Hello boys … Since I joined the forum I attended it very little, although I stay most nights chatting. Often I just talk in chat and I feel a bit better, because here I met really fantastic people who can accept me despite my quirks (which go well beyond my homosexuality, as those who know me a little know very well). However, tonight letting off steam in the chat didn’t produce any effect because I felt bad as I haven’t felt for a long time.
Tonight the ghosts of the past have come back as violent as a hurricane, ready to drag me away another time … I don’t know if I have already spoken about it on the forum before (in the chat definitely yes), however I live in a mountain village, not far from the city (which anyway is a town of only 60 thousand inhabitants … can one call it city? …) but my village is not well connected to the territory given the reduced number of bus rides and so often it is difficult for me, being a minor, to go to the city. This causes me a very strong feeling of unease.
Here everybody knows everything about everyone … I hate being here, I feel completely out of place, I feel like those caged canaries that would fly and cannot escape. I also feel as a silent tiger, which roars but no one hears the roar. I cry my suffering but it is not understood. I compare to too many things that I’m not, actually … Here, as already mentioned, the Law of Jante, that collection of sociological maxims according to which those who are different from the community are excluded and ridiculed, is widely spread ad dominant.
I’ve never been part of my country, nor even of the neighboring city. I’ve always been a case apart, lost in the Franco-German novels and in Japanese comics, while listening to English and Icelandic music. Jante’s Law is also applied within the homosexual community. Given that there are very few gays here … that is, there are very few gay people, and the mentality is so closed that many don’t even accept themselves as gays. therefore …
I don’t exaggerate if I say that in my area don’t exist more than 20 gays, and in any case I’m the only one in my village. About those 20 in any case now has been made a malevolent word of mouth, I don’t know how or why but everyone knows me but I don’t know them, they know absurd things about me – sometimes true, sometimes not, I wonder how, from what, from whom they came to know such things.
I cannot live here anymore … relationships with the gay community don’t exist at all because of the negative reputation that someone has created about me (such things really happen only in “terronia” [= “land of terroni”. The Italians of the south use to call with contempt those of the north with the nickname “polentoni”, that is, eaters of polenta, those of the north use similarly call those of the south “terroni” i.e. workers of the land, peasants.] … this regardless of sexual orientation, if you are a little bit different you are anyway excluded and considered crazy), as for the relationships with heterosexuals … with the guys I cannot tie,
I’m afraid of being judged, ah no ops… they judge me because I’m not visibly like them … not that I’m very effeminated but I certainly don’t have the interests: pussy, motors and football the straight guys talk about here. I point out, I don’t have this opinion of all straight guys. Outside of my area, when I was lucky enough to live in France, but also in the north of Italy, I saw heterosexual guys very open (I point out it because I don’t want to look like heterophobe). Regarding the straight girls, eh, it’s a minimum positive point. With them I can tie, as long as they are not bitches or little geese [stupid persons] … as a result, I only have a close female friend (which everyone calls alternately “Satan” or “Zoccola” [bitch] and this clearly demonstrate how the south of Italy is open …) and three other female friends with whom I’m not as close but I feel at ease and I love them. Then I have a lesbian friend, but lately I attend her less. In short, all women.
I don’t even know what I’m writing and why I’m writing. Maybe to make sure that one day I’ll remember these things. I had started with the intention of describing in detail the word-of-mouth aggression perpetrated against me, but I realize only now that I cannot do it, for the simple fact that I don’t have the faintest idea about. And I have to say that I have been already the victim of another word of mouth, when in eighth grade someone called almost all the parents of my classmates to tell them that I was gay. I would like to know who did so just to say “I’m sorry for how much you are a piece of shit …”
So, I’m angry with everyone tonight. I’m angry with Calabria that doesn’t offer me opportunities, with the Calabrians who have a very narrow mind, with my mother who instead of helping me pushes deeper the knife into the wound with the acid jokes, stressing the fact that I don’t know how to defend myself, but above all I’m angry with myself because I’m not able to send everything and everyone to hell and move on by myself. I’m proud of myself only because in all this I have never seriously thought about suicide, because I firmly believe that there is a better life outside of this hell. But I see this situation depressing, to put it mildly … not committing suicide here is a demonstration that I give myself every day that elsewhere I could really be worth something …
Here people don’t have a minimum respect, I have been called “bog”, “crazy”, “Satanist”, “poof” and many other cute nicknames since I was THREE years old, they already hated me in kindergarten. Do I have a face of cocks? Maybe, but is it my fault? With people who don’t stop at the first impression I can bind so much to give them my soul … but often it seems that people next to me don’t realize it, they think I’m crazy and then I behave accordingly What to say? How to conclude? I don’t know. I’m disheartened. I’m depressed. I say lies every 3×2 [usually], just because I say lies I delude myself to get away from this unsatisfactory reality. I’ve been doing it since I was 9 years old.
