my job ... yet on the other hand, I have always been honest whenever asked. I'm glad to say that in the 20 years that I've worked for churches, I have never had a bad experience because of it. I have worked in my current position for the past 10 years and I would say two-thirds of my church knows that I'm gay. I know there are a few people who disagree with me, but they show nothing but respect for me in spite of our differences. But those people are a minority. The vast majority of people are very loving and supportive.

 

I came out to the majority of my family while in college. One sister was very accepting, while the other had some issues. I'm glad to say that over time she has really come around and has been a supporter. I had always been close to her children and came out to them when they were in their very early teens because they often vacationed with me and spent time at my house and met lots of my friends. I truly believe that my sister "came around" because she learned a lot by watching how it was a non-issue with her children.

 

My mother is a different story. It was made quite clear to me during college that it was never to be discussed. (My father died when I was very young.) Over the years, my mother has often inquired about my female friends, to which I always replied they were "only friends". I guess she was still hoping.

 

As I said earlier, I'm now in my mid-40's and my partner is in his mid-20's. We've been together for 4 years. When we met, my mother was 80 years old, and at this point I simply didn't make an issue of it with her. She considered him to be my "roommate". He continues to come to family events, and fits in quite well because he has become good friends with my nephews and nieces, many of whom are his age.

 

The real shocker is that my mother, who has been a widow for almost 40 years, now has a boyfriend at the age of 84. Several months ago, when we finally met him for the first time, she introduced us as "my son and his partner". I'm almost fainted. Then, as has been our practice, we drove up to have dinner with my family this past Easter. As we were leaving, my mother hugged my partner and gave him a kiss.

 

I wonder how much her having a boyfriend, after being single for 40 years, has helped her to change her views.

 

Life is good.

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Guest CURIOUS35

:-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

 

Life Highlights!

 

Seduced by an uncle at 7 years of age(I was shown a hard cock, was told to hold it, admire it, and watch it make milK!).

 

Introduced to mutual J/O, oral and cock adoration by a next door neighbor at 13. (we were best buddies for years, until he decided to see girls at 18)

 

Was repulsed by queens...tortured known homosexuals in school...shown negative feelings towards the subject until the age of 18.

 

Felt free to explore at 19. Admitted to the joy of being with men and women -- enjoying the frivolities of a sexually open, Latin inclined, liberal Europe. Meet people of all races, persuasion and degree of sexual liberation all over the continent.

 

Lived in New York upon coming back to the States. Hated the club scene and the daily jaunts to spas, saunas and theaters (Geity! lol and the normal kinds of theaters!), which was nothing more than an excercise to prove I can get laid if I want to! Decided gay-ness is not what I was seeking in life!

 

Turn back to liking women; occasionally dating men I knew on the sly!

Completely forgot about the lifestyle for many years.

 

Visited some friends in New York to join a group tour of Montreal gay scenes, 12 years ago and was told "Macho! we believe you are either in or out!" Puzzled I asked, "What do you man by that?" My best friend, a nurse turned hairdresser retorted," We", ...pointing to all the people gathered..."are like #### trapped in a room...we can not go out or leave! You! in the meantime, pop in and out at will" And with a smile he said, "You are like a soceity girl trying to walk the streets when you are bored!" Montreal was such an apropo backrground for the scene! The dancer from "C", his butt still hurting (he was a virgin!) mused, "I knew you are hiding something!" and he added, " last night's encounter is to be paid as we discussed...but the subsequent ones, if you like are free!" he was serious! I was not -- for me the encounter taught me not to have overnights!

 

My friend hit the nail right at the head! I Pop in or out whenever the itch comes to me.

 

I am OUT to this board...out to the escorts I slept with...out to Marc and recently...very recently outed myself to Mom! ...but very much IN to myself-- and I, AM-- an expandable closet!

 

Maybe my life has made me evolve into a better person. I learned a lot in understanding human fortes and foibles! I can discern the hurts, angst, frustrations, trials and challenges of the life people live in...I learned to accept...be happy...be at peace -- with my occassional sojourn in and out of my proclaimed enclave, that I have chosen since I came to the conclusion, I want what my father and grandfather and brothers, and friends have!

 

888 is the chinese perfect numerology of success,happiness and life. macho is what I portray myself to be!

 

Don't get me wrong! I want to reach out to some people, escorts or forum posters thats why I came back to this board! I trip and fall...kick myself in the butt for unpleasant encounters and scenes of this lifestyle. I often retract back...just to be stronger for the next round of life encounters -- and I always say to myself, "I, will find someone to love and some people to be associated with, while living the life my father had!

