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
Hello to all, people of the forum, and sorry for the long absence from the discussions, now that I have more free time I promise to participate more diligently. Here are some of my last year reflections; I would like to know what you think about it, or if you have had similar moments with your parents.
Let’s start from this assumption: I did my coming out with my mother in June last year. I thought everything would be pretty smooth with her: she’s an open person and has lots of homosexual friends and acquaintances. Before doing this great step I consulted with a cousin of mine, who has long known of my homosexuality, to ask him how he thought my mother could take it. He claimed that there would be no problems whatsoever; the same was told to me by a friend of my mother, a person whom I have always trusted a lot and to whom I had asked for advice in order to prepare my plan.
I still remember the scene: my mother had come to see me that day in the city where I was studying. I thought of telling her everything as soon as she arrived. For months I could not stand the silence, having to bypass certain questions, even on a simple “how are you?” or “what do you do?” In a word, I couldn’t stand anymore that I couldn’t be myself in front of her. The thing had become more acute after the previous month, May 2014, when I had begun the relationship with my current boyfriend. “So,” I told myself that morning, “as soon as she gets here, I’ll tell her.” Obviously I didn’t succeed. I waited, while we were in my house, to find the right moment. Since at such moments we are always kissed by the blindfolded goddess, what I never wanted to happen happened: by accidentally rummaging in a drawer, she found an old pornographic DVD (gay) of which I didn’t even remember the existence (I thought that I hadn’t it anymore). I took it from her hands, made a thousand improvised excuses and threw the DVD away within two seconds.
The moment I was patiently preparing the ground for my coming out, this was naturally a mess. The height of misfortune was reached when, by chance, a backpack fell from the top of my closet, opening itself and letting go out a box of condoms carefully hidden by me there. As they say: so lucky! All this, as well as unexpected, also seemed tragicomic to me. On either occasion my mother didn’t make a wrinkle; nevertheless my delicate and meticulously constructed plan to introduce the discourse had gone, to put it mildly, to hell. I remember that we went out, seemingly I was the the same guy as in the morning, but inside I cursed myself, for having forgotten the DVD there and for the unfortunate coincidence of the backpack.
We went to eat out in a restaurant. And there I told her everything, between one dish and another; I didn’t use the word gay or homosexual, I didn’t have time to speak clearly. I mentioned something I wanted to tell her and after a few tentative attempts she said to me: “Are you with a boyfriend?” And I replied: “Yes”, with the sensation of throwing myself headlong into a black chasm, where I hoped to find a soft surface that would have mitigated the fall, but it was not like that.
I still remember her gaze at that moment: it was as if a wasp had stung her; in her eyes I read for a moment her pain, an unexpected pain, never imagined. After about a second she came back to her usual way of doing, but there was a touch of coldness in the voice. I realized that my predictions were wrong, that I had thrown myself down and had banged my head violently. “I would have never imagined …”, she told me. “I know how sensitive you are, but I never would have imagined.” Then she resumed with an institutional, very cold tone. “it will take me a while to metabolize. It is not easy for us. No nephews (I am an only child n.d.r.). You did well to tell me. On the other hand we have a very close relationship. Many people never say these things, for a lifetime. Don’t tell dad, he would never understand. Perhaps, with the good that he wants you, one day maybe yes… or maybe not … it’s better to avoid, I think. The soup is tasty, isn’t it? We have to go back here, they make a nice home cooking.” I swear to you that at that moment I wanted to die. It had not gone well. I had hardly seen my mother, usually so warm with everyone, taking on such a cold attitude. At the exit she told me: “Well, hug me”. But it was not a hug, or at least, not one of those I had always received, this one was certainly the coldest. Then nothing more. I was very upset.
Then in the evening I forced myself to stop thinking about it. It was my last night in the city where I had studied and lived for four years and a furious storm raged, I had seen similar rains only during the monsoons. I had greeted my mother as if nothing had happened. In the following days we talked on the phone; she seemed much quieter, even cheerful. She simply told me she wanted to talk a little better with me about the thing. Several times I threw the hook, while she and I were alone at home, when I was home for the summer. We didn’t discuss a second time about it: every time I was about to start talking about it she stopped me saying that it was not the moment and nobody said anything more.
As you can imagine, the thing left me very melancholy. You must know that in the past I had a long relationship with a girl, which ended precisely when I decided to face reality and follow the true feelings that were in me. At that time my mother was always there to ask me how my girlfriend was, when I went to visit her etc. she kept also giving me money, without my request, so I could go and see her, since we were both away from home and during the holidays we lived in different regions.
