They usually deny that they’re gay because they don’t dance around in bikinis in gay parades, or walk their slave around on a leash while all dolled up in leather drag. It’s pretty easy to deny your sexuality when you have nothing in common with the most obvious representatives of said sexuality. I’ve known both men and women who had adult children from their straight marriages who only came to accept who they are when they finally met that right person, or who were so unhappy it was either accept it or commit suicide.
Yes, in so many cases it’s almost taken as a given in the gay community. Bisexuals tend to hide, and complain about not being accepted.
I didn’t come out to myself as bisexual until my mid-twenties. That’s still technically the majority of my life, but it’s steadily becoming a smaller percentage.
When I was a teenager, my parents rented (and eventually bought) a house from a couple of nice old ladies who had been living together for thirty years. Neither of them have ever “come out” as lesbians, but the younger of the pair left a husband and three teenaged children in the '60s to move in with her new “room mate,” and stayed with her until she died of emphysema around 2001.
I’ve never personally known anyone who thought they were bisexual, then later decided they were gay, although I’m sure it’s happened. I have known some people who came out as bisexual, despite knowing they were gay, because they thought it would be easier for their friends and family to accept them that way. I’m not aware of any instances where it actually made any difference, one way or the other.
I know of one case where lesbianism was a stepping stone to bisexuality. My boyfriend is transgendered. He was born female, but now identifies as male. When he still identified as female, he also identified as a lesbian. After he came out as transgendered, and started presenting as a male, he found out that he does, in fact, like guys just fine - just not ones who treat him like a girl.
Yes, he was in his thirties with a wife and two kids before he even recognized he had those feelings. We used to talk about it almost on a weekly basis as to me it was just incredibly strange that a person didn’t know that they were gay. But there he was. He said it was after his two kids that he began to wonder why he just wasn’t attracted to women at all anymore.
For him it was a rationalization. ANd maybe he would be considered bisexual still. Sexuality can be rather liquid like that.
I’ll take this under advisement, but I would ask: why it should matter? The information is valid regardless.
I am more likely to move it, (complete) to MPSIMS or even General Questions on the grounds that it is informative, rather than a debate. However, I am not sure what the point of makig a new thread would be. I am not claiming that there is no reason, only that I would like the reason to be explicit.
My daughter recently came out as gay. I was the last to “officially” know but frankly I had figured that out already a long time ago. So here is my question.
Her best friends are all 3 gay guys, 2 of them a couple. This group of 4 do everything together either as a group of 4 or various combinations thereof. My question is how is it she has this extremely tight and close friendship with the 3 guys? What are the dynamics here ?
This was exactly the case for me (as a teen in the 1980s). I didn’t come out to myself until I was 21, and was pretty much asexual through high school (where I thought I was straight) and college (where I began to consider than I might be bisexual). This was damaging, and I spent my 20s single or in very short relationships.
Unlike a lot of people with that experience, though, I don’t arrogantly assume that this is the case for ALL bisexuals, but I think it used to be a pretty common story.
I don’t understand how this has anything to do with her sexuality. It sounds like a close friendship of four people, two of whom are a couple. Being gay might be one of the things that drew them together in the first place, I guess.
And to answer the first question, I have many friends who, for various reasons, did not come out until very late in life (40’s, 50’s, 60’s). As a product of the age they were raised in, they were simply expected to go out, get married and have kids, which they did; it wasn’t until they grew so unhappy with their lives, or, in some cases, their spouse died, that they decided to make a huge change and finally come out. In no cases that I can think of was the excuse of bisexuality used as a “stepping stone” (although I do know people who have done so, but they’ve usually been folks who came out at younger ages).
This description fits me quite well. I’ve lived most of my life as striaght. It wasn’t until my mid to late thirties that I began having sexual feelings for men. It seemed to have come out of nowhere. I can never give up thinking about and being attracted to women, but I also have a longing for a relationship with a man.
Since I am married and my wife is not interested in swinging or anything else, I just have to be content with fantasy. Also, I don’t do hookups or one night stands so if I ever do get together with a man, it will be a relationship.
I don’t feel it is a stepping stone to a completely gay lifestyle. I now refer to myself as bi-curious and perhaps some day I’ll get to experience it.
I know a few people in that boat, albeit I never experienced it myself. I was asexual up through my Sophomore year of college, as I was busy w/ a great amount of extra-curriculars in high school and since I knew that I wouldn’t be staying in the general vicinity of my hometown when I went left for college. (A lot of couples in my high school planned on going to the same college, or sticking together past graduation.)
The most obvious example that fits this is an old poker buddy of mine. He was married for decades, and actually ended up having three kids. When he finally realized he was gay and came out, it is pretty obvious that the wife did not take it well. He is still very close with two of his children, but I’m not sure about his relationship with the third. From anecdotes during our poker games, he would cheat on her with guys before he officially came out. Whether that counts as he was using her as a beard or whether he genuinely had the realization later in life is up for debate.
