LGBT Pavee Support Group

A forum for LGBTQ members of the Irish Travelling and Roma Community, those that support there right of expression and wish to construct a way to mediate between the community, culture and sexual identity.Feel free to chat, commune, seek and give advice.
 
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 Having a hard time

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Griwog
Sarog
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PostSubject: Having a hard time   Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:13 pm

Hi all.

Just wondering for those that are out where did ye find the courage to do it? Did ye ever hate being gay and how did ye all overcome it?

I'm going through a very rough patch right now and not really sure how to handle it. I feel very much a fake. Even if its a fake protecting myself and my family from all the drama.

thanks

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wizweb
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PostSubject: Re: Having a hard time   Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:44 pm


I can't imagine what it was/is like for a Traveller even though I've known a few who are gay. I do know what it's like for someone who grew up in a very Catholic family in poverty in Darndale and Tallaght. Uber masculine, poorly educated as I was then living in a insular world that thought gay was some sort of sick camp freak with mental health issues. I hated the thought I might be a fag. Still debt collecting and being a bouncer, plumber, football coach, courier etc made me realise I'm just a bloke though women can do all that well too.

Even with my first love we were only together when very drunk or otherwise. The next day and sometimes for weeks we pretended we were straight. We even had girlfriends! I know in hindsight we both loved each other but ultimately at the time our individual self hatred destroyed US. He hung himself eventually as he couldn't live with being gay. I blame society on that and its unequal treatment, stereotyping and hatred of our kind. His death destroyed his family and almost me but I learned to overcome self pity from it. Just a waste of time and energy.

Issues around being gay can only be magnified I'd imagine for Travellers. Things are changing now for the positive though. No other human being knew I spent two tears grieving for a lost love. My fault. I never told them! They thought I was upset about my best mate which he was long before us and our 'relationship'. You see we were both very manly, loved and participated in our sports, drinking and all that other stereotypical butch shit. Actually today if I go to a gay bar its not rare that I'm even asked if I'm gay ffs! I find it hard to fit into either the straight or gay world still but have realised I'm just me living my life my way. Gay is just a part of me and my life. Gays tell me I'm straight and so do straights and no I ain't bi lol. I'm just me.

Anyway to answer your question I couldn't pretend anymore. I finally had enough and decided I was going to live me life in acceptance that I was born this way. So basically I said feck this I'm gonna tell my family and friends and rather than worrying what they thought of me I was going to make it crystal clear to them that if they had a problem with my sexuality I would evict them from my life for good. Ironic really as this had been my original fear! Again it's different for everyone. No one had a problem with it once they realised I was still the same person. I learned my mothers homophobia was actually just ignorance and she grew very found of a recent ex lol. All my fears were unfounded. I lost so much by missing out on all these supports and not sharing my life and partners lives with people I loved. Though to repeat myself it is different for everyone so I feel your pain.

Recently I've only hated being gay because of inequality, the media, sterotypes and because most gays I've met lack monogamous values etc. Other than that I was born gay so have to live with it so I got over it. There are some advantages too like great mates, opportunities to travel, career etc. Like in hindsight I'd never did anything with my life if I'd got a bird up the pole in Tallaght. I'd still be living there in me council gaff with loads of kids now with no plans or future.

Counselling was good for me and travel and ultimately self acceptance. Life is short. Enjoy it. Get over being gay and so will others Smile

Sorry about the novel and feel free to PM me if you need to chat in confidence.