Given this past, I would have expected a quite similar attitude, at least I would have expected she would ask me how I can meet with my current boy, since we are more than a thousand miles away, I expected that she would offer me help at least sometimes. For a year nothing. I am proud and, I have to admit, I have a tendency lately to shut myself up more than in other periods of my life, I have never asked for anything. Result: economic efforts to save money and buy airline tickets, and so far no problem, there is much worse in life and this is certainly not the problem for which I write here; rather, I was grieved that I continued to take planes for a whole year, once every two months, without saying anything to her. Indeed, I lied every time. I was pretending to be in France (where I currently live) and actually I was in Italy.
In such cases you have to behave like you were a spy: you must be careful never to turn off the phone because, in the event of an unexpected call, the interlocutor should not hear the answering machine of an Italian operator rather than one French; you must be careful never to use a credit card in Italy, because movements are traceable; you must call the landlady to avoid problems to rise in the days when you are away because she could call your parent’s home in Italy; you must invent days never lived and, what is still worse, and has always been unacceptable for me , you have to lie on the phone every night, inventing imaginary stages in radio astronomy that allow only a few minutes of phone calls a day due to radio screens in proximity to the tools (yes, I also invented this). Is not it horrible to have to lie like that, moreover to your mother? And all this because I was afraid of the rubber wall that I found in front of me, not hostile but not friendly, not contrary but not favorable. And I lived and I still live with terror that my father can discover the thing (in which case the catastrophe is assured).
Last April I had resigned myself to the painful idea that in my mother’s eyes I was no longer the same; I felt less loved and, behind all the good speeches, I saw the sad truth that “the majority of parents would not want to have a gay son.” No, they would want a gay son “but” they would prefer avoid such a opportunity. Then if it happens, they show to accept it, or at least maybe they try, but … And into this “but” the figure of my mother is drowned until recently. Then, in April, precisely during one of her visits to the foreign city where I currently live, she asked me for detailed information about my boyfriend, G., offering me the support that long ago would have been the norm.
I reassured myself, and in these months my hopes have increased. Of course, not everything goes well, in the sense that the subject is rather a taboo. I don’t know if my mother will ever get to love me just because I’m homosexual, going from “it is so and I’m not pleased, but I love you the same” to “I love you just because you are homosexual and you’re happy to be, because you’ve had the courage to take the reins of your life and you have a wonderful love story with G.” Perhaps I’m claiming for too much, indeed, almost certainly, but I wonder: is it so difficult for some parents to leave aside, even in lucky cases like mine, the irrational fear dictated by years of backward education on the subject, consolidated with age? I don’t know, have you had similar experiences? Or your coming out finished unexpectedly? A great greeting to all. I promise from now on to write more on the forum!
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-that-thin-rubber-wall
I send you this mail because I think it can be useful for many guys, if you want, you can publish it.
I’m a 24 year old guy, I grew up in a family that loved me, at least at the beginning. Since very young I have been routed in all ways towards heterosexuality. The idea of a girlfriend was one of my obsessions well before I started having any experience of what sex was like. I have a cousin, she is two years older than me and is an only child exactly like me. I have no male cousins, she is my only cousin. I have just one uncle, my father’s brother and my cousin’s father. Since I was very young my parents have tried everything to make me put together with my cousin, they reminded me to make her a little “gift” when it was her name day or birthday and they paid the gift, but the little gifts, since I and my cousin were about 15/16 years old, had become very important gifts, valuable watches, gold brooches and even a ring, something like an engagement ring, even if nobody used this expression.
At first I didn’t understand the meaning of all this and I felt a little flattered. We always went on holiday together, my family and hers (the only close relatives), we took a single apartment and we were together at the sea for two months. My parents have also given me a beautiful rowing canoe, naturally two-seater, my cousin and I were always canoeing, from morning to late evening, everything seemed normal. Let’s say that up to 16/17 years old the constant presence of my cousin had also made me think that basically I could fall in love with her, even though my private sexuality has always been exclusively gay.
The pressure of her parents on her produced the hoped effect, because I think she fell in love with me, but for me experiencing the pressure of my parents who assumed everything for granted was a real nightmare. Luckily my cousin is very Catholic and we can say that on the sexual side she always went on very slowly and, at least up to 19/20 years, she has never put me in great difficulty from that point of view. Then the problems started because it was clear that she was looking for a soft way to end up “there”, a bit for fun and a bit seriously she hugged me, when it was something simple and direct even if pretending I was interested at least partially, I could also let her do, in practice she was pampering me, but then, step by step she began to provoke badly trying to touch me. I stopped her once with an excuse, then another time with the thing of the religion and I began to distance myself.
