Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Coming Out Month: 14 Questions



Back to Coming Out Month at "This Gay Relationship" now, with a list of questions parents could ask (in one form or another) when their child tells them he's gay.  

Below each question, I've included a brief answer I'd give if I were coming out today, which I hope helps you arrive at your own answer (keeping in mind your specifics will be different).

(Of course, my perspective on coming out, since I actually came out in 1986 and am now 52 years old, will be different from yours. But I'm hopeful you'll find something in my answers that will guide you.)

Question #1:  How do you know you're gay?

I know I'm gay because I've always been attracted to men more than women.  Even when I was a little boy, I found male teachers and neighbors nicer to look at, as well as male actors, singers, and dancers on TV.  I've always considered men more interesting and appealing.  That's just the way I am.  

Question #2:  How long have you known you're gay?

I guess I've known for most of my life that I was different from other boys, but I'd say I didn't know I was gay until my late teens.  That's when I really became aware of a strong attraction toward men that wasn't there for women.    

Question #3:  Are you gay because of something I did or didn't do?

No, I understand you did everything you could to raise me the best way you knew how.  I believe I was born gay, as many other people do, so there's nothing you could have done that would have made me turn out straight.

Question #4:  How do you feel about being gay?  

I won't lie to you, it's been tough acknowledging my sexual orientation and accepting it.  It's taken a lot of years to come to terms with something society still doesn't approve of in many respects. But I realize now that being gay is just another part of me, like anything else, and I'm okay with it.

Question #5:  Why did you have to come out now?  

There's no good time to come out; whether I tell you now or later won't make a difference. Ultimately, I have to consider what's right for me, and I decided now was the best time to tell you so I can get on with living my life, including finding someone to love and to love me back.

Question #6:  Have you gotten any information about being gay?

Yes, as I tried over the years to understand what being gay would mean for me, I did a lot of research and reading on the subject.  And what I learned helped me in terms of breaking down the stereotypes and realizing every gay person is different, and I can be gay in whatever way works best for me.  

Question #7:  What does this mean for your future?

As I see it, my future is no different from that of someone who's straight.  Homosexuality, in general, is accepted by a lot more people than it was, and there's no reason why I can't live a happy, productive, and fulfilling life just like everyone else.  No need to worry about me; I'll get along fine.  

Question #8:  When do you plan to tell your father (or mother)?

Since I'm telling you now, I see no reason putting off telling him (or her).  I don't want to live with this secret any longer; the sooner he (or she) knows, the sooner I can get on with living my life the way I was meant to.  Plus, I don't want to put you in a position of keeping this from him (or her).

Question #9:  Does your brother (or sister) know?

No, I haven't told my sister yet.  You're the first person I wanted to tell, and, now that I've had this experience with you, I hope to find it a little easier telling the other important people in my life.  I understand every time I tell someone, the discussion will get a little easier.

Question #10:  What am I supposed to say to family members, friends, and neighbors?

Telling other people shouldn't be a concern of yours.  I'm the one who's gay, so it's up to me to tell the people who I think should know.  Anyone I choose not to tell doesn't need to know. Whether or not they know shouldn't make any difference to them.  

Question #11:  Do you know other gay people?

I've had difficulty meeting other gay people, but I've met some, and I consider them good friends. I don't want you to worry that because I'm gay, I'll never meet other people like me and end up alone.  There are lots of gay people, and I'm hopeful I won't have a problem meeting that special someone.    

Question #12:  What about what the bible says about homosexuality and your soul?

I'm not so sure what some people claim the bible says about homosexuality is entirely correct.  I think a lot of bible passages are open to interpretation, and some people use them in ways that serve their purposes, whatever those purposes may be.  And I consider my soul to be between me and God.        

Question #13:  Are you sexually active?

Obviously, discussing my sex life with you makes me a little uncomfortable, in the same way discussing the details of your sex life with me would make you uncomfortable.  But I will tell you I've had sex with other men.          

Question #14:  Do you practice safe sex?   

I appreciate your concern for my health and wellbeing.  If I feel comfortable enough with a partner to engage in sexual activities considered risky, I always practice safer sex. Everyone, gay or straight, should practice safer sex to protect ourselves and their partners.

