Is it sometimes more appropriate to hide your sexuality?

Talk about anything and everything.

Are there ever times where it is polite to actively hide your sexuality?

Yes
9
64%
No
5
36%
 
Total votes : 14

Is it sometimes more appropriate to hide your sexuality?

Unread postby Marmaduke » 3 July 2019, 20:18

So, for context, I wear an Apple Watch. Cliché that I am, I’ve been wearing it this month with the pride band. However, when I go swimming after work, I change it for a plain black sport loop. I do this purely because the pride band is woven and the sport loop is plastic. It’s a practical choice. Today, however, I forgot and didn’t notice until I’d already started swimming.

When I got back to the changing room, I was suddenly very acutely aware that I was flaunting my sexuality whilst naked in a room full of presumably straight men, many of whom were also in a state of undress. I’m pretty sure one guy noticed it and his body language changed, I got the impression that I had made him self-conscious. It felt unnecessary. Moreover, I felt like I was in the wrong for wearing it, I felt like I was being impolite. It was the first time that I can remember that my own sexuality has made me uncomfortable in a room.

I hadn’t done it deliberately, I wasn’t actively trying to portray myself as gay, but nevertheless my sexuality was apparent and was apparently making at least one person less comfortable in a space than they were.

It being the first time I’ve felt a certain way, it’s played on my mind and I’ve debated it with myself, but I’m curious as to where you stand; had I - however genuinely and innocently - made a mistake for which it was appropriate for me to feel a degree of guilt? Or do you think their discomfort is a matter largely of their own making?

I think I’m minded that I was in the wrong. I went into a place where people have a reasonable expectation to feel comfortable and I introduced an element of sexuality into a scenario in which it didn’t belong. Yes, their discomfort was likely largely rooted in an offensive and stereotypical assumption that I will objectify and desire any dick swung in front of me (Incidentally, I very much would not. They were mostly retirement-aged gentleman and I was making a deliberate effort to see only the absolute minimum I had to) but I had created the context in which it could present.

I will not make the same mistake again and will not wear that strap to the gym because I feel it is impolite. Agree or disagree? Do you have any different examples of when you’ve felt a similar way, or can you imagine a different situation in which you might?

Or just ignore me.
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Re: Is it sometimes more appropriate to hide your sexuality?

Unread postby erti » 3 July 2019, 20:38

Well, when I was in middle school I was pretty sure I was sexually attracted to women but I didn't come out until I was in high school as lesbian/bisexual (I came out as a bisexual first... then lesbian... then bisexual again lol...confused much?). I kept it to myself mainly for my own safety. Not because it made people uncomfortable. Especially changing in the locker room with other girls. Then one day a few girls thought it was too gay to do something in gym class and stated that they're not going to do that activity because it require touching another person (it was an all girl gym class). It was then I felt uncomfortable because they were disgusted at the thought of touching another girl in a nonsexual way and felt like if I mention anything about being attracted to women it would set off major bullying. As much as I want to say it shouldn't matter if the person is uncomfortable knowing your sexuality in a locker room... I'd be more concern about your safety if one decided you were hitting on them and try to fight you because they're ignorant and think every gay men is going to hit on them. I may be behind the times and being gay is still somewhat taboo here it seems. At least with those who wave the rebel flag and call themselves a redneck or christian and there was a lot of people like that here. Even in the city.
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Re: Is it sometimes more appropriate to hide your sexuality?

Unread postby Pigeon Valley » 3 July 2019, 21:37

That's a difficult question. Ethically, it really does depend on your own point of view.

The situation you raise is one in which you can either be (in some manner) honest or considerate. There is no right answer particularly on what to do correctly - if you are honest, you are at risk of making others uncomfortable, and if you are considerate, while not overtly dishonest, you are attempting to hide your truly-felt attraction for men. As I say, neither answer is right or wrong.

