The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Tolerance!

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The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Tolerance!

Post by Octavia (?) » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:03 pm

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The main intent of this thread is to be a resource for people who are coming out, dealing with their sexuality, or who are otherwise unsure and in need of help. This is an equal space. Whether gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, trans, asexual, genderqueer, or just curious, you can find help here.


I'll start with my coming out story. I was a bit of a late bloomer, and didn't really start questioning my sexuality until around age 18 or 19. I was always with girls until that point, but none of my relationships with women ever lasted more than a few weeks. To be honest, I still do feel an attraction to some women, but I can't ever see myself in more than a strictly physical relationship with one. All my deepest and most long-term relationships have been with guys. On the Kinsey Scale, I would rate myself a 5.

I dropped out of my first college after two years, mostly due to depression, which was in part caused by me being in the closet. I took a year off and worked a retail job while I tried to piece my life back together. I applied to a new college in a completely different field, in a place far away from everyone I knew. I started attending the following fall, and since it was a brand new beginning for me, I just acted like I had been out of the closet the whole time I was there. It was completely liberating, my mood improved, I loved my classes, and everything was great. When I got a serious boyfriend for the first time, I knew I needed to tell my family and friends back home.

The hardest person to tell was the first one, who was a high school friend of mine. He was attending a different school about 30 minutes away and he wanted to take me out for sushi on my birthday. On the ride back, I told him I was gay and I had a boyfriend. It was really difficult, I started stammering and stuttering, and would just go silent for a few seconds every so often. He knew what I was trying to do, he was very understanding, and he tried to coax me through it. We're still great friends today and I was a groomsman at his wedding last year.

A few days after telling my friend, I flew to my dad's place for Thanksgiving break. I waited until my dad and stepmother were about to go to bed, then told them. It was much easier the second time, and they had the best possible reaction I could hope for. They hugged me and said "we're glad you told us." I tried my best not to cry, since I thought that crying would make me look weak, or possibly not certain about my sexuality, but the tears came anyway. We talked in my parents' bedroom for a good hour after that, and went to bed. The following night, I told my sisters and brother-in-law. I knew they would be totally fine with it, and they were by far the easiest family members to tell.

I waited until Christmas to tell my mother. I was there during winter break and I made sure my sisters were there with me to back me up when I told her. When I told my mother, her exact response was, "...ooooookaaaaayyy..." Then she asked me what she did wrong when raising me to make me turn out gay. :facehoof: My sisters were a big help that night in helping me talk to my mother, and after a few months, my mother realized I'm still her son and still the same as I've always been. Today she's totally fine with me being gay.

I realize I'm extremely lucky to have such tolerant friends and family. I know people who have been kicked out of their houses for coming out. That first long-term boyfriend I mentioned earlier had his nose broken in high school for being gay. We were together for 3 years, but we broke up in 2009. A few months after we broke up, I met a new guy. We've been a couple for over 2 years now, and living together for 16 months. I couldn't be happier. :3:


Anyone, even straight allies, can feel free to share any stories or ask any questions they may have here without being judged or ridiculed. Share away!

:sweetielarm: We have an IRC Channel! :sweetielarm:

#quiltbag on irc.synirc.net

Join us there for any discussion on these issues without having to constantly mash the f5 key! :f5:
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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by concerned reader (?) » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:27 pm

This is a cool and much needed thread, and I'll make an actual effort post sometime later when I'm not tired after work. My brother came out about a year and a half ago I think (He's 17 now), so I have some stuff to share from that experience, as well as some of my own kind of struggles with self identity. I guess for reference I should say that at this point I'm leaning towards saying that I'm pansexual, but with a preference for women. So probably about a 1 or 2 on the Kinsey scale.
Last edited by concerned reader on Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by Ragnar (?) » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:47 pm

I'm a zero on the Kinsey scale and I know nothing about the other numbers, so I'll be following this thread in the hopes of learning something. :yay:

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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by Aramek (?) » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:09 am

I know this is a serious thread about supporting each other, but that picture makes me laugh. :v:
I'm probably a 1 on that scale? I mean, I sometimes kinda wonder if I'm gay, as I find lots of other men attractive, I'm just not attracted to them is all. :pinkieshrug:
Image There was a link here, it's dead now and I'm sad.

