Fuck Closets

Today is Coming Out Day.

I believe that the best way to have your coming out is… not having one at all. Think about it: Why are you supposed to tell people about your sexual preference like being gay or bi is something to be ashamed of or an illness (Better stay away from me, I got the queerness! *sneeze*). The whole process of coming out makes you look like you have to justify being who you are by telling others about it, by making a confession. Where is the pride in that?

Why don’t you just bring your boyfriend to the next party? Kiss him, hold his hand, just act like there is nothing special about it. Because there *is* nothing special about loving someone. We should stop longing for acceptance from others, we should just live our life and don’t care about the rest, this way they won’t have a choice, they just have to get over it ‘cause no one cares about their stand on the issue.

We don’t get warned by our straight friends about their preferences, why would we act in another way? And if they can’t be your friends because they have a problem with the way you love… what kind of friends are they anyway? Stop worrying about others, focus on shaping your life in a way that makes YOU happy, that’s all you should take care of.

Note: This was written by me as someone who lives and grew up in Central Europe and therefore it naturally takes a somewhat European point of view & is mostly directed at Europeans. I realise that the whole “just be open about who you are” thing doesn’t necessarily work out for people in more religious countries  where you have to fear to be kicked out by your parents or bullied to death when you’re queer.

  

125 thoughts on “Fuck Closets”

  1. so many friends of mine spent an awful lot of time worrying how/when/where to have their coming out, only to hear afterwards that people didn’t really care much. still they felt better, not because they actually came out though, but because their (self-induced) stress-levels went way down.
    unfortunately many gays have come to regard this as some sort of rite of passage, egging youngsters on to build up the courage, offering “support” etc.
    so – cheers mate, finally someone had the guts to say it out loud! xD

    1. hell yeah me too :P If the guy is in there with me I mean ^^

      And yeah everything’s right… that make sense That’s what I’m gonna do… Next party I am just going to hold hands and stuff with my boyfriend… just need to find one -.-

  2. Interesting thought and well put, Josh!
    (the previous two comments also contain valuable truthiness)

  3. I’ve been looking at “milkboys” blog for quite a while now…and always enjoyed it! This is one of the most profound statements that I have seen anywhere regarding being gay. We should all live that way. What a much more beautiful place the world would be! This is just one of the reasons I like Milkboys so much! Thanks Josh.

  4. Right on – thank you !

    You spoke out loud what has been on my find a long time.

    One thing about “coming out ” that i have felt is a positive thing , is the getting to know likeminded people.

    I haven’t really done the textbook style C.O. – i am me – that is all. =P <3

    But i have had a hard time figuring out if someone on the street is gay or streight….
    Had plenty of awkward dead ends .
    I sometimes have this feeling .. longing… about a guy , but mostly i don't know how to appoach a guy i like.

    I'm really starting to get desperate – maybe a rainbow bead bracelet will do it .
    But i also would like a meaningfull friendship , you know.

    Oh well ….

    1. I am familiar with that airport. Nothing ever takes off from there and there are few enough landings.

    2. What a sweet, honest admission.;-) You could wear gay a bracelet or something small around your neck-not very visible to the ‘masses’, but it will be a beacon to other gay dudes. Eye contact is everything; hetero guys usually don’t like to stare very long at other males-that would be ‘gay’.

      Here’s a great way to tell if someone else is gay; if they are sitting down like in a mall or a busy restaurant….watch their eyes as THEY watch others. A gay guy will be checking out mostly dudes, a hetero guy will be focusing on chicks.

  5. The sentiment of this rant comes from the right place, but it reads as though the author is ignorant of a lot of things. For some people “coming out” is, actually, a big deal. It can involve things like losing the bed you sleep in and the roof you sleep under for some people.

    1. Agree.

      Firstly, I’ve read this blog for a while and never commented, so, I guess, thanks. It’s a great place to visit for all kinds things :)

      But, sorry, I don’t agree on this one. I normally do, but no. I’m completely at ease with myself and who I am, even at a relatively young age I don’t really have a problem with being gay or “denial”, but to be honest, I’ve thought about it for a long time and I don’t plan to come out any time soon. That is, to more than a VERY select number of people. Even at a middle class all boys school there is still a lot of prejudice against homosexuality and I don’t think we’re at the time in society where just turning up with a boyfriend to a party would be accepted. Even the (stereotpyically) most gay friendly place in the world, California with San Fransisco etc, can’t even vote positively on allowing us marriage. Lots of teenagers are cruel and to some people it would merit social outcast and physical bullying, not to mention that to others coming out can include being thrown out of a home by their own parents? In an ideal world, maybe, but whether we like it or not coming out is a big thing for lots of more practical reasons.

      I just don’t see your post as realistic.

      1. Its interesting you say that. I think it is realistic. And I think in parts of the world this can work. My last girlfriend went to a high school in the Bay Area (Northern California) and she said there were many openly gay guys in the class. Guys would openly hold hands in the hall ways, and sometimes even kiss. It was not that big of a deal for most students.

        I agree with Josh, this is possible especially in more urban and liberal areas. This is the track I follow, I am bi but never “came out of the closest”. People would find out if the situation/topic came up. Some friends know, a few dont. I never felt the need to randomly let them know I liked girls, and never felt the need to randomly let them know I like guys. Just something I never felt like I needed to do.

        BUT I can understand if you’re living your life hiding your sexuality, feeling this “pressure” to be straight, then there is a significant shift to push that off and say “I’m gay. I am no longer hiding it.”

        I think the point Josh is trying to make is it is a far more healthy step for the gay community when we no longer feel the need to step out of a closet. A time when from a young age gay people will no longer feel the need to box off a section of themselves for some big reveal later in life. And instead just have it be just another integrated part of our lives. Something no more dramatic then a guy who realizes he likes girls.

        I think thats a far more healthy direction, and if you can do it, I agree ‘fuck closets”.

      2. Well Camzy, I read your response and have every sympathy with your view. This is a generation thing in some ways. I am a teacher in my mid fifties in the UK. When I was at school in the 1960s, it was a very hostile time for young gay boys, and for me the comimg out process only happened when I left home for university, a different place, new people, more accepting etc.

        Today in my all boys independent school, it’s no big thing that I’m gay. Everyone knows, teachers, pupils, the lot, and no-one bothers me at all. In fact they’re mostly incredibly supportive. But there has been one significant result of me being out, and it’s that the other gay boys (and teachers) in the school have more courage to be themselves because they know that they’re not alone in this. Some come and talk to me about it, some don’t. But if no-one around you comes out at all, then it’s so hard when you’re young.