Another example is a grad school classmate of mine. He was engaged, but usually fairly “chummy” with me. Finally, one day, he sent me a few incriminating photos, unsolicited. I wasn’t sure what to say about it, but he asked for mine, and for a variety of reasons, I declined, saying it wouldn’t seem right. He said that he wouldn’t want to do anything physically, but it’d be something nice to look at. This is a guy who set off the “gaydar” of half of my class. Subsequent conversations revealed that he was molested as a child, and attributes that to his unusual requests. Thing is, I met the fiancee at graduation and noticing her demeanor and speaking with her, some of us wondered if this was a marriage of convenience on both ends, as it might jeopardize future employment / promotion opportunities if either of them were known to be gay. This happens a lot in my field, I’ve discovered. Last I heard, years ago, she was pregnant.
I have a question, although I expect it has been asked before, many times.
It’s easy enough for me to imagine what it must be like for an openly gay man to be attracted to other men. I can imagine being attracted to men rather than women. What’s harder to understand is people who believe they’re straight and have “normal” straight relationships before realizing they’re gay. I get the explanation that there is a presumption of straightness and some cultures have been or are not very accepting of homosexuality. I’ve heard many stories of people being unhappy in straight relationships without realizing they’re gay. But what about people who are seemingly happy?
I don’t really have any great real life examples, so I’ll use the fictional one that actually “reminded” me of this question, as it may be familiar to many of you.
Willow, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I suppose I’m assuming her story is realistic (minus the demons and magic, etc.) but perhaps not. She starts off seemingly straight; she falls in love with at least two males, one of whom she has a relationship with and both of whom cause her heartache. Then she meets a woman, falls in love with her and becomes apparently gay. She describes herself as such and, I believe, more than once implies (at least) that she is not attracted to men.
In a situation like this, I suppose I might assume that, rather than bisexuals being gay people who haven’t yet admitted it, she is a bisexual who, for one reason or another, suppresses any attraction she feels towards men.
If anyone cares to shed some light on this subject, I would be interested to learn more.
Willow as an example is a bit of a mess. I’ve heard tell that she was “supposed to be” bi for a while, but they ultimately were worried that if they paired her with a guy after Tara people would say that it was “just a phase” or discredit her as a gay role model. For in show reasoning, you have to note that Tara was very insecure and it was made a point in several episodes that she was worried that Willow would realize she wasn’t attracted to women and leave her for a guy, so you could argue that Willow internalized “I’m gay” rather than “I’m bi” to comfort Tara.
Of course, part of the biggest issues with Willow is that she’s a fictional character, and they didn’t know whether or not she was gay until Seth Green decided to leave Buffy*, so obviously earlier seasons don’t make sense from a “she’s 100% gay” perspective because she was being written as being a straight character and thus all of her relationships with men were deep and meaningful and sexual in a way that don’t make complete sense if she was a closeted lesbian in denial. Hell, there was at least one episode earlier in season 4 that made it very clear that she liked sex with Oz a lot (I think it was the Veruca episode).
On one hand, it feels offensive in a way to not take Willow at her word that she’s totally gay, but on the other hand there’s so much wonkiness primarily due to behind the scenes stuff that the gay/bi thing is a legitimate question.
The story goes that either Xander or Willow was going to be gay, and they deliberately dropped hints for both of them (Xander and Larry’s conversation where Larry came out; vamp Willow), but weren’t sure which one it was going to be until Seth left and they seized the opportunity with Willow and Tara.
I have to join in that I’m confused by your question, it seems to presuppose that people of the opposite gender can only be friends if there’s sexual attraction involved. They’re just friends, whatever “dynamic” they have is going to be specific to them. To be fair, I have noticed that a lot of people have trouble grokking purely platonic cross-gender friendships, so if that’s the case you’re not alone.
After I posted, I messaged one of the other guys from my poker games and asked about the person in the first example, as they have known each other for over 15 years. I found out that the person I contacted was also married and had a kid. The two poker buddies actually met in a support group for men who came out of the closet later in life, when they already had families.
Apparently, they had both always had a nagging curiosity in the back of their heads throughout the marriage, but also genuinely loved their wives and found them attractive, because that is all they “knew.” He said that the possibility that they could be attracted to other men was not even something that was on the table when they were initially courting their wives, and during the early years of marriage. They were both genuinely attracted to their wives at the time, but it wasn’t until it became more “mainstream” that either man opened himself up (no pun intended) to the possibility.
I asked if he could ever have sex with a woman again, and he gave me a resounding “no.” He said he wasn’t in denial about being gay, but it was just that he never realized it was an option - as both are big, burly men (bears) and at the time, he said that the common perception of homosexuals was thin, effeminate men. They weren’t thin or effeminate, so therefore they couldn’t be gay.
I think it sounds pretty healthy. Sometimes gay men and lesbians can segregate themselves in what I see as unhealthy ways. During the AIDS crisis, often it was lesbians who cared for gay men dying of AIDS. There was no one left, and lesbians stepped in. I think gay men and women are stronger together than separate in all the wonderful ying yang ways men and women are stronger together than not. Just minus the sex. Not that big a deal. Sex is plentiful when you go looking for it.