Coming out was easy. My family was supportive. I wasn’t bullied as a kid. Yeah, maybe I’m still having some issues in my life, but it’s not because I’m gay.
Thankfully, these are things that some younger gay men are saying more and more. It is becoming easier for some people to come out of the closet. I’m certainly not claiming that it is easy to identify as LGBTQ today. There are hateful and horrible things happening all over the world to people in our community, but there has been some progress. Some forward motion.
What is coming out?
“Coming out” is the right of passage many LGBTQ people have to go through when they tell others they identify as gay. (The fact that we still have to come out and are assumed heterosexual is a post for another day.)
Even with support
Even with the best family and friend circle in the world, we’re all fed heteronormative messages through movies, books and other media outlets. I’ve yet to see an LGBTQ hero or heroine in a Disney movie, but maybe someday.
These subliminal messages tell us from an early age that we’re different, other and “not normal.” Taking in messages like that can have all sorts of consequences on self-esteem, self-worth and confidence.
Coming out was easy, but…
Coming out was easy, but I’m still feeling anxious, detached, self-critical or depressed. I’m still having trouble meeting guys or forming more intimate and vulnerable connections.
While being gay may not be the root cause of all of your problems, it could be a piece of the puzzle. As gay men, we’re still a minority and a marginalized segment of the population. While this may not be the root cause of your intimacy issues, substance misuse or social anxiety, it could be contributing in important ways.
Exploring your identity
How do you identify? If you identify as a gay man, what is that like for you? How does it affect your relationships, if at all? These could be important questions to ask and reflect on.
While being gay may not define you, it’s a part of who you are. An important part.