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Old 02-06-2011, 01:53 PM   #1

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How old were you?

(standard disclaimer: old straight lady here)

Talking with some friends recently who spent a lot of years living "straight" before coming out has me wondering:

How old were you when you came out?

If you lived a lot of adult years closeted, did you find your friends and family supportive?

I'd love to hear your stories...
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:55 AM   #2
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I was 33. After years of dating women I realised what the problem was. I met my partner, fell in love and came out The funny thing was, my brother (also gay) said he knew I was gay before I did!

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Old 02-07-2011, 07:52 AM   #3
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I was out of the closet to family and friends by 23 and pretty much to the rest of the world by 30. I have friends that took much longer to get their lives in order and live their lives by their true nature, but there is no set time that each and every one of us learns to be comfortable in their own skin.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:46 AM   #4
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I was about 20 when I came outy - but never really "came out" to family - but they all knew and especially after I met Chris - I was 27. I still never officially came out to family.

Otherwise I;ve been at the same company for 15 years and everyone here knows and no one has a problem with it.
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:24 AM   #5
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15 when I figured it out and form about 17 on I started telling people. I am 54 now so that was back in...OMG... 71-73!
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:30 AM   #6
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I was 33. I wouldn't say they were supportive. Most of them were accepting.
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:40 AM   #7
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I waited until I was 25, when I left my hometown and went to Grad School. I never officially came out to my family either, but it's just something they've known for quite a long time.

Just took me a while to come out due to being raised Pentecostal my entire life. I dated women and even was engaged for a while, until something clicked and I realized I had been living a lie for so long.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:37 AM   #8
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I decided at the golden age of 17 that if I was going to be happy, the people I loved needed to know.

I just did three blog posts about telling my family/friends that were picked up by BigGayCloset.com:

When I told my mom is here.
When I told my friends is here.
When I told my dad is here.

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Old 02-07-2011, 02:50 PM   #9
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I would like to add on to Kathy's question.

How long was it between when you KNEW you were gay and when you SAID you were gay? (Assuming they were separate events.)

If you knew before you said anything, did you deny it? For example, did you intentionally STATE that you were straight to family & friends? Did you date or marry the opposite sex? Was that an attempt to "change" or an attempt to conceal or none of the above?

Many of my gay friends have said they knew around age 9 that they were gay. BUT most of them dated the opposite sex through high school, some ended up in straight marriages, etc. Now, in families where there was tremendous pressure NOT to be gay I guess I can see the motivation. In an accepting family I am guessing it is more about being comfortable in your own skin, and needing to take your own path to that comfort?
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:56 PM   #10
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Four years ago, when I was 46yo, I figured out that I was gay. It was a shock, to put it mildly. Afterall, I was a self-proclaimed boring suburban housewife....hardly gay. Or so I thought. Looking back there were some pretty strong clues for the previous 10 years, however I didn't connect the dots until my DISBoards revelation. Afterall, what better place for me to fall for a woman than a Disney planning site. Yeah, I've had to explain that one plenty of times and it confuses the heck out of most people.

I thought I was a freak,the only person who had ever gone through this (other than my dad's cousin's wife who came out when I was a kid). I was a married, stay-at-home mom to 4 children. The marriage was in deep-doggy-doodoo for awhile, which probably helped me figure this all out. Not sure I would have if the marriage had of been viable.

Took me about 6 months from the first inkling of attraction to finally accepting it. That began the most wild roller coaster ride of my life, which is still going on. Six months is pretty fast, in the grande scheme of things, but acceptance is a tricky thing. I readily accept my sexuality, but sometimes I wish I could crawl back in the closet, wake up, and find this was all a dream. It's hard--no way is this a choice because I'd never choose to put myself through all this.

I'd do a lot of things differently if I had it to do again, but alas there are no do-overs. I would not have acted on the attraction....I hurt a lot of people in the process. However, I can't say that I regret anything because it's shaped me into who I am.

Today I'm pretty out. I go to state hearings for lgbt rights, I march in pride parade, waving at the cameras, I wear obvious "gay" shirts, and I don't, for the most part, hide my sexuality. However, I don't flaunt it too close to home because of my 2 younger children, mainly my 17yo son. He's not too open about me (or about his dad and his g/f). It's part of being a teenager, and especially this teenager. My 11yo son is ok with it and my 2 grown children are accepting.

Most of my extended family does not know. My mother is elderly and lives across the country. I don't know that I will ever tell her unless there's a good reason. My 2 sisters don't know. I don't have a problem telling them, but had to be ready to lose them--I believe that one is homophobic. My 2 brothers know and it's a non-issue.

