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Discovering you're gay when you're an adult

I knew I was gay the second I went through puberty, because I knew I wanted to be close to other boys. I don't understand how full grown adults can discover their gayness when they're in their 20s, or later. Didn't they know who they were attracted to?

by Anonymousreply 3510/18/2020
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by Anonymousreply 110/17/2020

I’m with you, OP. Male sexuality is so simple. You’re attracted, your penis gets hard. That’s it. What’s to figure out?!

by Anonymousreply 210/17/2020

Forced religion scrambles a lot of young and impressionable people's brains.

by Anonymousreply 310/17/2020

I knew when HBO Real Sex taught me what gay was when I was 6. I watched whatever I wanted to in my room.

by Anonymousreply 410/17/2020

Some people just have a longer latency period. In the more innocent days of my adolescence (in the 70s), I felt romantically attracted to my girlfriend and my adolescent body responded to any physical contact. When we got into college and tried yo have sex, we both realized we were gay.

by Anonymousreply 510/17/2020

Yeah..."discovering".

by Anonymousreply 610/17/2020

Agree with you OP. Even as a small child I knew I was more interested in men and that I was going to marry a man one day. The fact that anyone ever questions their sexuality blows my mind - really, you didn’t know as soon as you had thoughts?? Women were never on my radar.

by Anonymousreply 710/17/2020

Less discovering and more like accepting ...

by Anonymousreply 810/17/2020

I welcome your thoughts.. John and Jill meet very young in college . A sexual relationship is fueled by drugs and alcohol. Conservative over involved families.

Long term marriage ,Getting high is a thing of the past .Sexless marriage . Jill figures well this is how it is . John blames her.

John abandons family abruptly. Finally self identified as pan sexual. Solid relationship with X :(male to female transgender. )

X maintains male identity at work, and with X’s family of origin for a long time. (X was married as well)

My guess but I don’t know shit:: oh fuck, you tell me

by Anonymousreply 910/17/2020

Agree OP. Not as frequent now. But in 90s, I was surprised how many seemed to honestly not realize they were gay until 20s. I knew when I was 5 or 6 - preadolescent. Puberty just confirmed it. I can’t imagine now knowing who I was at that intrinsic level until my 20s. Maybe some people aren’t introspective?

by Anonymousreply 1010/17/2020

[quote]knew I was gay the second I went through puberty

Geez, a later bloomer.

I figure it out around second grade...and KNEW to keep my mouth shut about it.

by Anonymousreply 1110/17/2020

I didn't have a name for it but I had crushes on men when I was 4 or 5.

by Anonymousreply 1210/17/2020

I don't have a name for it, but I have crushes on men who are 14 or 15.

by Anonymousreply 1310/17/2020

I have never not known I was gay, even before I understood the word gay. I just knew.

by Anonymousreply 1410/17/2020

I was about 11 when I knew I was much more attracted to men. By 13/14, I was full blown into men only... except boobs.. I love boobs!

by Anonymousreply 1510/17/2020

Well, it wasn't even an option for most people until the last 20-30 years. That's the progress of gay rights - we are visible, we are seen, we're not the deviants and devils they made us out to be.

Young people don't know how they good they have it. I'm 50 and it was no walk in the park in the 80's and 90's.

And, just to add, Marsha Johnson and Sylvia Rivera did nothing for us to get where we are.

by Anonymousreply 1610/17/2020

R8 hits the nail on the head. I can't remember a time when I wasn't attracted to men over women, but it took a long time to overcome the pressure and guilt from society (the 70s-80s). I didn't truly come out until after college. It is very telling that in my closeted fantasies I never wished I were straight -I just wished the guys I had fooled around with would forget it ever happened! Life got so much better once I accepted who I was, and that it wasn't going to change.

Sexually, today's youngsters have it a lot easier (though they certainly have their share of other shit to deal with)...

by Anonymousreply 1710/17/2020

There’s a guy I know in his early 30’s that is CLEARLY gay but he still hasn’t come out yet and still has beards. But he’s Italian so I guess he must be worried what his family will think since they are usually obsessed with all that macho shit.

by Anonymousreply 1810/17/2020

Everyone knows they’re gay when they’re young

They just deny the attraction because of how society treats gays

by Anonymousreply 1910/17/2020

I'm with you, OP. I knew I was gay by the time I was 10-and-a-half.

And there wasn't any real gay representation in the media in the mid 70s... I honestly thought I was alone and the only one for a while.

I cannot fathom how anyone can be clueless enough to not figure it out until their 20s, but I've met guys who INSISTED they had no clue until they were 20 or older.

by Anonymousreply 2010/17/2020

I think they know, they are just in deep denial. I honestly can’t remember a time when I didn’t know I was attracted to males. My first crush was Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and I was only about six. It’s weird because it wasn’t sexual, as I was a child, but he gave my stomach butterflies.

by Anonymousreply 2110/17/2020

I knew I was gay when I was 4, maybe before. How come some of you had to wait for puberty? Didn't you have crushes or erections in puberty?

by Anonymousreply 2210/17/2020

* in childhood?

