Lately I have heard the question repeated, "when did you know" referring to when did you realize that you're gay. It's fascinating to me when I hear all the different answers. Myself, I realized very early in life that I was gay, many people assume that maybe I am confused about my sexuality because I am not that socially active regarding a gay lifestyle, not true but I was hoping it would go away if I ignored it long enough. Just to be clear in case a younger person reads this, that doesn't work!
I can remember clearly the exact moment I realized I was gay and how much it frightened me. I was around thirteen going on fourteen, I knew something wasn't normal with my thinking compared to my friends. Many nights, actually every night when I would be waiting to fall asleep, I would be fantasizing about my friends. I wondered what they would look like naked, do they get erections too, do they think about sex as much as I do? I had all these scenarios in my head where we would have to undress together, my male teachers were not immune, in my mind the handsome ones would strip down to show me what a mature man looked like nude, then they would show me masturbation secrets only an older man could know and pass on.
I used to try to think about girls, I would tell myself I better stop thinking about boys before I became unable to stop; however I would find that my mind always drifted back to boys and men. I would try to make a deal with myself, I would say, "tonight I will think about boys only, this way I will get it out of my system but starting tomorrow night I will never think about guys in a sexual way again". Next night however it was a lost cause, I would try to do a reset. I remember one night I was really stressed about this and said to myself, "why can't I stop thinking about guys"? That's when the realization hit me, "OH NO! I'm GAY"! I think there was even that voice in the back of my mind saying I couldn't stop, "because you are gay"!
I remember sitting bolt upright in bed, I felt like I was gasping for air, I was about to cry and call out for mom and dad... but I stopped.... because what could I say. I find that moment sad because homophobia separates children from their parents when they need assurance. At that time in history you couldn't be gay, at least not in my area, such a burden for a child to carry, no wonder so many of us seem damaged. I felt after that I probably was in denial for a long time. As an adult now I think I just didn't understand back then, after all gays were really bad people who were doing it for attention, this was something different, this was something ingrained into my very core. I couldn't believe it, I was the very thing that every guy hated more than anything else, this was catastrophic!
I assumed it was the same for everyone but later I would find out that was not true. My first boyfriend thought he was bisexual, only after dating guys did he realize that he is gay. My second boyfriend had no clue until he was thirty. He had an extremely low sex drive so never really thought about sexuality until he became friends with a gay man. Another friend who came out later in life knew in his late teens. Most of my lesbian friends said they didn't figure out what was wrong until they were in their twenties. They had boyfriends and liked them but they all said it was like hanging out with a brother or favorite cousin. A bisexual friend said he didn't think anything about it. He thought everyone had the same thoughts as him just that you were expected to marry a woman and not be with a guy. After he started having children his wife no longer wanted to have sex. He said one day a friend revealed that he was bisexual too. He said to this day he doesn't know what happened but that within twenty minutes of finding out they were having sex. After he realized that he likes being with men more, he got divorced and mostly sees guys but sometimes women as well.
What about you, when did you know?
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
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This will probably age me, but I fell in love with Michael Landon, who played Little Joe on Bonanza. At the time, I thought he was the most beautiful person I ever saw. His smile made me melt and his laugh... It made me realize I liked boys. I was about 12 or 13 also. I didn't come out to my family until I was in my mid 30s. I just didn't think they would accept me. They were surprised, but it didn't seem to matter to them that much. Now I've been with my hubby for nearly 20 years. I never thought in a million years my life would turn out so well. I always thought I was destined to be miserable and alone. I realize I'm one of the lucky ones as not everyone has a happy life. I'm very thankful.
I was always attracted to guys but I don't know the exact time I figured out I was gay. It was probably around the time I turned 19. Oddly, I had sex with my best from 7th grade until he enlisted in the Marines but I didn't equate that to being gay. It was just considered teenage antics. I sure was dense for an honor roll student.
I always joke I knew inside the womb. I thought, No way am I squeezing through there!!!!
And I didn't. My mother had to have a C section...they feared I may get stuck coming out. But I knew I was different in grade school, I just didn't know what it was called. I too had the same thoughts of you, and started huh, masturbating to those scenarios in 5/6th grade. Then the first experience happened over and over with a neighbor kid. When he stayed the night...we always compared sizes and "finishing shots" One night I asked him what would happen if I put my mouth over his junk. I then knew for sure I liked boys then. He ended up straight to my knowledge. Never had another experience with a guy till high school, and I was out in the open by then. The guy in high school also introduced me to my size queen appreciation.