As you say, these men were older, and so there was no element of true attraction for them (as far as I have read). As such, I'd say that if you feel safe sharing your sexuality in such a situation, as in, you're not in danger for actually doing it, then the only barrier for that is their own ignorance. Perhaps they have never met another openly gay person before, or perhaps their position is deeply rooted in bigotry, but if you feel comfortable sharing your sexuality on the street, to be honest, I don't see why it should be made uncomfortable anywhere else. That's just my two cents, and if it sounds like the semi-philosophical mewlings of a 12 year old on twitter, many apologies.
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Re: Is it sometimes more appropriate to hide your sexuality?

Unread postby mxguy01 » 3 July 2019, 21:51

I'm voting no.

First , for what it is worth and believe it or not, I'm (or at least was) horribly private about my sexual life.

I always like to ask others questions to get to my point rather than state my point. So I started asking myself some questions. Should a black person have to remove any small, minor fashion accessory that identifies he aligns with the ACLU, should pro-gun people have to remove their NRA stickers from their trucks.

So my answer is no. I don't expect others to have to hide who they are, I shouldn't either. and I count in life. I have the right to use the shower/bathroom just like anyone else. In my case, maybe it's just that I've hidden for too long and can't do that anymore. At this point in my life if anyone expresses any kind of hate, homophobia or call it anything you want, I will take a stand.

As far as someone feeling uncomfortable about it in that specific situation, they need to get over it. You did nothing to make them react that way. That's on them.

So anything done just being plain reasonable, no. Now, enter the shower with .... (enough of a point made without being explicit for a change).
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Re: Is it sometimes more appropriate to hide your sexuality?

Unread postby Yeauxleaux » 4 July 2019, 01:20

In that particular situation, I wouldn't want to wear a pride band. I don't think many people really care these days, at least here in The UK. However, I'd be worried they think I'm trying to signal and find a guy for a public quickie in the toilets. I just don't want people thinking that about me. There is a (not totally unfounded, unfortunately) stereotype about how gay men get a freaky on in public places. I don't wanna do anything that might add to that image in any way. We have quite enough gay men actually doing that.

However when it comes to things like being out at work or something, then no I don't think gay people should be expected to just not talk about it. Especially if every straight co-worker can discuss their partners/spouses and dating lives so naturally in conversation. What I'm not gonna do, when it comes up naturally in conversation anyway, is pretend I'm some sexless frigid virgin with no romantic life of my own. I think most people these days find that weirder than being gay anyway.

I'm out at work. I don't rub it in peoples' faces constantly but they know. Most of them seem pretty cool, even some of the more stereotypical "frat bro" type straight guys are honestly really good about it. There's a couple religious guys who I sense are uncomfortable with it but whatever, fuck them, they're just a couple among literally dozens of others who are cool so.

Also remember, nobody ever changed anyone's minds about gay people by hiding it and being silent. It takes gay people being out, and showing how normal most of us honestly are, to create change.
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Re: Is it sometimes more appropriate to hide your sexuality?

Unread postby Jzone » 4 July 2019, 01:54

Yeauxleaux wrote:Also remember, nobody ever changed anyone's minds about gay people by hiding it and being silent. It takes gay people being out, and showing how normal most of us honestly are, to create change.

I couldn't have said it better than Yeauxleaux. I think you (Marmaduke) are probably being overly self-conscious about the situation. Remember — the discomfort you perceived was your own projection and may not be accurate at all as to what the other guy was thinking. I would also suggest that for every man of retirement age in the locker room who felt at all uncomfortable seeing your rainbow band, there could also be an equal number who thought how great it is that your generation feels more comfortable showing their pride. If I saw a guy in the locker room wearing a rainbow band, I wouldn't assume he was looking to hook up.

How polite or appropriate it may be really depends on your community. Some areas are much further along in acceptance than others. Your sensitivity due to the setting is certainly worth considering, and there is no need to challenge people around you when that is not your agenda.
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Re: Is it sometimes more appropriate to hide your sexuality?