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Griwog
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PostSubject: Re: Having a hard time   Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:39 pm

Thanks for your very kind reply and im sorry for your loss. To be honest id say its something a lot of people think about. I guess I just need to break out of the cycle I'm in. Its very easy isn't it to just stay where ya are, even if your suffering. My confidence is down the drain and im finding myself wanting to go out and meet frineds less and less. What were the steps you and everyone else took to get you where ya are now? Im starting to get more and more stressed that i think it might be time to have a talk with the family
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wizweb
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PostSubject: Re: Having a hard time   Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:44 pm

No one can tell you how to live your life. (including me)They can tell you what they've done in theres but no one can experience your world only you. I think you answered many of your own questions in that statement. From personal and professional experience I've learned that though sometimes hard at first change is good long term. You also neet to strenghten friendship networks so they are there for you in case you coming out goes badly with the family. Only you know if the time is right for this. If being closeted is damaging your mental health then you need to to deal with this fast and seek help if necessary but at least weigh up your worst case scenario if you come out. Though sounding a little selfish you got to look after yourself here first whatever the effect on your family. Too many LGBT have killed themselves in a naive assumption they were protecting others only to instill this horrible pain on family and friends for the rest of their lives. Families and friends may be ignorant around homosexuality and come across homophobic but in most cases they will deal with that better than a suicide.

Soz again about another little novel but thought it good to flesh this out as am sure others are in a similar predicament. I hope your peers can give examples on here of what they went through as their experiences would be more relevant to yours than mine. Best of luck and as I said I'm only a PM away if you need to chat.

Keith
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powdervein

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PostSubject: Re: Having a hard time   Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:30 am

Coming out is a weird one as it really never ends- the first step is to come out to yourself, which you have done, and really that is the hardest one to do. Building confidence in your identity through forums like this is a great way to build confidence to take things to the next level of coming out to others.
When I was coming out I was very young, 13, and I think it was a big risk as I was in a country school in Westmeath in the early 90's. Lucky for me I had a good support from my brother and sister, both are also gay, so I always had someone to talk to when things got a bit much. Saying that it was still very difficult for my mother to except it, all that healed that was time. you have to remember than time really does heal, even if family first react badly all you can do is reassure them that you are the same person and you love them and want to be honest - it may take months or more but they will eventually see tat your are no different from who you were before coming out.
If I could give you any advise it would be to agree with wizweb -build on your confidence and use this forum to chat to others and start to build friendship and support before coming out to family - that way if they do react badly you still have someone to chat to.
Hope that's of some help and good luck!

Dave
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A Wandering Minstrel
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PostSubject: Re: Having a hard time   Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:59 am

I guess this is what the site is all about. Getting support from other people who have similar experiences. For me coming out meant having friends and family who loved and supported me in my choices. It was/ and still is the most important thing for me being happy in my life.

I told easy people first - I knew my biggest sister would be cool with it and she was. Good friends too were great. Having a good foundation of support and love makes it easier to be me in the world.

Coming out is a process that is ongoing. I make choices about coming out. Not everyone needs to know in every situation. I rarely come out on a bus or in a taxi for example. Some acquaintances, colleagues and family members who are stuck in negative ways don't need to be trusted with something precious to me. I'm not going to come out where I feel it is dangerous.

I've only managed to surprise one person when I came out - everyone else said 'I thought so' or 'Oh, that makes sense'.

Coming out, especially at the start, should be done with people who can be happy for you. Sometimes that's not family or existing friends. Members of this site can be there for you. We know the struggles you've faced to some extent.

There will be a gathering on Saturday at noon and members have the details by now. Members can ask to be met before hand to make it easier to join us. Meeting up with other LGBT people at first gave me a strong sense of coming home. Some people I've met are the brothers and sisters I'd chose if I'd had a chance.
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Guiney
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PostSubject: Re: Having a hard time   Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:32 pm

I think the key is not to go with lebels and what people seem to expect from them. You dont **need** to come out, only if you want too. To start with along with the great advice above id take small steps, take the ones your comfortable with like actually saying it out loud to yourself if your alone and maybe tell a close friend who you trust or a family member you know would be supportive. Your really not alone you know as this really is why the groups here. Theres a change happening and even if its just one person at a time I think you'll be releived to find out how much people actually love you, regardless of who ya fansy

Sent you a pm too
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