So I don't know I really came out. Although the family knew I was gay by 8 th grade...so I guess you could say I came out then.
I had crushes on actors ( David soul and Clint walker ( that big bear) when I was 15 but I never transported that to realise I was gay.
I ALWAYS knew I was different but gayness was a late realisation ...I was in my late 20s when I started to get a true inkling....then everything came out in a rush
When did I know? I still don't know. Probably this is a hoax or a phase or a cry for attention. I wish I was more religious so I could pray it away.
Also: it is astonishing how many people Michael Landon turned gay. I hear that name again and again. I hope he got a toaster oven for his troubles.
I had my crushes, too and played around with neighbor boys. There were mini-moments of realizing I liked guys more than girls but there was no gay model to act on, let alone confirm a preference.
The moment I finally knew for sure was in the summer of 1975. I was 24, just out of graduate school, I applied for a job at the National Secuirty Agency. Three days of tests: aptitude tests, written Russian language tests (I also had to transcribe air-to-air communications of pilots among other things), psychological tests, interviews with psychologists. On the last day I had to take a lie detector test. Among dozens of innocuous questions (is your middle initial M?, Were you born in 1951?) they'd insert a zinger like: Since the age of 18 have you had sex with another man? I had absolutely nothing to lie about but I knew inside that the machine didn't accept my No. There were other zingers about homosexuality, alcohol and drug abuse. Some zingers were repeated later on -- to see if they got a different answer?
I left the NSA that day knowing I was homosexual (gay was not in my vocabulary.) I remember driving down I-95 and around the beltway barely able to contain the feeling of elation. Exquisite, really. Unfortunately, by the time I got home to my parents' house, I came back to reality. There was no one I could share my new found joy with. A few weeks later I visited my former roommate at UNC. We went out drinking and ended up in bed. The next morning my father phoned to say the NSA called and wanted to talk with me. I called them and found out they were ready to hire me based on my test results but wanted to redo the lie detector test. I said no thank you.
I really don't know the exact time. I never really had an epiphany or anything like that. In some ways, I wish that I didn't have these feelings because life sure would be simpler. But it is what it is. However I do remember a time when I was rummaging through my father's Playboy magazines when I was home alone. I was in high school. I came across a Playgirl magazine. What? My father has a Playgirl magazine? What? I looked through it and I saw a man with an open shirt and a hairy chest and I was "aroused." I tried to bury this in the corners of my brain, but like you said, it never really goes away....oh...maybe this WAS the epiphany...
TGA, I often hear that lol, I remember watching the repeats, he was a little hottie for sure, lol but at that time in my life I was watching it for the horses.
RJ, it was a different time, I thought the rush of thinking about my friends was because it was forbidden fruit, then I realized it was because I'm gay. I would so have sex when I was young too but I was isolated and the guys around me wouldn't even wear shorts or go barefoot let alone fool around with another guy. Seems to have been this general area, some of my other Canadian friends have told me some wild homoerotic stories!
Maddie, you are a platinum star gay!!! A gay man who has never touched vagina even during birth! You were out before you even knew what out meant! Lol... lucky you.
John, I often hear this version, it seems quite common. I assume it is similar to the straight guys who only seem interested in sports and cars etc, then suddenly they finally notice women and start dating in their late twenties or early thirties.
Mr Lurker, oh no you don't buddy boy! You don't get to make silly remarks and skip participation (lol)! Your experience is important to me, I am interested in what you have to add here.
Mike, I am glad you felt good about the interview after but that was creepy as all get out. Talk about discrimination with a capital "D"! They missed out on a good employee, good for you on the "no thank you" a polite way of saying shove it.
Michael 54, wow did I just get you out of the closet? Lol. Your dad had a Playgirl magazine, so maybe the apple doesn't fall far from the tree??? I remember a friend's uncle had boxes of both. Playgirl does sound confusing, girl would not make you think of men inside.
Steve, creepy is a good word for it. The first two days of tests took place in a building off the NSA campus. It was marked with a big NASA sign, as though that would fool anybody. There was a soldier with a machine gun in every hall. The third day of tests was at NSA headquarters. A big black glass high rise in the middle of a huge parking lot. The building was surrounded by two or three rings of fences patrolled by German shepherds.
