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This blog is a hate-free place, dedicated to the spreading of awareness and understanding of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Community, their shame experiences and their potential to be resilient. Our goal is to increase your empathy and compassion.

We do not claim to be experts on this topic, however, we recognize the importance of sharing what we can in the hope that at least one person feels compelled to re-evaluate their thoughts, feelings and perceptions.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Giving Shame a Voice: Steve

This is the fourth edition of our Giving Shame a Voice series.

Read, and learn.

We hope this brings you one step closer to understanding the shame experienced in the GLBT Community, and an even larger step closer to developing empathy and compassion for them.

1. When did you first know that you were gay?

I knew I was “different” around second grade (age 8). I didn’t label myself as gay till 17.

2. Have you ever felt shame?

Not shame, more fear of people hating me. Now I am just disappointed in people who have homophobia.

3. When, and how, did you become aware that you were experiencing shame?

I never felt ashamed. I started having sexual relations with other guys my age around 14, so for me, it just sort of happened. There was nothing to feel ashamed about. It felt very natural.

4. Describe a time when you felt isolated or alone in the world?

During my teenage years when I was carrying around the weight of the world. The fear of the unknown. Not understanding the reasons for being homosexual. It usually happened at night while laying in bed.

5. Explain a time when you weren't comfortable with yourself. When, or how, did you get to a place where you eventually were?

My entire teenage years I was uncomfortable. It wasn’t until I established a friendship with a heterosexual male and he accepted my homosexuality with zero issue did I feel confident that there is nothing inferior with me (around age 19). The acceptance of my heterosexual male peers is what allowed me to become 100% confident with myself and in my sexuality.

6. If you could go back and see yourself at a time when you were experiencing shame and darkness, what would you say to your past self?

"You are a very good person with a good heart and you will always love yourself."

7. What stereotypes apply to the GLBT Community? Have you ever been the victim of such labels?

Flamboyant dress style, particular way of speaking, feminine men, butch girls.
Yes, I have been a victim of such labels. I ignore them when they happen then detox with friends afterward. Some people are ignorant and I realize they just don’t understand and aren’t worth dealing with.