How many times have you had to tell another individual that you being attracted to them? I know I have had to do this more than once in my life time. It usually happens during a seemingly everyday conversation with someone I just met or with whom I have a loose association. One example conversation went something like this:
Straight guy (SG): “So, what did you do this weekend?”
Me: “Oh not much, just hung out with my family and went to see a movie with my partner.”
SG: “That's cool. What did you see, did she enjoy the movie too?”
Me: “We saw (insert movie title here.) It was pretty decent.” Yeah, he liked the movie too. ”
SG: “Oh, um, that's cool … You know that I have a girlfriend / wife, right?”
Me: “Well, yeah.”
SG: “Well, I'm not gay or anything or anything like that.”
Me: “What does that have to do with what I did this weekend? You did ask.”
SG: “I gotta go. I got some stuff I need to do.”
That was pretty much the last conversation I had with that guy. I was dumbfounded as to the direction the conversation went in, and its abrupt ending. I had a pretty good inkling as to what was going on but let it go. Later, via a separate individual, my thoughts were confirmed. The guy was homophobic. As well, he thought that by me essentially outing myself to him, that I had developed a physical appeal to him.
With that said, while I do not wear my sexuality on my sleeve, I do not hide who I am, and when asked I do not avoid the answer. I have become comfortable in my own skin. On the other hand, many men, straight and gay, are not. Not every gay man desires to have a sexual / romantic encounter, or a relationship, with every guy they see – including straight men. At the same time, men (and women) in general, have bought into a fairly twisted stereotype of what a man (or woman) is, does, and acts like. It is my belief that this skewed perception is more prevalent with straight guys, but there are a slue of gay men who go the extra mile to make it known that they are no sissy.
Our society – I'm mainly speaking of America – due to it's myriad of influencers such as, religion, ethnicity, and cultural beliefs, is a very unique mishmash of ideas and individuals. Yet one thing has yet to prevail through out the entire fabric of our populace is tolerance. I would venture to say that a lack of personal tolerance, or acceptance, is one of the root factors.
Maybe I'm a little too optimistic, but I firmly believe that once individuals first become at ease with themselves, they then can become accepting of others. I'm not saying that we have to like everyone we meet. I am saying that our society would be much better if we could become tolerant of ourselves and others.
Fortunately for me, I have straight friends and family members that are accepting of who I am. I do not have to hide or feel shame about any part of my life around them. I am free to be me. There are many gays who have the same freedom. Now, things did not happen overnight with everyone. It was a gradual process. Through love and understanding we were able to get to a place where what mattered was who we were in regard to our relations with each other, not who it was that anyone of us slept with.
In the meanime, as I navigate life meeting new people and developing new relationships I do so with the confidence of knowing that I, and others, fully accept me for who I am. There is no need to worry about those who have not come to a point where they are comfortable with who they are, so they feel uncomfortable around me. Being confident in knowing what my intentions are when I do approach people for conversation, networking, building friendships, etc., make life much easier to negotiate.
So, the next time you find that someone is not willing to have even a simple conversation with you because of their misconceptions of your intentions, just let it go. Be who you are, loving and accepting of yourself. That will shine through, and will attract to you others who are loving and accepting of themselves.
If you are still struggling with accepting who you are take comfort in the fact that you can get help. As a life coach I am skilled in helping you come to a place where you not only accept, but you love yourself too. The benefit of self approval is being able to put yourself on a journey where you accomplish the goals you have set for no one else but you. Make the decision to day to accept yourself. If you need help, contact me. It is my passion and mission to creatively teach people how to better themselves and to pursue their passions and goals.