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Old 02-10-2011, 03:13 PM   #16
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ten years ago when I was 30. Friends have all been supportive ... family ... I've never explicitly had the conversation but have been living with gf for 5 years ... we're a family who have never ever talked about anything slightly important.

Did I always know, yes, I did ... was I prepared to act on it - no - I knew no-one who was gay, when I was at uni I ended up heavily involved with the church - nice and easy, no sex before marriage - no threat! Then some lonely years ... turning 30 made me think long and hard about life ... met some women online, tortured myself for a while with unrequited love and then met the one ... 8 years later and its all good :D
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:16 AM   #17
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I came out when I was 18 during the fall semester of my freshman year of college. I had moved across the country to attend school, so I felt like I had "space" to come out. Initially, I told my mother, aunt, and one of my college roommates. It took four years to come out to everyone in my family.

Overall, my family has been incredibly supportive. My mom worried about anti-gay discrimination, but that has thankfully not been a problem for me. I did, however, carefully select the region of the country I live in based upon its tolerance for gay and lesbian people. There are some parts of the country that I could never comfortably live in as a gay man.

When I came out to my dad, he confessed that he had been a gay basher in his late teens, early twenties. He and his friends would beat and rob gay men. He expressed remorse for his actions and said that it was "sick."
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Old 04-08-2011, 03:22 PM   #18
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Well I remember that time I was 8 years old-
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Old 04-08-2011, 06:54 PM   #19
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Growing up Catholic, I tried to pray the gay away. I found myself attracted to men more than women and I pleaded with God that I was not "that way." This was around my early teens. I joined the Military at 18 and hoped this would "make me a man." I was taught that to be successful you had the have the perfect job, the perfect house, the perfect wife, and the perfect children. (Gosh, how we get brainwashed.)
At my first duty station I would go out and have a beer, meet a guy, and then wake up the next day excusing myself because I had too much to drink (on one beer).
Then I finally accepted that I was bisexual. Not to the shagrin of my mother, but my father was understanding. By the time I was 21, I finally came out to myself and to my family members. Of course, my mother was not accepting at that time. It took many years before I opened up to other people about my personal life. Now I could care less if someone found out that I am gay. I don't flaunt it, but will not hide it.
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:46 PM   #20
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Great topic! For me, coming out is a continual process. I am so grateful for the resources that were available to me growing up on television and online. Despite growing up in rural Kentucky, these resources gave me the knowledge and power to figure things out and realize that I was not alone. Everything really solidified probably when I was 13 or 14. I had always felt that I liked boys and men in a certain way, but I didn't really understand sexuality or a label for this until I was at that age. It was also at that point that I understood that this was an identity and that it had a certain social context (although I guess I picked up on hints of that when I was younger).

Anyway, age 14 is when I completely accepted everything: what I liked, who I was, what this meant in terms of my future, etc., but I kept it to myself and vowed I would until I could leave high school. Bits and pieces kind of slipped out in various ways (although not overtly) along the way, and I finally came out to my sister during my second semester of college. She was in shock for a while because the idea was so taboo, but she eventually got over the shock. I then came out to gradually more and more friends in college, and then to my youngest sister, and finally to my parents on my 22nd birthday. I'd always had this intention of coming out to them by 16 or 18 but I kept chickening out. Finally, when I realized that I was a year over the minimum drinking age, I just felt I had waited too long and that it was time.

Also, my mother had been undergoing chemotherapy the year before and I didn't want to bring it up at the time. She was also stressed about my grades. I waited until her treatments were over to come out to her. I wondered if maybe my parents had an idea (I kind of told them I liked certain boys when I was younger) and that they just did not want to hear it from me for certain. Whether or not they would have wanted to was a mystery at the time, but there was only one way to find out. Ultimately, I consulted some people who stated that this decision was really for myself, and I strongly felt that if anything happened to any of my family members, I would have at least wanted them to know who I really was. It would be hard for me to accept the idea that I would never tell them, even if it would cause them a little stress and worry or anything else that I feared. The imagination works wonders when it fears (a lesson also echoed by Fantasmic!).