I haven't had any friends react badly. It's pretty much a non-issue to those I've talked with about it. Anyone on my facebook most certainly knows. I'm not too worried about reactions in general.

I'm happy being me, even though it's come at a high price. I had to work through a lot of guilt concerning all this. I numbed myself with alcohol and Rx pills, almost killing myself in the process. I had to deal with my sexuality, depression, and substance abuse all at the same time--the 3 musketeers of my wacky life.

I can't say that everything is roses right now. As a matter of fact, I take things day by day. Today it was step by step. But I am living an authentic life, being true to who I am.

I know a lot of women who came out late. Some, like me, didn't have a clue they were gay when they were younger and some know, but were closeted. There are online (and in-person) support groups for women coming out late. It's not that unusual.
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:17 PM   #11
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I was 30 when I came out.

My sister and my mum's side of the family were accepting though they didn't really understand.

My dad hasn't spoken to me for over eleven years...
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:39 PM   #12
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I was 15, both when I figured it out and when I started telling people. Some people still don't know. I just let it come up (i.e. I mention my wife, etc). I figure if it matters, people will figure it out.

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Old 02-09-2011, 09:09 AM   #13
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I was around 17 when I first started to figure it out. I had a group of online friends who I told right away; one of them was a bit older & already out, which I think helped me a lot & made me feel safe telling this group. When I went away to college, I told people there fairly quickly. I came out to the 12 kids in my acting class through an assignment, which pretty much guaranteed that the rest of the freshman theater majors found out without me having to say anything to them, haha.

The first person I told from my pre-college life was my best friend from high school. She was cool with it and actually told me she'd thought about having "an experience" with me but didn't say anything because she didn't know if I'd be into it or not, lol.

In college I was with both men & women, although the men were usually one-time hook ups while it was the women I actually dated. So I guess I was still figuring things out.

As far as my family goes, I never sat them down & told them I was gay. I just let them figure it out. Up until 6 years ago when I started dating my current partner, I'd refer to my girlfriends as "friends," but at least my immediate family knew what was really going on. When I got with my current partner, I started being more open about the fact that she was more than just my friend & then just let it go from there. Now we have a child together & my whole family is fine with it (or if they do have any negative feelings about it they keep it to themselves). My younger sister actually told me once that she knew since she was "like 14" that I was gay - which is when I was 18, so pretty much right away she had it figured out.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:42 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by WebmasterKathy View Post
How old were you when you came out?

If you lived a lot of adult years closeted, did you find your friends and family supportive?
My story is a bit complicated.

When I was about 15, I had a group of friends who were a few years older than I was who liked to objectify men walking by. I got confused trying to follow along until I started looking at the women instead. So, I figured it out.

Then, at 16, I fell in love -- deeply -- with a boy. We were together for 4.5 years and grew into adulthood together.

I found that everyone around me now defined me as straight and just dismissed me if I said I wasn't. I told my step-mother that I was gay when I was 16, but, she ignored it. I had a roommate who was the head of the campus GLBT group who told me that I was "the straightest person she knew".

I found that everyone's opinions were very confusing. I found that when I tried to be "bi" I got told that wasn't possible and that it must mean I was simply afraid to "come out".

So, at 26 I "came out" and told people I was a lesbian. The reality is that I am bi. My wife gets it and it's easier for me to talk about now -- though I still find I get odd responses to the information. But, I doubt there are many in my family who would get it.

I've had 4 serious relationships in my life -- 2 with women and 2 with men. I married a woman and our marriage is monogamous. So, God willing, it's unlikely that I'll ever have reason to try to explain it

So, I didn't come out too late, but, I can say that it has been easier for me to be lesbian than to be bi within my family. (That first serious boyfriend now also refers to me as his lesbian-ex.)

Originally Posted by jackskellingtonsgirl View Post
How long was it between when you KNEW you were gay and when you SAID you were gay? (Assuming they were separate events.)
Well, I knew and I said, but, nobody believed me.

So, I eventually gave up saying and just let them consider me straight. But, then, I found that women didn't consider me as a potential partner and thus ended up saying something that wasn't quite true but that more people were willing to believe.
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Old 02-10-2011, 02:46 PM   #15
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I was 18 when I came out (working a Disney and being fresh out of high school made that easier). I knew I was different nearly all my life. It probably wasn't until my teens when I knew what being gay was and I might be that.
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