If any of you guys or ladies are still in the closet about your sexuality, even in this day and age when it’s a lot more accepted than it was when I was growing up…I assume you have your reasons. And if any of your guys or ladies came out of the closet about your sexuality, to live free and feel comfortable in your own skin…I assume that you have your reasons as well. I mean, there’s no ‘right or wrong’ here, it just depends on who you are and what you feel. But…what happens when the proverbial irresistible force runs into an immovable object?

Basically, what do you do if you meet someone that you find truly beautiful, funny, intelligent, and caring…who shares a ton of your common interests…and you two find yourselves on opposite ends of that socially acceptable fence? Can it work? And if so…for how long?

I mean, if you’re out and proud…can you be fully happy with someone who isn’t comfortable with having other people know about their sexual preference? And if you’re in the closet…can you be fully happy with someone who doesn’t see your biggest secret as ‘no big deal’ and wants to be openly affectionate when you’re in public? What do you guys think about this one?

They are two different ideologies, and some people can make it work, but others can’t. Where do YOU, personally, stand on this? Can a relationship like this work without an eventual power dynamic getting involved, with one side trying to get the other to loosen up, and the other side trying to get the other to tone it down? Have any of you been involved in a similar situation? Spread some wisdom! Hehehe, I’m sure that a lot of people, especially the younger teens reading, could use the help!

As always, anonymous responses are more than welcome! And if you want to put your two cents in, it would be great to see things from your perspective! So let us know what you think! And thanks in advance!

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“Hmmmm…do I think that it can work?

Honestly? The optimist in me wants to think that love beats all, and anything is possible. But, truthfully, I don’t think that it can work out, ultimately. Not for most people.

I mean, I’m not going to say that it hasn’t worked in the past for some loving couples who have gotten together and found some kind of middle ground that’s comfortable for the both of them. So…never say never, you know?

But at the same time…being attracted to the same sex is a pretty big part of who you are as a person. It’s not the ONLY part, but it’s a pretty big issue. So, whether you’re in or out of the closet…I don’t know how both parties can be mutually happy and satisfied with the whole situation, because either side would have to sacrifice a fundamental part of who they are as a person. I feel like that always leads to friction and conflicts further down the road, whether the couple is totally in love or not.

I feel like there’s always going to be a struggle for the ‘out’ guy to PULL his boyfriend into the light, and the ‘closeted’ guy is going to be constantly trying to convince his boyfriend that it’s nobody else’s business. And how can that not lead to big problems in the relationship later on? They are two different ideologies about life in general, and they both have reasons for feeling the way they do. Reasons that their boyfriend probably won’t understand.

“Why can’t you understand that I don’t NEED everybody to know that I’m gay???”

“Why are you LYING to yourself? Just stop and come out already so we can be happy together???”

It’s an emotional stalemate, you know? And it’s going to take it’s toll on both parties over time unless one side or the other makes a huge sacrifice. And that can be a lot to ask of somebody. Even when you’re in love.

So…my answer? No. I don’t think it can work. If there are people who have made it work in the past, or are still doing so at the moment…then God bless you both! Hehehe! Please tell me how, just in case I need to know for the future. But for now? My answer would be ‘no way’. It’s a little too complicated for either party to really have any fun being together in public. And that’s a big hurdle to jump for a lot of people.” – Comicality

“For me I’d have to say probably not.

As you well know I’m quite a reserved and quiet person, always keeping my cards close to my chest so to speak.

To begin with I would try and tolerate it but in the end I think the constant badgering and pushing would ultimately make me resent the other person more than like/love. That would result in a toxic relationship where trust has completely gone out the window.” – Dom

“I’ve always said to myself, and anyone who asked, that I would just say I was dating ‘X’, if I started dating someone. Guy, girl, I wouldn’t be shy about it. I haven’t come out yet to most of my family because I really haven’t seen the point, or had the need to.

As for the hypothetical scenario here. I think it depends on the individuals as much, if not more than, the fact that they’re in or out.

Historically, most couples have had to hide their status, not just from their families, but the whole world, and some of them managed to make it work. If you love someone and they feel the same way, you’ll find a way to make it work, I think.

It’s also easier if you’re not insisting on having a “traditional” relationship. If you’re willing to form a relationship that can flex into something you can both enjoy.
If one of you insists on family get togethers, meeting the parents, getting married, adopting, and other things that you can’t explain away some other way, then I don’t see how it could work.

But I’ve had a couple of ‘closeted’ relationships, and we just did things our way, and it worked… for a while. Until we broke up for other reasons.” – Mike

Fear of prejudice is a real thing, almost tangible at times. Unfortunately, our country has placed a tarp of acceptance over the LGBTQ+ community and far too many fear what could be beneath that tarp. Unfortunately, the reason is justifiable for way too many. Comicality is right, sexual difference is more widely understood and accepted in our community now, and we can all most likely come up with amazing examples of how that has been demonstrated but, that’s not the whole picture, is it? For some, exposing that part of their life can feel potentially dangerous, even in today’s society. Not just in a “…they might pick on me…” way either. I remained closeted in my youth because I had an abusive, alcoholic, fag hating father. (Please excuse the term but, his is a picture that needs to be painted with a heavy brush.) I lived in the constant fear that I could look at him the wrong way at any time and risk being physically hurt. Coming out as gay was absolutely not an option, not if I ever wanted to stand up to the man, which I tried to do as a child, attempted to do as an adolescent, and did as an older teen right up until he passed. In that time, I never had the chance to really come to terms with how the public would look at me because the entire public around me saw the act that I put on to save face with the old man and others like him.

This put me in a position that I would never really get a grip on. Today I am an adult. I survived my childhood but I carry the intensely fear-driven training that being out to everyone puts me in potential danger. I already carry a huge amount of anxiety when attempting to make myself vulnerable to peer-aged males that I don’t already implicitly trust. The mask I wore always carried the safety shield that I needed to not be overwhelmed. Sure, I messed around with crushes as a teen and earlier but it was under the perceived notion that it was “straight boys having fun” and nothing more. That created some of the most amazing memories I would ever have with some of the most painfully heartbreaking endings when all was said and done. Most likely the other person finally finding a girlfriend or worse, being caught and outed, which too often ended a valued friendship.

Now I am out to quite a few in real life. (No, online doesn’t exactly count in my experience.) But it is not something that comes up in daily conversation. The topic still feels too exposing to me. I still have that gut-wrenching feeling that things could go south at any time, and have plenty of examples of that actually happening. So I don’t date, I don’t actively look for someone who would want to share my life with me because, to me, acting noticeably gay feels too much like an act and a reckless one at that. All because I learned to keep what is in my head, in my head to maintain that outer shell. So being with someone who feels the world can take a flying leap or deal with them, I may envy them, I may even want to share that part of my life with them, But I will never be comfortable dismissing that voice in my head that should be saying “Screw anyone who doesn’t like it”. I can’t be happy when dealing with that much anxiety, and I know I’m not alone with that feeling, even if it keeps me and others like me just that… alone. – JeffsFort

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If you guys ever want to add your two cents to any one of the ‘Q & A’ sessions for future issues of Imagine Magazine, we’d LOVE to hear your input and your personal stories on the forum! Feel free to attach your screen name, or do so anonymously! Drop by “The Shack Out Back” forum on the 1st of every month for a brand new topic of conversation! We look forward to hearing more from you! 🙂


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