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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by Octavia (?) » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:10 am

Concerned Reader wrote:My brother came out about a year and a half ago I think (He's 17 now)


Man, I wish I were that sure at age 15. High school would have been a lot less stressful and confusing. I didn't come out until my 23rd birthday. :fluttersmith:

The Kinsey Scale isn't some sort of ultimate end-all be-all of sexuality. Everyone's sexuality fluctuates, so you could be a 2 at one time and a 5 at another. The scale was first published way back in 1948, so it's a little dated! One of the most important things I learned when trying to figure out my sexuality was to not label myself. Try new things and don't feel ashamed about experimenting. You don't need to slap a label on yourself and strictly adhere to that label.
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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by Pink Himalayan Salt » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:22 am

I've pretty much thought of myself as straight for most of my life. Then, sometime last year I began to realize I like men as well as women. It was really bizarre, especially once the feelings got stronger. I have this stupid fear though, that I might try dating a man and then realize I'm not really into men and it would be embarrassing if I had come out as bi.

My parents are of the "being gay is a choice and wrong" mentality. I don't know what my sister thinks, and I wish I could find out without giving myself away.

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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by Octavia (?) » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:40 am

Pink Himalayan Salt wrote:I've pretty much thought of myself as straight for most of my life. Then, sometime last year I began to realize I like men as well as women. It was really bizarre, especially once the feelings got stronger. I have this stupid fear though, that I might try dating a man and then realize I'm not really into men and it would be embarrassing if I had come out as bi.

My parents are of the "being gay is a choice and wrong" mentality. I don't know what my sister thinks, and I wish I could find out without giving myself away.


Coming out is a very personal event and it should only be done if you're ready, you're confident and you know you'll be safe. It sucks having to sneak around your family, but that might be the only option for you to figure things out. Just make sure you find a partner who is understanding to your situation.
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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by londonarbuckle (?) » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:41 am

Welp, I guess I'll just go ahead and throw it in.

I've been struggling big time with my sexuality recently and I've come to the conclusion that I'm most likely gay, or at the very least on the 4+ side of the ol' scale. I've known there's something "weird" about my sexuality for a long time, and have thought in the past that I might be bisexual, but it wasn't until very recently that it really "hit" me that I might be gay. I've always had to "force" myself to be attracted to women (I've never been in a relationship of any kind fwiw), but I've always my whole life denied thoughts of guys and just dismissed it as my brain not working correctly, and just told myself that one day I'd be attracted to women "normally." Not an unusual thought process for me.

I'm still pretty confused about all this, especially after reading/hearing so many places that gay people "know" that they're gay from an early age, when really I kind of did and kind of didn't, and even now I still don't really know. I do feel somewhat of a desire to be with a girl, if only on an emotional level, but maybe that's only because I've never seriously looked at guys as an option until now. If I am bisexual, I definitely have the same fear as PHS, that I'll end up getting into a relationship with one gender and then realize I don't like it. It's just really hard being so unsure of yourself in this area, especially if you're an awkward person who's nervous and has a hard time with the idea of actually going out and experimenting, even though I really want to.

I'm sure there's more of an effortpost I could make, but this is good enough. Going through this process has been extremely surreal for me. It's weird having to go through all these realizations that I already knew on an intellectual level but had to re-learn due to deeply internalized homophobia or whatever. Like, I had to realize that even if I'm gay, that I'm still the same person I always was, and not just a "gay guy." Duh, I knew that already. But going through this realization is crazy enough that I have to figure out stuff I thought I already knew.

Anyway, I'm glad this thread's here, and I will probably post more if I think of anymore to say. And special thanks to Octavia for chatting with me about this a couple weeks ago. A cool person to talk to, four stars out of four.

Pineapple

Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by Pineapple » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:52 am

When I was little I used to write love letters to the neighbor's daughter who babysat me because I had such a huge little kid crush on her. I didn't understand the concept of mail yet so I just gave them to my mom, who threw them out later. :flattered:

Coming out. I'd just moved to a new state, started college right after highschool, had a shitty tiny apartment paid for by my parents, living on my own, and finally feeling some safety in the distance from my nosy and oppressive home town. It was Coming Out Day and there was a social event at a lounge in the student center and I was all "yeah I'm gonna go and it's gonna be cool and I'm gonna meet lots of people!" and I walked in and went "OHMYGODALLTHESEPRETTYPEOPLETHEYREGONNAHATEME" and walked back out in one motion like that gif of Grandpa Simpson at the whore house. I have fairly bad social anxiety disorder and was undiagnosed and unmedicated at the time. Instead I went home and after I'd calmed down a bit I called my mom and told her I'm a lesbian.

She bawled, not because I'm gay per se, but because she wished I'd told her sooner, because she wished she'd have protected me from the shit I went through in highschool, because she was afraid of how people would treat me, and because she was afraid to tell anyone about it. Some reasons better than others but the crying wound me up too and I felt more miserable than ever. It was hard to deal with because every time she'd call she'd start crying again. A few weeks later I took the train home to see my orthodontist and get my braces adjusted, mom blubbered all over me but it was better in person where we could hug.

My dad's not like a big stonefaced jerk or anything but he's not super demonstrative either. He just gave me a big hug at the train station and told me he loved me. They both took time to adjust but now it's not even a thing, we can joke and laugh about it like anything else.

My friends, which was like half a dozen people in a close knit group of rejects and weirdos, responses ranged from "Wait, you weren't out?" to "Yeah I know, I just didn't want to pressure you so I didn't say anything."

10 years later I'm still kind of getting my life together after bombing college hard. Twice. But my sexual orientation is not a significant part of my stress. I love my family, I love my friends, and I'm happy with who I am now.

And anyone in need of a sympathetic ear is always welcome in my inbox.

Lazy

Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by Lazy » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:59 am

I know I have some things to say here, maybe even meaningful things, but I'm tired and can't quite get my thoughts in order right now, so this might not really be coherent.

Gay guy, 5-6 on that scale. Realized this at like 13, through what I guess was a stroke of good luck. Had some trouble early on, despite being in a relatively liberal state compared to many, but ended up switching to a very accepting school so it all worked out.
While I knew they would be fine with it, being the accepting, lovely people that they are, telling my parents was still probably the hardest thing I've ever done. I don't know how to really sum up that feeling, or if there's really a way to-it's like, putting yourself out there and going way against any kind of social norm to talk about it, and just throwing something about yourself never normally heard or seen at people. You have to commit to it, there's no taking it back once it's out there-it's like the feeling you get teetering on the edge of a cliff.
And even if you knew the people you're closest too would be fine with it... I still wake up with the news full of people getting beaten and killed, people arguing over whether people should be given human rights and dignities, people on the radio and the internet and in public office ranting and raving about how sick you and people like you are, and people listening. You still worry. There's no way you can't, really.

It was only like a year and a half ago that I told my parents, actually. I remember pacing back and forth outside the room my mom was in getting more and more nervous for a good 45 minutes until she asked me if something was wrong, and I finally made myself walk in. I sat down on a chair across from the one she was on and put my hands on my knees to stop them from shaking. I don't remember what exactly I said, but she told me to come over and sit next to her. Then she held me for the first time she had since I was little, and the rest of our conversation was in low, somewhat choked voices-mine close to tears, hers as comforting as she could make it.
After a few minutes, she got up to go tell my dad in the basement, and then I went in afterwards and talked to him myself. We had a similar conversation, and he left with a pat on my back so I could just get my thoughts together and just relax a bit. I tried to play a game or something, but gave up soon. My hands and legs were still shaking, and they only stopped over an hour later.
I can't imagine what it's like to not have that acceptance. I don't know what I'd have done. I'm not a strong person, not emotionally. I get good grades, I can set myself to a task, but I'm not strong like that. I break down. I get teary at things that are barely even sad. I would've been crushed if it went wrong.
I guess, for anyone who isn't in a situation to come out safely, just... hold together. There are people who want you to pull through, some of whom have been through what you're going through. There's always someone out there.

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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by concerned reader (?) » Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:41 am

Pink Himalayan Salt wrote:I've pretty much thought of myself as straight for most of my life. Then, sometime last year I began to realize I like men as well as women. It was really bizarre, especially once the feelings got stronger. I have this stupid fear though, that I might try dating a man and then realize I'm not really into men and it would be embarrassing if I had come out as bi.


Without getting into the parents stuff just yet, this is a lot of what I'm going through. For me though it's more that I realized that gender isn't high on my list of things to look for in a relationship. Like, I've never been big on appearances, and have always cared more about personality. I just didn't really have a name for it and being straight was culturally easier.

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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by Octavia (?) » Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:00 am

londonarbuckle wrote:And special thanks to Octavia for chatting with me about this a couple weeks ago. A cool person to talk to, four stars out of four.


No problem! Anyone is free to PM me in IRC or through the forums if they wanna talk about stuff in private.

Concerned Reader wrote:For me though it's more that I realized that gender isn't high on my list of things to look for in a relationship. Like, I've never been big on appearances, and have always cared more about personality.


I'm in the same boat on this. I fall in love with people, genitals be damned. It's just that I've been much more compatible on an emotional level with men than with women. Physically, I like the same traits in both men and women. I don't really like accentuated curves or huge muscles, but a nice flat, toned body of either gender is right up my alley.

Also, I totally have a thing for nerds :flattered:
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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by concerned reader (?) » Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:21 am

Octavia wrote:Physically, I like the same traits in both men and women. I don't really like accentuated curves or huge muscles, but a nice flat, toned body of either gender is right up my alley.

For the longest time, people would ask me what my type was, and I literally couldn't tell them anything because I'd never really thought about it before. I just don't care about things like hair or eye color, height, weight, breast size, butt tone, legs, or whatever stuff goes into a type list. Basically my physical type is anyone who takes care of themselves. That's why it wasn't really so hard a jump to realize that gender was on that list of things I don't care about. (My current go to example for my "type" is Abby Cornish, if anyone was curious.)

But I've never really been in any sort of serious relationship at all (I'm 21 now), and I'm really worried that maybe I'm "branching out" just because of how isolated and in need of some sort of a relationship I am, friendship or otherwise. And then if I ever do start dating another guy, I'm just scared to death that when things get further along, all of a sudden I'll realize "OH NO WOOPS SORRY DON'T ACTUALLY LIKE DUDES AFTER ALL." And I don't want to be that sort of guy at all.

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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by londonarbuckle (?) » Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:24 am

Concerned Reader wrote:
But I've never really been in any sort of serious relationship at all (I'm 21 now), and I'm really worried that maybe I'm "branching out" just because of how isolated and in need of some sort of a relationship I am, friendship or otherwise. And then if I ever do start dating another guy, I'm just scared to death that when things get further along, all of a sudden I'll realize "OH NO WOOPS SORRY DON'T ACTUALLY LIKE DUDES AFTER ALL." And I don't want to be that sort of guy at all.


Oh man, all of this for me. One of the many things I've been stressing out about, in regards to sexuality. I really wish I could just "know" for sure and be done with it. Way to be complicated, life. :applejargh:

Pink Himalayan Salt

Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by Pink Himalayan Salt » Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:41 am

Concerned Reader wrote:And then if I ever do start dating another guy, I'm just scared to death that when things get further along, all of a sudden I'll realize "OH NO WOOPS SORRY DON'T ACTUALLY LIKE DUDES AFTER ALL." And I don't want to be that sort of guy at all.


Yeah same here, I'd hate to do that to someone. Also I feel like I'd be furthering the terrible idea that you can stop being gay.

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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by Scuderia (?) » Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:42 am

Welp that was dum


I feel I should be reconciling something but I don't know what.
Last edited by Scuderia on Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:32 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by concerned reader (?) » Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:09 am

Pink Himalayan Salt wrote:

Yeah same here, I'd hate to do that to someone. Also I feel like I'd be furthering the terrible idea that you can stop being gay.

And that's something else that bothers me, because I start thinking about it too much, and then start thinking, "well, for me, maybe it is a choice?" Add into that the sort of cultural and religious stigmas that I was raised with, and it's a whole lot of thinking down some very convoluted tracks. I'll get more into that later though, when it isn't 2am and I'm liable to start just slipping into incoherent rambling.

Pineapple

Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by Pineapple » Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:11 am

It is 100% ok to identify as "curious" or "questioning." "Am I really sure?" is something a LOT of people go through. It's ok to have a relationship and decided "this isn't for me." It's ok to change how you label your preferences, and it's ok if you don't 100% "fit" into a label. Sexuality is way more fluid than most people like to think and even very open minded people can be surprised by their own attractions.

Aurora

Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by Aurora » Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:16 am

I dunno where to start this post so I'll just ramble.

I was raised Catholic, went to a Catholic school basically through high school. This did not lend itself to being very open-minded!! I only ever thought about relationships with girls my age in high school. What's weird is that my high school was full of people having sex but that's another story altogether probably. :pinkieshrug:

Once I got out of high school I started just kinda...drifting away from religious thinking. Stopped going to church unless my mother dragged me along, really not thinking about whether something would SEND ME TO HELL (which is probably good). My whole weird college experience probably didn't help matters, but I sort of...lost interest in romantic relationships for a year or so.

Then last semester everything kind of broke down at once during a week where my parents were gone. My computer died, I was stressed over some dumb community college classes, basically I just wasn't in any sort of good way. I posted about how awful everything was in the Rainbow Unicorn Sunshine Palace about how awful everything was. Octavia replied to my post pretty soon after I made it, and offered to talk to me on IRC and go through everything that was happening. We spent at least two nights getting to know each other and listening to the other talk about what we both had experienced. Eventually we broke outside the boundaries of what was immediately bothering me, and it somehow turned to sexuality stuff. I hadn't really cared too much about relationships but during the conversation I kinda realized that what I wanted was someone who I found enjoyable to spend time with, not just A Girl Because That's What's Supposed To Happen. Octavia kind of helped me realize that I'm bisexual, and that I really don't care what you are, as long as you are someone I enjoy the company of.

So yeah. That's my story.

:rainbert:

Walkin Goon

Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by Walkin Goon » Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:30 am

Concerned Reader, get out of my head.

Chunky wrote:I really don't care what you are, as long as you are someone I enjoy the company of.