Sometimes I’m terrified that even if I’m going to attend university elsewhere, everything will be equally disgusting, that the world is really disgusting like Calabria (although I have tangible evidences that it is not). But my father with his fucking motto “the whole world is village” would make me want to swallow 50 pills of Valium and finish the games forever … I don’t do it because I want and I can resist … because I know I’m worth something … but believe me sometimes, for a few nanoseconds, suicide seems to me the only way out. I resist. I keep fighting and resisting. But for how long? How much do I still have to suffer before finding happiness? Does happiness exist for me?
What then my happiness is? … A goodnight text message would be enough for me or something like “my love … for me you are all” from a boy and this post would never have been written. I would need a “I would like you next to me now” if not a guy waiting for me in the room nearby ready to … kiss me, hug me, tell me that no matter how I suffered and I will suffer but he will always be there for me. Because this is my greatest cause of suffering: the fear of never finding a boyfriend. I don’t have particular passions, yes I like French, Icelandic, history and psychology. But I would never be able to make my work a reason for living, I’m rather “two hearts and a hut”, so far I’ve only had almost exclusively online relationships (live, I’ve only have had stupid, without feeling and also few relationships) yet in those online relationships I gave my all, often I canceled myself to receive a little word of affection, sometimes things went better, sometimes worse (they have always lasted little, anyway).
If I think back to those few messages that I now remember BY HEART from those guys, it’s enough for me to be less worse. I think of what they wrote to me and I repeat “Yes, Rox, you are strong … you can overcome everything!” But then I think that even if, yes, I can do it, I wonder WHAT IS THE POINT OF DOING IT… I feel lonely, terribly lonely, I don’t know people to talk to about such things. I’m here to talk to you. I talk about it on other forums – even about other subjects – on which I’m writing. And I don’t even want to end writing this post, because ending it would mean going to bed crying and listening to depressed music. I want to write here everything that passes through my mind. At the beginning I had titled this discussion “gay and in an isolated mountain area” but right now I have changed to “my cry of pain”. I cannot take it anymore. Life goes on and I look at it from behind the glass of my window. Time runs and I spend time waiting for it to continue to pass as fast as possible. I leave you with the song that most I listen to when I feel so much down … Everything passes, of the Huga Flame.
Everything goes, it’s true, but when will all this pass even for me? Reading about 13, 14 year old boys who already have a boyfriend … it makes me so angry and sad, also because they are all from Turin, Milan, Bologna, at most Rome … I’m here … I don’t know what to write. I won poetry and philosophy contests, I think I’m a sweet, shy and sensitive guy … but maybe this is not enough today to be liked, but I’m not going to change because of the others … because I love to be exactly like I’m, and this is the most important thing. I have beautiful eyes (according to others … otherwise I would not let me say) and anyway the rest of my face and my body although I’m not really a model doesn’t even disgust, yet this is what I provoke in many people, DISGUST. I suck them. And although I try to ignore it, and in fact it is waning compared to a few years ago when I didn’t reason on the basis of ME but based on the OTHERS, anyway all this hurts me.
