Why am i gay why me
"I suppressed my homosexuality"
Do you remember the moment when you realized yourself that you like men and not women?
For me it wasn't a specific moment, but more of a process. The older I got, the more I noticed: «I guess that's how it is». This increasing insight was primarily characterized by feelings of fear and shame.
Was it already clear to you as a little boy that you tick “differently” from the others?
No, just the opposite. I grew up in a large family in a rural area. For a long time I didn't even know that homosexuality existed. At some point in school I was confronted with it. It was above all something abstract, almost sick - and above all something completely alien. After all, I didn't know anyone who was gay. For example, I remember a situation in sixth grade when we were allowed to listen to the radio in the handicraft and the then new song "I kissed a girl" was played by Katy Perry. We discussed the fact that because of the lyrics this song must have been sung by a man, but the voice sounds feminine. In high school, homosexuality was mainly used as an insult in the schoolyard. I even took part in it myself, which of course I regret.
When did the thought of homosexuality first come up?
That was at that time. But I dismissed it as adolescent confusion. I thought I couldn't be gay because I was "completely normal". After all, I also liked to play football, didn't like pink clothes and so on - my image of homosexuals was of course totally clichéd at the time. That was a long time of repressing my homosexuality. If I had homosexual fantasies, I was extremely ashamed. But the topic just wouldn't let me go, no matter how much I wanted to. What I still have left: I was brought up Catholic and was still a believer at the time. I prayed every night at times that I wasn't gay. In teaching, the situation remained similar, I was always afraid of being gay because I just couldn't get these thoughts away. Admitted to myself, but I didn't. The social pressure is simply very great at this age.
Have you had any experiences with girls?
I didn't want to appear as a coward in front of my colleagues and that's why I also gained some experience with girls, yes. Actually, I didn't really want to, but then there were very liberating moments because I believed that I had proven to myself that I am not gay. After my apprenticeship, at 19, I went abroad for a few months. I had time to deal with myself. At some point I admitted to myself that I had to be at least bisexual. That was kind of like my inner coming out. At the time, however, I was still firmly convinced that I would never tell anyone. I thought, "If I'm really gay, I'll stay the rest of my life alone in the wilderness or go to a monastery". Actually, it was only a happy coincidence that got me ahead. In a sports camp that took place a few months later, whenever someone used the swear word “fagot”, a colleague would remark that he might be gay. That was of course THE big issue in this camp. In the following time I was able to talk to him about this topic for the first time. And since I liked him very well, suddenly it was no longer just “funny” people who could be considered homosexuals.
Who did you talk to first about your homosexuality?
At some point I spoke to my sister about the subject. She was completely surprised, like everyone around me. It was very emotional. At first she was certainly a bit overwhelmed. But luckily she responded positively. At that point it was very important.
In your opinion, are people born gay or raised to be gay?
I grew up totally heteronormative - that's precisely why it took me so long to come out. But I am therefore fully convinced that you are born homosexual. I like to compare homosexuality to being left-handed or right-handed. In the past, left-handers were also reeducated, although it is completely natural and, above all, not that different at all.
How did your family and those around you react to your coming out?
Generally positive. The fear and the stress were huge at the beginning before every outing. I firmly expected to be cast out from friends or relatives. Fortunately, that was not the case. My mother was a bit disappointed at first, it wasn't easy for her. But it speaks for her that she has jumped so much beyond her shadow and is now even campaigning for the rights of homosexuals. My siblings are all very liberal anyway. My friends also responded positively. I liked the statement from a colleague who said that I was basically always gay, even before I told him about it - so nothing about our friendship changes for him.
Were there any hostile comments?
The only negative reaction actually came from my grandma. She said it wasn't necessary now, because there were enough nice girls. But today I don't hold it against her - she is a bit older and actually has a big heart.
Have you had any other negative experiences?
For one thing, the process up to the outing was very negative. I was really extremely afraid and ashamed. Insults against gays were part of everyday life at school. The topic was hushed up in the family for a long time. Now a lot is positive and of course I am much more self-confident. Nevertheless, there are always negative experiences. When I'm out with my boyfriend, I've seen insults, people with contemptuous looks or reactions. When I kissed my boyfriend, someone shouted various insults from the car. Another time an older woman hissed at us that it was "scary". What worries me, of course, are acts of violence that gays I know have experienced. But sometimes there are also very small things that can hardly be put into words. Men who become more distant when you come out or people who assume that I like shopping because I'm gay. Such things are of course not that bad, but they are annoying overall.