21 comments:

  1. For the last week or so, I've kept my distance from this site. Truth be told, from being gay. From everything concerning me. That's because I had an “coming out experience” with a family member. Not about being gay, but this person trusted me enough to tell me a secret so dreadful, that even a week from this moment, I still can't comprehend that this is true. These days have been emotionally painful. I have had to be accepting and understanding. It has turned my world upside-down, but I've managed. Because I love my family.

    What I have understood, is that I am so grateful that I am a gay man. I am grateful that I can learn. I am grateful that I can dream of a guy I am sitting next to at class. I am grateful that my life has been quite easy.

    Don't get me wrong. I am happy. I am the happiest that I've ever been, because I can't stop speaking to other people. I need to be friendly, and around people I know and people I could know. I've been so courageous, I've done things that I never thought I could. I have witnessed that being gay is so normal. That I could be gay and a functioning human being.

    That's why I know, I can't live a lie anymore. I will be open about myself, but to a level that I know I am safe. I now know that if I come out to my family, I will hurt them a lot. Words can't describe how much. But now I also know that they are strong enough to deal with this information.
    I know I am a gay man and nothing, absolutely nothing can change that. I have so much pain and discomfort when I'm leaving from school. Mostly because I'm so alone here. That's why I like school, there are people who I can be friends with. This silence here makes me hurt a lot. Every night I am waiting for another day, because then I can be with other people. This loneliness is killing me silently, that's why I've been turning my world around and being as friendly as I know how to be.

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  2. Wow, elevencats. I can't imagine what you found out about a family member. But, if it offers any solace, you should know every family has its share of secrets--some obviously more serious than others. I hope everything works out. My thoughts are with you.

    It sounds like your world was rocked by what you learned, as though the bottom fell out of it, as though what you thought to be true and steady was blown to bits. Whenever something like that happens, to each of us, we feel such a sense of gratitude for what we have, particularly if our realization is that we're not as bad off as we thought.

    In that sense, maybe being gay isn't the worst fate on earth. This is a good awakening for you, because it allows you to put your sexual orientation into perspective. There really are worse things in life than being gay, and you're beginning to discover that.

    I'm so happy for you that you're making more of an effort to come out of yourself, to be warm to other people, to seek their company, kindness, and friendship. You must keep it up. It will be so beneficial in the end. You'll blossom as a human being when you come out, but also you'll blossom when you open yourself to others, extend yourself out into the world as you were meant to. Only then will you realize all you were intended to be.

    I see your willingness to take baby steps in the coming out process, and that's exactly what you should do. Keep the progress small but sure, building confidence as you go, seeing your value to yourself and to others, learning to love who you are just as you are. This is all part of coming into your own, of the maturing process, of becoming the man you will one day be.

    What's happened to your family recently has, at least in one respect, been a good thing. You've seen just how resilient people can be, and you know that, even though your family will be hurt and disappointed by learning you're gay, they will come around. Most important of all, they will still love you. Everything happens for a reason, including what your family has been through recently. You've seen what the ones you hold most dear are made of, and that augurs well for you.

    I'd like to think that when you leave school and return home, you don't feel totally alone. I want you to know I think about you all the time. And, even though we're not physically in each other's lives, I'm always with you in spirit. I'm only a blog post comment or an email away. So never hesitant to contact me if you need to share something. I'm here for you, you know that.

    How has it gone with the young man from some of your classes? Are you talking to him more? Are you showing more of an interest in him? Could you suggest to him that the two of you get together at a coffee shop on campus or in the community? I don't want to push you at him. At the same time, even if you never become partners, you could still have a great friend. And, like I said before, what you need now is a friend who is gay, someone who understands you, someone you can confide in.

    All the very best, elevencats, and please be sure to stay in touch. I want to know how you're doing. Remember, you are not alone.

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  3. finally,, I'm able to read ur blog again.. hohoho,, it's been a while since my last visit here.. anyway,, do u still remember me??

    recently,, i had this urge to come out.. but deep inside my heart i think i'm not ready yet.. and so are my family and my friends,, i guess..

    in my office,, now i'm one of the few men who are not married yet.. so,, a lot of my seniors tried to be my matchmakers.. some of them introduced me with some girls.. and u know what,, my family began to do the same thing too..

    actually,, i like their 'helps' in my journey to find my soulmate for the rest of my live.. but,, they just don't know the truth about my sexual preference..

    in my heart,, i really want to let them know about it.. but,, i'm afraid that our relationship won't be the same as it used to be if they know about it.. the risk is too big to deal with.. in the other side,, i'm also afraid if they know about it from the other way around..

    so,, what i'm supposed to do right now?? how to know whether i'm ready or not to come out to my family and my friends?? this case might be different for each gay,, but i think i'd like to hear ur story and advice too..