Unread postby mxguy01 » 4 July 2019, 02:45

Jzone wrote:
Yeauxleaux wrote:Also remember, nobody ever changed anyone's minds about gay people by hiding it and being silent. It takes gay people being out, and showing how normal most of us honestly are, to create change.

I couldn't have said it better than Yeauxleaux. ...there could also be an equal number who thought how great it is that your generation feels more comfortable showing their pride. ...


I feel pretty strong about both those comments. When watching the movie Milk, the scene where he basically forced the one individual to out himself to his parents, saying that they all needed to do that, struck me as wrong. But right along with that Milk (in the movie) also stated its for the future generations to not have to be afraid to do so. The latter kept nagging at me because it's true. I've got the part over where I did it for me. Now I pretty much do it for that reason. Plus I am on the hunt (joking and not joking there). Hey, if a gay guy walks up to me and signals some interest, I'm down for coffee and seeing where it goes. Now if a straight guy propositions me for sex in the gym I'm going to make a complete freaking idiot out of him in front of everyone to the best of my ability. Something like loudly saying "Really you want sex here, from me, what kind of <bleep> idiot degenerate are you" in front of everyone and then walk away. I highly doubt I'd be held in disregard by what I consider normal people in doing that.

I'm happy to have found my Pride. It was completely lost to me for all those years. Taken away actually - I admit that to myself now. It was not my choice but I was forced into that. No more. Like I was never accepted all those years, I will no longer accept any homophobia. Gay lives Matter and we have been and continue to be told, even publicly, that we don't. People that is not acceptable. Certainly a lot of progress has been made (none of it by me) but the fight is far from over IMO. I have a variety of pride bracelets. I wear them every day.

I've talked about not being out at the MX track for fear of safety. But honestly I'm working on that one too. I do wear my bracelet but it's underneath the long sleeve shirt. But I think a couple people may have noticed. Just not sure. Hopefully it turns out like the rest of my coming out and I can look back and say I really didn't have that much to fear. So what I'm saying here is I understand we all have to work our way though this stuff.
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Re: Is it sometimes more appropriate to hide your sexuality?

Unread postby Derek » 4 July 2019, 03:15

If we're just talking about a pride band, I'd say there's no situation where wearing it would be "impolite". People know other people are gay. It's not a question of politeness, it's just reality. If it makes them uncomfortable, it's their problem.
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Re: Is it sometimes more appropriate to hide your sexuality?

Unread postby mxguy01 » 4 July 2019, 04:09

erti wrote:... and being gay is still somewhat taboo here it seems. At least with those who wave the rebel flag and call themselves a redneck or christian and there was a lot of people like that here. Even in the city.


Funny I did notice your location before but since you brought it up, yeah I get it as I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA not very far from you. People think the (deep) south is homophobic; they should try living in the rust belt. Imagine what it was like as a kid in the late 60's and early 70's. I did not know a single soul who was "out"; there was a reason for that.

^ Just saying I hear you.
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Re: Is it sometimes more appropriate to hide your sexuality?

Unread postby Iamjava » 4 July 2019, 05:04

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Re: Is it sometimes more appropriate to hide your sexuality?

Unread postby rogonandi » 4 July 2019, 07:25

I don’t think it’s anything to worry about. It’s not like you grabbed someone’s ass...that would be impolite. :P
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Re: Is it sometimes more appropriate to hide your sexuality?

Unread postby Catatonic » 4 July 2019, 10:00

Fuck what other people think. Live how you want to live. Just don't leak other peoples nudes in the process.
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Re: Is it sometimes more appropriate to hide your sexuality?

Unread postby erti » 4 July 2019, 10:33

mxguy01 wrote:
erti wrote:... and being gay is still somewhat taboo here it seems. At least with those who wave the rebel flag and call themselves a redneck or christian and there was a lot of people like that here. Even in the city.