I feel alone, fuckily, damned alone. And I would just like someone who now, right now as I’m writing, would lock my hands and bring them around himself and to my slightest protest would give me a kiss so long as to cancel everything that is around me, around him, around us. I don’t know what I expect as answers. The answers you’ll give me will probably not change my situation, but I wait for them impatiently anyway, as a child waits for Santa. MAKE IT STOP, LET THIS END … I feel a lot, too much, like in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP4clbHc4Xg
Oh, I add, since in the end I stayed at the computer even if it’s 5.09 a.m. and I hear the birds chirp (but what does it matter to me, if the birds are chirping?), now more than resigned I’m pissed off. I always alternate those two states of mind … a little I’m pissed off a bit I’m resigned. What a sadness! Right now I was thinking about the fact that so far, although I have had some (very few) relationships (mostly online) it’s been me the one who did EVERYTHING. The others stayed passively with me (not in the sexual sense, but in the sense that they didn’t consider it too much important if they were with me or not), except for a boy. I feel so different, different from anyone. It doesn’t matter if gay or straight, If male or female, I feel different, almost on another planet. And this sensation it’s not very cool, it’s really distressing … sorry for the strange expression. Feeling so different … feeling that I can never really like someone … makes me want to disappear …
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-the-cry-of-pain-of-a-young-gay
Have you ever felt tired of everything? of having the impression that you will never have any real contact with the world outside of you? of realizing that you no longer have even dreams, not even desires because the youth is gone and now you are over 30 for a while and that on the horizon there is only so much desert?
I feel the enormous difference between what my body would like and my real possibilities. I’m alone and I am aware that I will remain alone. I spent my life studying, then working and I think it will continue like this until I’m old, in practice I have not experienced any serious history, or maybe one, but then that is over, it was a flash of light in my life and I had deluded myself, or rather I had done everything to delude myself, but I knew that it couldn’t last, now I miss it but I know it is only a memory, the memory of a short period that is now over.
I always have on skype the contact of that guy, but he never enters, it is very rare that he is online, when it happens I send him a hello and he replies with a smiley face, but maybe it happens once in a month. I do a job that I don’t like and that keeps me constantly anxious, at least I’d like to have friends but I have to dedicate the time left to me to my family who have big problems both economic and of people to be assisted.
For me there are only the intervals that I pass at the PC, much time ago I used to chat, I had a blog, I wrote, now there is nothing more of all this, the blog is still there but I no more write, I don’t a chat for a very long time, I’m not talking about erotic chats but chats just to chat. I use the PC to read above all, to read scientific articles. No social network by choice, I don’t want people to stick my nose into my business. I didn’t even want to have sex, it happened before, now everything is pretty much anesthetized.
Sometimes I go to bed very tired and I don’t sleep anyway, I begin to think how it would be nice to live a love story, have a guy who loves me, who really cares about me, maybe I would be able to give that guy my soul, but I say maybe because I’m not so convinced, I think I would disappoint him in the end, I would not be able to really love him, but I pause to fantasize about how nice it would be to hug my boyfriend and see him smile, to understand that he’s there for me, that he cares about me, that I’m important to him.
Then I think I would have a thousand doubts, that I would begin to make comparisons between that guy and my dreams and I would end up destroying everything. I am alone! This is a fact, I don’t know why but I never had friends, a bit because having straight friends, for one that is not declared, it means playing a role, I have not even found one that I could really trust.
Up to 24/25 years I had a few friends, with one we often met, but then I realized I was only the second choice for him, when he couldn’t go out with the girl or other friends then he called me. In the end I didn’t hear him anymore and I didn’t even try to call him.
Where I work, there are some nice guys, but I see them too much distant, they have their dreams and they have the chance to make them come true, but I don’t envy them, I simply say that they belong to another species and live in another continent different from mine.
Sometimes, when I start thinking, I feel confused, I doubt everything, I don’t believe in anything, I let time flow in my hands because what happens, objectively, doesn’t depend on me. I look at things from the outside and, for example at work, I act like a machine without emotions, like a robot programmed to do certain things without asking any questions, like a robot that I turn on at the beginning of the working time and I turn off at the end.
I’m alone in my family but partly, because they don’t know I’m gay. With my parents there is a deep sharing of the troubles we have to face, sometimes I think that with them I could also say I’m gay, but it would be like adding another reason for anguish to those who already exist and who are many and heavy, so I keep everything for myself. I cannot add another cross on the backs of my father and my mother just because I want to have someone who knows about me, it doesn’t make any sense. I love my parents and they love me and I do not want to anguish them in any way because they have already too many problems.
I’m gay . . . mh. . . but I think that this is now over in the background, what I would like more than anything else is to rest, just sleep for many hours all in a row, I wish I could avoid to think of many things that occupy my brain, I would like a break free from worries, a few days to get away from the daily life and maybe go a day by the sea, even alone, towns on the sea are beautiful this season, the sea is so beautiful, as the oil, in the early morning with the sun rising on the horizon and slowly warming you up. How I would like to share these things and I would like to share them with that guy with whom I may have lived my only love story, how happy I would be if such a thing could happen, but life is a terrible mechanism and we are carried by forces greater than us, each one towards his destiny, forces that in some periods bring us closer and then move us away permanently.
Being gay what has it to do with all this? There is the shadow of a desire and then there is a great melancholy. Yet I’m not depressed, I know that I have many things to do, not to crown my dreams but to help my family survive and it’s precisely this that gives me the urge to move forward. When you’re a guy you learn to dream as a gay, when you grow up you have to understand that it’s just a dream. I hug you. Believe me, I’m not sad.
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-reflections-of-a-gay-over-30
Panic and rationality
When a boy, who comes to the awareness of being gay, lives in homophobic environments or has been accustomed to seeing homosexuality as a disease, as a perversion or as a sin , that boy will be led to consider homosexuality as a catastrophe looming over him, able to crush him and negatively affect his whole life. In such situations it is not uncommon for the discomfort to be so deep as to cause him to think even of suicide as the only way out.
For a boy who recognizes himself as gay and lives in a homophobic environment, it is essential to keep in mind that the assessments must be given in cold blood, without being panicked and based on a realistic knowledge of what could derive from the decision. One can also be terrified by the idea of being attacked by the ghosts but objectively the ghosts don’t exist.
First of all, a gay boy must try to know the reality of the gay world, I mean the real gay world and not that of jokes or urban legends, because it is from the confusion between urban legends and objective reality that comes most of the fears about homosexuality. There is therefore a need to always keep in mind some basic elements about homosexuality on which I will now focus.
First of all we try to understand how many homosexuals are limiting ourselves to Italy. Given that the homosexuals publicly declared are an estimated fraction of about 4% of the total, making a data collection that also involves the large mass of not openly gay guys, it’s virtually impossible. Completely anonymous tests have been made (and therefore potentially truthful, on even large samples of the population) on the basis of two distinct criteria, one consists in considering homosexuals those who have or have had homosexual relationships and the other consists in considering homosexual those who consider themselves to be such, regardless of whether they have or have had a gay couple sexuality.
The two surveys, conducted with the two different criteria, give results according to which those who feel homosexual, between 25 and 26 years, are about twice those who have or have had a homosexual relationship. According to Gay Project statistics, at the average age of 25.81, 45.02% of those who consider themselves gay have never had sexual relations either hetero or gay. From the same survey we come to know that in the same sample masturbation takes place with gay fantasies in over 99% of cases. This fact confirms that the fantasies that accompany masturbation are the fundamental index of sexual orientation.
The most reliable estimates of the percentage of those who consider themselves gay are around 8% of the general population. It is objectively a minority but certainly not a small minority. The findings give similar results both between men and women. Homosexuality is therefore a reality that involves men and women more or less in the same percentage.
Saying that homosexuals are about 8% of the general population is not immediately significant, so it is worthwhile to present the same data through examples immediately understandable: in a class of 25 students, on average, there are two homosexual guys, in one school with a thousand students there are, on average, 80 homosexual students, in Italy (about 61 million inhabitants) there are about 4,800,000 homosexuals, counting both men and women, roughly the population of the whole Veneto, this number also includes children who statistically will recognize themselves as homosexuals during their lifetime. It is understood that, being however a minority, gays are still very many.
Compared with the overall percentage estimated at about 4% of publicly declared gays on the total of the entire gay population, it is observed that the sample examined by Gay Project, of average age 25.81 years, has a percentage of publicly declared gays equal to 13.74 %. Although the sample is not statistically significant, the indicated value is certainly higher than that of the general gay population, the fact remains that the younger generations have a greater propensity to declare themselves publicly. In all age groups, the percentage of gays that are not publicly declared remains, however, very higher than that of the declared ones. According to common experience, even if there are, on average, 80 gay boys out of a thousand students, it is practically impossible to detect even just one because homophobia exists and avoiding a coming out in public is considered as the only possible defense.
Summarizing what has been said up to now we can conclude that gays, even if not recognizable, because environmental homophobia pushes them not to declare themselves, are everywhere around us and these guys, even if they are not publicly declared, are still looking for a dialogue and contact with other gay boys, because the first problem of gay boys is to feel alone.
Gays and myth of the charming prince
Before proceeding, it is good to dwell a bit on another kind of preconceptions, or rather, of fables related to the realization of the self. Gay boys, like all boys, grow up with myths induced by the cultural climate around them, one of these is the myth of the charming prince. It is a myth that was created for the girls, to induce them not to lose hope but to hope for the arrival, sooner or later, of the classic charming prince capable of transforming Cinderella into a queen. In reality this myth pushes us not to act, waiting for someone to radically change our condition. A myth of this kind, with the necessary differences, can be easily transposed into a gay key, and among gays causes similar damages to those it causes in the hetero field, prompting guys to dreaming, instead of reasoning, and to expecting miraculous solutions coming from outside for their problems and their difficulties, instead of getting seriously busy engaging in the first person.
Autonomy and economic independence
For a gay boy, rather than for a straight boy, it is essential to gain his own autonomy because, in general, a gay boy cannot rely too much on the support that could come from his family or from the social context. Autonomy is not a myth analogous to that of the charming prince, but it is a concrete and essential reality. True autonomy exists only when there is a real economic independence, which is certainly not easy to achieve. Autonomy intended as independence and therefore as substantial freedom of choice, must be the basic objective of a gay boy.
Those who cannot take too much account of the help of others can react either with passivity and fatalism, letting themselves go to accept any imposition and any adaptation, or instead can look ahead with constructive attitude, planning their future step by step and orienting it before everything to the conquest of a full personal autonomy, that is, essentially, of the economic autonomy. There are only two concrete tools for achieving true autonomy: study and work.
Studying, for a gay boy, has at least two functions, the first is also common to straight boys and consists of broadening their general culture and dominating the ordinary tools of critical analysis and communication and the other, specifically gay, consists in the discovery of the weight of homosexuality in culture, from Plato to Garcia Lorca, from Michelangelo to Pasolini, from Marsilio Ficino to Luchino Visconti. To realize the weight and the sense that the homosexual culture has had and has in history, despite the repressions and the discriminations, means to find again one’s own roots and to recognize himself in a tradition of high culture and great dignity.
Obviously the study also has an instrumental function and allows access to more qualified and paid jobs that can guarantee greater independence. It should never be forgotten that the search for couple life can in no case replace the construction of the self through substantial independence, that is, through economic independence. A guy has to stay in a couple because he feels at ease with his partner. When living in couple is instrumental to other aims, the couple relationship is based on very fragile bases. We are comfortable in a couple relationship when we are there by choose and not by necessity.
Equilibrium between affectivity and practical life
It often happens that gay boys come to realize through study and then through their professional activity, all this is highly positive but in some cases hides the a priori renunciation of affective life. Being gay and trying to achieve first of all one’s own independence does not mean having to give up emotional life, but that emotional life cannot and must not be identified with the totality of life, because well-being, which also has a very strong emotional component, it can in fact be impossible when its minimum requirements are lacking, which in an adult life are inevitably of an economic nature. Just as it makes no sense to focus exclusively on the pursuit of economic autonomy by putting affectivity aside, so it makes no sense to be overwhelmed by affectivity neglecting the material assumptions of individual well-being.
That a young boy can be overwhelmed by affectivity and sexuality is still understandable, even if often inappropriate, but an adult must keep his feet on the ground and must give the study and work an adequate space to allow the effective achievement and possibly in normal times, if not shortened, of the independence. A form of discouragement often arises here, the study appears very difficult, very long, you don’t feel adequately prepared and the temptation to throw in the towel makes its way easily. It is at this point that the will must take over. The results derive essentially from work and personal commitment and, from whatever level you start, it is always possible to go ahead and improve your condition. It’s not the so-called genes who go on, but the people who want to commit themselves and who work hard to overcome difficulties.
Discouragement and commitment
Too often we are led to underestimate ourselves to avoid a serious commitment and in this way we tend to confuse the “I cannot” with the “I don’t want”. Here is the farmer’s metaphor: if in a field there is a farmer who works and in the near field there is one that doesn’t do anything, it is true that the one who works may also lose the harvest due to adverse weather conditions, but the fact remains that almost always the working farmer will have his crop for the winter and the other will be reduced to starvation.
Building, in any case, takes time and effort, which is why shorthand propagandists and sellers of easy solutions are almost always smoke vendors who point to roads that lead nowhere. What is served on a silver plate often hides pitfalls. I refer to dating sites and erotic chats. If it is true that it is possible to find friends and even a partner in these sites, it remains nevertheless the fact that the purpose of these sites is different and that most people don’t visit them to find friendship or love but to look for disengaged sex.