    PS: Happy saturday nite.. ^_^

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  4. My dear Aries Boy, of course I remember you. No need to ask. I will always remember you. I suspected you hadn't come out yet, so I kept you, as well as elevencats, in mind as I've worked on my Coming Out Month series this October.

    Speaking of which, I hope you've followed my posts this month. I've tried to present some balance in my work, between reasons why you should and shouldn't come out now. My wish is for every gay person to come out, but, as I write, only you can decide the time that's right for you.

    Coming Out Month officially ends next week, so I'm busy putting together the last few posts. One of them will be titled something like, "How Do I Know I'm Ready to Come Out," so I hope you'll watch for that. In the meantime, be sure to review the other posts. I think you'll find them helpful.

    It used to irritate me when people tried to match me up with girls. I hated them thinking I couldn't find someone myself and I needed their help. And I hated that they didn't know the truth about me. Sometimes, I just wanted to blurt it out so they'd leave me alone. You might find it cute now, but, for me, as time went on, I hated deceiving them.

    I want to respond to some other pieces of your comment, but I'll wait to write about it in the upcoming post I mentioned above.

    I'm thrilled that you're able to read my blog again. In part, it's for young men like you and elevencats that I write this, because I want to help you come to terms with your sexual orientation, accept and love yourself, and live your lives as fully as you were meant to.

    I hope you'll keep reading and stay in touch. I'm always excited to hear from you, don't forget that. Anytime you need to share something with me, you know I'm here. Plus, I'm available by email. Okay?

    Thanks for coming back and for leaving a comment. I appreciate it.

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  5. To Aries Boy: from the tone you are speaking about other people trying to find you a partner, I truly believe they want you to be with someone, because they know how wonderful it will be. I don't know the situation you are in, I don't know how much you have to lose, but telling the truth is a better way. I sometimes think what will my parents think when I'll meat someone I know at a gay party and they will be the ones who will tell my parents. I don't want that. My recent experience taught me that pain is inevitable when it comes to telling truth about something. It will be hard for people around you. But in the end if the love is strong enough, everything will be alright. People need a gay person to speak from his heart. And also, people need time to digest all this new information.

    To Rick:
    Well. I've taken every chance I have got to speak with him. And he is truly nice to speak to. He doesn't push me away. Will we partners in the future, I don't think so. But he is a good friend. He is someone who makes being gay so normal. And I kind of came out to him on a conversation today.
    Rick, you are so right when you tell that people don't know what love is, or what an relationship should be, or who they should be with. At the moment I'm dreaming that I have someone I can speak to when I come home, I have someone who holds me during a cold night... Anything else doesn't come to mind. The only other thing that I'm sure of, is that I am a gay man. So I kind of feel like finding friends to share my life with is more important. And love happens when it needs to. When it will not for some reason, then I'll have a lot of close friends. I've been opening up to a lot of people lately, and I've seen that there are superb people folks around me. How haven't I noticed that before. Warm and friendly, smart and funny people!

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  6. Elevencats, my sincere thanks for your kind words for Aries Boy.

    I'm so glad to learn about the risks you're taking with the young man in some of your classes. Good for you. Really, there's nothing wrong with being warm to other human beings. It's usually the only way they'll be warm to you in return.

    I was surprised when you said you sort of came out to him. Do you think he understood what you were getting at? In other words, do you think he knows for sure you're gay? If so, is he the first person you've told?

    I was happy to hear you'd done this because, since he's gay himself, he knows what a risk there is in telling someone about yourself. That means you should be able to trust him.

    And, as I've said before, you may not become partners, but what you need most of all is a good friend like yourself, who you can talk to and share with, who will accept you for who you are, not judge you, and help you build your confidence. So I'm thrilled you've connected with him. Please keep that up. I have a good feeling about your friendship with this young man. It could lead to good things.

    I'm so pleased my advice resonates for you. I try to be helpful, but I don't know your specifics. All I can do is draw on my own experience as someone who is over double your age. Getting older and having more life experiences has to be helpful to others in some respect, I hope, and that's why I love to share so much of myself here.

