Thursday, July 23, 2009

Will YOU help me ? Please

"Passing it on" = Tradition Maybe you might like to help?

In about one month -- where DID it go? -- some of us will be
getting ready to go back to school. I am doing a bit of pre-entry
homework for my project about growing up gay: any ways to
make that easier. . . .

Will you share any specific areas which, had you known about
and been able to talk about, would have made your growing up
gay easier/ better ? Having input from real guys can make the
program I am working on practical and hopefully better for the
participants. This a group therapy / discussion for late highschool,
undergrad college students.

Any and all input greatly appreciated.
ciao ~


Pilgrim said...

Sorry Justin, IĆ” not able to help you on this. Propz Pilgrim

J said...

Nothing really prepares someone for the nastiness, prejudice and discrimination he or she is likely to face on the road to success, except remembrance of this one admonition: It pays to be paranoid.

JustinO'Shea said...

re SHANNON. . . this is the longest since I've not hard from him in many many moons! While I am being calm and poitive in attitude and do surround him with love over these miles my heart is beginning to 'hurt'.

Has anyone heard anything about him?


JustinO'Shea said...

Thanks, Pilgrim. You're the age for participation, so if you think of anything you might want to add, please jump right in. :-))

"J" thanks for your note. I think that is a key one. Do you think that at a very early age, maybe even before we reach a self-reflective age we 'know' we are different - somehow - and that we'd damned well better "fit in" or else? And maybe that your "be paranoid" is a positive primal self-preservational survivor mode kicking in . . . ya think?


Anonymous said...

Just to start the ball rolling for you (I hope) re your project:
I grew up at a time and in a country where 'homosexuality' (gay had not been invented then) was (a) illegal, and (b) considered immoral/mortal sin (by the Cahtolic church I grew up in). Not surpising then that when you feel this strange attraction for other boys, you are worried and think you are the only one! No sex education in those days, though I remember hearing something about 'motions of the flesh' - it took me years to realise it meant getting a stiffy!
I did my military service, managed to pass if all off as a joke (often the best defence) and later worked 2 days a week for an organisation campaigning to change the law, which eventualy happened.
Even in later life, can find it hard to come to terms with, never officially 'came out', certainly never to my family, and never discussed it even with close friends - unless if was them that raised the subject.
Never experienced any particular problems, not 'proud to be gay' (it is just something I am), and my closest friends, who I would die for and they for me, are all non-gay, though I hate all these labels.
Curiously I too trained as a counselor and the two teachers described themselves as 'lesbian feminists' and being lesbian was the cental point of their lives. I could not understand their point of view and left to finish the course somewhere else.
Hope this helps - Peter-D

J said...

I think the self preservation kicks in when when the childhood socialization process reaches the level when kids start to gang up and pick on the weak, maybe six or seven.

Stew said...

I grew up in a strict church. One of those that has a list of "don'ts" a mile long. The 80's were an amazing time if you could be yourself. I found that every aspect of my life was a lie. It tore me up. Was lying a worse sin that liking other guys? At 18, my best friend and most likely also gay, killed himself. We had many of the same problems. I blamed myself for years and even dove more deeply into the church which made me even more miserable. I was 32 before I got the currage to answer an add on the internet. I was very cautious about meeting this guy. We both were very nervous. It's now 10 years later and we're still together. The internet, I feel, saved my life. I wish we had it in the 80's. The resourses available saves lives! It also would have been nice to grow up in area that was more accepting, such as your own, rather than the midwest. In the end, I love my life and I know that I would not be here without everything that I went through.

I hope that helps.

JustinO'Shea said...

Thanks, DREW, J and STEW for your sharings. Right now I think I shall save these and when time comes use them verbatim.

Yes, Stew, growing up in an accepting environment makes life so much easier. And like both Stew and Drew I grew up in a strict toe-the-life Church [RC in my case]. Being part of a church family in a wide and open gay town is quite different from other places. I never heard the pastor rant and rave about or against glbt

Like, I never knew I was "objectively disordered" and "inclined to intrinsically evil acts" as I've heard some gays are told by their church/minister.

When I told dad about this later on he put on his best down-eastern drawl: "Pshhaaaw, boy. . t'aint true! God never made anybody like that! And just ignore that fella and tell him your dad said he was full of shit! You're MY son and I know bettr'n he does!"

Earlier I had come out to my parents about the time I turned 15 having had my first boy-boy lovin' a few months earlier, they said "We know,Justin, we know. We were wondering when you'd get to telling us.. " They were so awesome cool and still are. . more so. When I bring a BF home he becomes one of the family. . .LOL. . they know. .they know.. .we talk! LOL Lucky guy, aren't I? I think so.[btw, they like Peter very much.]

ciao ~~ justin

Coop said...

I have plenty of thoughts on this... some I don't mind showing to the world; some I'd rather not. Most are unformulated right now.
I'll reply later (and to Justin, privately, if you want.

JustinO'Shea said...

Yes COOP you may email me privately.


Coop said...

Okay... here goes...

I started having those feelings for other boys in 5th grade I somehow KNEW that I had to keep it secret. The feelings came and went; probably because I was just starting puberty or something. Pretty soon I had an interest in girls too so I thought I would be "normal" like everyone else.
The hard part came when I realized that girls were a passing interest and that my feelings for dudes were genuine. It took me until college... literally.

More later. I'm tired & also leaving town for a couple days.