How common is it for gays to "come out"?

Over and over we hear about people that try to appear to be straight who finally “come out of the closet”. They’ve set themselves “free” to become who they fell they really are.

What about people that have been living the life of a homosexual that finally decide, “I’ve been living a life of deception, I’m really a heterosexual, and I’m going to live the life of who I really am. I was “gay” because it was easy sex, someone flattered me, I was impressionable, but now I want to have a relationship with someone of the opposite sex because that’s where my true feelings and fantasies are.”

The only case that comes to mind is Anne Hecht and I don’t pretend to know what actual the situation was with her.

Is this something common? Does it happen rarely? What’s the SD.

Maybe I should ask this in GQ but I’m afraid it would get immediately moved.

It is very rare for the simple reason that society is set up in such a way that heterosexuality is the default option, and those who are naturally inclined to it are universally encouraged to do so instead of exploring any other orientations. This is called heterosexism.

What you will sometimes see, though, is someone who identified as gay who later comes out as bisexual, because they believed that any inclination to the same sex made them gay and only later did they come to the conclusion that they could, in fact, be attracted to more than one gender.

There is a stereotype of women who go through a gay phase at college but who end up straight. I have no idea if this really happens much. These things are hard to google at work!

My girlfriend was homeschooled by her hippie parents. She started out thinking she was a SCREAMING lesbian, and liked girls exclusively.(the type of teen where you could see her ending up living in Northampton) Then when she was sixteen or seventeen she fell in love with a boy, and to put it VERY mildly was VERY confused.

Well, oddly, given your location, I’ve heard that said about Australian girls!

The bi-try phase that some girls reportedly go through certainly happens, but doesn’t result in the epiphany suggested in the OP - it’s experimentation, not commitment to the lesbian cause, and plenty of women have done it. There’s a whole other debate here about women’s fluid sexuality compared with men, and I don’t want to go there and derail the thread, but I would suggest that men seem to adopt a more black and white approach to sexuality - i.e. I slept with a man therefore I must be gay - when it ain’t necessarily so.

I know many women who have had girlfriends and gone on to marry and have children. One friend of mine is clearly more attracted to women but wanted a family and the security of conforming (and continues to flirt with women). Most others are probably bisexual and have taken the easiest path in life.

But I did hear recently of one woman that fits the OP - she had been abused as a teenager by her brother, felt nervous around men as a result, fell in with a sporty, lesbian-orientated crowd and has been a practising lesbian for the last 20 years. She’s recently come round to the idea that her lesbianism fitted her ‘politics’ and attitude towards men rather than her actual sexuality, and is embarking (with help from straight girlfriends) on man-dating. Or maybe she’s just done with going out with nightmare neurotic women, which I can heartily understand.

Yeah, but it’s one I had never encountered until I started hanging out with you guys. I suspect it’s about as realistic as pizza-boy pr0n: like every stereotype there will be cases where it has happened, but the frequency is another matter.

Oh I know loads of women who’ve had a bi-try - heck, I’ve had sexual encounters with a couple. Maybe being a gay woman myself attracts their attention. Or maybe it’s London. Anyway, it’s not just college girls, it’s a bunch of women in their 20s/30s who are not in the mood to settle down just yet.

They tend to make very unsatisfactory partners as they aren’t interested in commitment, they want to keep the relationship firmly in the closet and often have reservations about throwing themselves fully into the sex (we call them Pillow Queens, I’ll let you guess why). Oh, and they always dump you for a man.

Do you mean Northampton UK or USA? Because if it’s Northampton UK, that’s well confusing… Northampton is the dullest place on the planet

Definitely Northhampton, Massachusetts, USA.

It reminds me of a line from Frasier.

Gil Chesterton: Honestly, the conclusions people make, just because a man dresses well and knows how to use a pastry bag!
Frasier Crane: Well, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen a man “in” himself.

I support gay rights, but I guess I’m still a heterosexist for believing that heterosexuality is the default option. :rolleyes:

Yes, in the sense that right-handedness is the default option. That is, it’s the majority option, but there is (or should be) no particular opprobium associated with being left-handedness.

Yes, I suppose. Heterosexuality is not normal, it’s just common, and people need to not assume that others are heterosexual and to call into question the parts of our society that are built around that assumption.

I’d rather not this get into a personal thing, because I sense an attack on my ignorance and pigheadedness coming, but… seeing as the purpose of life is to create new life, is it not accurate to think that sexual pairings that could naturally result in the creation of life are the default? :confused:

Isn’t exclusive homosexuality a relatively recent thing? For example, I was under the impression that most men in ancient Rome were basically bisexual.

And I’m not saying that homosexuality isn’t natural to those who are homosexual but… I don’t know. I really don’t know what I’m trying to say. :smack:


You’re looking for former gay porn star Tom Katt

Now he’s married and straight :slight_smile:

Simply put, no. Being able to live as an out homosexual and not be completely ostracized by society is what your thinking of. That’s the more recent development.

FWIW, I friends with a couple of women who totally shocked me by getting married to men. They’re happy though, so I’m happy for them. It was just surprising when they outed themselves as not-gay. I haven’t had in depth discussions about their sexuality with any of them because I’m of the belief that it isn’t really any of my business, but I imagine that most of them would still consider themselves somewhere closer to the bisexual part of the spectrum rather than the straight end.

Because the default of our society is heterosexual, going from gay to straight (or just not-gay) is more of returning to what you were originally assumed to be, rather than presenting yourself as something entirely different. For instance, lets say that Pat came out as gay at age 16 and came out again as straight at age 24. Pat lived 8 years as gay, but already had 16 years of straight before that. Pat wasn’t just coming out, but rather returning to the default. Does that make sense?

I was speaking from an evolutionary standpoint. I don’t see how heterosexuality can’t be the default. Maybe it’s not very politically correct of me to say that, but whatever. I fully support gay marriage, have gay friends that I’ve known since I was little and don’t see homosexuality as inferior to heterosexuality in any way. But from a biological standpoint, yes, I think heterosexuality is the default.

And I was reacting from an “I’m fairly certain that the purpose of life is not procreation” standpoint.

Just remember: Heterosexuality isn’t “normal,” it’s just “common.” :wink: