Being gay is okay: Information and advice for gay, lesbian, bisexual and unsure under twenty-fives.
Name [S] Age  Gender [M]
I'm a bisexual man who has just entered into a relationship with a gay guy for the first time (as has he) and it's going great! We've become more and more involved with the local scene (which is small, but overwhelmingly positive) and we both really enjoy it. The problem is though, that many gay guys don't respect the boundaries of our relationship - with some on several occasions making passes at the both of us. I understand (or am lead to believe) that monogamy is not very common in the gay community; whether that is true or not I don't know, but from the experiences I have so far appear to confirm this.
Whilst I am flattered by all the attention I and my boyfriend receives, I feel that ultimately it will jeopardise our relationship, and think that the cracks are beginning to emerge after only a month of being together. For example,I get jealous of my bf's large group of gay friends - whilst I mostly enjoy being within the community and the majority of his friends - there are others that concern me such as one being a guy he used to love (we're going to his birthday party on Thursday!)
I would say that we could get past this and I know my feelings of jealousy are procured by my insecurities (especially with it being our first ever relationship) and that this is wrong and that he has clearly chosen me over everyone else. The problem though is that he (and I to a certain extent) still have what I call a free-agent mentality even though we're together. Like we're both still on Grindr and Tinder (occasionally he'll meet up with a guy he likes although I know no sex is involved), and we'll dance with other guys on nights out, like we would if we were trying to pull them. We'll go home together at the end of the night, but everytime it happens it just makes me feel that little bit more insecure, and I know that if these feelings I have continue, it will destabilise our relationship. Like I would like to make it clear that he is from a very homophobic country where he has had little opportunity to express his sexuality, and that with him being in first year at my university in a country which accepts homosexuality, that he will have that inclination to explore his sexuality even more, and that is completely understandable. However, it does make me upset whenever I see either him or another guy trying it on with each other. Like, we have talked about this. He knows how it makes me feel, and he agrees that a monogamous relationship is probably the best thing for us; at least for a few months where our relationship might be in a stronger position.
Please, please help me! I know that if my jealousy grows stronger, it will push him away - and I don't want to ruin the best thing that has happened to me. I'm just stuck in a rut though, and I don't know what to do. Any advice or suggestions will be most welcome.
I don’t believe gay men are any less capable of monogamy than straight men; it’s very much down to the individuals to define their relationship in light of what both people want. I have met several gay guys in open relationships that seem to work well for them and, at the other end of the scale, guys who are completely monogamous and for whom the concept of sleeping with other people is unthinkable and unnecessary. After 39 years on the planet and meeting quite a few gay people I would say that they tend to be more open around sexual matters and feel less bound to the traditions and expectations that have defined heterosexual relationships. This is a good thing as it gives people the opportunity to create situations that work for them and to not feel trapped, but it’s not good when the boundaries set by others are ignored and disrespected. The gay scene can be pretty toxic for a monogamous relationship if you’re not rock solid as a couple. The gay scene can feel a bit incestuous, with ex boyfriends becoming friends/f*** buddies (gay men are very fond of this!) and nobody being able to get away from anyone else even if they want to. A couple need to have complete trust in each other and be united in being firm with anyone who makes a play for either partner. There can be no ambiguity around the status of your relationship; any cracks will be exploited.
I find it utterly bizarre that you both have active Grindr and Tinder accounts. I’m not very familiar with Tinder but I do know that Grindr is a hook-up site. This is not an app for happy monogamous people who want to make new friends. Besides, it sounds like you both have an active social life and plenty of people around you, so why actively seek out even more? What are you looking for that you don’t already have? And why do you think you’ll find it on an app designed to help people get a shag? If you’re that keen to keep acquiring new chums - you must both have endless free time - why not try something non-scene and non-sexual like meetup.com? Make new friends, straight and gay, around a hobby or shared interest other than sex. I have to say that if I was with someone who had an active Grindr account we would not be together for long!
It’s liberating for your partner to be free from his homophobic roots and he’s finally able to allow the hidden parts of him to flourish and develop. There’s no reason he can’t enjoy this new freedom within a monogamous relationship, but that’s up to him to decide. Exploring his sexuality, for him, might mean shagging around. There can be a ‘kid in a candy shop’ feeling for some guys who’ve just come out; they’re dizzy with possibilities and have a sense of wanting to make up for lost time.
