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Old 08-29-2013, 11:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Coming Out

Hello,

I have been in recovery for three years, the road has taken me to a place where I feel able to come out completely (I have been half in and half out for a long time) I am 33 now and feel behind and like I have lost time (not only being closeted but also wasted years being high or drunk).

Does anyone have any suggestions for someone coming out at my age and how to connect with other queer people? I fell a bit lost about it all.

Thanks!
Emily
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Old 08-30-2013, 12:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Emily.

I did not come out until my mid 30's so I can relate to the lost feeling you are having. The ways to meet GLBT people are ever increasing at least in most modern industrialized Countries. I see you live in Canada which seems to be a fairly gay friendly place at least more accepting than the US at this moment in time although we are slowly catching up.

There are several ways I would suggest connecting with other GLBT people. If you are in a program of recovery like AA check to see if there are GLBT meetings in your area. I know where I live there are several GLBT meetings of AA each week. I know I see a lot of lesbians at hockey games and soccer games in our area so you might consider attending some sporting events. The city I live in has a GLBT yellow pages. Check to see if your city has one as well. I see them in gas stations and convenience stores. In there you might find some gay friendly coffee shops. There is also a facebook group for my area of lesbian women where we network and different events are planned throughout the year like campouts, cards, bbq's, book clubs, etc... So if you have facebook you might check to see if there is a group in your area. The internet can be quite helpful in finding groups near you. Dog parks in my area seem to be full of GLBT people as well. What is it about lesbians and their dogs?....lol I can say that because my partner and I have two, we did have three until a few months ago when we lost our 20 year old Beagle.

The best thing to do is just be yourself and learn to relax in your own skin. The more comfortable you are with yourself the more approachable you will be to others. Take care and I do hope you found something useful in all my ramblings.
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Old 08-30-2013, 01:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you Nandm for all your suggestions! I have thought about the meetings for GLBT's, I might check one out. Yes Vancouver has a thriving community so I am sure there are things online and meet-ups etc, I just have to work up the bravery to look for them and then force myself to go I appreciate your response

Take care,
Emily

Oh I am sorry about your dog, may you only have sweet memories.
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Old 09-04-2013, 04:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi Emily, welcome to SR. I, too, came out in my mid-30s and it took a long time to get there. I don't think there's any set time though I think with more people able to come out younger it can make us feel like we're behind. However there are still people coming out in their 60s and 70s so it's never too late!

I think nandm's idea of LGBT recovery meetings is a good idea. Are there any LGBT associations that put on gatherings, meetings, potlucks, etc.? We used to have one in our small town but I imagine Vancouver would still have thriving groups. Also check out the magazine Lesbian Connection which has all sorts of ideas. Take care. And welcome to the fresh air OUT here!
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks Lyoness!

I actually have signed up for a coming out workshop now so I think that will a good place to start. I have not gone to any GLBTQ AA meetings yet but might do that after the workshop. It feels really good to be coming out but I could not be doing it without being completely sober so am grateful for everything that has happened to bring me to this point so am trying not to worry about being 'late'. It is my path

Take care
Emily
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi Emily,

I can't add to the great suggestions here but, if you're anxious or intimidated about walking into a GLBTQ meeting alone, you could find an open meeting and have a friend come with you. Our one GLBT meeting is open so I asked my wife/partner to come with me the first time. That can help a lot, just to have someone walk in the door with you.

I don't know that there's ever a time to come out that doesn't involve some struggle/difficulty so I don't think if you'd realized it earlier it would've been easier in that regard. I think something deep down realizes when we're ready for that to occur, some inner wisdom.

I know that I was always puzzled by my lack of romantic feelings toward men, but didn't have a point of reference for being gay (this was early '80s so it was not a much talked about topic anywhere). I just figured it was one more way I was messed up. Then, one day, I was sitting in group therapy, no less, and the gal on the 'hot seat' was sharing that she was lesbian and suddenly something inside went, "Oooohhhhhhh!" and, like dominoes falling in a line, so many things in my life suddenly made sense. It happens when it happens - right on time.

Hey, check out the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival website - if you want an amazing joy-busting experience, try to get there next August!

Congratulations on 3 years sober!

Nandm - very sorry to hear about your Beagle, but glad to hear you had 20 years with him/her - a nice long life, 20 years.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Ok here goes...

barring a very small number of individuals, I have not 'come out' because I largely haven't even come out to myself. I'm not even sure what I am. I think I'm 70-30 Hetero/Homo, although the same-sex is easier sometimes and thus I've delved into it disproportionately.