        Gay Pride marches amuse me these days. I went on the first gay rights march in London when I was 19. There were just 400 of us on the street that day, trying to do something for the rights of those ourselves and those who would come after us. We had no rights then. Gays have so many rights now and the marches are self indulgent exhibitions. It has never been easier to come out. But for a young gay boy, still living at home, context is everything and only you can know how your family or friends might respond and what the consequences might be. I think Josh is being very idealistic, but then maybe he can be, simply because his own context permits that. It’s not the same for everyone. Good luck to you all. John

  6. Yeah, why did`nt I think of that ? You are so smart Josh, thanks ! Screw`m all I say ! REVOLT ! Do Your Own Thing !

  7. To some extent your observation that it’s none of their business is very true. I don’t tell everyone I know that I’m gay. I don’t know or really care if they are straight. However, the closer the relationship, the more likely it is that a person’s sexual identity will be important. Sooner or later you may want to bring home your lover to meet the parents. You may have a friends you want to share your relationship problems and successes with. I agree that the “coming out of the closet” event has evolved into this overblown coming-of-age ceremony with much more importance than it deserves. In fact, most of us will have many coming-outs in our lives. But the only one that matters is the one when we come out to ourselves.

  8. honestly
    i think my idea of a coming out is different than what you suggest.

    for me a coming out means two things.
    1. being honest to yourself about being gay/queer whatever
    2. stop hiding

    the process of not hiding anymore usually is what you refer to but its not a confession its more like you stop lying to other people…

    and there ARE good reasons for some people to keep being gay a secret at leasst for a certain time
    it shouldn’t matter whether you love the same sex or not but in reality it still does :/

  9. Well, we are not in last millennium anymore, so I think Josh’s statement is totally valid in today’s world.
    There are always exceptions and reticent people and cultures, but very few parents would actually throw away their children after learning about their sexual orientation one way or the other. And if they do, it’s probably for the best, and they could be sued for allowances or what not in many countries.

    The usual “mom, dad, I’m gay” coming out just leads to unnecessary drama, the disclosure of one’s orientation could indeed be more natural and matter of fact.
    What it means is that people should not be forced to get into that closet in the first place. There would be no need for coming out of it then.

    Maybe I have it wrong, but I think that in many cases, the closeting is caused by our own fears and assumptions, not by the actual reactions that the people around us would have.
    Even if you live in an environment that would react so badly, there are many ways to handle this, like leaving it if you can, or biding your time with these specific persons till you can leave, because obviously they don’t care about you, so you don’t have to tell or show them who you really are. And this is true for many things other than sexual orientation. Some people have been unwanted from their birth, not from when they realized they were gay.

    1. If you don’t OWN who you are at some point in your life, then nobody will ever be sure of your sexuality. Maybe you are, maybe you aren’t…..that does little for gay rights, because you aren’t a positive gay role model unless others KNOW you’re gay.

      The stereotypes and homophobia will never melt away until everybody hetero can see everybody who is gay. Then….nobody will give a shit anymore and we can live lives without any negativity attached. Fear of disclosure is just another chain link that binds us to the slavery of shame.

      And since we’re talking about real world versus ideal world……roughly 30% of all homeless youth in America are homeless because of sexual orientation issues, i.e., they were thrown out, or it was unbearable to continue living at home. Let’s get real about this, bad shit happens and so the smart young gay adult picks his battles and the appropriate time to confess his sexuality to birth family.

      And in the meantime, he builds ‘family’ of his own that will love him for who he really is and no matter what. These are the people that are not tied to you by blood; but people you would die for and they for you.

  10. I believe that the key part of the coming out process is that some people have been pretending to be straight. they’ve told their Dads that this girl that came over is their girl friend or perhaps it’s just assumed. So for some I see it as an announcement that they were faking and now here’s the real me.

    I’m not a big fan of the formal coming out for reasons that others have stated but if you leave it long enough it seems people figure it out for themselves. Sure some people might be surprised but alot are ‘yeah we know already, it’s kinda obvious’

    V.

  11. Sehr gelungen hingegen ist – jenseits aller sexualwissenschaftlichen Diskurse – der Nachweis, daß schwule Identität erst im Sprechakt des Coming-out entsteht und daß dieser Sprechakt, der dem Zwang zur Bestätigung und Wiederholung unterliegt, erst ein schwules Leben zuläßt, also soziale Wirklichkeit erzeugt. Woltersdorff folgt hierin der Auffassung Judith Butlers von der „sozialen Magie“ performativer Äußerungen. Folgerichtig bezeichnet Woltersdorff das Coming-out als „ermächtigende Selbstermächtigung“, aber zugleich auch als einen Sprechakt der „Selbstunterwerfung“. „Erst muß die Autorität eines Identitätskonzeptes und seiner Spielregeln anerkannt werden, ehe diese Autorität machtvoll herangezogen werden kann. Die Wirksamkeit der Performativa ergibt sich nicht einfach aus der Einhaltung von Regeln, sondern aus der Existenz von Machtinteressen, die ihr Gelingen und Mißlingen garantieren.“ Schwule Identitäten ordnen sich so in die heterosexuelle Matrix (Butler) und ihr subversives Element, das diese Matrix stört, also die Heteronormativität des Patriarchats, verliert sich, indem sich die Coming-out-Erzählungen individualisieren, dabei aber einer normativen Struktur folgen, die Woltersdorff plastisch herausarbeitet. Der kollektiven Coming-out- Erzählung der radikalisierten Stonewall-Generation folgt nun die angepaßte, die eigene Biographie zum Teil zerstörende Erzählung des Einzelnen, der dem Zwang der „Urerzählung“ folgend nun seinerseits einer Homonormativität unterliegt und sich so in ein Ghetto hinein emanzipiert, in das die Gewalt, vor der es schützen soll, zumindest strukturell zurückkehrt. Sehr eindringlich analysiert Woltersdorff so das Entstehen eines bürgerlichen gay lifestyles, der in der neoliberalen Mitte der Konsumgesellschaft Platz nimmt und seinerseits die ökonomischen Verlierer ausschließt, ob sie nun Männer lieben und begehren möchten oder nicht

    1. The quote makes it sound as if this queer identity and even a bourgeois gay lifestyle are bad things. We all have socially constructed idetities. We are social beings. Being accepted as part of the herd is a basic human desire. That is why tolerance is so important – exclusion is hurtful for us. So, yeah, that does imply accepting some authority by the general social order in which we live. Why wouldn’t it? Adhering to rules like “don’t steal” or “don’t hurt people” means accepting the same authority, doesn’t it? The important thing is to recieve from society the same acceptance of our desires.