Funny I did notice your location before but since you brought it up, yeah I get it as I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA not very far from you. People think the (deep) south is homophobic; they should try living in the rust belt. Imagine what it was like as a kid in the late 60's and early 70's. I did not know a single soul who was "out"; there was a reason for that.

^ Just saying I hear you.


I glad I've never lived in the 60's and 70's. Ohio is weird... We have a lot of big cities but the more south you go the more "country" and mountain(y) you get like West Virginia and Kentucky. The city I'll admit are usually more accepting and the more south of Ohio you go the more people will disagree and hate you for your "lifestyle" choices. I'm inclined to tell those folks to go fuck themselves but that'll be rude? In the cities (usually bad parts of town) it's viewed as weak to be a gay man and when a man feels like they're being hit on by a man they are likely try to fight you.
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Re: Is it sometimes more appropriate to hide your sexuality?

Unread postby poolerboy0077 » 4 July 2019, 12:06

No. But wearing this might be:

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Re: Is it sometimes more appropriate to hide your sexuality?

Unread postby Jryski » 6 July 2019, 02:19

It really depends on where you are. It's totally necessary to hide your sexuality sometimes but in your case I don't think hiding is necessary. At the end of the day its really up to you.
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Re: Is it sometimes more appropriate to hide your sexuality?

Unread postby uncut7in » 6 July 2019, 09:45

There are plenty of straight people who are supportive of the Pride movement, so I don't think that wearing it means you are flaunting your gayness.
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Re: Is it sometimes more appropriate to hide your sexuality?

Unread postby ShutUpAndBeHappy » 6 July 2019, 18:17

I don't think this is an issue of hiding being gay. I think you are really asking if there are times when expressing our sexual identity is inappropriate. I feel there are spaces where expressing and drawing attention to our sexuality is not in anyone's best interest - for example, at work in a medical field dealing with patients who need strict boundaries.

I think leaving your pride band on in the locker room is very different, and I don't think it should be a big deal to anyone. No guilt necessary, you just forgot to change into your sports band but still wanted to track your swim. Everyone else can fuck off, it's just a locker room where people should be minding their own business, anyway.
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Re: Is it sometimes more appropriate to hide your sexuality?

Unread postby ShutUpAndBeHappy » 6 July 2019, 18:29

erti wrote:
mxguy01 wrote:
erti wrote:... and being gay is still somewhat taboo here it seems. At least with those who wave the rebel flag and call themselves a redneck or christian and there was a lot of people like that here. Even in the city.


Funny I did notice your location before but since you brought it up, yeah I get it as I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA not very far from you. People think the (deep) south is homophobic; they should try living in the rust belt. Imagine what it was like as a kid in the late 60's and early 70's. I did not know a single soul who was "out"; there was a reason for that.

^ Just saying I hear you.


I glad I've never lived in the 60's and 70's. Ohio is weird... We have a lot of big cities but the more south you go the more "country" and mountain(y) you get like West Virginia and Kentucky. The city I'll admit are usually more accepting and the more south of Ohio you go the more people will disagree and hate you for your "lifestyle" choices. I'm inclined to tell those folks to go fuck themselves but that'll be rude? In the cities (usually bad parts of town) it's viewed as weak to be a gay man and when a man feels like they're being hit on by a man they are likely try to fight you.


Here in Colorado it's much easier. We did just elect our first openly gay governor (who I am proud to say I voted for!) The only place where people are totally different is Colorado Springs. It's like a little conservative Evangelical Republican bubble. The rest of the state is extremely chill, less so in the country but that's everywhere I feel.

If ever I was to move out of Colorado it would be further west (except Utah - fuck Utah).
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Re: Is it sometimes more appropriate to hide your sexuality?

Unread postby René » 6 July 2019, 19:23

I don't see wearing it in those circumstances as impolite per se. Certainly there is a thoughtfulness (and therefore politeness) in doing your best not to make anyone uncomfortable...which is exactly what you've been doing (and are clearly continuing to do and probably only getting better at). I wouldn't feel guilty. :)
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Re: Is it sometimes more appropriate to hide your sexuality?