I was part of a group of applicants, maybe forty of us in all. One of the women applicants went through grad school with me. She told me some of the lie detector questions they asked her. Brutal and invasive. Worse than for the men.
My elation was 1) getting the heck out of there, and 2) realizing I didn't have to lie to myself anymore.
There is not one person on this planet for whom my experiences are important, but I'll indulge: I recall one time when I was fairly young (younger than 10) and an image of a muscular, hairy, moustachioed guy flashed in my head. I did not associate that with sex or arousal. By the time I was thirteen I was suffering from naughty thoughts about some of the teachers at school -- in particular one fellow who sported a thick moustache and had a thick tuft of chest hair poking out from the top of his shirt. (Is there a theme here?) To make matters worse I suffered from naughty thoughts about some of the women teachers as well. I remember wishing that sex ed had a hands-on component where the male gym teacher and the female gym teacher would demonstrate techniques for the rest of the class.
Mostly I felt alienated from sexual experiences. I remember once when I was in high school a friend expressed disbelief that I had never fallen for someone, but it was true(ish). By the time I had my one and only sexual relationship (over 15 years ago now), I told the woman involved early on that I had homosexual tendencies. But to this day I have not told myself that.
Probably at about 13 - though like Maddie - I knew younger I was different. However I didn’t fear my sexuality I just was disappointed that I might not get accepted for who I was or be able to settle down and get married. If only I could tell my younger self what I know now...
Mike, I think it would have been stressful going to work there. I think you made the right decision to stay away.
Mr Lurker, there now, was that so hard, don't be upset with me, I just wanted to know a little about you, thank you for taking part, I appreciate it.
I think you just told yourself, now I feel guilty because I outed you to you! Do you think you are bisexual or are you one of those people who hates labels?
JP, I also knew for a long time that I was different. I remember hearing boys call other boys a queer or a fag and even at the time when I didn't fully understand what it meant, I knew somehow it meant me.
I know. Don’t laugh but I made friends with some tough guys. Nots sure if that was on purpose but they defended me. One guy became a cop. He’s still a friend.
JP, I did the same thing plus in a small town there were plenty of older cousins and neighbours who would come to my defence if things got really bad.
Oh believe me, I believe in labels. But I also believe that sexuality exists on a spectrum, so many people lie between different labels. Personally, I identify my sexuality somewhere between "pathetic" and "hideous".
Mr Lurker, to me there is gay, straight and bisexual. I don't know why this upsets people so much. Bisexual covers a huge spectrum of sexuality, there is no reason to get uptight about it yet they do.
Bisexual people don't exist. They are just fence-sitters going through a phase, or so I am told. At one point I hoped I was bisexual so that I would not exist either, but that did not work out as planned.
I was very young when I realized I was attracted to other men - the Charles Atlas ads on the back pages of comic books fascinated me at a very early age. I became sexual active at 12 and there were no lack of willing partners in my neighbourhood. Hell I had a better sex life - if you consider active "better" - at 15 than I did at 25. I did the dating in high school but often the evening would end with me seeking out one of my regular "friends". When I transferred to Air Canada downtown Toronto I "came out" officially. I was lucky to have a strong network of friends and didn't have to depend on the bars and dance clubs.
Mr Lurker, I wanted to be bisexual too only I didn't like the part where I had to have sex with women. Other than that it sounds great! Trust me, you exist. ;)
Will, I was isolated so no chance to be gay, mostly however kids always told their parents after what they did. In a small town that would have gotten back to my dad and I knew it would be bad, real bad if I ever embarrassed him in the community like that.
I remember those ads in my older cousins comic books. Lol, they were hot to look at, same as the underwear section in the Sears catalogue.
Well, by THAT standard I am 100% straight. Nobody says you have actually have sex with women to be bisexual.
ML, no but you have to be attracted to them, which I am not so they wouldn't give me a bi membership card, just the homo one.
Is it too late to join the conga line? I knew when I was about six. I was drawing pictures of boys only to realize I was attracted to them in someway I knew was not 'right'. It was then the penny dropped and my psyche and the world went off on different paths and there was no way I could get back on the usual road.
Dr Spo, you are always welcome to join in! I was probably nine when I first found out that I wasn't supposed to "like" looking at naked men. I commented on liking it and my friends flipped out, from that day forward I kept that to myself. I didn't realize what it meant though.
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