Gay loneliness and gay friendships
The basic problem of a gay boy, the problem of loneliness, has two distinct solutions: the first is to find a boy, the second is to find gay friends. It must be stressed immediately that none of these two things, alone, can lead to individual well-being. While it seems obvious that having gay friends without having a boyfriend should be considered unsatisfactory, it doesn’t seem that having a boyfriend without having gay friends is in itself preclusive of individual well-being, because it is assumed that the boyfriend is simultaneously the lover, the beloved, the friend, the confidant, etc. etc..
Experience shows that, paradoxically, gay friendships contribute to individual well-being even more than having a boyfriend because friendships stabilize the emotional live while love affairs, especially at the beginning, destabilize or can destabilize it very strongly. The emotional dimension must necessarily find support on the two tracks of the bond of couple and friendship and while without a bond of couple you can certainly be well for long periods (and at the limit even for life), without friends you are definitely alone.
Friendship exorcises loneliness and at the same time takes away the fear of homosexuality because it allows a personal and not superficial knowledge of other gay boys, stimulates the comparison and shows us how our friends are setting up or have set up the problems that we are going to face. In friendship, analogously to what happens in love, the difference between the true friend and the one who is not is not evidenced by the apparent initial consistency of the relationship but by its articulation over time and by its ability to resist the moments of crisis and to the misunderstandings that inevitably occur in any relationship.
Gay and possible happiness
When one considers the fact of being gay as a calamity, one doesn’t realize a basic truth whose denial is the basis of every form of fear of being gay, that is, one doesn’t realize that for a gay man today it is really possible to be happy, it is possible to have serious gay friends and it is not difficult either; it is a little more difficult to find a partner with whom to build a relationship that will last, but this is also difficult for hetero people for whom it is not at all obvious that marriage represents the incarnation of the myth of the ideal family.
Even gays must guard against the false myths in the name of which people and real situations are often devalued. Love and friendship are not fables but exercises of reality, that is true gyms in which day after day one learns to love through trials and errors. To truly love means to love a real person and not a theoretical model, but truly love is possible and it is a reality that changes life from within because it involves the profound experience of being in two.
Correcting one’s mistakes
I will dedicate the last part of this chapter to a fundamental question that has often involved gay boys over the years, I intend to refer to the ability to recognize and correct one’s mistakes. Gays, like all the people of this world, are subject to various kinds of temptations. There are young people who can make affective choices subordinate to issues of social role, opportunism or economic utility, others can undermine established relationships for years for an overnight adventure, others may end up adapting to social demands to the point of sacrificing their own sexuality. All these behaviors must be understood “in situation”, that is, from the specific point of view of those who put them into practice and in relation to all previous experience. These are often wrong choices, induced in large part by external factors, which can also cause very heavy consequences.
Let’s start from a premise: one can be wrong, the weaknesses are many. The attraction for money, for the social role or for sex exists and is strong. It should be emphasized that the quality of a person is not found in his never failing, what would not be human, but in the ability to correct their mistakes and make choices. Often, however, to the objectively and subjectively wrong choices, for which one feels also a feeling of moral discomfort, is added the idea that now one cannot go back and that a single failure is enough to undermine a person in a definitive way.
Let us ask ourselves: why is a “word” program better than the classic pen and paper to write a letter? The answer is only one: because using the computer one can easily correct errors and improve the text progressively. Programmers are well aware that mistakes are inevitably made when writing a program of some complexity, and the search and correction of these errors is a fundamental phase of the work that leads to the creation and optimization of a program. This also happens in individual life: mistakes are inevitably made, but it is essential that when, to remain in the computer metaphor, the program doesn’t run, one avoids the temptation to reset everything and destroy what has been built up to that point instead of commit oneself to correct mistakes and adjust the shot.
Reversible habits and choices
Some points must always be kept in mind: first of all the choices, all the choices, even the wrong ones, are reversible and are reversible at any time; secondly: the reversibility of choices is much easier if the correction is rapid because, with the passage of time habits are consolidated and one gets used to the very comfortable idea of irreversibility and therefore of moral irresponsibility. I stop on a metaphor: one doesn’t become obese for having eaten one more pastry, but when the habit of transgression of the rules of the diet is rooted, it becomes particularly difficult to return to the observance of the correct eating rules.
