Saturday, July 31, 2010

LOOKING for H E L P ! please

rainbow_flag.jpg blessed be image by Graines
"Passing it on" = Tradition..... Maybe you might like to help?
TODAY is mostly sunny, temps in mid-70s with manageable humidity.
A nice comfortable day. . ..for me anyhoo. . . just hanging out at home
on the veranda doing some work, preparing, jotting down idea, making
notes. . . too.
Peter is still at work but will be getting out soon and heading down here
Chez O'Shea.   That will be cool. . . . . :-)
In about one month -- where DID summer 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 is great appreciated.
juatin o'shea


Coop said...

In my high school years, I believed that all gay men were supposed to act like the characters on "Will & Grace" or like the like stereotypical pool boy in "Legally blonde" who could point out last season's Prada. And we heard about the AIDS epidemic and how the disease got transmitted.
"'Dang' I said to myself... "being Gay isn't all that great. People who I can't identify with and random sex in dirty places."

Oh Hell. I just wrote a bunch of stuff without identifying anything specific.

JustinO'Shea said...

Hey COOP. . .you Duude. .. ;-) Thanks. Every little bit helps. Since i am an inveterate scavenger (with 22 years varying experience..hehe ) I can get all kinds of ideas/topics set down in categories - areas to explore. . . it helps me 'cuz the teaching scavenger needs input, fresh ideas, reminders of the forgotten obvious.

You know what personally bothers me?
You wanna hear? hahaha
I don't want people to think I am like some of the stereotypes portrayed -- the Prada expert, the hairdressers, flower arrangers, sex-in-the-alley desperados,bitchy queens, incessant head-hunters, etc etc. I much prefer the "But he doesn't act 'gay'. . .or doesn't look gay. . . of "How do you know he is gay.. . he's just like other guys?".

So the helper needs help also. .
oxox <---I bet that's very 'gay' hahahaa

Gary Kelly said...

It's a bit early for me to comment because I haven't grown up yet.

But I do think being gay is much less of an issue than homophobia. In fact, if it weren't for homophobia, being gay wouldn't be an issue period.

JustinO'Shea said...

I suppose you do have a point here, Gary. . . .I suspect for you, after your years of living, being gay is no problem at all. . . .other peoples' reactions create the problems. Good comment. Thanks.

So it is all relational , , isn't it. . !? Certamente. Nonne?

Jabacue said...

Back when I was growing up and realizing I was 'different' from most other guys, it would have been great if I could have spoken about these 'feelings' with someone my own age. This would have been impossible to do considering the time (60's), my upbringing and society in general. I played along being straight till I was 21 years old until my best friend 'came out'. It was a shocker to me and at first I wasn't very supportive to him at all. I am ashamed to admit this....knowing what I do now. Eventually it did help me come to terms with my sexuality. I thank him for this. Sadly, he is not around to do so personally. As you may know Justin times were definitely different then. Eventually, I found my way and realized there were a lot more people out there just like me. The rest is history....met a great guy and have been with him for 37 years. Not bragging at had it's rough times but we got through them like any couple has to.

J said...

Assuming the object is to help these young people get along in the world, I really think it is important that they develop a strategy for handling the straights they will have to work with. What is interesting is how you and Gary are in apparent agreement that your sexual preference need not, and probably should not, be worn on your sleeve. It may be a big part of who you are, but should never be allowed to limit your associations. Remember that straights whose lives revolve around chasing skirt are usually obnoxious, because it is the only facet of their personalities people see.

th3Xfagtr said...

When I was younger, I knew I was supposed to like girls, but instead I always wanted to be with that one special boy, We used to always call eachother fags, homo, and stuff like that, but I never really knew what any of those names meant or were applied to. By the time I was 11/12 I learned exactly what it was i was feeling towards other boys and I also learned there was a name for it -- being gay -- had I known back then what it was, I think I would have been a little more secure in being myself and coming into my sexuality.

jimm said...

Substitute the words 'black' or 'hispanic' or 'disabled' for the word 'gay' and is growing up in a hostile environment much different?

As a student, this would be the first time you experience these emotions of being labeled an outcast. The personal emotions are overwhelmed.

Justin, i havent commented here, but i wanna say thanks for sharing. I vacationed on Cape Cod last week and Provincetown was a wonderful experience of people from all walks of life just getting along.

Oh, and the whale watch trip on the DolphinVII was a day i will never ever forget!!!


JustinO'Shea said...

Thanks for your contribution. "Treated like an outcast" and living one's life as if we had to apologize and make excuses for just being here.

And for "timid gentle peeps" that is difficult. . . .something awful!

Didn't you find it soothing in P'town knowing there was nothing to fear. . .that you aren't alone and most are like you and do like you! Freeing. . .

I am so glad WE measured up. . .lol and did the whales perform well? Some times the boat goes out and comes back with nary a sign of the whales who have gone to Nanctucket ..for high tea! hehehehe

ciao ~~~~ justin

jimm said...

You're right, walking the streets of Provincetown is to feel no burden, no weight on your shoulders.

And the whales definitely measured up! Watch for pics on my next blog post!

Gary Kelly said...

I certainly agree with J about not allowing sexual orientation to limit those with whom one associates. Sexual orientation, ideally, should be no biggie. And I think it's unfortunate that gays should feel comfortable walking the streets of Provincetown while feeling conspicuous walking the streets of other towns.

Equality in all its forms still has a long way to go, and the answer lies in education of the young.

Gay - it's no biggie. I reckon that would make a great slogan.

