How do I get out as gay?

Queer knows that (32) : When did you notice your homosexuality?

When exactly did you realize that you were gay? RĂ¼diger, Friedrichshain

It is very different. There are gays who claim that they knew they were into men when they were four or five years old. Whereby - at least according to my personal assessment - one or the other will be interpreted tendentiously or overemphasized in later years.

I know that from myself: After all, your own identity should be plausible, the past a stringent narrative. So I also liked to explain my Martina Navratilova Fantum from the eighties retrospectively as a hidden reference to my later being a lesbian. The fact that the enthusiasm initially had sporting reasons - Navratilova played much more attractively than the baseline boredom Steffi Graf - I put aside in this explanation.

That is why I am skeptical of such subsequent interpretations today. In any case, I only really understood my preferred direction of desire when I fell in love with a fellow student at the age of 21 and she fell in love with me.

The realization is usually felt to be stressful at first

Most lesbians and gays, however, already notice in puberty that they are more into people of their own than those of the opposite sex. Often this is followed by a phase of confusion and inner struggle, because this knowledge is often felt to be stressful and sometimes denied at first. Understandable: "Schwule Sau" and "Schwuchtel" are still top swear words in school playgrounds, and lesbians are not exactly celebrated there either. Young homosexuals cannot expect a positive reaction from parents and friends either.

This is why the process of coming out internally, i.e. the admission of homosexuality to oneself, is difficult, which is also shown in the fact that suicide attempts and suicides are far more common in homosexual teenagers than in heterosexual teenagers.

Many lesbians and gays have tried straight sex

That is not to say that young homosexuals generally experience traumatic puberty. But for many there is an additional challenge in a time that is already characterized by uncertainty and upheaval. In addition, puberty is often a time of experimentation where the lines blur. For example, people who later live as heterosexuals try out sex with same-sex partners. Conversely, many gays and lesbians have heterosexual experiences during this period.

By the way, we jokingly call everyone who never deviated from the queer path in bed, "Gold Stars". That should not devalue those who discovered their homo side only later. Because in the end we are all stars and starlets under the rainbow.

Episode 31: Doesn't Berlin have a Lebsenbar?

Episode 30: What is it like to come here as a gay refugee?

Episode 29: Coming out as an adult - youth given away?

Episode 28: Are you having an argument in the scene?

Episode 27: Is it difficult for gays to find a steady partner?

Episode 26: Is there a gay lobby?

This text first appeared in the printed Saturday supplementMore Berlin.

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