  12. When I came out to my parents they decided I was mentally unstable and sent me to a therapist.
    My mother got drunk and said terrible things, my father said I was giving her cancer.

    I wish I never came out.

  13. Dear Josh:
    You are absolutely correct. It is also a very psychologically healthy point of view and one that will ultimately get gay people much more respect and less harassment. My only comment is that kids don’t always have a mature point of view, and some of the kids parents become very punishing and controlling when their cute teens don’t want to date the opposite sex. My friends parents all made them go to psychiatrists to change them; some had electroshock treatments and painful behavioral conditioning. One of my friends killed himself. I grew up in the 60’s. Self torture from being in the closet, or actual physical danger from being exposed was your only choice. This is why the catholic Church sheltered so many gay sons of the nobility in the middle ages; they made a fortune! This is why I have so much respect for Will Phillips; he has placed himself in harm’s way to defend his gay friends’ freedom! Keep up the good work.

  14. I have talked to a LOT of people about their coming out issues. There is always a lot of stress surrounding the idea of coming out and considering most of the people I talk to about it are still living with the rents I think it makes it even more hard. My initial reaction is always to say something along the lines of what Josh said here, because really it doesn’t matter. There is an exception however, but I’ll get into that in a second.

    One fact i’d like to point out, however, is that even without the words, coming out is still coming out. You can say you aren’t coming out because you’re not saying the words, but if you are dating publicly and holding hands, kissing, etc than you are in fact “out.”

    One thing I’ve noticed is that lots of ppl seem to do this thing where they come out and hope for some acceptance… as if they can’t accept it in themselves unless other people validate it for them. I find this frustrating and tbh it ends up being my main motivation in telling people to keep it to themselves.

    And here is the exception because when I say keep it to themselves I almost always am referring to the blabbing, not the hiding, the denial, and the lying.

    I have in my own personal experience tried dating before we (me n my bf) came out and it went really really badly. I made a decision to never date someone who was too ashamed to admit who they are to their family/friends. I think the main distinction here is people who don’t come out (at all) because they are afraid of what people will think vs people who don’t come out (blabbing) because they don’t feel the need. So, in the situation of my bf, I expect them to be open and honest about their sexuality, but not necessarily blabbing about it to everyone for no good reason. This goes for any attribute however, lol, cause no one needs you coming up to them and being like “btw, I’m into crab cake,” cause i’m sure they don’t care.

    However then comes the reality of the dating situation in general, which is the basic exception to this whole idea of not blabbing: that if no one knows you’re gay, you’re gonna have a lot harder time finding a bf! So in this case I almost always would recommend at the absolute very least letting your crush know you’re gay, then maybe a couple of your friends and hope words spreads.

    Just my opinion on the whole thing. This is how I usually advise people, and hopefully was useful to someone reading it.

  15. Josh, you hit it on the nail head. There is nothing unique in same sex preferences, it is a personal choice. It is fine to find pride in it especially when it has been (and is still) vilified but honestly the whole conversation is a bit artificial. We classify people to understand human behaviour but there is no reason to do so out in the world. It makes no substantive difference which gender you prefer except to you. You have a refreshingly open and intelligent view.

  16. As much as it easy may sounds and looks like as hard it is to do in real life, at most places around the world

  17. Josh’s styatement is richt. The sentiment is right. Straight people don’t come out as straight.

    But the reality is that 90%+ of the people are heterosexual. So one is expected to bring along an other-sex partner at home and to partys. So at some point making clear that might not happen, is making it easier. So you don’t get the annoying questions.

    For parents it’s not easy when their son is starting to have a sex life. And if you would just present your boyfriend, it will be even less easy if they were unaware of the son being gay.

    It’s just good communication to prepare your family and friends.

  18. The real problem is, society expects one to be straight. I mean, I’ve only once met a person, outside a place where one would expect gay people, who didn’t automatically assume I was straight. That’s more the thing that bothers me, and that’s the point. ‘Coming out’ is only neccesairy because most people assume everyone is straight unless they tell them different.

      1. Because we’re social beings? Because how other people think about us and treat us is important? Because we’re not atomistic beings each leaving a bubble of their own?

        It’s one thing to find a niche of openminded friends from whom you can derive support and love, and screw the rest. But when you’re alone, and your friends and everyone else *look* straight, and you’re scared, it matters a lot what others expect.

        1. Does that mean we should be slaves of society, and base our decisions on what others expect … I couldn’t disagree more. It is MY life after all.

    1. Interesting. I have had people assume I was gay before. Does it happen all the time? No But it happens.

  19. But bringing your boyfriend to a party *would* be a coming out.

    Whether or not its explicit, and whether we call it that or not, most of us come out simply because the assumption otherwise is that we’re heterosexual. When that facade is shattered, by whatever means, we come out. Only those who are presumed gay from their childhood (stereotypically feminine or something) can perhaps not come out.

    I agree that the ‘confession-style’ coming out is lame and I wish it unneccessary but it is sometimes appropriate.

    And losing the facade of heterosexuality *is* a big deal, not because we have some sort of illness or whatever, but because of the ramifications. If I had not stayed closeted till the end of high school I would have been physically beaten and verbally taunted. It’s as simple as that.

    We live in an often terrifying heterosexist world. Changing that doesn’t mean pretending it doesn’t exist.

  20. Oh what a tangled web we’ve weaved here. (Say THAT 10 times fast.) Coming out is for some, not for others, but for all, whether you announcing or in the audience, it is a profoundly political act – meaning that it affects personal realtionships and internal and external family policies and interactions from then on. As such, for better or worse, it is open to the criticism and consequences of any other political act. No, coming out isn’t all about you. You’re only THAT important to yourself. It’s about everyone you inform, unavoidably compelling some reaction, and that compulsion is itself often enough to annoy and prejudice. MYOB, thank you. Besides, Mom knows, she always did, all Moms know. They just don’t tell Dad to save your skin and keep the peace. No real parent even marginally involved with their children is ever truly surprised – just a confirmation of a long-held suspicion.