by Anonymousreply 2310/17/2020

[R16] You’re just a few years older than me. When I read people talking about “within the last 20-30 years”, as far as gay life is concerned, this is how I understand the level of discord that exists among gay men. That’s not an accurate timeframe. Someone earlier commented about some gay men not being “introspective”. This lack of introspection, I believe, also contributed (contributes) to a lack of intellectual curiosity. When I first met my fellow gay men (in large numbers) by venturing out to the gay bars in the mid to late 90s, I realized we weren’t all on the same page,...... at all! Most individuals just seemed like they’d floated in. No idea about how we’d made this progress and where we’d come from in history. No idea of who they were themselves. As if they’d never opened a book in their lives. My “arrival, as a young adult, to the gay scene was anticlimactic. This would set the tone for my life, in relation to fellow gays, for years to come. The message I received in the gay community was that I needed to dial it back and dumb myself down.

by Anonymousreply 2410/18/2020

Well, let’s see — Dad died when I was 5 and I saw all the other kids having dads and I wanted one. Combine that with fear of AIDS and societal rejection and family rejection, and I didn’t have the traditional stereotypical characteristics of a flamer... I got stuck at the age of 5 so, yeah all that led to a delay in dealing with it

Meredith Baxter had 5 kids and 3 straight marriages before dealing with hers.

by Anonymousreply 2510/18/2020

I was kissing other boys on the cheek when I was five. I didn't think anything was wrong with it. Teachers did.

by Anonymousreply 2610/18/2020

I knew I was gay around 9 but it never occurred to be for some odd reason that two men could be together; once I was 18 and fell in love with a fellow student, only then did I start fantasizing about gay relationships and not just sex. Once I realized this, I was ready to come out. Even before that, when I was sexually attracted to another guy I would fantasize that I was a woman in a relationship with him. Bizarre I know, and if I was a teen today I wouldn't be shocked if I started believing I was trans.

by Anonymousreply 2710/18/2020

I lived a heterosexual lifestyle in my 20s, although I was attracted to pictures of nude men and gay porn. However, my cock never got hard when I met an attractive man in person as some of you say. And my cock did get hard time and time again with my girlfriends.

Sexuality is not as clear-cut as some of you think.

By the way, I'm exclusively gay now.

by Anonymousreply 2810/18/2020

I guess deep down I knew I was attracted to boys when I was younger, but I never included myself in my fantasies until I got older. And when I did know what I wanted, it took me a few more years to come out, but only to people who I trusted or who I knew were like me. The longer you stay in the closet, the harder it is to come out.

by Anonymousreply 2910/18/2020

I knew I found boys attractive in about the 4th grade (age 9). I knew I was gay for sure in high school but hid it. In college, I dated women and even had a three year relationship.

After we broke up and graduated, I finally came out a year or so later, accepting I shouldn’t hide it any longer

by Anonymousreply 3010/18/2020

Your mind can avoid thinking things through. I knew I was attracted to boys since I was 11. I didn’t acknowledge that this made me gay until I was 19.

by Anonymousreply 3110/18/2020

Probably a mix of denial and internalized homophobia.

by Anonymousreply 3210/18/2020

This thread so far is totally male-centered. For women, sexuality is much more complicated, and buried under so many layers of emotion that it is totally plausible that some don't recognize their underlying sexuality until adulthood (especially women who grew up before the 1990s).

Pretty much all girls "love" their female friends, and sexual issues aren't at the forefront, and I also believe that more women than men are bisexual. Also, some women who are genuinely straight are sexually frigid around men. So it's complicated for women, and I know several who really didn't recognize their homosexuality until their 20s, or even later if they had married and had children to keep them occupid and in denial.

by Anonymousreply 3310/18/2020

[quote]Pretty much all girls "love" their female friends

But that tends to provoke the exact opposite issue that OP is describing - straight people believing they're gay or bisexual, whereas OP is talking about gay people who've passed a large part of their lives believing they're straight.

Lisa Diamond, who's perhaps the most prolific author on the theme of female sexual fluidity, wrote that many teen girls falsely believe they're bisexual based on the fact that you mentioned in your post, that they feel love for their female friends, but then they grow out of that belief after recognizing they don't really feel lust towards those friends or any other women.

As a gay man who had mostly female friends in adolescence, I think I identify. In my teens, I crushed on two female classmates. But I never lost sight of the fact I was gay, because my actual sexual fantasies were about men, men only. I never desired the girls I crushed on, though I've always had a very lively sexuality, kissing another boy on the mouth when I was 4, getting a hard on to the sight of shirtless ripped guy also at the age of 4 of 5, having making-out fantasies about my best friend (another boy) from age 6, etc.

I do know, however, that many gay boys, unlike me, do use these "straight crushes", no matter how bereft of sexual feeling, as proof that they must be somewhat bi deep down.

In fact, I would add to Lisa Diamond's observation that not only straight women but also gay men are more likely than straight men or lesbians to fool themselves into believing they're bi.

by Anonymousreply 3410/18/2020

I think for some women the desire to have children is greater than their sexual desire. (and until recently lesbians didn't have kids)

A childhood neighbor of mine always had the hottest boyfriends. Dated older men. (high school boys when she was in junior high). Married a slick rich husband had two daughters.

Saw her on facebook and she is now a lesbian with a butch partner.

She's drop dead gorgeous too.

by Anonymousreply 3510/18/2020
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