    Yes, my advice continues to be the same. Focus on coming out of yourself, being warm and friendly to others, and making friendships. I have no doubt there are a lot of people out there waiting to get to know you better and to support you in any way they can.

    Friendship is a form of love, too, so, even though you may not have a partner in your life, you can still feel love and support from good friends.

    And, honestly, the best life partner begins as a good friend, because you get to know each other well, and you develop feelings of friendship toward each other. In some cases, those feelings become more intense, and you realize you want more than just friendship from this person. That's when things become more exciting.

    But, for now, one step at a time. Opening up to other people is obviously helping you a lot, and you're seeing how wonderful people can be. Keep taking baby steps. Keep believing in yourself. Keep extending yourself to others. You have been withdrawn for far too long. You need to learn how to walk before you can run. So just focus on being who you want to be, on inviting people into your space, and let everything else take care of itself. You'll see, it will.

    Thanks so much for your comment. I love to hear about your progress. Please let me know how you're doing as often as you can. I'm rooting for you. I want only the best for you.

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  7. What I said was that doing what we do it would be good to have a husband who is a businessman.

    Actually I told a psychologist first that I am gay (about a year ago). She had an impression as I had told her something as usual as buying a bread at the supermarket. So my first coming out experience was quite easy and positive. Being a good friend.

    Sometimes I feel like I just want to get these words out. Because I want to live and telling lies all the time - this isn't living.
    But I also believe that I will do it at a proper moment when I truly feel it will be alright. In the meantime I'm trying to connect to people.

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  8. @elevencats:
    thank you for ur sharing. i appreciate it.
    anyway, it sounds like u're having some romances right now. i'm happy for u. wish him the right guy for u. ^_^

    @rick:
    thank u for ur comment too. u're always the best. hohoho.

    just like elevancats said earlier, sometimes i feel like i want to come out of the closet too. but the risk is always too big to be taken. at least that's what i've been taught.

    i have a senior in my office who is still single in his early 40. he's a bit sissy, and i think he's one of us. in front of him no one actually ever called him gay. or made laugh of him for that matters. but when he's not around, i could hear a lot of talking about him. some criticized his sissy voice. some laughed at his body language. and so on.

    people said that what we don't know can't actually hurt us. but i disagree with this saying. it hurts more, i think, when i know that people are playing two-faced about me.

    all i'm saying is that i think i'm not ready yet to bear the consequences. i don't know whether this is me being too drama queen or the simply truth.

    PS: i just remember that i have something to do right now. i'll write u more about this later. i gotta go. see u.

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  9. @Elevencats: You know what comes to mind when I read what you write about wanting to come out but being too scared to? That you may be building up this event in your life to be far worse than it will be.

    Perhaps you can relate. Sometimes, I know an event is coming up, and I dread it. It's not a good or positive event, but I know I have to get through it. The longer I know about it in advance, the more time I have to obsess about it. By the time it's about to happen, I'm all twisted in a knot over it. I'm terrified of having to go through it.

    Then, when it happens, it's not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Does this sound familiar about anything that's happened to you? I bet it does.

    I'm not saying coming out won't be difficult; I'm sure it will be. But I also think the more time you think about it, the worse it becomes in your mind, and you begin to feel paralyzed about having to go through it. Who knows, maybe your parents won't react nearly as badly as you think. It's so hard to say. People surprise me sometimes. I expect the worst and don't get it at all.

    I sincerely hope that's how it will be for you when you finally come out.

    Thanks so much for your comment. Remember, I'm here for you.

    @Aries Boy: Thanks for saying I'm the best. I appreciate your kindness.

    I understand everything you wrote about people talking negatively behind your back and being two-faced. I went through the same thing for many years, too, so I know how it feels. Not very good.

    On the other hand, people are people. You have no control over how they react or the things they do. I've often found that when people got to know me better as a good human being, after they discovered I was gay, they respected me and even supported me.

    But, yes, some people will always be ignorant and talk about others behind their backs. Nothing you can do about that. Hold your head up high, be proud of the human being you're becoming by being true to yourself and authentic, and don't allow anyone to bring you down. It's not worth it. Don't give them the power. That's all you can do.