  21. Great post Josh,

    this topic is so relevant and , that it’s no suprise it has set off a whole avalanche of posts.

    Many bringing up very good points.

    Lets keep it going …. <3<3 :P

  22. All of us are obviously attracted to beautiful, effeminate teen boys. Some have said that does not qualify us as gay but does qualify us as perverse. How do you come out with an attraction to teen boys? I can only speak for myself but I carry a lot of guilt and self hate for my love of beautiful teen boys.

    1. Well, I am a teen boy, so I carry no guilt whatsoever. But if it helps, why be guilty because of an attraction? Its very natural to be attracted to youth, doesn’t make you perverse. Teen boys have already reached a certain stage of maturity… not like you’re attracted to kids so, don’t kill yourself over it :)
      this coming from a teen boy

      1. Thank you so much. Those are really the kindest words I ever heard. Who ever you are you are an angel. I cannot thank you enough.

  23. This whole issue of Coming Out rests on the premise that one is either gay or straight and that if you’re gay you should broadcast it. However, ‘PREFERENCE’ is not monolithic, it is best defined by degrees, and it is also divided into separate considerations of Sex and Relationships, with distinct levels of discretion within each. Most straights have been with a man, and most gays have been with a woman. Often these events take place in our youth as we experiment, realize, discover or decide. My SEXUAL preference is ‘comprehensive’ and discreet, but my RELATIONSHIP preference is strictly straight and open. I could never have a boyfriend. I’ve enjoyed having jacking buddies – lots of them – and casual annonymous sex with many other boys and men, but never a romantic involvement. For me, romance is reserved for women. And in my life I have enjoyed 3 great long-term romances with women. So, what am I? A true bisexual? Who knows-and who cares? The politics of our times seems to pressure teenagers into labeling themselves as gay or straight. The question is fundamentally false – we males are sexually delightfully complex.

    1. Where do you get your second premise? That “if you’re gay you should broadcast it”?

      Forgive me, but I fail to understand just who in our world doesn’t broadcast their sexuality? Particularly the “straight” ones, whatever the heck that means. With wedding invitations and rings, with pictures of their families propped on doctor’s office desks, with a quick (but not too quick) up-and-down eyed on the girl at the bar.

      Those who fall inside the societal norm–those attracted solely to the opposite sex, or rather those who choose to solely “broadcast” (by passive assumption or by design) an attraction to the opposite sex–spend their whole lives “broadcasting” their sexuality to others. As was noted above many times, a so-called “straight” orientation is the norm: you are assumed, whether you’re gay, straight, or something else, to be attracted to your opposite.

      Until a sexuality outside the norm is socially acceptable (and I’m not talking politics here, though politics are a part of the equation), until you aren’t assumed to be anything by default, then you cannot do as Josh suggests WITHOUT some possible repercussions.

  24. Josh, just here you have inspired me on levels you would not have expected. Such a simple comment…I was actually unsure as to whether or not to come out about being bisexual, but this has… sort of helped me cope with keeping it to myself. Very well put, thank you

  25. I am also debating whether to come out on being bi. I see your point and completely agree with you except for one thing- what if you don’t have a boyfriend to bring with you to the next party? In a lot of communities, you need to come out in order to find other similar people. I know a bunch of other bi people, but they’re all girls, and the couple of gay guys (who’ve come out) I know are already taken.

  26. I love to go to milkboys, ’cause your point of view is so uncommon – that’s good, looking at things upside down!

  27. I agree to Vlad, in the part of “having told”. But thats somewhat misleading:
    Growing up in a straight surrounding means, its not easy for a kid to accept not to be straight, which often means, feeling like not to be “normal”. If parents are not dumb, they know about their son their daughter beeing not straight, before there is any c.o.

    There is no need of a c.o., if children are encouraged, to live THEIR life – without any ‘exaggeration’ – loving and caring parents do that, others don’t whatsoever.

    I’m a an older man now, and didn’t come out whatsoever. I just acted, keeping in mind, that my sexual inclination is just a part of my personality – and its no one other “strangers” business.
    Everyone important to me, knows, I’m gay.

    For me to be gay is just as normal as for the straights to be “straigt”. I am not special, maybe I’m a minority.
    You don’t have to act gay, to find gay friends, and don’t expect they all love You. :-))

    Hugs.

    ty1

  28. I remember that when I came out I was scared of some nazi boys from my school. I say I came out, But I reaaly can’t remember being in.
    I did never hide to anyone that I was bisexual, people just found out when I was 15 and posted something about a boy I liked in my fotolog.

    thank you for the blog, I love it.

  29. I hadn’t really thought about it, but I guess that’s what I did. I brought a boy home from Washington DC, where I had gone to live for grad school, as a weekend guest. Dad was very sarcastic at dinner. When I got back to DC I wrote him a letter that I didn’t think by friend deserved that kind of treatment. He apologized, which surprised me a bit.

    It was probably 10 years later that my mother came into the kitchen one evening when I was home for Christmas (she’d already met the guy I was living with) and asked, “Are you gay?”. I said yes, what else was there to say? So I’ve never gone around saying “HEY, I’M GAY!”. I’ve been in queer politics on and off for several decades so I don’t really think about it. If anyone ever asked at work I’d say yes, but that’s unlikely.

    I really, really like the sentiment and hope someday it will work for everyone. The good news is that I think there are people like “Austin” who are already bringing their bf’s where ever they go. :)

  30. I can appreciate not wanting to come screaming out of the closet yelling “I gotta be me”, you should be able to live your life without a lot of fuss, but it might be nice to give mama a heads up before you take your totally fem BF to grandma’s for dinner and spend a lot of time under the mistletoe and stuff.

    1. No one said you can’t tell your mum about your new boyfriend, that’s totally different from just saying you’re gay cause most straight kids tell their parents about their new boy- or girlfriends before they bring them home too.

  31. Well first of all the only problem with that is I don’t have a boyfriend to bring to the party.
    But actually I think (speaking from the standpoint of somebody over in the states) that as long as whether or not LGBT people should have rights is “up for debate” we can’t afford not to be public about our sexuality. Knwoing somebody in your life is gay can have serious effects on how you feel about supporting LGBT causes. I would argue that as long as theres large groups against gay rights we need to come out so people in support know who they’re hurting.
    Once that’s done we can stop making such a big deal out of it. Hopefully by then I’ll have a boyfriend, then I’ll take him to the party.