Your partner said that a monogamous relationship is ‘probably best’, ‘at least for a few months’ - this is all very non-committal and doesn't inspire much confidence in the long term health of this relationship. I think what you want to hear is that he is crazy about you, that he isn’t interested in other men, and that he wants to give your relationship a proper try. I think perhaps you are not on the same page as he is. Talk to him and find out. You don't need him to promise his soul, but you need a little more than “I’ll be faithful for a bit”. If he’s the only one getting what he wants then this won’t work out.
If you stay together I would suggest having a bit more of a balance in your social life: spend less time on the scene and in situations where the strength of your relationship is being prodded and tested. I bet it’s tiring. You don’t have to live and breathe ‘gay’. Do something else. Go on dates together and stop glancing at your phones for 5 minutes. Be in the moment and enjoy the man sat in front of you. And uninstall bloody Grindr.
Name [Zachariah] Age  Gender [M]
I am stuck in this situation and I really need help. I am a 24 year old guy who is married to a woman that I am not attracted to. First of all, I live in a very conservative state. Since I was 7, I have known that I was attracted to guys. My family is very religious, conservative, and traditional. They are they type that believes that men should work outside the home and do outside things while women cook and clean. I could never tell my family, at least not yet.
Also, I feel like I was forced to marry this woman. All my life I have tried to act straight as I could to not make my family upset. When I was around 21 or so, I tried dating women to see if I could "change". There is no way I can and it is just not happening. This woman I 'tried" to date wanted sex but I used to use the excuse that I couldn't do it before marriage because that is what my family believes (which is what they believe). We ended up living together. After my family found out, I was given the choice to either marry her or told I would "go to hell". To this day, I barely have sex with her and when I do I have to fantasize about guys. Sometimes, I have to go to the bathroom before hand and watch porn just to get hard. This is really hard for me.
Lately, I have been smoking more cigarettes (already affecting my health but hard to quit because everyone around me does it), drinking alcohol and contemplating suicide. Often, I go to the back door of my house and think, "Should I jump?". I'm in college but don't even know what I want to be. If I choose something just because my family thinks I should I do it or because it is "man's work", I know I will not be happy. I've tried various things from praying to God to asking the "universe" to try and help me. I can't take it anymore and I don't know what to do.
Sometimes, I feel like I am stuck in this marriage and if I left would never find anybody to love me. What would you guys do in this situation? Please no hate comments, or "you should leave your wife" comments, etc. I'm tired of that stuff.
(Please note that bgiok was created, and is run, by one person - me!)
The last line of your email leaves me little room to help you. If you would not consider leaving your wife then there’s little scope for improving your situation. It’s not possible for me to suggest a way for you - a gay man - to stay married to a woman and be free to come out, be yourself and meet a guy. You can’t do both, I think you know this. So perhaps I should end my reply here, because you’re not truly open to help. Perhaps all you really wanted was to vent and be heard, as I suspect your message was not just sent to me. You know your current situation doesn’t work but you don’t want advice that suggests you remove yourself from it. All the best to you and your unfortunate wife...
But I could say that when a person is so unhappy that they think dying is preferable then it’s time to make some big changes. I could say that it’s terribly unfair on your wife that she’s with a man who doesn’t fancy her and never can, and who prevents her from finding the real thing with someone else. I could say that you only get one shot at life and ask if you intend to spend it keeping other people happy by pretending to be someone you’re not, married to someone you don’t desire and doing a job you don’t like. I could say that it takes colossal courage to embrace your true self and strike out on your own, but that the rewards are equally massive. I could say that if you want to be happy then you have to realise that you are an adult who is in control of his life; acknowledge the part you played in getting into the situation you’re in now and the power you have to get out of it. But pointing out any of these things is only useful if you’re willing to budge, to allow yourself even a little room to imagine a better life and see that you’re only a victim of your current situation if you allow yourself to be. I know it’s hard as hell and your family won’t throw a party about it, but you have to find your courage.
Name [John] Age  Gender [M]
I read your reply to a post. I really like your insights.
I would like to talk with you further.
What caught my attention was when you responded that it isn't good for casual sex, that a person shouldn't sleep with someone unless their heart is in it. I'm in a conflicted state.
I recently accepted the fact that I'm willing to throw all apprehensions off about being involved sexually with other males and I am currently with a straight boyfriend that I've known for a long time and we have recently labeled our relationship as a bro-mance.
The issue is, he's not open to taking things to a physical level because he wasn't raised that way, and he would die before that would happen.
He sends mixed signals which is very hard. Sometimes he doesn't mind me being affectionate with him, feet rubs and the like. Sometimes he doesn't mind me touching him and at other times, he is so uncomfortable.