One night while shooting the bull with a few others, I made a passing comment basically to this effect.
The looks they gave me cued me into its implications after the fact.
:iamapony:

With that said, I'll still identify as straight, although the Kinsey Scale coincides with my inability to be objective, and has me thinking either 1 or 2. I've been interested in LGBT rights for awhile though, and have been meaning to expand my knowledge on it. Once made a mental note to attend a small conference hosted by my just as small college on the very topic, though I ended up balking at the last minute. Sure, it was hosted on a day where my brain was still stewing from a test I took, but a billboard in the mess hall was kind enough to remind me of the event as I was walking to my truck.

Paused for a few seconds, and just passed the opportunity by. Spent the rest of the drive home feeling guilty about it, transitioning from a simple "I'd have felt awkward if no one/someone I knew was there" reasoning to just thinking about what my friends and, even worse, family would say. All their remarks on homosexuality have been passing when not outright mocking too, but damned if their casual use of "faggot" and "gay" don't carry a heavy weight with them, and I am ashamed to have so readily given into a fear we'd really be better off without. :smith:

Thankfully, there is a LGBT and friends club, who were behind said conference as well as a number of others celebrating diversity that month. I've made a promise to myself to seek out a membership at the next club orientation. Still, there's a growing insistence by my parents on turning my family back to its Catholic roots I've already grown out of. Again, mostly based off passing comments I hear in between conversations, but they make me tad nervous in regards to this situation.

To end this on a happy note, have a commercial; it's the best commercial.

Lookit the likes!
:ohboy:

CapacitorPlague

Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by CapacitorPlague » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:07 am

I'm coming at the whole coming out thing from a different angle. Mainly because I'm 36 and I've just started telling people in the last two months. Why did I wait so long? A fine combination of brutally low self esteem, depression, social anxiety, the usual. But something happened in the last year. I started eating properly, exercising (well, more than I did before) and just taking care of myself. Eventually, I actually started feeling better about myself, and have actually been wanting to socialize more. Then one day at work in December, one of my coworkers asked me if I was gay in that kinda-joking-kinda-serious way along with the "You know, I have no problem if you are".

And I told him no.

And it ate at me. I had no problem hiding my sexuality before, but this time I actually felt like I was lying to him rather than feeling like I was "protecting" myself. So a couple weeks later, I built up enough courage to come out to him. Of course, everything went well. He was cool with it and nothing has changed. There is a woman who works in the same store as both he and I that I also consider a friend. I figured in the interest of fairness I should tell her as well. So after watching the Super Bowl, and a few glasses of wine, I told her. Things went fine there. Then again, I knew telling either of them would be OK because they've both talked about being OK with gays in general before. But now the questions start.

When are you telling your parents?

Oy. There was a nice wall to run into. Now, I was pretty sure my mother would be alright, but I was totally unsure about how my father would react. It took about a month after the SB that I built up the courage to tell my parents. And let me tell you, I have NEVER been more nervous to do anything than that. Scared as hell. But it went well. My mother's reaction was "You think you're the only one in the family?" (she does the family tree, so I'm sure there's more than a few "confirmed bachelors" in the tree). And my father said the best thing he could at that point, and that was to tell me that this changes absolutely nothing between us. I just broke down and cried that night because it felt like I had taken off this weighted vest that I had been wearing since I was a kid and the first inklings of the feelings I had for guys emerged.

So where am I now? I'm not wearing rainbow pins all over, but now if the subject comes up in regular conversation, I'm not lying to them or myself. I just need to work on the whole "socializing" thing now. :/ I'm horrible with advice, but the only thing I can say is don't wait as long as I did. I mean, be sure you are in a safe place; emotionally, socially and financially (if you are still dependent on people who might react negatively). But when you come out, YOU have control over how people find out, at least initially. It's better than the alternative.

Walkin Goon wrote:To end this on a happy note, have a commercial; it's the best commercial.


This is awesome. I got misty. Then again, I get misty about a lot of stuff like this. :yay:

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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by Octavia (?) » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:25 pm

Pineapple wrote:It is 100% ok to identify as "curious" or "questioning." "Am I really sure?" is something a LOT of people go through. It's ok to have a relationship and decided "this isn't for me." It's ok to change how you label your preferences, and it's ok if you don't 100% "fit" into a label. Sexuality is way more fluid than most people like to think and even very open minded people can be surprised by their own attractions.


This this this a thousand times this.

CapacitorPlague wrote:So where am I now? I'm not wearing rainbow pins all over, but now if the subject comes up in regular conversation, I'm not lying to them or myself.