She insisted, I tried to thin out the situations in which we would be alone together, but sometimes it was inevitable and it happened and there I felt really aggressive, in other words I hated her. I’m not mad at my cousin who is also a beautiful and good girl, but I don’t want to end up crushed by a perverse mechanism of family nature and I don’t even want to tell my story to anyone, she is not a stranger but the daughter of my father’s brother so, if she knew, even all my more distant relatives would know and for me such a thing is absolutely inconceivable. My business must be my own business. I know that if I don’t make a clear speech, I must shortly interrupt the relationship and it’s exactly what I want to do immediately and in the most radical way, at the cost of destroying family’s harmony.
Last week, something happened that annoyed me extremely and made me realize how hypocritical are my parents. They invited my cousin for lunch at my house. Mom prepared everything and then she and dad came out with an excuse late in the morning. My cousin arrived, my parents had advised her by telephone that they would have arrived not before eight o’clock in the evening and “then” they communicated the same information to me too. In practice I was forced to stay alone at home with my cousin and no one takes away from my head that they did it on purpose because my cousin told me that she had told my mother that I never really tried to have sex or something similar with her.
In short, my cousin, pretending to joke, this time tried badly to start something sexual with me. I rejected her drastically, she made for me a movie scene and went away slamming the door, obviously she calls my parents and tells them everything. They come home 10 minutes later (see the combination!), and they ask me what happened, I say screaming to my mother: “But do you know what did she want from me?” And my mother replies: “Well, and what’s wrong?” My mother had always been an irreducible Catholic but according to her, the fact that I had to make love with my cousin (in a situation that my mother had combined!) was an obvious thing!
My cousin I haven’t seen her for a few days now but I think they have convinced / forced her to apologize, This thing makes me consider my cousin like a puppet in the hands of parents and uncles and I think they will come back to the assault. My mother attacked me head-on and wanted to know the details, then insisted to know if I had another girl. For my parents the idea that one can be gay is absolutely inconceivable, because they think a gay goes around like a fagot. I had the naivety to insist that there wasn’t any other girl and here I have been really stupid, because now going back and invent one is very difficult. However, in one way or another I absolutely have to get rid of all these things, because I have come to hate my family that I consider an aggregate of hypocrisy and economic management. They never wondered what I could think.
Project, you can understand what kind of gay life I can live! I have to be careful about everything, in practice sometimes I would have liked to start thinking about cultivating a serious friendship with two university guys. With them I tried to study together, maybe I would not have done anything anyway, but in practice I left the game before starting because I couldn’t go anywhere. Next summer I should graduate and cannot wait to leave home. I want to change city, if I can I will go abroad. I want to go away non in order to do who knows what but to no longer see my parents who have only tried to cage me.
I don’t know if I’ll ever find a guy, maybe I will not find one but I’m prepared for this but what I want first of all is to leave home, I would just need to find a friend to chat a bit, to be myself, to stop finally pretending. I also said that I could make a nice coming out in the family disregarding everything and everyone, but I could do it only if I was no longer in my house. If I did it now it would be hell. But how do they do adult people and even culturally evolved not to have the faintest idea of gays? I also thought that many of my fears and worries could be meaningless and that maybe if I told them everything they would understand me, but I don’t think it would be that way. But now all these problems are still far away.
Now I have to understand how to defend myself from the “apology” of my cousin. In the end I think the simplest solution would be to invent a girl or maybe take my parents to a concrete suspicion of this kind. I gave the phone number to several of my female friends who call me often and I went out with them in the evening several times in a row just to let them think that I have another girl. My mother may have the first suspicions.