Unread postby PopTart » 10 July 2019, 10:13

TL:DR:
So I wouldn't say it's appropriate to "hide" ones sexuality, but I think there can be times it is appropriate or atleast acceptable, to not have to shout about it. Knowing if your decision comes from a place of shame about your sexuality or a place of comfort and contentment in it and a lack of need for others to know, defines whether the reasoning is healthy or not.

Long version:
I voted yes (conditionally, which I'll get to) but not in relation to your example in specific Marmaduke.

I think I agree largely with most people here, in that you were just going about your day and having the band on when you did, wasn't overt or gratuitous in any fashion, Yeauxleaux and Jzone said it, some of that discomfort is your own, assuming what this other person was thinking. I do think it's commendable that you place such an emphasis on the consideration of others comfort, that speaks very highly of you, in my opinion. :3 But such consideration is a courtesy on your part, that speaks to your quality and respect for others. Not an imperative or requirement to hide yourself.

I guess the real question is, did you in that instant, feel embarrased or ashamed because of your sexuality or because you felt it might be percieved that you were flaunting it? Would it be a problem for you, if you were flaunting it?

I would certainly hope you weren't ashamed or embarrased for your sexuality, I can't imagine that being the case adn I suspect that perhaps it was more the nature of "show" that you felt uncomfortable with and the impact it might have had on those around you.

Having been out for a very long time, more than half my life, I have come to feel that I don't have a need to declare myself quite as much as I did, in my youth, when I was newly minted "Queer" :P I was both frightened and exhilarated to be out, I wanted everyone to know, I wanted to explore my identity as an openly gay man and I can safely say I tried the who camp persona, all the stereotypes of the subculture and did so as publicly as I could. I wore rainbow things, I had little flag pins and made sure people knew I was gay, it was all part of that self affirming, self exploration and need to be seen to be living my life without shame and hiding.

I bet alot of gay people go through the same experience in varying degrees.

But now I'm older and I have a better idea of who I am, both in my sexuality and in other aspects of life, I no longer feel the need to be on display all the time.

Make no mistake, I have no shame, will talk to anyone at almost anytime about my sexuality and experiences, in as much detail as someone seems comfortable with (sometimes a tad more to boot :facepalm2: ) I'm out everywhere I go, but at the same time, I don't declare myself beyond that which is obvious for those that can tell, by the things I say or don't say and I never deny it if asked. But I don't broadcast it either, because I don't need to. I don't require the affirmation or validation that we all so often do, when we first come to a new awakening of our sexual divergence from the norm.

Yet there are times I do think it's not really necassary to be "Out on Display" Either because it is politic, prudent, mindful of others that might be umcomfortable etc. There can be alot of valid reasons to not have to declare ourselves, if we don't want to. We have the luxury of not having to be on campaign all of the time. Thanks to those generations that came before, being on campaign all the time!

I don't wear pride flags or obviously gay symbols, largely, because I find that I don't need to lead with my sexual lifestyle choices, when out in the world and I suppose I associate them with youthful excuberance and the need to be declarative to the world, to be recognised and acknowledged for something. I don't have that need anymore, I've outgrown it with time. I'm happy and comfortable in my sexuality, knowing it's bounds and perimeters. Largely uncaring of others accepting it or not, so long as I'm afforded the same protections and privileges under the law.

So I wouldn't say it's appropriate to "hide" ones sexuality, but I think there can be times it is appropriate or atleast acceptable, to not have to shout about it. Knowing if your decision comes from a place of shame about your sexuality or a place of comfort and contentment in it and a lack of need for others to know, defines whether the reasoning is healthy or not.

Sorry I meander more than usual here, I'm still on morphine, typing is hard, thinking harder. :D
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