That was one of the biggest reasons why I decided to come out. I got tired of lying all the time, especially to my family. I made a promise to myself to never lie about my sexuality to anyone after I came out, no matter what I thought their reactions would be.
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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by Artificer (?) » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:31 pm

Somewhat related to this thread:

I'm a Christian, and I'm really sick and tired of getting labeled as a bigot, homophobe, and all around terrible person just because people often automatically connect all Christians to groups the Westboro Baptist Church, among others.

I'm glad that I'm seeing some people here slowly learning to come to terms with their sexuality in this thread, though.

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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by Octavia (?) » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:47 pm

Artificer wrote:I'm a Christian, and I'm really sick and tired of getting labeled as a bigot, homophobe, and all around terrible person just because people often automatically connect all Christians to groups the Westboro Baptist Church, among others.


My dad and stepmother both go to an Episcopalian church in San Diego that is very open-minded about gays. There was a gay Catholic war hero that died and requested to be buried in his Catholic church's cemetery. The church refused because he was gay, so my dad's Episcopalian church buried him in their cemetery.

The problem I have with many Christians is they pick and choose which parts of the bible to follow and which ones not to follow. It's okay to consider being gay an abomination, but I'm still going to eat shrimp and then I'm going to sit in this chair that a menstruating woman sat in before me. Artificer, I thank you for following what Christianity should be, which is all about love and tolerance. When I encounter a rabid anti-gay Christian, a lot of times I will ask them, "who did Jesus hate?" The answer is no one. He loved everyone, and I think that emulating Jesus would be a pretty good thing to do if you were Christian.
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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by Weird Autumn (?) » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:52 pm

Artificer wrote:Somewhat related to this thread:

I'm a Christian, and I'm really sick and tired of getting labeled as a bigot, homophobe, and all around terrible person just because people often automatically connect all Christians to groups the Westboro Baptist Church, among others.

I'm glad that I'm seeing some people here slowly learning to come to terms with their sexuality in this thread, though.

I'm really not trying to be antagonistic here, so please don't take this the wrong way, but...

I get what you're saying, and it's absolutely wrong that some people will paint your whole religion with the same brush like that. At the same time, though, you have to consider that there is literally no religious belief you can hold that won't make somebody somewhere automatically assume you're a terrible person. In that respect, Christians probably have it better off than just about any other religious group (in most Western countries at least), so the complaint comes off as a little... hollow, you know? I mean, imagine how much worse it would be if you were a Muslim.

I'm not trying to write off your problem, because it's absolutely a legitimate one, and saying "well some people have it worse" is always a shitty way to deal with things. I just think it's important to think about these kinds of things in terms of how they affect everybody, not just about specific groups. It's not really about people hating Christians or Muslims or pagans or homosexuals or the French; it's about the attitudes that lead to hatred in the first place. The most important thing, I think, is looking past "some people hate me/people like me because of X and that's bullshit" and realizing that everybody is hated by somebody because of something, and that's really bullshit.

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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by Artificer (?) » Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:00 pm

OpposingFarce wrote:
I'm really not trying to be antagonistic here, so please don't take this the wrong way, but...

I get what you're saying, and it's absolutely wrong that some people will paint your whole religion with the same brush like that. At the same time, though, you have to consider that there is literally no religious belief you can hold that won't make somebody somewhere automatically assume you're a terrible person. In that respect, Christians probably have it better off than just about any other religious group (in most Western countries at least), so the complaint comes off as a little... hollow, you know? I mean, imagine how much worse it would be if you were a Muslim.

I'm not trying to write off your problem, because it's absolutely a legitimate one, and saying "well some people have it worse" is always a shitty way to deal with things. I just think it's important to think about these kinds of things in terms of how they affect everybody, not just about specific groups. It's not really about people hating Christians or Muslims or pagans or homosexuals or the French; it's about the attitudes that lead to hatred in the first place. The most important thing, I think, is looking past "some people hate me/people like me because of X and that's bullshit" and realizing that everybody is hated by somebody because of something, and that's really bullshit.


Oh, I'm absolutely aware that pretty much any group will be falsely painted by at least one other group, especially religions. Unwillingness to interact with other groups and learn about the reality of their situation plays a big part in fueling hatred and bigotry. I didn't bring it up here since it's even more tangential than my previous point. :modesty:

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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by concerned reader (?) » Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:05 pm

Alright, well now that it's not 2am I guess I can try and go into more details on my experiences. I've been meaning to organize this into a cohesive thing for a while now, so let me make some tea and we'll see how things go. (This may get a bit long.)

--After 30 minutes of typing and I'm only 3/4ths of the way done, oh god this is long. Uh, I'm at 2 pages in a word doc. Should I go ahead and post this when I'm done with it? It has a lot to do with my personal journey of mixing faith, religion, sexuality, and family.