 

I am Macho888 but I am also CURIOUS about the life and what it can offer me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

:) :) :) :) :)

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Guest Billy

I was out and lookin' for cock at the age of 15. This was in the mid 80's though so I can understand why some older folks are in the closet.

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Guest carter07

In the closet — and have been ever since I was born in 1935. And it's my fault. Never could bring myself to come to grips with who I really am. Just didn't do that in the late 1940s and 1950s and after that it was, well, too late to change. Yet, I can't say it's been a bad life.

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>coming out in that time period when you were only 16

>took some awfully big cajones

 

Maybe...it was the Reagan years; Rock Hudson had died a year or two before; ACT-UP hadn't been formed yet. It was kind of a scary time, but I was also raised to be proud of myself and of whatever made me different from the "norm." Then again, my parents did make homophobic comments over the years (re: others, not me) but I knew they'd be OK with it because I was secure in their love for me, and I was right. I did feel kind of alone in high school, but college opened up a whole new world for me. My first week at school, I met so many other gay guys, found myself being cruised, found myself flirting back...all the stuff I had dreamed of for so long. I suddenly discovered I was "cute" (who knew?). Then I met Derek the following week and decided I'd spend the rest of my life with him (but it took a few months to convince him, too). I guess having the support of my parents and meeting Derek so early made me think that coming out is an easy process, but I've learned from the guys I've met over the last few years of escorting (and from this message board) that that isn't always the case, and I've learned that, while I would still encourage everybody to do it, it's still a personal choice that I respect.

 

All of the responses so far are fascinating and I hope more guys reply. I'll reply to more when I have time...thanks!

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I've had a very interesting life and have spent time in and out of the closet. I knew by the age of 12 that I was attracted to males. But, because I was raised as a Mormon, I didn't feel I could embrace the lifestyle.

 

Served over 2 years as a Mormon missionary. Very, very attracted to several of my assigned missionary companions (roommates). Was totally celibate the entire time.

 

After my mission I fooled around with some friends and it scared me to death. Decided to enlist in the Navy to "cure" myself. Spent my active duty time aboard a nuclear sub. That's when I accepted the fact I was gay.

 

Lived with my first lover while still stationed on the submarine. Actually received my Top Secret clearance while living with him. Most crew members figured out I was gay and several of the wives included my partner in their gatherings while we were at sea.

 

My first lover and I split when the sub was transferred to the other coast. I then met my second lover. He, too, became part of the Navy family and would often travel to various ports to visit me.

 

During this time I came out to my sister. It wasn't until 1981 that I came out to the rest of my family. Eventually left the Mormon Church in 1983 (yippee!!)

 

My second lover and I split up when I left the Navy. Have been through numerous failed attempts at relationships through the years. I'm now very comfortable being single and supplementing my social life with several close friends. My group of friends have been socializing together for 20+ years. None of them know I love this site and hiring escorts.

 

Up until 6 months ago I worked in a high security position in the defense industry. I never really found the need to disclose my lifestyle to those coworkers. But, I also made no attempt to hide it. If they didn't ask (or want to know) then I didn't tell.

 

My new job is in an industry that could be classified as homophobic. It's a very red neck environment. But, I just keep being myself. Don't hide the lifestyle but don't flaunt it. I suspect they've figured it out but I really don't care. I'm enjoying the paycheck and NOT looking to develop friendships at work.

 

I seriously doubt I will ever have a live-in partner. I'm way too independent for that. But, who knows, it may happen. However, I could use a cute, young houseboy or possibly a live-in male "nurse" for my rapidly approaching twilight years. (Any good-looking escort bottoms looking for a new career taking care of an old fart like me??)

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"Reagan years." Just couldn't help but take a shot, could you?

 

I've known them my entire life and there has never been an occupant of that office that had more guy friends and associates and a couple that is more surrounded by and supported by gay people.

 

But I guess some just can't let go of their pre-conceived political notions.

 

If there is one thing -- more than any other -- than makes so many Americans hate the gay community it is the perception that they cannot let go of certain things, that they have a narrow-minded view of who and what the rest of America is like, and that they have a far left agenda that they want shove down everyone else's throat.

 

I watched that woman on the steps of the California capital yesterday go on and on about the "gay, lesbian, and transgendered" community and I wanted to throw up.

 

We rightfully ask America to accept gay Americans as just like any other Americans but the far left of the gay community is now insisting on this LGTB or whatever the hell it is label. Does anyone seriously think that tossing in transgendered freaks is going to help the rest of us?

 

What will they push next? Open the Advocate and Out ... how often does the experiences and commentary in there relate to America or even the majority of Gay America? Hardly never.

 

This is the problem, in a nutshell.

 

And for me, after 16 awful years, it is the "Reagan years" that I last felt good about the occupant of that office.

 

Mark

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