Project, it seems a paradoxical situation, what would you do? But things like this happen to many other guys? I would very much like to know it. Sometimes I feel really in a cage and I don’t have the courage to take a step and this, at 24, I think it’s really crazy. Maybe I’m not up to the situation, but I prefer to think that my behavior derives from the need not to expose myself. I confess to you something else, it’s the first time I’ve contacted a gay site and I’m a little worried because I don’t know what I can expect. Let’s say that I’m in total zero in the gay dimension. The address of the sender of this mail is also my msn contact (created for the occasion!). Hi Project, I would like to know what you think about.
it is 4.40 of December 27th 2010, an absolutely unusual time to write an email, but after spending a few hours reading the forum I decided. Actually, the input was another. Last night I had discovered the forum, I thought it was a very different thing from the usual, then I saw that there was a chat and I opened that chat. The guys welcomed me well, and above all it seemed to me a place of serious people, polite guys who talk about normal things for the pleasure of being together, a few minutes later a guy who had a nick that I remember well gp000, contacted me and we talked a bit, he is 23 years old and told me he had talked with other guys in the chat and the place seemed really serious and he told me that he would contact you. Frankly I felt a little displaced but positive, It hardly seemed credible to me to be able to find a gay environment where a guy contacts you with no other purpose than exchanging a few words. Then we talked a bit, I thought he was a great guy. I went out of the chat and I started reading the forum and I was there until 4.40. I can say that I have never seen anything like this on the net and I like it a lot, so I decided to write to you.
I’m actually a newbie in the gay world and I need to clarify some ideas because I confess that I’m a bit scared and finding a serious place for me is essential. But now I’ll explain it better.
I’m a 25 year old guy and my real problem was my so-called bisexuality. I have read some of your articles that have clarified my ideas a lot and have confirmed me in a series of convictions to which I had already arrived alone, but let’s start from the beginning.
In practice, up to 20-21 years old I never had doubts about my sexual orientation, I liked girls, only girls, I had many stories, and many also with sexual implications, I liked a lot such things, especially the idea of winning the resistance of a girl, however, with hindsight, I think I never really fell in love with a girl. That is, I was living the relationship with a girl as something only mine, she was a bit a way to prove to myself that in those things I knew how to do.
To let you understand, up to 21/22 years old I had sexual intercourses, it would be better to say I had sexual contacts with a dozen girls, with four I had complete intercourses, with the other ones just mutual masturbation, my fantasies were all straight.
Between 20 and 21 years old at a New Year party I met a girl Emma (it’s not her real name) who took me seriously and tried to build something different with me. At first it was fine, when I was talking about her I used to say “my girlfriend”, something I had not done with any of the other girls, I felt grown up, gratified, we also had sexual intercourses and things went very well. It went on like this for a few months, in the meantime I met a guy, Mark (a fantasy name), who was a couple of years older than me, I liked him, we talked often on msn, then we went out together sometimes we stayed talking until the morning. Summer came, Emma went on vacation with her parents and Mark proposed to spend a week with him in a mountain house on the Apennines.
I state that Mark is straight and that at the time I was straight too but that week was certainly the most beautiful week of my life, I felt free, appreciated by Mark, in a sense cuddled, an incredible relationship of intimacy had been created, we talked about our relationships with our girls and he understood me. The first night we stayed in separate rooms, from the second night we stayed in the same room to talk until late. I had a great time, I felt better than with Emma, with her at the end we had to get to sex, it was not bad but for her it was a fixed idea, for me no, with Mark I felt free, without obligations, and so I experienced that in fact with a guy I could have a great time, as with a girl if not even better. We also joked, played, pillow fought, made the fight, but without sexual implications, at least then I thought it was so, in fact, even if I didn’t understand it, I was falling in love with Mark.
After the vacation, when Emma came back I came back to her and in practice her company began to be a weigh for me, I noted certain underlining that I didn’t like. A lot of things didn’t seem to me really mine, at least not 100% mine. With Emma the sexual intercourses continued but the thing for me had a strange taste, it was not like before, I was listless, I tried not to get involved and she realized it, she wanted to know if I had met other girls, but I hadn’t met any girl at all. In short, I tried to please her and it was just while I was making love to her that for the first time Mark came to my mind in another way, a kind of substitution of a person, I imagined that Mark was with me. In the evening I masturbated thinking of Mark. It was the first time that it happened to me when I was thinking of a guy. The feeling was very strange, I had never done such a thing but at the same time I felt very well, I said to myself: I am bisexual, it is evident.
And here my madness began, I tried to contact Mark because I expected from him who knows what, I thought maybe he could have fallen in love with me, but the only thing I got was a dinner in four in a restaurant . He had eyes only for his girlfriend, Emma only for me and I only for him, a situation in which for the first time I found myself playing the part of the lover, but I recited it well and nobody noticed it. I didn’t know who to talk to, it was obvious that I had to forget Mark, I hadn’t even the courage to speak clearly with Emma and then I had always worked hard to look a good hetero guy, I practically imposed this behavior on myself. Every time I made love with Emma it seemed to me that I could be heterosexual, then I masturbated thinking of Mark and I thought I was bisexual, after the summer I no longer masturbated thinking about girls, for me there was only Mark.