The metaphor also helps from another point of view: eating one more cake can be pleasant and the temptation is great but continuing without rules to eat pastries not only doesn’t lead to individual satisfaction but leads to being sick and to be convinced of being naturally intended to obesity, which in the vast majority of cases is not true. The choices, all the choices, must be made with an eye to the future, trying to foresee responsibly the long-term consequences of what is being done. This discourse is primarily valid for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, but it also applies to couple fidelity and to the tendency to follow social rules at the expense of one’s deep affectivity.
Usefulness of moral discomfort
The situation of moral hardship felt by the one who makes wrong choices shouldn’t be buried and judged a residual form of useless moralism, but must be seen as an alarm bell and as a signal to reflect on to go back before making even bigger mistakes.
The moral discomfort that one feels in front of wrong choices, which in any case are made in life, is precisely the basis of the self-regulating mechanism that allows us to correct errors. Expressions such as: “I cannot do anything about it”, “it’s my nature”, “it’s stronger than me” are the typical expressions that accompany acquiescence to moral surrender, that is, abdication to individual ability to choose. A classic example is related to disengagement in the study that is framed in the light of an inevitability “by nature”, but the same can be said for the tendency to transgression in the couple life or for the passive adaptation to social rules that are not shared.
The word “destiny” should be deleted from the dictionary because it is a convenient excuse for any form of disengagement and of perseverance in situations that are considered wrong. The moral lies in not abdicating one’s ability to make choices and therefore in the ability to go back and change one’s condition through individual commitment.
I would like to point out that, among gays, it is not uncommon to find forms of moral relaxation which, I emphasize, don’t consist of specific wrong behaviors in themselves, but precisely in abdication to one’s capacity for choice and commitment in the name of the presumed unavoidability of a destiny or of a “wrong” individual nature. Morality lies in the ability to react and not to lose one’s ability to choose. Below are two emails illustrating the situation, I have been authorized to publish them from those who sent them to me.
1/4/2012 Dear Project,
I am 27 years old, [- omissis-] Let’s come to the reason that pushed me to write you: I spent a year with a girl because I couldn’t stand the subtle pressure of my parents and also because if I had not done so, my friends sooner or later would have come to understand how things really were.
She is a very good girl and with her I don’t feel too much uncomfortable, at the limit, I think there is also some sexual involvement, but when I see some guys and I imagine how it would be to stay with them, my blood starts to boil, it’s absolutely another dimension, but with those guys I will never be able to stay and then I might as well try to stay with this girl, who is even in love with me.
I’m glad when she looks for me and I’m glad to see her, but it’s not really what I want and I’m sure of that. In practice, when I find myself embracing her, I come to think of how beautiful it would be if in his place there was one of those guys who really attract me. I have the distinct feeling of cheating this girl, the courage to speak clearly with her I don’t have it because I fear that I would end up to disgrace myself in front of the whole country, maybe it would not happen, but just thinking such a thing it gives me the push to keep going on like this but I don’t hide that sometimes I feel uncomfortable because I know I’m just using her.
When we meet, which happens in practice every day, I see her happy to see me and I feel uncomfortable, but what can I do? In practice, I have no chance of choice and so I must go on like that. In the end I think it could also work, or at least I hope so. And then I cannot make radical decisions, it’s just against my nature, I don’t have the strength to make definitive choices, and that’s why I let others do it for me. I cannot do anything, it is stronger than me. I was not born a lion, I’m a sheep and I must follow the flock, I would never be able to go alone against everything and everyone.
11/4/2012 Dear Project,
(- omissis -) I managed to take the first step and I had thought I would never have succeeded. It was very difficult but I managed to talk to my now ex-girlfriend. The reaction has been initially freezing, she did not expect it at all, basically she hadn’t understood anything, and there I felt really bad, then she called me in the early afternoon and asked me to meet because she wanted to give me back the gifts I had made her. I didn’t like it, but I couldn’t do anything about, so I put together the presents she had given me and we met in the afternoon, but she told me that she wanted to keep the ring engraved on the inside with my name. So I gave a spontaneous smile and she started crying, she told me that she loved me but she had understood that my life would have been different and that she would not forget me. We shook hands for a few seconds.