How tolerant is today's society with gays and lesbians?
It always depends on the perspective. Compared to before, many things are very good today. Straight people also stand up for the rights of homosexuals - I am grateful for that. Still, I think the situation is anything but good. On the one hand, this shows for me in the fact that I know many homosexuals who do not dare to come out. They lead a double life for years. On the other hand, homophobia shows up again and again in everyday life. As soon as I am strolling through a city with my boyfriend holding hands, people turn to us - many don't mean that, but it shows you that it is not yet normal in the minds of many people. That is why it is so important that many homosexuals come out. I had an experience worth mentioning a year ago in Rapperswil. I was sitting on a bench by the lake with my boyfriend and I hugged him. A family of four walked past us and stared at us in complete amazement, then they stopped a few meters after us and discussed within earshot whether we were really gay. You feel like an animal in the zoo. At the legal level, I am not satisfied in Switzerland either. The Swiss Federal Constitution says: “Everyone is equal before the law”. Then why am I not allowed to marry?
Is it more difficult or easier to encounter tolerance depending on your origin and religion?
Yes, in any case. There are countries that know the death penalty for homosexuality. For people from these countries, tolerance is not easy. It is also more difficult in rural areas and religious circles. I know a few homosexuals who grew up in totally open families. For them, the outing wasn't a problem at all.
Even today, "gay" is used as a swear word. How do you feel about it?
I know that this is often not meant in a bad way, but it still remains hurtful. I then often speak to the person in a friendly manner. Most of them understand that immediately.
What do you think of these prejudices? "Gays are fewer men than straight men!"
I know many gays who fit the classic image of masculinity. However, these often do not show up or are simply not noticed. It is certainly exciting that, since my outing, I have had different expectations regarding my masculinity. That makes it easier to show weaknesses from time to time. I find this masculinity debate a bit out of date anyway. In a society with equal rights nobody has to behave particularly male or female. It is important that everyone can be themselves.
"Gays are overly sensitive and active!"
For me there are no “gays”. There are just different people. Ultimately, sexual orientation is only a small part of us. Of course there are sensitive homosexuals, a grueling outing process can of course encourage that. Fortunately, there are also sensitive heterosexuals.
"Sex is what counts for gays!"
I think sexuality is very individual. With both heterosexuals and homosexuals, there are people who - especially at a young age - focus on sex. For others, love and monogamy are more important.
"In a gay relationship there is always one woman!"
A common prejudice. My boyfriend and I are both into men, so nobody is "the woman". Being a woman will often show weakness and equate sensitivity - a view that I don't share anyway. I am convinced that in every partnership, regardless of sexuality, it should be possible to show weaknesses and both should be able to hug the partner.
"Gays shouldn't be allowed to raise children!"
Before I came out, I often heard the phrase that I would definitely become a great father one day. I think that's still true, so I don't understand. I believe that the most important thing for a child is that they receive love and attention - gender doesn't matter. I often hear the reason: "Homosexuals shouldn't have children because they would be bullied in school". But that is a problem for society that the school should address. I am convinced that the problem would be resolved quickly.
How do you think tolerance for homosexuals will change in the next few years?
I hope it improves. Such dynamics, however, depend on contexts that I cannot assess. Are conservative currents gaining traction again or is the liberalization of society continuing? What effects is the coronavirus having on the world, are there crises that also set us back on these issues? I can’t answer it. I tend to be cautiously optimistic about how to deal with homosexuality, at least in Western Europe. Above all, it is important to educate and educate society. It really needs to be improved, however. Today, the suicide rate among homosexual adolescents is four times higher than that of heterosexual peers!
What would you like from society?
In everyday life I wish for two things: On the one hand, moral courage when they experience homophobia. It is incredibly important that straight people get involved when homosexuals are insulted or threatened. I also hope that many will rethink their everyday language, as this reproduces social inequality. It is so often assumed that everyone is heterosexual. It would be important to show children in particular that both are okay. For example, you can sometimes ask your new work colleague whether he has a husband or a wife. It is particularly important to children and adolescents to show linguistically that it is normal and okay to be homosexual.
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