  32. Just adding to worries imho, e.g…. Mother may be upset that she wasn’t told first.

    Sure, it’s nice to think that you shouldn’t have to declare who or what you are, but I think it’s important in society for others to be in the know before-hand rather than keeping things a secret until you *have* to show it. I don’t think we can diminish the ‘coming out’ process because there will always be situations where it will have to happen. Heterosexuals are also the majority, it’s fair to assume that someone is straight, is there honestly a difference between declaring your sexuality with words than declaring it with a same-sex partner by your side other than a slight sense of rebellion? I don’t think there is.

    1. Its not about keeping it a secret until you have to show it. The idea is never feeling the need to make your sexuality a big secret in the first place. So your not hiding your boyfriend until the next big party. Its just no one ever asked you about who you were dating, and it did not come up until it randomly came up.

      If “coming out” means realizing you are gay, then yes there is coming a coming out. But every moment past that does not have to be a building secret, so you can create some unnatural, manufactured moment to dramatically reveal to the world your sexuality. It can just be letting people know when they need to.

  33. TheGuyNextDoor thinks that you are all stupid. Before you start flaming TheGuyNextDoor, he wishes to explain himself to you so all of you can understand one thing. Ask yourselfs this… Why do faggots need to “come out”? – It’s because normal people can’t comprehend why someone would prefer males instead of females. The normal person fears that witch he does not understand, and only a faggot can understand another faggot cause they think alike. Anyway back to the point! Faggots feel the need to come out because they feel guilty for lying to those close to them, this fear would not be there if normal people were not so afraid of the faggots and their desires. Faggots also “come out” to people they want to have sex with, not realizing or even making sure that the person they love may not be a faggot like them. In this case the results are terrifying. The biggest problem of the faggot nation is that they don’t have the self control that other people do, instead they are smarter and have a different way of looking at life. This is due to the fact that they need to be smart and see what others can’t in order to survive in life. The whole “coming out” thing is more than just a rite of passage, it’s a test designed to… uh test the will power and mental strength of the faggots. Dear faggots if you don’t have the strength to “come out” then how do you plan on living your life in the future, how will you deal with the small problems in life that wait for you in every corner. Do NOT listen to the milk man, he does not know of the harsh world that awaits all of us outside our homes. Just the suggestion of bringing your boyfriend to dinner without telling anyone about you is a sign of weakness. It’s the easies way out of this.

    These will be word remembered forever in our hearts.

    “I give to you this wisdom, use it young avatar. Stop the fire lord from disrupting the balance.”

    p.s. – TheGuyNextDoor is too cool to read all your comments so he apologizes if he writes something already written by someone else.

    1. I somewhat agree, however I HATE the word “faggot” used to describe anything other than the rotten, dirty type of homosexual I so disdain who engages in many acts of promiscuity and picks up a new guy at the club every week…which is one of the biggest reasons we don’t have marriage rights yet, and also the reason homosexuals are blamed for a mass amount of STDs in America.

  34. I have been out for years with my boy friend, but the thought of “going to a party and holding hands and kissing” feels that we would be showing the world that we were gay, all over again. We know we love each other and have plenty of other times alone to prove this to each other. Don’t get me wrong I am not ashamed of the situation, in fact any showing of sexual affection straight or gay in public, I think can be out of place and can be embarrassing to the onlookers whether they know or not. Call me old fashioned!!!

  35. Forgive the intrusion by an oldie but I agree with much of what you say. If you’re happy with yourself and have a partner then it shouldn’t be a big deal if you turn up at social events as a couple, it shouldn’t be necessary to constantly point out your sexuality either. The closet itself is a different matter though as every person is unique and they need to deal with getting out of the closet their own way, I think it’s a tragedy in this day and age that some young guys still find this difficult.

    I at least had an excuse as when I was dealing with the issue in 1966 at the age of almost 13 homosexuality at any age was illegal so I couldn’t really say much and if I had my Dad would have had me in a child psychiatrist’s office before I’d even finished telling him. All I can say on this is do what you think is right for you, you’re the only person that matters here.

    Malcolm (Old Midhurstian)

  36. from the age of 10 i knew i was gay and had i lot of sleep overs from that age on woulds, i had a great time meeting boys who were gay like me i never looked back ,blowjobs , anel fucking ball sucking and kissing. god it was AWESOME .
    p.s i never came out only fools do ?

  37. Anyone know that boy in the pic ? – Is he roaming somewere on this blog already ….

    Sigh …

  38. @46 TGND
    be proud to be that “normal”, nobody will ever look up at You.
    God made any person on the world, even You.
    B.T.W.
    What are You doing on this blog?
    You’re dam right: Looking at photos doesn’t make you gay. :-)

  39. I’ve only posted here a couple of times, (mostly cuz my account was deleted cuz it was yahoo >< (no worries, bot my own domain email now :) ))

    But i just had to post on this entry, and im not surprised alot of people are. I love the blog, its always a mix and a great source of a great community.

    And i would defintily agree that just doing your thing like its whatever is the way to go. I tell people when they ask why i dont ever have a gf that im gay, but otherwise i dont tell people. And i would just show up to the prom with a guy out of the blue (how fun would that be- the faces haha the faces) but as it was said earlier "I am familiar with that airport. Nothing ever takes off from there and there are few enough landings." – lets just say ive had awkward dead ends as well

  40. I was at a work christmas party tonight, some dude I never met before brought his boyfriend, apparently nobody knew he was gay or bi or whatever. I couldn’t help thinking about this blog, haha. The guys were totally comfortable, pleasant, having a great time – all the old farts were squirming like they were sitting on hot plates.

    Good on them, I say.

  41. yes deff agree.. I would go ona bit fether and say that the some gays make such a fuss of being gay i can get embarresd for them …… that having been said i have ZERO tollerance for any bigotry . but your suggestions just make it a bit more normal.. good 4 u simon bi 49

  42. I wish I had read this a couple days ago, would have made me think twice… I came out ‘confession style’ to my best friend of 15 years after a heated argument when we were both drunk.. that was a fucking trainwreck which only added to my stress level.

  43. Man, I’d have to agree. I went through the process of coming out several years ago, because I didn’t have the courage to do what I knew was right. I had to take the back allies by looking at porn, suppressing myself til I exploded. I wish I could’ve just kissed a boy when I was 9 and got that shit out of the way, but…

    It’s a nice thought, I can’t deny that, but I just don’t think it’s possible for the majority of young gay guys to actually act upon it. We’re told not to by nearly every single outlet, and we don’t know about the ones that are there to help us until we’re already helped. That’s how it worked for me. Suppression of the masses is the ultimate form of genocide.

    But… It is getting better, I think.

  44. 52 – ty1
    I’m a faggot… never said I wasn’t. To be normal is a blessing because people tend to cast out those who don’t fit into society.

    56 – Clicker
    You are the first person I see on this site, who is from my country. Do you want to chat sometime?

  45. Siate voi stessi,non abbiate paura,la tua vita e’importante e va’affrontata con coraggio,tu sei il piu’forte,tu hai qualcosa in piu’ TU hai l’orgoglio delle due nature,la sessualita’maschile e femminile e questo e’un dono di DIO.

  46. “Coming out” means something different to everyone, of course it does we all have our own opinions. For me coming out meant telling my friend that i was gay it was hard but i wanted to tell him as a result he told me he was attracted to me. That was 4 months ago and im madly in love with my boyfriend. Our close friends know about us its no big deal. We don’t parade it around, there are still people i would rather didn’t know. Whether you are telling close friends family or just casually spending time with your boyfriend/partner and people see does it really matter. As long as you are happy and safe be who you want don’t conform to the gay stereotype or adhere to the coming out procedure. Tell the people you “want” to know in your own way. Coming out my self sparked the best thing that has ever happened to me.

    1. I am really happy for you. If only I had the courage to have been like you. During the early 1960’s I was I was in love with a most beautiful boy. He would truely put every photo on this site to shame with the possible exception of Johan Palm who he so closely resembles. If only I could have confessed to him how I truely felt.

      I am so happy for you kids today. You feel a little a little more free to love who you want. I agree you do not have to flaunt it.

  47. if you go out walking around the city with me or go for dinner or drinks or something and pay attention to the strangers i look at and how i look at them, there’re no secrets. if i show you the art i enjoy, which i do with everyone i meet, there’s no secrets. when i like, i look and admire. it is really easy to tell who i am attracted to if you pay any attention, and similarly i have always thought it is easy to tell who anybody else is attracted to if you just watch their eyes. thing is, hardly anyone actually pays attention, requiring coming-out-ish gestures like pointing to magazine/internet photos, ‘omg s/he’s so hot’. these scenes are awkward and annoying and i wish i never had to come out, but sometimes people actually need to be told, they don’t get it.

  48. “Why don’t you just bring your boyfriend to the next party?”
    I hate to say, I’d never have had a boyfriend if I hadn’t come out, nor would I have talked very much about sex to people (to give me an opportunity to tell them who I’m attracted to.)

    Surely the moment people assume I’m not straight is the moment I come out? If I didn’t tell anyone, then turned up at a party with a boyfriend, isn’t that essentially coming out. I’d instantly be asked loads of questions by my friends: all the things I’d have told them if I’d come out…

  49. Dam I love this site. Josh, did you create it? If so you created something good. You have created a community here. I nolonger feel alone. Merry Christmas to everyone on this site. And to the young boy who commented on my post, you are precious. I just want to say once more, thank you so much. Your kind words mean so much to me. You have no idea how much. Merry Christmas to everyone.

  50. Absolutely agree…I’m tired of my life being shaped by tastemakers and opinion farmers. Queerness is a facet of me, not my identity.

  51. I just recently came out to everyone…..alot of my friends…we’ll say an estimate of thirty already knew, but i decided to make it more official. Just one day during lunch i was eating with my boyfriend and we started making-out. The first week is the hardest, then everyone simmers down and moves on.

  52. that actually makes me feel a lot better….still havent come out yet and may never need to, after this

  53. Having lived through a friend who tried to assault everyone with his coming out, I have to agree with the O.P.
    @TheGuyNextDoor kind of hit it as well as others, it’s really hard to live comfortably when you’re brought up in a society based on ‘straight’ relationships.
    When people finally realize or are aware as @Math says, I generally get asked, ‘Why didn’t you say something earlier?’ with my reply :: “Why do I have to define myself for you?”
    Being true and comfortable is the best option, and finding the paths to play out those parts in everyones personal situations shall be the best adventures.

    My left handed style and anti-norm seems to say screw any pre-defined setup.
    Thanks for the post and the option to reply O.P.

  54. Vielen dank, Josh, for such a thought-provoking post. There is certainly much to be said for the kind of matter-of-factness you recommend, and the awkward rigmarole expected of every young queer is certainly absurd in many respects. But does making a dramatic announcement of one’s sexual preference really imply that: [i]“…being gay or bi is something to be ashamed of or an illness (Better stay away from me, I got the queerness! *sneeze*)”[/i]? Not necessarily. A middle ground exists between self-mortification on the one hand and “not coming out at all” on the other: namely, insouciantly mentioning that one is gay; slipping it casually into a conversation.
    That’s what I did when I was around fourteen (in an art class, for some reason). Bringing my boyfriend to a party was hardly an option, since I didn’t have one! (And how was I supposed to get one, if no-one knew that I liked other boys?)

    The main problem with coming-out rituals, in my opinion, is actually a pragmatic one. There is, I think, a common assumption that you only need to come out once – that a single, cataclysmic “Mum, Dad, I’m gay!” hoists a permanent rainbow flag over your head, alerting all and sundry to your sexual preferences. Not so. The decision to be open and honest is the only part of coming out with any lasting consequences. To return to my own coming-out: the art class incident was the only time I have ever made an unsolicited announcement of my sexuality. Since then, I have simply answered questions truthfully, been as camp as I want to be, and – yes – been as open and indiscreet about my relationships as any heterosexual.

    P.S.:
    Obviously, I come from what is, by global standards, an pretty liberal and supportive milieu. My experiences would have been [i]very[/i] different had I been born into a different community. I knew from the outset that the only costs of honesty would be (i) the friendship of homophobes, which I don’t rate highly, and (ii) the occasional mild beating.