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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by concerned reader (?) » Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:18 pm

Artificer wrote:Somewhat related to this thread:

I'm a Christian, and I'm really sick and tired of getting labeled as a bigot, homophobe, and all around terrible person just because people often automatically connect all Christians to groups the Westboro Baptist Church, among others.

I'm glad that I'm seeing some people here slowly learning to come to terms with their sexuality in this thread, though.

Also, quoting this forever. It's gotten to the point where sometimes I just don't want to tell people that I'm a Christian because it creates an instant set of preconceptions.

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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by Artificer (?) » Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:32 pm

Concerned Reader wrote:Alright, well now that it's not 2am I guess I can try and go into more details on my experiences. I've been meaning to organize this into a cohesive thing for a while now, so let me make some tea and we'll see how things go. (This may get a bit long.)

--After 30 minutes of typing and I'm only 3/4ths of the way done, oh god this is long. Uh, I'm at 2 pages in a word doc. Should I go ahead and post this when I'm done with it? It has a lot to do with my personal journey of mixing faith, religion, sexuality, and family.


Post it. I would like to see.

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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by Walkin Goon » Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:49 pm

You may want to review it before posting, but go ahead— fire away. :allears:

Also, sorry if I came off as a bit condescending to religion in my last post. Wasn't my intent to be offensive or ruffle any feathers on that front, but it's just one of the factors I've been using in an attempt to gauge potential reactions on this issue. The fact that it's one of the few matters I feel I can't discuss with anyone anywhere else I am without risking their perception of me for the worse certainly doesn't help either.

For the record, I am doing fine for the most part. This thread has impeccable timing, though. :-/

CapacitorPlague wrote:This is awesome. I got misty.


I know, right?
:yay:

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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by concerned reader (?) » Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:29 pm

Walkin Goon wrote:You may want to review it before posting, but go ahead— fire away. :allears:

Oop well, I've got to head in to work, but I want to post it before I leave, so it'll be a bit rougher than I'd like. It finally clocked in at 4 pages.

Walkin Goon wrote:
Also, sorry if I came off as a bit condescending to religion in my last post. Wasn't my intent to be offensive or ruffle any feathers on that front, but it's just one of the factors I've been using in an attempt to gauge potential reactions on this issue. The fact that it's one of the few matters I feel I can't discuss with anyone anywhere else I am without risking their perception of me for the worse certainly doesn't help either.

Yeah, it's always felt like something that was too personal to discuss with other people. This is the first time I've actually gone through and laid all this out before.


Gigantic post to follow, or possibly a link to a google doc. Not sure how to best do this.

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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by concerned reader (?) » Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:37 pm

Welp, for the sake of readability, here's the google doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SWMwuzOw_pUC6LEJx-RFDj5vhSNV332_btkAySvkRr0/edit

Sorry for the text dump. I'll go over it again after work and try to reply to any questions or comments. Possibly during work too, depending on how the day goes. And feel free to PM me if you have any questions or anything like that.
Last edited by concerned reader on Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by Shotgunbadger (?) » Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:05 pm

Yay a QULITBAG thread! Always nice to have one of these around.

Coming out was...ugh...for me, entirely because of my fucked brain. The long short of it is that I was one of those kids who always had more friends in girls than boys and liked girl toys as well and blah blah blah, but being a big dude who until highschool was usually one of the biggest kids in the class helped me avoid getting too much crap. I internalized a lot of self-loathing and at the high school point when I couldn't punch my way out of being called a faggot I just started doing a shit ton of drugs, cutting class with my friends, and generally being terrible to myself because hey fuck it. This carried on until my first year at college, where I had my first actual relationship with a guy that...imploded. That's another long story but basically it ended in even more drugs, a few fights, and the school going 'hey you don't ever...go to class...you can't just live here bro!' and kicking me out.

My parents, of course, were very curious why the very pricy tuition just got flushed, so it all came out how I was gay and was having problems and all and...well they both accepted me totally and made me feel like a fucking idiot for holding it in so long.

So yea, now I'm in community college, volunteering in GSA kinda groups to try to help people who may be going through what I did, and do a lot of activism for gay rights here in...Texas...yea...

As for faith, I was raised Jewish, still think of myself as it. Faith is a very personal thing, just because the book says X doesn't mean everyone thinks X.

Also, I'm so happy so many people are sharing their story/views especially guys like Reader.

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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by Scuderia (?) » Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:43 pm

Artificer wrote:Somewhat related to this thread:

I'm a Christian, and I'm really sick and tired of getting labeled as a bigot, homophobe, and all around terrible person just because people often automatically connect all Christians to groups the Westboro Baptist Church, among others.