    I'm busy thinking about what to include in the post you asked me to write, about when I knew it was the right time to come out. Please watch for that early this week and let me know what you think. I hope you find it helpful.

    I look forward to hearing from you again when you have more time.

    Thanks for your comment. Please keep in touch.

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  10. More and more I'm moving to a point where I'm sick of the fact that I put everyone else's interests first. What about me! This kind, caring, beautiful, emotional, hard-working, friendly person. I too need to live my life at the fullest. I too need to be loved. If others won't enjoy my company just because I'm gay, then be it. I know I can manage. I always have and always will.

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  11. What about you, indeed, Elevencats? That's the whole point for every gay person yet to come out. You deserve to be whole and happy, too.

    You have so much going for you. You have so much to offer the world, and family, and friends, and that special someone in your life. But you can only give it all when you are truly yourself in every respect.

    I love the tone of defiance in your comment. You've given this a lot of thought, and I know you realize what's at stake if you come out, but also what's at stake if you don't. Your time will come, I promise you that.

    You've made the exact point all gay people should: If those who are important to you don't enjoy your company after you've come, out just because you're gay, then it is truly their loss, not yours.

    I love the strength you show in your words. I know some days you're stronger than others, but, one day, when you have the resolve and the opportunity, you will do what needs to be done. And I will be here to support you in any way I can.

    Thanks so much for your comment. Please remember I'm just a comment or email away.

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  12. Yes, I might be strong during some days, but during other days, I feel so terrible. Today I couldn't get any reasonable sentence rather than “Hello!” out of my mouth to the one I'm interested in. Because today is the day I hate being gay. I hate that I could lose everything that I've been working for seven years with one sentence: “I'm gay.” Estonia is so small, if one person knows, all the others will too. I'll have no respect towards me. I will be nothing, if I come out. I have no one who is close to me, truly close. My family is far from me, physically and emotionally, they don't have time for me – O.K., they never had time for me. I'm dependent on them by only money (so, I'm using them for money). I'm studying to be a scientist, though I don't have any gifts in that area. I'm avoiding the only person that might have answers to questions I have. I want to be alone. I want no one around me, I'd like to close off all the world. Go and live in a forest. I am so afraid of myself. I'd give anything to be straight and have a normal life. I hate being a faggot. I have nothing to live for. Absolutely nothing. Only reason I'm not killing myself right now, is because I can't stand the pain that dying causes to myself. And also I've given my word to my group partners that I'll do my share of the presentation we're going to give. Okay, then I'll have to postpone my death. Oh, and a person just added me as a friend on facebook...

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  13. ...And I'm sending you this comment, and I'm so concerned about you.

    Elevencats, this was VERY difficult for me to read. VERY difficult. I know we all go through rough days--me too--but it's as though all of your strength, all of your resolve, disappeared since you wrote last, like the air was let out of a balloon. If I were there with you, I would wrap my arms tightly around you, and hold you, and reassure you that everything will be just fine. Because it will be. It really will.

    Here's a little secret I discovered in writing another post. As a young man, all of your world is tied up in what you know, and what you know is so small compared to the entirety of everything. What you know is your mother and step-father, your father and your sister(s), school and Estonia, studying to be a scientist and being gay. But that's not all there is. So much more awaits you. So much more.

    When you're young like you are, you don't see everything else; you lack perspective. So when the thought of losing what you know, the small amount you have, occurs to you, just because you're gay, then you think you have nothing else to live for. But, believe me, you do. You are a precious, sweet, and gentle soul, and you have a responsibility to take care of yourself, to love yourself no matter what.

    Maybe you won't stay in Estonia forever. Maybe your life will take you to other countries, other cultures, where not only will you be able to fulfill your promise as a scientist, but also you'll become a fully realized young, gay man. Consider all the possibilities. You can have so much more than you do today, and that's what I want you to focus on--your value, your potential, your future.

    Please, PLEASE, never do anything desperate. NEVER. Taking your own life is never the answer. You're here for a reason, and that reason hasn't been fulfilled yet. Imagine if I had taken my life, all those years ago when I was miserable and felt worthless like you do sometimes. I wouldn't be where I am today, I wouldn't have this blog, I wouldn't be able to support you now. I can't imagine that.