  55. Josh, I’m agree with you, but here in Italy it would be so difficult to “bring your boyfriend to the next party”, because there are a lot of people that won’t understand.
    Anyway the first step to be accepted is to come out to ourselves, then you don’t have to tell all your friends about that, simply because it is NOT a important step. Maybe you will consider coming out with some of your best friends.
    Personally I don’t say to all people “I’m bi” even if they ask me “Are you gay?” (Yes, almost all the people think that bisexuals don’t exist). I’m not obliged to make they know, my sexual preferences are something that belong only to me and if I want to come out I decide the people to say that. When I tell someone what I really am, I am proud to say that.
    However I think girls would accept that better than boys do, my experience tells that. I told the truth to some girls I know well, and they all accepted that. Only a boy know I am bi, this is because he is like me.
    Finally I have to say that I don’t have any problem to act like this is a normal thing being bisexual, because where is the trouble to have these sexual preferences? I’m just free to love any person regardless of its gender.

  56. By the time I was 12 there was no doubts in my mind I was gay, and so were most my close friends. Now I’m 18, and still my most close friends are gay, and I don’t have second thought about it. I simply accept it, and I’m happy about my life. Its a personal choice, and it should simply be recognized. Presently working at Walmarts, and I like it, and next year its college. My parents love me for who I am, their son, and they understand all of us make our choice,


  57. Camzy:

    Agree.
    Firstly, I’ve read this blog for a while and never commented, so, I guess, thanks. It’s a great place to visit for all kinds things :)
    But, sorry, I don’t agree on this one. I normally do, but no. I’m completely at ease with myself and who I am, even at a relatively young age I don’t really have a problem with being gay or “denial”, but to be honest, I’ve thought about it for a long time and I don’t plan to come out any time soon. That is, to more than a VERY select number of people. Even at a middle class all boys school there is still a lot of prejudice against homosexuality and I don’t think we’re at the time in society where just turning up with a boyfriend to a party would be accepted. Even the (stereotpyically) most gay friendly place in the world, California with San Fransisco etc, can’t even vote positively on allowing us marriage. Lots of teenagers are cruel and to some people it would merit social outcast and physical bullying, not to mention that to others coming out can include being thrown out of a home by their own parents? In an ideal world, maybe, but whether we like it or not coming out is a big thing for lots of more practical reasons.
    I just don’t see your post as realistic.

    I wholeheartedly agree with everything you have said. There is a time and place to come to terms with your sexuality, but why should you tell other people. Do they have a right to know? No.

    I grew up in a different era than you and if you mentioned being gay to your school friends, relatives, neighbours YOU would be ostracised from society. The name calling, the beatings would be constant. It took me until I was 35 before I told my parents that I was gay, despite marrying a girl!!!

    I would say that society is 70% more tolerable to gay people but it is the 30% you have to worry about!!!

    To those coming to terms about their sexuality – there is no rush to shout it out to the world!!!

  58. I would love to see him without those boxers on. he’d be naked with pants on I’d love to see him that way.

  59. I really like the photograph, Josh.

    It’s a snap – yeh? – but a very good one.

    By the way, I’ve bought a copy of that book you reviewed, “Nothing”…^^

  60. Sure, there are some acceptations to this.
    But I agree with this blog.

    I’m very vocal about the same idea.
    Heterosexuals don’t walk around saying “straight pride”.
    There isn’t a “tell everyone I’m straight day.”
    A Straight pride march.

    I’m out, and no one cares.
    I come from a very backwoods town, that’s relatively small.
    At first there may be some minor backlash.
    But in all honesty, no one really cares anymore.

    And people who do care don’t matter, because the generation that will come after our generation will be even more open minded. Homosexual’s will get their rights, just like women did, just like blacks did.
    There will ALWAYS be some disagreements, but our day will come also.

  61. Josh, Very good post. Thank you. “Coming out” is great if it helps a person be comfortable with who they are. It can be useful in establishing ones own identity but don’t constrain oneself even with that differentness. Early in life I confused myself trying to fit into other’s choices for me. I became happy when I suited myself.
    A good way to get people off balance as well as to be happy with who you are, is to act as that how you are is natural and correct (which it is). Yes, it takes courage to be who you are but it gives limitless strength and some happiness. I’ll define myself, thank you, and try to let others determine who they are.
    And really, though we have to keep in mind that there are many people who will kill those who dare to be different, the big advances in evolution happen from differentness.
    you are not alone.

  62. Even in religious country, the sentence “focus on shaping your life in a way that makes YOU happy” should be well understood and be well followed!
    Yea, that’s hard. To many people (including me), it’s hard to follow what makes you happy… Strange, no?

    That’s what I think !

  63. I have to say I’m in the minority with a few others that have posted so far. Mind you I’m in America and I know Josh as seen at least something regarding the recent suicides, possibly even the recent beating, torture and sodomizing of two youths and one older man.

    I won’t say every homosexual should be on the rooftops screaming their sexual preference but just showing up to a party with your partner isn’t going to cut it I’m afraid. Not with no pre-warning. People are going to have all sorts of reactions and unfortunately you never know who’s going to be the one guy who just can’t accept a homosexual and decides to (try to) kick the shit out of you and your partner. It’s not always safe to be out and about holding hands. I remember being 14 with my first boyfriend and thinking It was the best thing ever to be holding hands with him at the mall and how I was just so entitled to be able to do so amidst all the strangers staring. I wouldn’t do that now as I realize how silly I was but the point still stands.

    Aside from the very real physical danger of not knowing that John Doe from the football team is gonna kick your ass (or much worse) there’s the problem of alot of teens and younger who just feel so alone. It’s a nice sentiment to think you shouldn’t have to do so but don’t underestimate what it can do either. Some people just feel so alone and as some others have said, how do you know where other gays are and how to find them if no one knows you’re gay? I rememeber that being a huge problem for me in high school before I came out. I coulnd’t find any other homosexuals. I finally was comfortable enough with myself that i did come out and felt so much better and lo and behold I did find other gay guys.

    Apologies for being so long winded but TL;DR don’t forget that coming out is also a celebration of being true to yourself and comfortable enough to long longer feel the need to hide who you really are.

  64. Yes Josh – you are perfectly right!

    The “homo-community” in general just behaves either as if they would believe self that “there is something wrong” with them – or they try to copy “bourgeois behaviours” like for example that marriing-stuff just to get some sort of “we are also normal”-feeling.

    To be free means to live the way YOU feel like. Maybe sometimes more curageous sometimes more hidden – but never in a way denying youself.