JustinO'Shea said...

BUT, my friend, it is a beginning that we CAN do that in Provincetown, among other conspicuous towns and cities. .. .right?

Small steps, for sure. It sure as hell is good to live in/come from a place where I grew up seeing couples holding hands, hugging. . .doing things quite naturally, without having to feel conspicuous. . . and I grew up knowing it was OK. . .we weren't weird.

Red-necks who come here from other places need to know they MAY NOT verbally or otherwise harrass anyone in Provincetown. . .because such cheap conduct is against the law and one will be arrested for such behaviour. . . .and prosecuted.

Huuuuuuuaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh. ;-))

Coop said...

People in the teen years feel pressured to be in a group; you know. Are they sk8rs, in the theater crowd, the goth group, jocks etc. etc.?? Yeah... I'm dating myself to the late '90s. I think Gay teenage boys have the same problem. Acting like a bitchy queen, for instance, is a goal because it's an identity.
One of the gay guys I knew in high school was happy because 'he excelled at the school subjects Gay people were good at.' What a crock of sh*t!
The only solution to the search for a pre-fabricated identity is plain old 'growing up'.

Coop said...

I'm in agreement with Gary and J.
Homophobia is the problem.
GOD... how simple is that??

Unfortunately, the "gay" men that homophobes have in mind are the same blokes that me and Justin have identified. "Jack McFarland", the Prada expert, bitchy queens.
'Limp wristed, panty wearing...' Groan!

That's how homophobes believe that Gay men (should) act. Cause that's what's on TV.
So; gay boys going through their teens and homophobes are being fed the same thing.

JustinO'Shea said...

YOU ROCK< GUY!!! ;-) I want to hear more. Spell it out so we see the sh*t we all too easily swallow and groan under.

QUESTION: How free are we young gays to "grow into ourselves" as we really want to be. . . how free to throw off the societal coersion?


Anonymous said...

"QUESTION: How free are we young gays to "grow into ourselves" as we really want to be. . . how free to throw off the societal coersion?"

Not particularly free at all .....unless the young gay person conciously looks beyond stereotypes, societal expectations.

It is possible for anyone to realise and break free of the general perception and stereotypical expectation of society, but they have to first recognise the existence of these bonds, if you like, for what they are.

Websites with discussions and information like what we are engaged in right here is one place that some may gain this self-realisation and gain empowerment to think for themselves and make their own minds up.

They need to be conciously making a decision to follow the mob or think for themselves and mould their lives the way THEY think and not around what others think and believe.

Sorry for my poor expression (and spelling and grammar) but you get my drift on this I am sure.

You rock Justin!

Greg in Adelaide

Gary Kelly said...

Effeminate gays and butch lesbians draw excessive attention to themselves and are therefore labeled as stereotypical. In my experience, effeminate gays and butch lesbians are not stereotypical at all.

The average gay goes pretty much unnoticed by society, and is therefore not categorized or labeled. He's invisible. The average gay is as bland and boring as the rest of society hehe. Just another faceless member of the great unwashed.

Societal coersion is the fault of individuals who are overwhelmingly motivated to conform; who desperately need to be accepted by their peers; who believe in compromise; who are afraid of criticism and ridicule.

To be the person you really are, you sometimes have to risk rejection by others.

So each of us has to make a choice: what is more important - to be accepted by THEM or to be accepted by yourself.

I suggest if you start by accepting yourself, then being accepted by THEM will follow. Perhaps not all of THEM, but enough to make it worthwhile.

At least you'll know who your friends are. And there's a bonus. You'll know who you are.

Gary Kelly said...

Further-bloody-more, for those who are wondering whether or not to 'out' themselves, the longer you spend in the closet, the more difficult it becomes to emerge.

If you leave it too long, you become your own jailer, creating prison from which there is no escape.

Anonymous said...

Typo crept into what I wrote before, sorry.
It should have read:

"They need to be conciously making a decision to *NOT* follow the mob, think for themselves and mould their lives the way THEY think and not around what others think and believe."

And Gary, yes I agree with you, for the most part, I think.
Your comment
"In my experience, effeminate gays and butch lesbians are not stereotypical at all." perhaps should have read "not typical" rather than "not stereotypical"?

You are saying that it is because of the silence of the majority of gays that this particular stereotype exists?

Then I agree, and our little internet discussions that are out there for all budding (!) gays to read will help with their understanding of how they might better fit into this world.

More power to Justin!

Greg in Adelaide

Stew said...

As an observant homeowner in a relatively new area, I have noticed that the kids in our local high school don't have a problem with being out. It has almost become kewl to be gay. Even kids that are not gay "act" it.
And, if you are gay and want to play football, then you simply associate with the football crowd. The gay stereotype has become a fad almost. One that surely will pass.
I've never looked down on anyone that acts more effeminate (whether gay or not) And if you find yourself offended by someone acting the way they want to act, then it's your problem.

I am proud to live in an area that is so accepting of all people. It's no Provincetown with rainbow banners everywhere, but it's a nice comfortable place to live.

I believe what I said last year when you posed this same question; That the Internet has changed and saved so many lives. The resources are available to everyone. It just takes courage to stand up and be yourself. Anyone that tries to hold you back, is certainly not your friend.

It's a big world out there. But if you were to focus your practice on helping gay youth on Cape Cod or even East Michigan to come out and accept themselves, I don't think your career would be very long. Fortunately, you're pretty good with relationship issues too. There's a never ending saga.

Stew said...

Sorry. I get cranky when I'm tired.