I'm stuck in my recovery program. I was on the third step and I saw the fourth step coming and the fifth step not far after and I freaked out and abandoned my 99.99% straight sponsor. I'm in this awful place though because I see how important honesty is to sobriety. I'm going to sit here and feel like $%&* until I can openly admit the source of my fears and resentments. Or even worse, this **** is relapse-danger. I've got 10 months and I don't want to throw that away.

Well since I'm too chicken $hit to say this stuff to a sponsor, I am just spouting it out here because I don't want to die. This stuff is huge on my resentment list and I HAVE to admit it to someone.

Is anyone here in New York City?

Thanks for listening...
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi hman0217,

I can understand where you are at, for me it was easier to not admit (or for me even know) the truth and everything with it, even after I became sober it took me a long while to admit to myself and anyone else that I am gay.

I have not done the 12 step process but it sounds to me the most important thing is finding someone who you can share openly with in order to move forward. I know there are a number of GLBTQ AA meetings (I am sure many in NYC) Have you thought about going to one of those and perhaps finding someone who you can talk to?

I am no expert but for me sobriety was essential before I could come out and even then it was in my own good time.

Wishing you the best.

Emily
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hi Hman. Congrats on your 10 months.

What I have found is that although my sexuality plays a role in my sobriety because of the resentments, fears, and other "character defects" surrounding it, my sexuality does not dictate how I work my program of recovery. I have found I work it no different than my "straight" friends do. It all boils down to learning how to apply the tools of the program (the 12 Steps, 12 Traditions, and principles of the program) to all of my daily life problems no matter how big or small. I work the Steps multiple times a day in my life and I am 12 years sober at this point. When I got to the program of AA I did not know how to live life without drinking. I could not even mow my lawn without having a cooler full of beer waiting on me. If I was happy I drank, if I was sad I drank, if I was having a good day I drank, if I was having a bad day I drank, if it was just an average day I drank, I did not need an excuse to drink because it was just how I dealt with life. Today instead of drinking I utilize the 12 Steps to deal with the issues I would have drank at before and as for the rest of the time I have learned how to fill my time with other more meaningful things. I guess the point I am trying to make is regardless of whether you are straight, bisexual, gay or transgender what matters is working the Steps and learning to apply them to your life as those are what will help keep you sober and change your life. I realize there is fear around the 4th/5th Step because for most of us there is a lot of shame and pain in our secrets but the relief that one gets when they finally let go of the secrets and bring themselves fully into the light of day is well worth facing that fear. The feeling that we no longer have to hide or fear someone will find us out is such a relief. I encourage you to jump into Steps and do them so you can learn to apply them to your life each day. The short term pain and fear you will feel right now will be well worth it because of the relief you will feel and the tools you will have gained in the long run.

Also don't worry about labeling yourself, I think our society is too caught up in who other people fall in love with or sleep with when it is no ones business but the two people who are in bed together. I think there are a lot more bisexual people out there than people would care to admit. The world would be better off if people would just respect others privacy and live and let live.
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hi Hman, welcome.

I'm an 85/15, so I hear ya. I see sexuality as more of a continuum on a bell curve anyway and few are 100% died-in-the-wool this or that. I agree, our culture is too preoccupied with folks and their orientation, and the straight world makes it all about sex. As I explained to a straight friend: I could be a quadriplegic and I'd still be lesbian.

As for petering out on the steps...I was told if I'm having trouble with one step, it meant that there was an issue with my previous step, as each one upon completion should fuel me for the next. Trouble completing a step indicates that I need to go back a step, or steps, until I'm on solid ground again. I don't know if this applies here, as perhaps a sponsor you feel safer with might make a difference. I don't know.

My sponsor is straight, but I'm out and she's fine with it (I actually had a lesbian sponsor very briefly - she was not a good fit for me just as a person). As long as they're not bigoted, I don't care. But if you do, and many do care, I agree - check out some GLBTQ meetings maybe?

HTH - you're not alone. I agree that sobriety needs to be the highest priority...working the steps will help you iron out some of the shame around being just who you are and/or things from your past. There's a promise in the book that you may've come across: "We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it." You can have that promise, as well.
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:21 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone. Boy, companionship is very important. I've been a loner for my whole life because I never felt I totally fit in and though there's FAR more to my identity than sexuality, sexuality itself is a very powerful energy and karmic force. Thus, it's been this pink elephant in the living room of my soul for this whole time.

You're right Dylan. It's about a program, regardless of orientation. I guess what has made this challenging is that there are things, like drug usage, that I've felt bad about because they aren't good for me. But then there's this thing I feel bad about that isn't a bad thing. I guess, even there, there are parallels.

None of us is special, though we are special at the same time.

But I digress...

Warmly
H
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