Understanding Coming Out for Men
Updated: Jul 24, 2020
Coming out is a phrase to refer to the process where a man or woman reveals that they are queer. My definition of coming out is that it's: gender acceptance. Now, whilst it's obviously not that simple for a lot of people, the point is that anyone to have a successful, meaningful romantic relationship, they must have an appreciation of what they're attracted to, otherwise it is doomed to failure. This article goes into detail about the ways men process this phase and how they feel about themselves.
Is Coming Out authentic?
I also want to talk about the fact that coming out can sometimes be referred to as an achievement of authentic self. I believe that coming out is really about it. accepting a portion of who we are, and that the broader scope of ourselves, which is understanding what we're good at what we don't enjoy, who we want to spend our time with, and who we're attracted to, is the authentic self. So let's move on from there to talk about coming out.
Why Coming Out is hard for men
Coming out for many gay men, can be quite different and very challenging. And it can largely be due to the way in which we're brought up. So for many of us, we can have environments where we have a loving, tender family, we might even have a very accepting school environment.
We might even have a situation where we feel like were very well adopted into the environment that we're in. On the flip side, if we've come from a more traditional family, conservative religious event, or in a situation where the school that we go to doesn't accept us. It can make us feel unloved. It can make us feel like we aren't worthy of being who we are. It can also To make us feel like we didn't really win the genetic lottery in being straight.
With that being said, it's important to recognize that this entire process of coming out is about self acceptance. So I want to talk now, about four of the types of guys that I have observed, that have gone through the coming out process, and the way in which they react to it. And they have a form of acceptance with coming out.
1. Accepts his gender
So the first man is one who goes through complete self acceptance, and doesn't have any problem with it whatsoever. Now, that's not to say that he didn't have a tough upbringing. That is not to say that he didn't have any issues at school. What it means is, is that he's acknowledged that he is gay. It is what it is, which leads on to number two.
2. Craves validation from others
Number two is a guy who is in a situation where he might be in a very conservative family. He might be The kind of guy who has one reason or another being told of being gay is supposed to be someone who's dressed in the nines, who's extremely effeminate, weak, a sissy, and a bunch of other derogatory language. What happens is that some of these guys will become the embodiment of what they've been told. And they do this, largely in part, because they want to achieve a sense of validation from other people who are supporting them outside of their family, but also to get a sense of vindication against their family.
What I'm sensing from these people is that they're trying to find a form of acceptance from others, a sense of warmth, and acceptance from anyone to make themselves feel valued and loved. The challenge here is is that they're actually running away from themselves because they're not in fact, internalizing and coming to grips with who they are as a person, and it can be very challenging for them to, especially if they live in an idea of who they think they meant to be.
3. Scared of being part of the gay community
The third type of man has been brought up with an idea that being gay is in some way inferior or feminine, not something desirable, but they overcompensate in masculinity, perhaps trying to achieve really good results with work, earning a lot of money, trying to show up with an amazing body.
The challenge here for these guys, is that it also leads to a lot of internalized homophobia. Because for them, they don't want anything with regards to the image in their head as to what they don't want to be coming out to these guys is like admitting defeat. They're coming out to accept the fact that they like men, but they not really coming out to being part of the broader community.
4. Never comes out
The fourth man doesn't come out. when a man chooses to actively not come out he goes through a tremendous amount of pressure. What I've seen for a lot of these guys, and also from what I've read, is that they also go through cases of depression and extreme loneliness. What can happen is that for these guys, because they're terrified of their attraction in met do they'll overcompensate in ways like ticking all the main boxes that they think will provide them with a sense of satisfaction. They'll try and fit in with what their family or with what society has told them by, for example, marrying a girl, having kids, owning a beautiful house and having a successful job.
The challenge for these men is that if they do this, they start to lead a double life and what can happen is that they may start pursuing men in quiet hours, they'll then start trying to find ways to please themselves sexually because they're not able to get fulfillment with their female partners. And this can be really, really challenging for not only the guy but also for the lady involved.
So with that in mind, these kind of men regard coming out as the end; they do not want to do it. And understand, if you're someone who wants to help a guy who you think is gay, especially if it's a guy going through this exact process, I urge you not to tell them that they're gay. The reason is, is that anytime a man like this hears that sort of commentary, even if it's helpful or sounds supportive, it's like that image of what they don't want to comes right back into their mind and they keep running away from it. It delays them from coming out.
What is true authenticity?
In order for any of us to achieve a true authentic self, we must have acceptance of who we are. Part of that comes with understanding what we're attracted to. And also appreciating the fact we are who we are. And there is nothing wrong with who we are. We are allowed to love whoever we like Like and we can enjoy what we do on this earth.
If you're looking for some more reading on this and the development of stages in which we go through, I highly recommend checking out Alan Down's. The Velvet Rage, because it's really good for showing the stages that we go through, post coming out, to achieving our real authentic self.
If you would prefer to watch this please click on the link to my YouTube channel: