Coming Out and Loving It- Gay Seniors
Coming out at any age can be difficult in an almost entirely heterosexual culture, even more so if you are a senior citizen. It’s difficult to embrace oneself in the first place, and even if you do, it might be difficult to come out to your family and friends.
We realize that it takes one so many years to finally do so, and we know how much it means to them to be accepted by the people they care about. They are not doing anything wrong; they are simply following their heart, which is bold. However, if the concept of being accepted is something you still aspire to, we are here to support you in this fulfilling journey. So, let’s get started!
Coming Out As Gay: Challenges
Why is there a plethora of doubts concomitant with coming out? Why do we feel as if we are jeopardizing the love of our family members when we come out as gay? As you are aware, the answer to that question spans generations and centuries of conventional ideologies in our society. We have deconstructed some of these challenges to help you gain a better understanding of what’s coming your way.
#1 Internalized Homophobia
This may be difficult for you to overcome because you may have been told your entire life to “man up” or “behave like a lady” and conform to a stereotypical norm of a male or female. It may be tough for you to accept yourself and your preferences as a result, which is completely natural. It’s normal to be skeptical, especially because you grew up in a time when being homosexual or marrying someone of the same gender was considered a crime. However, the fact that you recognize this and are self-aware enough to work on it is the first step toward overcoming these difficulties and you should remind yourself that it is this very internalized discomfort that stands in the way of your true self-acceptance.
#2 Fear Of Societal Views
You have spent half your life worrying about what other people will think of you, and now is the moment to put that to rest. You have probably completed all of your “duties” as a husband, wife, parent, or grandparent. It is time to start living for yourself. If you recognize this self-love, now is the moment to act on it! It is time to pay no heed to other peoples opinions since it does not matter! It is your time now, and the only thing that matters is love!
#3 Fear Of Acceptance
We recognize that many members of the LGBTQ+ community are afraid of being accepted if they come out. The cycle, however, must be broken. Why not take advantage of the opportunity? Why not start by sticking up for what you believe in? We are confident that if your family loves you, they will understand your feelings for someone else. You have to give it a shot since quitting before that does not make sense, does it?
#4 Fear Of Finding Relatability
If you are surrounded by heterosexuals and are afraid of coming out in front of them for obvious reasons, know that you are not alone. You never know who might be a positive ally, so giving it a go is essential. You never know; your small act of bravery may inspire someone else to be brave enough to come out as well!
#5 Overcoming Generational Trauma Seem Like A Task
Your personal perspectives must have been shaped by a roller coaster ride, and you can easily imagine the same for your friends and family. But that should not stop you from doing what you believe in and are passionate about. Take a big risk and go for it, this helps not just you but future generations too. Know that we are here for you now and in the future!
Some Tips On Coming Out As A Gay Senior Citizen
1. “Dare to Be Yourself” – Gone are the days when being discovered as homosexual resulted in incarceration in a mental hospital and shock therapy. In today’s day, it is acceptable to go against a set normative and be exactly who you are without fear of being reprimanded. Go, wear those different clothes, be with those you love and be yourself, unapologetically.
2.”Be Patient with Your Family” – It can take time to accept any newly uncloseted family member, especially if you are older, and others around you have gotten used to your preference being a certain way. Give them time and space to process this. Help them understand your perspective, eventually, if they care for you, they will come around. At the core of it all, people must be forgiven for being human.
3.”Don’t Let Worry Take the Fun Out of Life” – Yes, coming out to your family and friends is a serious affair, especially given the potential emotional repercussions. But, at the end of the day, you have to live with yourself. So love yourself enough to have fun and enjoy your life, with or without anyone’s approval. Life is supposed to be lived, and happiness is meant to be found by all.
Ways To Help You Feel Grounded
We understand that it can be overwhelming. So, here are some methods to help you feel grounded, which will only provide you with enough strength to get you through this turbulent process. Scroll down to read through some ideas that may help you find solace in difficult circumstances.
1. Surround yourself with supportive allies
2. Befriend people who understand you
3. Read up books on similar experiences
4. Find solace using various LGBTQ+ resources
5. Talk to a therapist about your inner turmoil
Coming out is a human right and a step closer to happiness. We encourage it and will be there for you every step of the way. You deserve love, and it doesn’t matter if it comes from a senior man or woman. You will eventually be accepted by the people you care about. But you have to begin somewhere. Make it known that you are a fiery lover who fully believes in yourself!
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Frequently Asked Questions
What age is too late to come out as gay?
No age is too late to love and express yourself the way you are. You can come out as gay at any age, no matter how old you get.
Should I avoid coming out as gay to avoid troubles with my family?
You have served the family in varying capacities. Coming out and being your true self is the least you can do for yourself, and an understanding family will act as support pillars.
As a senior, will coming out as gay negatively impact my relationship with my partner?
It can be difficult in the beginning, but your long-term partner is likely to be supportive of your inner state. They will eventually embrace and love you for whoever you are. It may need open-hearted discussions, but it isn’t an unapproachable situation.