It's been a few years (actually only three, although it seems longer) and a long story since then, but everything really turned out for the best. I'm really fortunate that it did. I think some part of my subconscious expected or hoped that it would, but there's always a fear lurking underneath. You never really know for sure how things will turn out, and despite the number of times I had practiced my speech (which I even had written in front of me), it still came out muffled and subdued. So much for my moment of triumph. I guess it is what it is, though. Even now I am coming out to people; it's just a constant process. I definitely didn't intend my post to be this long!
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:35 PM   #21
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:44 PM   #22

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I probably knew I was a lesbian at age 8 but eight years of parochial school can certainly brainwash you into thinking you can change that! So I spent the majority of my life with at least one foot in the closet. I say that because at age 40 I was lucky enough to find the love of my life and we've been together for 21 years now...so most friends and family (with any kind of an IQ) on my side figured out our relationship and we have always been very open with her side. However, we kept it very quiet otherwise.

But, thanks to this forum and lurking and gaining courage from all of you who are so much younger (and probably smarter)...last year we threw caution to the wind and celebrated our 20th anniversary with a beautiful church service celebrating our relationship, family & family of friends with a huge "beach" party following. It was the most amazing day of our lives and almost 200 of our favorite people chose to celebrate with us!

So when did I come out of the closet....how about 60???? And darn proud of it! (Okay, maybe just a wee bit of a slow learner)

It's amazing to me to read all of your stories and realize what we've all gone through. Gay, Straight, Bi, whatever...You are truly good people.

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Old 04-09-2011, 01:19 PM   #23

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I'm loving reading your stories.

Originally Posted by DVCDan36
Growing up Catholic, I tried to pray the gay away. I found myself attracted to men more than women and I pleaded with God that I was not "that way." This was around my early teens. I joined the Military at 18 and hoped this would "make me a man." I was taught that to be successful you had the have the perfect job, the perfect house, the perfect wife, and the perfect children. (Gosh, how we get brainwashed.)
Some of these I read with tears in my eyes, thinking of the fears about being rejected by your families and about the many years some have spent living an untruth before breaking free. Thank you all for sharing, I want to hear more.

I hope that every one of you here is surrounded by support, respect and love.
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Old 04-09-2011, 02:18 PM   #24
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I knida just always knew - so I never really "Come out" - I just "materialized"!
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Old 04-10-2011, 04:10 PM   #25
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I didn't come out to anyone until I was about 25. I grew up in a very small town in downeast Maine, where the semi-private high school I went to, to this day, will not allow a group of student to form a gay straight alliance. Still bigoted and ignorant today, you can imagine what it was like when I was there in the early 90's. I had some sort of feeling that there was something different about me. I had a lot of "boyfriends" but never really felt right. A lot of the boyfriends I had were real jerks, and I figured I just hadn't met the right guy. I used to pray to god at night to give me an answer. I would come up with crazy scenarios. "I will dream about cats tonight if its ok, and dogs if it isn't." I never got my answer. It wasn't until I had a boyfriend that was a nice guy and should have been everything I wanted, before finally admitted to myself that I was gay and haven't looked back. I live in a much more accepting community now, and I applaud all the brave young people today who have the courage to be who they really are. As hard as it was for me in the 90's, I can't even imagine what it must have been like for generations before me. I give a lot of respect to the older generation of gay people who paved the way for me to live the life I live with relatively little harassment and intolerance. I thank you.
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:52 PM   #26
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While I am in the very early stages of the coming out process, I can say I probably knew in my early twenties but would not accept it, I am now 42 and have accepted the fact when i was 40, found out a cousin was gay and the reaction from my family was not negative with the exception of my mother, she stated while taking about this that she was glad that none of you kids "did that to your father and i" that comment has stuck with me. I have since then began to merge my secret life.

I have not held a press conference but am not as secretive about it, I have been on two gay cruises and those trips have been very liberating, my family knew about the second one, so while not directly announcing it I'm sure they know I'm gay.

At work I do not make it known but being a single male over 40 most assume your gay. I have never really been in a serious relationship. My strict religious upbringing has really hampered my life in the past. But I can say I am happier now than I ever have been. For me the coming out process has been slow but I am making progress.

I do envy the young people who come out early on in their life.
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:10 AM   #27
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Told my parents when I was 18

Grandparents at 20. That was 25 and 23 years ago respectively. I am the oldest of 5 and have had nothing but support. My middle sis is even on the DISboards we're all on the Dream in Sept!
My family has never excluded my past gfs in our family events. My DW of the last 12 years was welcomed into our family from the time I first introduced her. Her family has been the same way. Keep in mind we are an interracial couple and have had no issues with family or elsewhere.
Our wedding was a huge event with both dads walking their daughters down the aisle. 3 years ago we got the families together for a WDW Grand Gathering. The support we have is awesome!
I know I'm extremely lucky to have such an awesome family and terrific in laws. My family in CA knows that mom and dad Cam are looking out for me in OH.