You're darned right! Organized religion typically leads to organized charity and other community works, but THAT doesn't play well on CNN.

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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by concerned reader (?) » Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:54 pm

shotgunbadger wrote:
So yea, now I'm in community college, volunteering in GSA kinda groups to try to help people who may be going through what I did, and do a lot of activism for gay rights here in...Texas...yea...

This is something I've been seriously considering getting into. I'm at Concordia university in Austin Texas right now, which is a lutheran christian based school. So I'm kinda apprehensive about trying to start up any sort of support group, but I do think that it is something of monumental importance.
shotgunbadger wrote:
Also, I'm so happy so many people are sharing their story/views especially guys like Reader.

Thanks. I was apprehensive about posting what I did, since it is fairly personal, but in the end I think having more exposure to this sort of thing is very important for our culture at large.

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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by !saak (?) » Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:08 pm

Wow, this thread is amazing! Rock on!
Aramek wrote:I'm probably a 1 on that scale? I mean, I sometimes kinda wonder if I'm gay, as I find lots of other men attractive, I'm just not attracted to them is all. :pinkieshrug:

This is me. Sometimes I wonder "could I have a relationship or maybe sex with this guy?" and then I picture him naked and I go "Nah." :fittingAJemoticon:
Artificer wrote:I'm glad that I'm seeing some people here slowly learning to come to terms with their sexuality in this thread, though.

I'm wondering, as my both of my parents are Christian, how much culture influences this. My parents are some of the most tolerant people I know which is I think partially due to where I live.

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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by Pink Himalayan Salt » Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:59 pm

This might be a bit of a tangent, but I thought it's worth bringing up.

A while back Archie comics introduced a new character named Kevin Keller, who is openly gay. They recently made an issue where he gets married.

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A group called One Million Moms called for a boycott of Toys 'R' Us since they are carrying it. How did it go?

The comic sold out.

But Archie Comics co-chief executive John Goldwater has said that the company "stands by" the new issue. "Riverdale is a safe, welcoming place that does not judge anyone. It's an idealised version of America that will hopefully become reality someday," he said.

"We're sorry the American Family Association/OneMillionMoms.com feels so negatively about our product, but they have every right to their opinion, just like we have the right to stand by ours. Kevin Keller will forever be a part of Riverdale, and he will live a happy, long life free of prejudice, hate and narrow-minded people."

Announcing yesterday that the Kevin Keller issue had sold out, Goldwater said that Archie's fans "have come out full force to support" the gay character. "He is, without a doubt, the most important new character in Archie history. He's here to stay," Goldwater added.


fuck yeah

This article doesn't relate to Kevin, but it's really cool seeing how the comics are apparently pretty good at handling minority characters.

Anyway, if they restock more I'm totally buying the issue to support them. If someone I knew was a fan I'd buy them Archie comics when it came time to give them a gift.

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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by Shotgunbadger (?) » Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:18 pm

Concerned Reader wrote:
This is something I've been seriously considering getting into. I'm at Concordia university in Austin Texas right now, which is a lutheran christian based school. So I'm kinda apprehensive about trying to start up any sort of support group, but I do think that it is something of monumental importance.


Texas sucks in a lot of ways for us (here in Houston we got a lesbian mayor who won basically by assuring everyone that gay rights was not an issue for her) but I have noticed a lot of gay rights groups as well. Austin, as much as I hate it's "LOL WE SOOOOO ZANY! KEEP AUSTIN WEIRD *gentrifies the fuck out of low income areas that aren't 'wacky' enough for wealthy white hipsters*" it is our best bastion of progressive thought, so I'm sure there are a lot of groups in your area that would fit your needs. Also last I saw, Lutherans are pretty chill about QUILTBAG things, so hopefully they have a decent GSA at the very least?

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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by Octavia (?) » Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:26 pm

Concerned Reader wrote:Welp, for the sake of readability, here's the google doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SWMwuzOw_pUC6LEJx-RFDj5vhSNV332_btkAySvkRr0/


This is an excellent story and everyone here should read it.

Concerned Reader wrote:And hearing that from my dad, well, that made me a lot more proud to be his son, and it helped me within my own identity of faith.


I think you should tell your dad this. I bet he would really appreciate it. :3:
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Re: The Gender and Sexual Minority Thread: Love and Toleranc

Post by Caldera » Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:35 pm

I've never really been sure what I am, now that I think of it.

In real life I've never really had the urge to go out and hook up with someone, though at the same time I kinda like seeing pictures of both cute guys AND girls online when people tend to have "Post cute fictional/celebrity girls/guys" threads.
Heh. Probably some silly hormonal thing mixed with social awkwardness, isn't it? :modesty:

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