My problem is this, I don't want to seek out casual sex which he wants me to do. The reason I'm having a hard time is I would be falling out of love with him to reenter into a different relationship and the thought of it is tearing my heart into. I'm stuck because I can't go back to just being friends with him.
It seems to me that you have a choice: stay within this hybrid friendship and accept that you will not be able to have sex within it - or even the reliable certainty of a cuddle on the sofa - or break away and find someone who can give you what you need ie. the things everyone needs. It must be frustrating to be somewhat closer to someone than is usual in friendship and yet not able to express those deeper feelings and desires physically. A strange sort of unrequited love, where you are allowed a little of what you want but not nearly enough for this situation to be sustainable and work in the long term. 'Bromance' is a term usually used to describe an emotionally close non-sexual friendship between two heterosexual males. Using language like this to define what you have together only enforces its platonic nature.
It sounds as though your friend realises that it is unrealistic to expect you to have a sexless commitment and encourages you to have sex outside, but what you want - perfectly reasonably - is to have a physical relationship with the person you are in love with. Unless this man is prepared to work to overcome his hang-ups and baggage around same-sex intimacy then I fear you will have a severely compromised facsimile of a healthy romantic relationship - in fact, you already do. Your partner would need to embrace counselling, no doubt, and face some painful issues head-on. This would also have implications for you, as you'd almost certainly have to be incredibly patient and let him set the pace. It's a lot to ask, but it may be worth it if you love each other. This depends, of course, on if your friend is willing to work at it. He must desire sex and closeness too and be frustrated at the lack of it, but there's a big blockage in the way that he is unwilling to tackle, perhaps indefinitely.
I think it's likely you'll realise that you deserve more - the complete package - and that ultimately this current setup isn't sustainable. You may even come to resent this man, but it's your decision to stay and to shun other romantic and sexual opportunities. You know the score and it's up to you to decide whether it's a fair deal.
Name [Sophie] Age  Gender [It's complicated]
I'm transsexual (Sophie is my trans name) and lesbian. I thought it might be easier to tell my closest friends but someone heard me telling them and he told the whole of the yr 6 class. Now my whole class and yr 6 know, me and the boy who told everyone are going to the same next school and I think he will tell everyone there. i haven't told my mum, i think my stepdad is homophobic, so i didn't tell him and i will tell my dad next time i see him, he said that he would not mind if i was gay.
PLEASE HELP ME!
I dont know what to do.
It’s horrible that someone spread the news of your coming out without your permission. That was unfair and it must have been very hurtful. Now that the news is out it is impossible to control, so try not to panic about things you can’t do anything about. It’s already happened, so now focus on what to do in an environment that now knows more about you than you’d have liked at this time.
We tend to think of rumours escaping as a bad thing but something it can be helpful, even if it doesn’t feel like it right away. Coming out requires courage, so much so that it can become a paralysing obstacle. But now your coming out has been done! No worrying about who to tell first or what so-and-so will think about it. It’s happened. We also tend to expect the worst when we imagine people finding out about personal things but you may well be surprised by the positive way some people react.
School is supposed to be a safe place for all pupils, no matter their race, physical ability, gender or sexuality. If you find that some of your fellow pupils are unkind about your sexuality you must speak to a teacher right away so they can make sure you are able to enjoy school without fear of bullying. Remember that the reason people tease you isn’t important and not necessarily something you need to share with a teacher in order to seek their help. I’ve written more about bullying here. I don’t want to make you worry or have you looking out for problems where they don’t exist but it would have been wrong of me not to mention this.
Talk to your friends about your feelings and be patient with others if they ask questions about your sexuality that seem silly to you. They don’t understand, but you can help them to. Take each day as it comes and tackle each new challenge calmly with the support of those around you. You may be told that you’re too young to know yourself but remember that your feelings are valid and real and should be respected. Balance that knowledge with the fact that you will change as you grow and learn more about yourself all the time. The person you’ll be in 7 years time will have many more answers than the person you are today. It wouldn’t hurt to put the brakes on occasionally. And don’t forget to have fun! You’re a young person with a lot of time ahead of you, so try not to get too bogged down in adult worries. Underneath all the other things you are is a 9 year old child who should turn the Playstation on and forget her worries for a bit!
I have also written quite a lot about coming out in the dedicated section and regularly in problem page replies so I won’t repeat general advice around that, but it sounds like your Dad is a good next coming out step. You’ve been dealing with some big issues and having an adult to talk to is a very good idea.
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