Tag Archives: Gay Rules

RULE NO.21: YOU’RE NEVER FULLY OUT OF THE CLOSET

Gay Men Coming Out

If you thought that coming was a one time event, you were wrong. We are consistently required to enter and exit the metaphorical closet.

Two recent events reminded me that when it comes to letting the world know that you’re gay, you’re never truly “out”. The first incident was during a university lecture on E-Commerce. The lecturer was discussing self published websites and asked for all those in the audience who had their own blog to raise their hands. A small number of people responded including myself.  The lecturer managed to lock eyes with me even though I was seated in the far back.

“Tell us about your blog” he instructed.  Now, I’m sure avid readers have realised from previous posts that I’m very open about my sexuality but when it came to describing the nature of my “gay blog” to 200 complete strangers, I was reluctant.

“It’s about being a 20-something in the modern world” I sheepishly replied.  At the time, I didn’t feel that it was appropriate for me to come out to a theatre full of people that I didn’t know so I omitted the most important characteristic of my blog so as not to reveal my sexuality.

The second incident was one that occurs on a recurring basis. I was seated next to an older gentleman at a work dinner a few months ago. Our conversation was brilliant as we transversed topics such as sports, politics and food. It was sometime during dessert when he brought up the topic of marriage and how his daughter (who just so happens to be in my E-Commerce class) was recently engaged to her long-time boyfriend. “Have you got a wife or a girlfriend?” he questioned.

“I’m single” I responded.

“What do you think about marriage” he asked, “is it on the cards in the future?”.

At that moment I could have easily begun my political rant about gay marriage and how although I would like to be married one day, as a gay man it is currently illegal in Australia. But I didn’t. Again, I did not feel that the situation called for my coming out.

“One day, I hope” I said and proceeded to change the topic back to a more neutral category.

Gay men face situations like these on a daily basis whether it be at university, family functions, starting a new job, making new friends or any moment when you’re introduced to someone unfamiliar. Society continues to presume that we all subscribe to the heteronormative  roles that we’ve been unwittingly assigned and chances are that these views aren’t going to change drastically anytime soon. This means that we will constantly be placed in situations where we will need to choose how much of ourselves we reveal to others.

Sexuality is a private matter and I don’t believe it’s always necessary or even appropriate to reveal to everyone you meet that you are gay. Although I believe that gay pride is crucial to ensuring self-esteem, it’s important to realise that not every situation calls for a dramatic Jack McFarland entrance. Of course we must speak-up if we witness homophobic behaviour in our immediate environment and I believe that this particular situation calls for a degree of bravery that we may be unprepared for.  Generally speaking though we should feel comfortable with whom we decide to share our sexual identity before we reveal ourselves.

While I honestly believe that we should always be true to ourselves, we must be prepared that our coming out did not end after we took those first steps out of the closet and it is our ongoing decision who we tell that we’re gay and who we don’t.

Image by Kwannam Chu

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RULE NO. 20: YOU ARE BRAVER THAN YOU THINK

Jean-Francois-Carly

Nobody said that being gay is easy. You are constantly confronted by people who tell you that what you are doing is wrong, sinful, immoral and disgusting. You may have faced rejection from people important to you and all because of something that you had no control over. And yet you are still here.

You are much braver than you think.

Before you’ve even had the chance to “come out” you had to confront those daunting feelings inside of yourself.  The feelings of confusion, isolation and shame. You had to ask yourself “Am I normal?”. That took a lot of bravery.  As you grew older you may have been picked-on or bullied because other kids could tell that you were different.  It took inner strength to shield yourself from the taunting and to recover from the physical abuse.

Once you decided to share your feelings with another person you had to find the coverage to expose yourself, to be absolutely vulnerable without certainty of how they would react. That took courage that heterosexual people will never understand.  You then had to deal with the consequences of your coming out. This may have meant rejection from family, losing friends or being shunned by your community. That too, called for immense inner courage. And all the while you had to forge your own path with little empathy, guidance or direction from anyone else.

With all of the other crap that you have to deal, it’s important that you pause for a moment and realise the bravery and courage that you possess to have made it to this point. You are much braver than you think.

Image by: Jean-Francois Carly

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RULE NO. 19: DON’T WORSHIP FALSE IDOLS

TOM FORD STEVEN KLEIN GAY VALLEY OF DOLLS

We are surrounded by false idols who we unwittingly worship but at what cost?

False idols give us nothing in return for the attention and praise that we give them. They present themselves to the world and tell us that they must be worshipped without considering what they really have to offer or what their followers really want. False idols do not engage with their followers. They yearn to be seen as different, elevated, better and divine. They are disconnected from the rest of us. It is only through this disconnection that their false sense of power exists.

False idols are committed to superficial pursuits and are driven by their egos. They appeal to the negative qualities inside of us such as greed, envy, vanity and feelings that we are not enough. It’s easy for us to be tempted by false idols, because much like the golden calf of the bible, they appear shiney and beautiful which is attractive to the superficial and egoic mind. The superficial mind however is never fulfilled hence why we continually partake in pointless worship.

When we worship false idols, we are left feeling empty, demoralised and worthless.

On the other hand there are role models. Role models contribute to our lives, they inspire us to be better, motivate us to improve and engage in two-way communication with the world. We learn from role models.. Role models appeal to our soul needs and although our soul needs are sometimes muffled by the noises of the superficial mind, they are much healthier and positive and when met lead to true fullfilment. You’ll know when your soul needs are satisfied because you’ll feel uplifted, loved and joyous.

Who are these false idols? They are reality TV stars (and their families), half-naked “Insta-celebrities”, social climbers, the “popular” group at school and anyone else who is worshiped based on superficial qualities.

The choice is yours who to praise but my advice to you is that if you’re not left feeling uplifted by the people who you worship then perhaps it’s time to shift your attention from false idols to role models.

Image Credit: Steven Klein, “Valley of the Dolls”

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