I tried to explain things from my point of view but she said that there was no need and we said goodbye with a hug that I didn’t expect. Actually, I think that I will not forget at all this girl. The next day I expected her to call me but she didn’t and I was uncomfortable, the following Saturday we met with friends and it was a nice thing, with me she was sincere and affectionately, with friends she was as if nothing had changed, except for a somewhat more detached attitude, but probably only the two of us noticed it.
In short, I feel much better, more free and above all the fact that she has understood how things were, makes me feel good. The relationship that somehow exists still now is authentic and I think it will not be lost. This was probably the hardest step but there are still many left. I will look for work away from here. I know it’s not easy to find it but I have to commit myself to the maximum. If I’ll remain here I’ll never find the chance to be myself. I began to send curricula throughout Italy and even abroad, now I hope that some concrete proposal will come to me but, if it happens, the separation from my family and my friends would certainly be very hard. I want to try to take back my destiny, to make my choices and to build my life as I think I would like it. We hope well, Project! [- omissis -].
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-guys-who-understand-and-reason-without-panic
Hi guys, my name is M., I’m a boy 16 and a half years old, I’ve always been very closed, with my parents I have practically no dialog, from last July 11th 2008, a day I will never forget, I practically hate them because my father caught me doing a wank in front of my computer while I was watching a gay site and he did something I will never forgive him for, before I had the chance to rearrange myself, he slapped me in the face and he left, and then he went to report everything to my mother, shouting like an obsessive man so as to be heard from all the neighbors. The windows were wide open because it was afternoon and it was hot but he was screaming: “My son is a fagot!” I hated him as I have never hated anyone and I was really upset, I thought I’d leave home, smash the windows of his car, spit in his face, because he is an asshole and he enjoys humiliating me!
My parents have always considered me piece of shit and now they think I’m an unrecoverable one who will not do anything in life but to get it in the backside and my father tells me such things in the face, according to them I will never do a normal life but it’s not true at school I’m quite good, not very good, but I can handle it even if I do the bare minimum and then I don’t care about school. I have very few friends, if I can even call them friends, because I prefer when I don’t see them.
I’m gay, it’s one of the few things I’m sure of, I do and always did all my fantasies and even all my wanks thinking only of boys, but I have a fucking fear of sex, I would never go to a community, I don’t know but I think that certain things would make me really sick. I have a fucking fear that someone can rape me, that can force me to do things I don’t want. For my age I’m quite developed and I shouldn’t be afraid of suffering things that I don’t want because I’m strong and I can defend myself, but I still have this fear.
Till July 11th, I thought I was gay but I thought it was a relative thing, not that it was a passing thing, but that it was not important for me, that I only needed it to wank, but from July 11th on I said to myself: “Fuck, I’m gay, it’s not just any thing, I’m gay!” And I told myself I had to overcome my fears, I was afraid of going to the community, even though I would do it in spite of my father.
Then I discovered the blog of Project, and then, from there, the forum. Reading gave me a feeling of a bit of fear but also a bit of strong curiosity. I didn’t have the courage to register on the forum, so I wrote to Project and I sent him my contact, through the blog. After I did it I felt very strange, I didn’t know what to think, I thought he would have answered me immediately, I have been waiting until two in the morning but he didn’t answer. I was nervous and disappointed, I said to myself: “This Project is an asshole like everyone else!”. Then I collapsed and I fell asleep.
Saturday morning I opened the computer at nine o’clock and Project had added me and was online. I didn’t know what to do, I felt in total embarrassment, then I called him. The first few minutes I didn’t know what to say, I was wrong to write, I just said stupid things and I wanted to close everything, I thought: “What am I doing here?” Then the thing changed and it was a strange thing, I told him the story of the slap that still burned me and not only on a psychological level, then I started talking about sex, masturbation, fantasies that pass through my head. That is, we talked about it freely, like normal things. I never experienced something like that.
Then I asked him so many things about sex that I didn’t know and he started to explain everything to me but just trying to make me understand things but without haste. And then, for a wank my father gave me a slap and started screaming, it’s okay that it was a gay wank but he reacted like that, with Project we talked a lot but just in another way. Then we also chatted in the following days. I like it so much when Project gives me the sermons on the meaning of life and tells me that I’m not at all a disgusting person, despite what my parents think and then it is not a preaching, he believes it and a little bit I believe it too. Anyway, that’s all I wanted to say. Damn, it’s short! But I send it the same.
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-guys-between-rejection-and-dialogue