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Old 04-12-2011, 12:33 AM   #28
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Wow, where do I begin, as my journey just started officially in 2007, but I've been struggling with it for years.

I've always had that "feeling" but never said anything. I'm 31 now & came out at 27. I was married to a guy for almost 8 years & hated every minute of it. He was verbally, mentally & on occasion physcially abusing me. I was too scared to leave him as his temper was bad. I was to scared to tell my family what was going on. I was raised in a very strong Christian household and was taught by the Bible & was taught that I was to marry a man. While married to him, it never felt right. I always felt lonely, not loved & felt that I was with the wrong person. My partner had also married, but within a few months of her marriage she divorced due to her ex beating her while pregnant. Anyways....Well, I fell in love with my partner/best friend at the age of 14 & never had the nerve to tell her how I really felt, even though I tried for so many years. Finally in 2007, @ Disney World we were sitting down waiting on my ex & her daughter (who were riding on Dumbo) when I finally told her I had a confession to make. I told her how I felt & she said she has felt the same way for so many years but was afraid to tell me as we have been best friends since middle school & was afraid of losing the friendship. That night, on the way home I leaned over & kissed her. She kissed me back & that was it (this happened in May of '07). I left my ex & we have been together ever since & are now engaged & planning our wedding.

Our families...or should I say parents, don't agree with us being together. Her parents hate me (and we live in their garage apartment until I get a job again, as I was laid off in November) & our parents keep preaching to us that we are going to hell & we are ruining our daughters life. Her father has written (and we have hard copies) several emails & letters threating to take her daughter away & has threatend to kill us or do physical harm...this was from 2007-2010. Things have changed alittle, but not that much. They (her parents) put up with me so they can see their granddaughter, but we know deep down inside they hate seeing us happy. My parents, well my father talks to Emily & our daughter like their is nothing wrong. My mom, well she won't say her name, she always says "her" or "she" and my mom & I use to be close, but all that changed. She treats me like I have a plague or something. Our other family members treat us with respect but we don't act like a couple at all in front of them. They know how our parents treat us & they hate it, but they feel it's not their place to discuss it.

All our friends, especially ones from High School all said it was about time we came out as they knew all along & they wished we never kept it quiet for so long. The only real support system we have is our friends & none of them happen to be gay, so the whole LGBT support system is not there at all. We can only turn to each other & we are the only family we have right now. Right now, I have never been happier & neither has Emily or our daughter. We just wish we had more LGBT friends with children to hang out with sometimes.

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Old 04-21-2011, 10:04 AM   #29
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I always knew there was something different about me, but I didn't identify what that difference was until I was 16. I never officially came out, just because I don't understand why people say they don't want their sexuality to be a big deal and then they make it a big deal by sitting down with people and discussing it witht them. I know everyone is different, and that's perfectlyfine, just wasn't something I was interested in doing. I live my life, people either figure it out or they don't, it doesn't make much difference to me!
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:44 AM   #30
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Well, I had a boyfriend when I was in kindergarten.....my instructor told me I couldn't have a boyfriend, so I pointed at one of the girls and said "She can, so why can't I"....or course I was told "because".....which didn't sit well with me. We continued to hold hands, play together, sneak kisses, etc...much to the chagrin of my instructor....lol

All through HS, never really dated anyone....tried to date a girl once...didn't work out well...lol...I met my first partner when I was 21....officially told my family when I was 31....until then, I just evaded the questions....I just got tired of hearing my mother start every phone call with "When are you going to marry a nice latina and settle down?".....so I finally told her....and she still kept asking me....I finally told her to deal with it, because it was never going to happen.

My two sisters are ok with it...actually, one could care less, and the other is "ok" with it....little does she know that her youngest son bats for our team...lol....she's in major denial, because I'm sure she suspects... Oh, and we vacation with her and her family at WDW....will be seeing her again in September at the House of Mouse...

So to answer your question....when I was 5-6 years old...and @ Elizabeth...when I was 31...
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