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Reader Q & A…aka Ask Alfred

Well Allen, I want to thank you for your question. Since you are the first to ask and as I said in the comment back to you I will start off this post with your question and give you my answer.

You asked a very important question…. When to come out? Well the answer to that part is very easy and doesn’t require much “wisdom” and I would hope anybody reading this would agree that NOBODY can tell someone when is the right time for them to come out. Each persons situation is different and has many different factors which I will try to address a few.

From the way you worded your question, I assume that you are in High School still, but might be in college, either way the considerations are the same. For this response I am going to take the chance of making an ass out of you and me and ASSUME (old people joke) that you are still in High School. Here are some things that you should consider.

First, if you come out now will you be in danger from “friends” or people in your community? If you live in a very conservative community then it may be better to wait on coming out. Second, how will your parents respond? Will they continue to unconditionally love and support you even if they disagree with your orientation? When I say support you, I mean will they still possibly financially support your further education, or god forbid allow you to remain living in their home? Sadly in the United States on any given night approximately 41,000 unaccompanied youth ages 13-25 experience homelessness, more very sad statistics available here: http://www.ncsl.org/research/human-services/homeless-and-runaway-youth.aspx

One thing is for sure, after considering all the ramifications of coming out, at some point you DO need to come out. When is the right time? Only you know that answer, but I can tell you with 100% certainty it’s when you feel the time is right. There are some links below, I hope you never need but they may come in handy and are good to know about.

The next part of your question is much more personal but I want to be honest and a little brief. When I was in my late teens and early twenties, and I am assuming you are. It was not safe to be “out” in my community, or many parts of the United States in general. I chose to hide my true feelings, and I tried living the “straight life” as so many from my generation did, and in many areas of the country today many people still do. I was in college when I came to terms with my true feelings, and given the career path I had chosen hiding my true feelings seemed like the only choice I had. Now, all these years later, (I came out in my late 60’s) as I look back over my life I now see how that decision to stay closeted, to stay pretending I was something I wasn’t, caused emotional issues which I tried to hide. Trying to live your life while hiding such important parts of your self identity can result in mood swings, and anger as it did with me. My family, and my friends took the brunt of my mood swings, I wasn’t abusive to anybody but I wasn’t the friendliest person to be around and could easily have been described as the grumpy old man. I came out to everyone after many many years, a failed marriage and pretty much no contact with my children. Ironically, it was at the urging of a straight friend, who I had come out to several years earlier that I came out to everyone….Once I had told everyone that I was gay, you hear it said like this all the time BUT it really was like a giant weight was lifted off my shoulders. The anger and mood swings vanished, the stress and worry while lingering over what people might think got less and less, and now today I am who I am, I have some wonderful friends that accept me for who I am and I no longer worry about it. If people cant accept me as myself after all this time, it is very much their loss not mine.

IF ANY READERS WOULD LIKE TO RESPOND TO THIS QUESTION, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO DO SO IN THE COMMENTS, THEY WILL BE MODERATED BUT YOUR INPUT MAY HELP THIS YOUNG MAN AS WELL…

I am living life the way I should, AS ME! And I am enjoying it very much! I am an 80 year old Gay man, I now get to travel and try new things, meet new people and have this adventure of my own completely as myself….I hope this helped you in some way, Alfred….

4 replies »

  1. Good answer for I agree that coming out is an individual decision. Much like you Alfred, I hid my personal life from family for years. But my coming out occurred after college and was living on my own at age 35. Dated a little and found my special gay partner and been together for 35 plus years. I’m age 75 and acceptance of our life is becoming easier for others to understand that one is born gay, not a a decision we make. Good luck to that young man and hope he knows he is not alone and hopefully will continue being loved by family. Besides, chances are your parents already know or suspect your gay. Mother’s usually know or suspect these things. Also, best way to make like friends is thru other like friends.

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  2. Thanks for the links. I don’t know what im going to do still but you gave me stuff to think about. I will let you know if I decide to come out and tell you how it goes and yes I am in high school and idk what my parents would do they don’t like gays.

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  3. Although I am not gay…I saw your post on craigslist about clothing optional place…I am a nudist and support the idea although I would never be able to come lol..arkansas laws are tricky but u can have same sex places…and I support that…hope to make new nudist friends in my future and hate it we have to drive so far away for the experience with others…wish u the best in your journeys

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    • Dear Travis, why is it you think you would never be able to come? If its a question of being discrete or being seen we have that covered! completely secluded, and membership packets will have a very nice non disclosure agreement in them since so many of the responses I have gotten have come from closeted or discrete individuals. Guest privacy are, and will be a main priority. As for not being gay, it doesn’t matter! The campground may be targeted and focused for gay men, but all are welcome as long as they are good people that come merely for the seclusion, relaxation and privacy the camp will afford. You are very right, with the laws being tricky it will be male only, but there may occasionally be an event or few
      days where all sexes are welcome and clothing is mandatory it just depends on the interest I receive.

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