I want to clarify something, for me there were no guys, there was only Marco and this led me to think that basically I was not gay or bisexual, because I wanted that guy only. I scrupulously avoided pornography because I would have ended up on gay pornography and it would have bothered me, what I felt for Mark I didn’t want to confuse it with pornography. I imagined a beautiful love story with Mark, but with a gay Mark able to share it, I said with a gay Mark, not a bisexual Mark, just thinking about this I had the first doubts about the fact that I would never have accepted that Mark was bisexual, gay would have been fine but bisexual no, I wouldn’t have wanted to share him with anyone.
I imagined instead that I was able to have two loves, one with Emma and one with Mark and that both were in love with me in an exclusive way, I then I hypothesized that such a thing could make sense and anyway I saw myself as a bisexual, also because we can say so, I was doing my best to be bisexual, I considered it a more acceptable thing, closer to a correct behavior, you’re in love with a girl and then just a bit with a guy, it seemed a less unusual thing. Sometimes I was tempted to masturbate thinking of Mark and to tell Emma that I didn’t feel like having sex with her, but then I forced myself to do exactly the opposite, that is not to think of Marco and make love with Emma because “it’s a normal thing”.
The situation became more and more absurd and in the end she began to ask me a lot of questions. At the beginning I answered vague things, like I’m tired, stressed and the like, then because I just couldn’t go on and I thought it would be better to break I made her understand that I felt bisexual and I could not stand her reaction, she wanted to know who had put these ideas in my head, if I had met “some of those”, I said no because first of all it was true and then I would never have brought Mark into that story because he had nothing to do with it. I was hoping it would be a good opportunity to close with Emma but it was not like that and the torture started, she wanted to know, she wanted to understand, but according to her what I told her was not true, those were all things that “some of those” had put into my head.
I tried to make Emma understand that I didn’t think it was a trivial thing at all, but she told me that I could not be gay and I told her that I didn’t feel gay but bisexual and she insisted that it was just a nonsense and that she knew me well, she started to do a bunch of flirting with me, what she had never done before, to change her voice as if it were that of a little girl, to show sexy attitudes, all things that I couldn’t bear and I told it her too, she went on for a while, then I made her understand that I didn’t feel like going ahead and she screamed at me that I was just looking for excuses to dump her because I had found another girl, for her the idea that I couldn’t be completely straight was in practice inconceivable.
All this happened between Christmas 2009 and New Year 2010. In practice since January 2010 I was alone again. I don’t hide that the first weeks were very hard, I was missing her madly, but I was not missing as a girl but as a person who could take a little care of me, I have been several times about to recall her because I really couldn’t go on, note that at the time I still felt bisexual and I even thought about starting a relationship with another girl and I went close to it but when it came to really getting involved I told myself I was going to do another stupid thing and that I had to take my time to understand. So I did nothing at all. I was alone, totally alone, my parents didn’t understand why I had left Emma and thought that I should go to a psychologist but nothing was done about it.
I didn’t know where to bump my head but I needed to understand. I began to think that basically I could use dating sites. I surfed a bit on some of these sites but the reaction was of total rejection and I would also say of depression. I told myself that I had nothing to do with those people, it was a logic that I felt completely foreign. Then I put aside the internet for months and I thought I could go to a gay association, in my city there are some, I looked for the addresses, I passed nearby there several times. I left my house with the intention of entering, then I arrived at the destination and pulled straight. I don’t feel safe, I need privacy, I understand those who make coming out but it’s not for me and then they declare themselves openly gay I should have declared bisexual, at least it was what I thought then. I was beginning to look at the guys on the street and they seemed beautiful, desirable.
This summer I was at the seaside in Puglia alone, I had proposed to look for opportunities to get experience, I was camping, I have known many guys but not even one gay. Now I say gay because I haven’t thought of a girl for at least six months and the guys camping in Puglia for me had a very strong sexual appeal that I cannot deny, but it was just fantasy. But why trying with a girl is so easy and trying with a guy is so difficult? I know why, but the result is depressing. After the holidays I would say my bisexuality is over, that is, I have closed another phase of my life but in fact I haven’t solved anything, I feel anyway a thousand fears, I’m attracted by the idea of getting to know gay guys, at least to understand how they are really, but I wouldn’t want to drive myself into bad experiences. After a somewhat depressed period, yesterday I happened to arrive on gay project and you know the rest.
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-from-hetero-to-bisexual-to-gay