an except from "Finally Out: Letting Go of Living Straight, A Psychiatrist's Own Story."
“Jason McGee,” is a twenty-seven year old man who lives in rural Tennessee. He describes himself as a Black American rather than an African American. He said, “The South expects certain things of you as a man, and being gay ain’t one of them. Down here, people like me ain’t gay or homosexual; we are queers and fags. For a southern black man, being called, sissy, fag, queer or homo is one of the biggest disgraces ever.” According to McGee it brings shame to your family and you are isolated because of it. He went on to say, “People would talk you into non-existence.” He believes that being “black and queer” would almost certainly make him the victim of a hate crime. He said, “I’m masculine, so no one knows who I don’t want to know.” McGee comes from a loving and intact family. His father is his friend as well as his dad, and he is not treated differently within the family. His parents accept his excuse that he doesn’t date because he’s busy with school and a job. Thus he doesn’t have time for it. His brothers are in long-term relationships with women and have given his parents grandchildren. He regrets that he will not be able to. McGee has several cousins who are gay, although only one of them is out and he lives far away. Starting at age eleven he began experiencing sexual play with one of them. It began by wrestling with his cousin and one day he ejaculated, but didn’t know what it was. They continued to have sexual play, but it always began with wrestling. Sometimes they were naked. Later they began to masturbate each other. McGee is a Baptist who says he loves God and loves his church; he belongs to a congregation comprised mostly of white people. Although he sees himself as gay, he is out to no one except his brothers, and he is out to them only because they confronted him when they discovered some gay porn on his computer. They asked him if he could change, and when he said that he couldn’t, they accepted him. He has no intention of coming out to the rest of his family. He believes coming out would mean “letting go of so many I love,” both in the family and in his church. He said that he does not come out, at least for a long time, because, “I don’t want to bring pain to my family and friends, myself too, but they are more important. It would hurt them to learn the truth. I am not hiding it from them but it is none of their business. But I don’t ignore my feelings because that would cause inner damage.” At times he struggles in his church because, “It hurts to hear (homosexuality) preached so hard against.” He says some of his church can’t see past what their eyes show them, but he said he’s not perfect so doesn’t expect them to be perfect either. He said that he reconciles the issue for himself, quoting Romans 3:23, “For all are sinners and fall short of the Glory of God.” Then he said, “ALL are sinners. All. Everyone, not just gays. ALL. In God’s eyes, no one’s sin is worse than another man’s sin. People are born in sin, so you can be born gay, as I believe I was.” McGee works full time in a laboring job while he attends college. He said that he talks country because “I am country.” He prefers blue grass music to rap, and some of his friends have called him an “Oreo,” meaning they think of him as black on the outside and white on the inside. He said, “Black is who I am, not who I’m trying to be, but I refuse to dress, talk or act like society thinks I should. I am my own man. I like what I like. I don’t care about the Majority.” He describes his sexuality as “complicated,” especially because he is attracted primarily to white men over the age of 45. He discovered that through an attraction to his male teachers. He has had a limited number of sexual partners as an adult. He is not looking for a relationship, but neither is he avoiding it. He said, “I don’t act out my sexuality, except maybe on line, and even then, I am not feminine by any means.” He said that his sexuality doesn’t define him or what he does because he doesn’t let it rule his life. When asked if he felt he had to choose between his ethnicity and sexuality. He said that a lot of people think you can’t be both, “But I refuse to do anything less. I can’t choose between the two; it’s not even a choice. I am a gay, black man.” He is cautious about how he acts around “certain minority groups.” Although he has come to peace with his sexuality internally, he is uncertain of what it means for his future. He wants a relationship and children. He said, “I look around and I see the type of man I like everywhere, and yet I can’t have any one of them. I see my friends with wives and girlfriends and I just go back home to my closet.” He remains uncertain how to handle the issue of coming out. He doesn’t see coming out to his parents as a possibility right now. He said he has talked with other black men who feel that they have more freedom and more options after having come out, but for him, it isn’t a priority right now. “I need to get myself figured out.” He said, “I'm still in the closet because I can't see what good coming out will do in this area. I hear about the free feeling you feel once you're out, but hell, I don't want to be alienated or hated either. There ain't no big gay community for support here. It's every man for himself. I get along fine, but it is still a challenge when you realize you’re alone.”
I think this book provides some wonderful insights from a professional (MD and Psychiatrist) on the aspects os coming out. And it helps that he's gay. I've read excerpts from the book. It's not all about clinical analysis.