    You are being tested, but you are, whether you believe it or not, strong enough to overcome everything you're going through. You might not think so, but you are. Adversity is a part of all our lives. It doesn't matter what minority we belong to. Each of us feels worthless sometimes, like we have no purpose and no reason to be alive. But we're wrong. And that realization comes to us soon enough.

    I care very deeply about what happens to you, so you cannot do anything to harm yourself. You must promise me that you'll NEVER EVER do that. Because if I can get through what I did, growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, when being young and gay was much worse than it is now, then you can get through what's happening to you now. You can and you will. Promise me that.

    Never give up. Don't allow anyone else to win. You are here for a reason. Work to find that reason and fulfill it. My arms are around you still. If you need to cry, you go ahead and cry. Let your tears fall down my back onto my shirt. I'm here for you, and I won't let you go until you are ready to let me go. Until your strength is back, and you're able to move forward to find out who you are meant to be.

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  14. Elevencats, I've had all day to think about your last comment and my response, and I need to add one more thing.

    Perhaps I missed the mark in what I wrote. I meant all of it, of course, but what I should have advised you to do was to take the pressure off. Right now, your focus must be on school, not on coming out of the closet. Your focus should also be on continuing to be warm and open with other people, and making friendships.

    I fear following my blog has made you feel under pressure to come out, and clearly, this is not the right time for that to happen. As long as you remain dependent on your parents--as, I might add, a good many students are, which is not a bad thing--you cannot jeopardize their financial support in any way.

    I don't want you to feel conflicted about being gay and closeted. So, if following my blog is making matters more difficult for you, then, as much as I hate to say this, I suggest you don't read it for a while. Take a break from it. Don't worry about being gay, coming out, or meeting someone to share your life with. You have more important things to work through.

    Elevencats, I want the very best for you, you know that. But if what I write is adding to your struggle, then you need to let my blog go--at least for now. I will always be here for you. I will always look forward to hearing from you. I'd love to stay in regular contact, through good times and bad, but I can't accept that what I write might be making you feel worse.

    I leave it up to you. If you want to be in contact with me (for example, by email) to let me know how you're doing, to keep the conversation going, but not read my blog, I'm fine with that, too. This is not about cutting off communication with you. It's about letting you decide what communication, if any, you want with me, based on what's right for you at this point in time.

    For now, please let me know you're all right. I'll respect whatever decision you make.

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  15. I'm fine. I'm fine. My emotions are my gift and my curse! I'll comment more in the evening.

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  16. First of all. I'm an over-the-top emotional person. When I feel good, the level of feeling good is extremely hight, when I'm feeling bad, the level of feeling bad is as high as it can get. I scare a lot of people with my emotions. Because of that, I've learned to keep them hidden from everyone I know. Including my family, because my emotions hurt other people, especially the ones who care about me. Here is a place where I can write every word that comes into my mind. So, please, don't take my words that seriously. I write what I feel, without thinking even for a second.
    Secondly, don't put this kind of pressure on yourself: yes, you have given me a lot of inspiration about coming out... I take this information in, I process it, but I am a man who does everything if I truly want to, independent of words from other people. Do I feel pressured about coming out? Yes, but only from myself. Because this is the last semester I'm going to be with him. My last chance to make things right with him.
    Thirdly, I have a lot of things on my mind, including my sexuality. But my main concern are my studies. I can't even describe how hard it is for me to be a MSc student. On the other hand, I don't have the words to describe how exited I am about my studies and my research area. I can't say I don't need anyone in my life, because I need a man in my life. Sooner or later. I need this special someone, because I need to witness love. It is a part of being human. Will I go and search for it? Make myself someone I truly am not? No. Because I've learned how cool it is to be myself around my fellow students.
    And last but not least, I have not read all your posts about coming out because at the moment I feel like for me they are a lot more that I can handle. Will I use them in the future, yes. But when I am ready. I can't imagine not connecting to you threw your blog, because I feel I am at home when I visit it. I will select what I read, what about I will comment, but I'll use my intuition.
    The point why I write here, is that I have a place where I can tell the truth about a part of myself I still don't understand. Will I make you feel sad and hurt in the future, most probably. Above all you have to remember one thing: you and this blog are my companions who help me threw the tough times. So, I've said it a lot of times, but I'll say it again: thank you!

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  17. I'm so grateful to hear you're fine, Elevencats. Given the harsh words you used in your previous comment, I really thought you might do something desperate, and that, of course, would be an enormous mistake.