  65. Ok Joshy <3, I will do it!…

    …in 5 years from now when I get my degrees in chemistry & chem. engineering and I can afford my own food/house/clothes…

    u.u

  66. Josh, I have to disagree… mostly. I don’t know how it is in Europe, but here in the U.S. there is an almost automatic assumption bny the straught community, that everyone else is straight. Every job I’ve ever had, within a month, SOMEONE, if not most people start asking “do you have a girlfriend”, “do you have kids”, and questions just as personal. Now, I could answer like you say “None of your business” Hell even my Mom has suggested this… But this is truly where a person starts to think there is something wrong with being Gay. Your whole idea of ‘coming out’ = something wrong with being gay is terribly flawed. In fact, ‘coming out’ is saying the opposite, It’s saying “I like people of the same sex, and I DARE YOU to say there is something wrong with it!” Like it or not, the vast majority of people are Str8, and they tend to assume, since they are in such a large majority, that everyone else around them is as well. And so far, I’ve not touched on they reaction a large, very vocal minority has when they do find out, or even suspect that someone is Gay. After all of the suicides lately due to bullying, I find this post to be clueless, and in poor taste!

    1. If you don’t OWN who you are at some point in your life in America, straight8’s will automatically assume you’re hetero. They will go out of their way to ‘fix you up’ with their sisters/female friends etc, if you appear single. Showing up at a hetero function with your gay BF could easily cause serious trouble in many venues.

      It’s not enough anymore to say, ‘none of your business’ and keep your sexuality to yourself, the ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ concept hasn’t worked, because it’s just another suffocating closet. However, I’m not saying you have to be a card-carrying homosexual and tell everyone you meet that you’re gay. You pick your battles and say it were appropriate…….common sense, in a majority world filled with heteros.

  67. I feared rejection today. I don’t know why. I feel like shit.

    I’ve been out for a year or so in my school so I should be used to it. But I went out with a new group of people today who don’t know I’m gay and I felt so back in the closet. It was awful.

    I hate this neverending process. Is it gonna be like this forever? Am I going to have to come out to every new person I meet for the rest of my life? I FUCKING HATE IT.

    1. Sometimes that’s the way it is for me too, Sergio. I grew up in the church. My dad is a pastor. Imagine THAT scenario, haha!! I don’t think many of the members know that, since I did leave.

      One of the hardest parts for me was that I was sort of chaperoning the church youth group for the last time to a huge event called CreationFest, which is like a Christian version of Woodstock.

      That was after I broke up with my first boyfriend, mind you. I was in the gutter for a lot of it, felt so damn lost and confused and REALLY angered at so many of the speakers there who spoke out openly against homosexuality and sinfulness, etc, comparing it to Ancient Greece and how the men back then engaged in pederasty and kept young boys as sex slaves.

      But that’s just how they think of us, and it will take a couple hundred years to break out of that cycle, even if we are making slow progress.

      For me, I ended up making new friends who accepted me for who I am, my family accepts me which I’m SO grateful for, but I didn’t really stay friends with many people from the church because I know what they think of me, even if they don’t say it.

      It’s not so bad if you’re not living in a staunchly religious community. I hope and pray you’re as lucky as I have been.

      At work and out in public, I usually don’t tell anyone unless they ask me. If they assume I am, then oh well. When I worked at a department store last year, they asked if I had a girlfriend. I just say no and if they ask, I tell them I just don’t want one.

      Even if I believe people would accept me, I don’t actually know how they’re going to react, so I tiptoe around the question and if they ask me if I like boys, I just answer yes.

      It’s a bit…I’d say like grinding your teeth, because it feels like you’re hiding your whole life from people. I mean I’m sure any gay knows that a whole WORLD of possibilities and conversations opens up completely when you come out to someone.

      It doesn’t have to be like that forever though. I’ve come out to those I’m close to and also members of my family who I know are okay with it. But people who don’t need to know, I’d just say don’t tell them.

      It’s your life, you have to be who you are, but it isn’t necessary to tell them all the details. Only you can be the judge of who you think would accept it. Like I said…if you’re not living in a staunchly religious community, it’s a lot easier. Most people where I live don’t care.

      I hope it’s the same for you, and I wish you all the luck in the world =)

    2. It’s a trap….if you don’t look the gay stereotype part, people will continue to assume you are hetero. I fucking hate it too…especially the political part of it all. But I don’t see any other solution until someday, it’s no big deal.

      My only suggestion would be to pick your battles where appropriate.

  68. Clap clap clap, Josh. You da man.

    Once I reached that place of self acceptance, I don’t much care what people think of or about me. In recovery circles its called stop comparing my insides to your outsides.

    I don’t wear campy shit and I don’t have bumper stickers proclaiming that I like guys …. sheesh, even the bikers and studlies out there don’t put fake shit all over their bodies or vehicles … so why should I … lol. Really darling :-)

  69. Did we ever find more of that boy? :P
    PS- not trying to ignore the statements, definitely read alot of comments, and took a lot to heart, just really think the boy is cute and would like to see more :P

  70. I agree with most of statements here but In the end I feel and im sure other people feel its too late. my family has raised me to be the way they think a boy should be raised and I really do believe I have lied to myself for many years because of that. it really does suck it feels alone not having anyone to tell I just dont have that friend or whatever to talk to, everyone just assumes.

  71. Just another example of the necessity of NOT rushing to come out of any closet if they can possibly help it — if for no other reasons than to just save their lives.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/14/AR2010101404891.html

    There is just too many reasons for young teens to just keep quiet until it can be truly safe for them to “announce” their gayness. Coming out is great — but recognize that we (in USA) still don’t have a fully intelligent society.

  72. i couldn’t have said it better myself! JUST BE YOU! And stick togeather boys. in a world that has dicriminated against us for 2000 years, dont do it to eachother, because of the way a guy looks, dresses, his wieght or whatever. that happens so much in the gay community, and it makes me sad. REMEMBER WHERE WE CAME FROM. the young guys dont know what it was like to be gay 20 or 30 years ago. all we have is eachother!

  73. Boys who like/love boys, have nothing to come out of/for/ or from. for fucks sake its more natural to love than to hate, if anyone needs to come out its the brainwashed “GOD” bastards who beat people classified by their church as queers, up, for fucks sake, you have nothing to apologise for to anybody. just please get on with your lives, dont feel guilty, cos you have nothing to be guilty/ or feel guilty about. YOUR CONSCIENCE IS CLEAR. I LOVE YOU, ISNT THAT ENOUGH ?? RON +++

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