How old were you?

Discussion in 'Gay and Lesbian at Disney' started by WebmasterKathy, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. WebmasterKathy

    WebmasterKathy Administrator Administrator

    Mar 9, 2002
    (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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  3. UKMark

    UKMark Mouseketeer

    May 18, 2008
    I was 33. After years of dating women I realised what the problem was. I met my partner, fell in love and came out :lovestruc The funny thing was, my brother (also gay) said he knew I was gay before I did!
  4. mickeysaver

    mickeysaver <font color=blue>WINNER of the world's worst limer

    Jun 2, 2002
    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.
  5. Tony-NJ

    Tony-NJ <font color=green>Ready for <font color=deeppink>S

    Aug 21, 1999
    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.
  6. daannzzz

    daannzzz OMG...Theres my favorite scrambled

    Feb 14, 2001
    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!
  7. mikelan6

    mikelan6 World Traveler, Usually Optimistic

    Sep 20, 2000
    I was 33. I wouldn't say they were supportive. Most of them were accepting.
  8. zeitzeuge

    zeitzeuge <font color=red>DallasDisneyDork<br><font color=te

    Feb 26, 2008
    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.
  9. Dead Robot

    Dead Robot Earning My Ears

    Dec 8, 2010
  10. jackskellingtonsgirl

    jackskellingtonsgirl <marquee><font color=deeppink>Jello Shot Chick</ma

    Nov 14, 2004
    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? :confused:

    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?
  11. Tigger&Belle

    Tigger&Belle <font color=blue>I'm the good girl on the DIS<br><

    Sep 2, 2000
    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. :rotfl: Yeah, I've had to explain that one plenty of times and it confuses the heck out of most people. :laughing:

    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.
  12. jharrowell

    jharrowell Disney Phreak

    Jun 3, 2007
    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... :sad2:
  13. KPeveler

    KPeveler Moderator Moderator

    Dec 17, 2006
    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.
  14. Ava

    Ava DIS Veteran

    Mar 13, 2006
    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.
  15. hematite153

    hematite153 <font color=blue>DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Hon

    Oct 22, 2005
    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.)

    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.
  16. colaboy29

    colaboy29 Mouseketeer

    Sep 16, 2004
    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.
  17. janiebubble

    janiebubble DIS Veteran

    Jan 26, 2010
    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
  18. LukenDC

    LukenDC DIS Veteran

    Dec 7, 2004
    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."
  19. fadetoblack

    fadetoblack Earning My Ears

    Mar 29, 2011
    Well I remember that time I was 8 years old- :cool1:
  20. DVCDan36

    DVCDan36 Mouseketeer

    Jul 12, 2010
    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.
  21. Disneyphile Extraordinare

    Nov 11, 2009
    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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