    I don't want you to feel like you have to hide your emotions and sensitivity from me, as you do from your family, so please go ahead and write what you need to here. I know now not to take it so seriously.

    I'm relieved that reading what I write on my blog doesn't put you under more pressure to come out. Of course, I write for a diverse readership, so what may be right for one may not be for another.

    You mention this being the last semester with him, and the last opportunity to make things right with him. Am I to assume you mean the young man you've written about before? I thought you said he wasn't right for you?

    I think your deciding to read some of my posts while leaving others is a great idea. You know what I've written is always available to you in the future, when you might be in a better place to receive it.

    I'm so happy that you find coming here to my blog like being home. That says a lot about what I've done through my writing, and the connection you and I have. Yes, you always have a home here. But you already know that.

    And to your thank you, I say you're welcome. Now that I know not to take your emotional lows so seriously, and that my blog and I are your companions, I'm grateful we'll continue to stay in touch with each other.

    Thanks for this comment. I was eager to know you're fine and to find out what you wanted to do. I hope I can continue to be a source of help and inspiration for you.

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  18. For some reason, I know I will never take my own life. In my mind I could do that, but truth be told I love life enough to survive these hard days.

    Part of me wants to say to him: I'm gay too, do you have a boyfriend, would you like a good friend... If only I had the strength to say that. I don't know how I feel about him. His nice, but am I nice in his mind...? Who knows. I'd like to live in his shoes for a day. And the most important point: am I ready for a relationship? I'm a total kid, so... Who knows.

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  19. How pleased I am, Elevencats, to read that you will take your own life. Believe me, it's not worth committing suicide over being gay. Not a good enough reason, not when there's so much of your life ahead of you, and so much happiness and fulfillment and love to look forward to.

    So about this fellow: I know it's not my place to offer advice, but that's what I do, so why stop now?

    Focus on the friendship. With everything that's already going on, particularly the pressure you're under to perform well in school, I think the last thing you need is to be distracted by falling in love. But there's no reason whatsoever why you can't be good friends (if that's what he wants) and get to know each other well. I'm considering your age, and your lack of experience, and how sweet you are, and I just think you're too young to get seriously involved. Give yourself some time.

    On the hand, if you two hit it off, and you start to fall for each other, and you take things slowly, and you don't get carried away, and you can deal with the pressures of school and a fledgling relationship, and with what a relationship could mean in terms of your family and coming out--if all of that happens and you can take it on, more power to you. Go for it. I'll be rooting for you from way over here.

    Because you know what? Love is largely on its own timetable, and who am I to tell you to turn your back on love when it presents itself? Could be the best thing that ever happens to you, and could be forever, too. Who knows?

    I'm afraid I've given you conflicting advice. In the end, you'll do what your heart tells you to do, but always be careful and be safe.

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  20. I think the point is to go with the flow. It's hard to think that when I am in bed all alone in the evening, but I have to.

    I feel like a total child. I have no experience in anything concerning life. It makes me beautiful, but it also makes me vulnerable. I feel like an alien around other people. I'm a bit afraid that if I will be able to manage myself in a real life, because soon university walls, that protect my know, will not be there anymore, and I have to catch up.

    That being the case, I have a romantic vision of everything in life. Of sex being the ultimate and most sacred connection two people who love each other can witness. One reason, that I'd like to be straight, is to get to know this feeling of giving life to another creature. I respect a woman's body for this capability. It's grand!

    Even if I haven't lived a lot of this "normal life" , I have read a lot. Due to my studies I have become very critical of what I read and trust only information that I can understand. So, I know I have to be safe, and I believe I have to be safe, non-dependant on the situation.

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  21. I could not have said it better myself, Elevencats.

    Go with the flow. Let your life unfold naturally. This includes personally and professionally.

    I feel all the angst in your words, where you'd like circumstances to be more settled and more answers to all your questions. But you're awfully young, and life doesn't work like that. Don't wish for everything right away, because you'll have nothing to look forward to, and you may not be ready for it.

    Instead, make the most of every moment. Always be present. Strive for excellence. Hold on to your standards. Don't be scared to take advantage of opportunities. And let things happen. Don't try to orchestrate everything. Relax. Take a deep breath.

    It will all be just fine. You'll see. Be patient, young man. Be patient.

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