The terrible secrets a boy is forced to keep, hurts him deeply... then, hurts him as he grows, hurts him when he tries to make relationships and hurt him until he forgets what feeling “normal” is.
Those secrets, if they are not aired and dealt with at some point will make a boy remain broken and grow into a broken man. Eventually, he might not even remember the dark day of his injury or why he now feels so unhappy. His pursuit of happiness has been stunted.
Little Tommy hears the word “sissy” or “gay” or “faggot” for the first time. He knows it’s not a complement from the way his peers are using the word to hurt others. He might even use the words himself in defense, not really knowing what the words mean.
One horrible day, after Tommy notices the other boy’s interest in females, he discovers his own attraction to males. The stunning realization terrifies this child in the deepest, most threatening way. He knows this must be kept secret or everyone will ostracize him. Being labeled homosexual is by far the most sited reason for being a target for bullying. He knows he could lose all respect with his peers or disappoint his parents. “Will my mom and dad still love me?”, Tommy asks himself.
His nightmare is just beginning. His likely thoughts; “I’m not a good person, I can change, I’ll pray for God to heal me, I just want to die” and worse. Hopefully Tommy lives but he still carries a terrible secret. He pretends to be interested in girls sexually and mimics the actions he sees other boys do with their girlfriends.
He sacrifices his pursuit of happiness for the appearance of being straight.
Every time his hormones rage, he gives in to masturbation, the nightmarish truth raises its ugly head again like a monster that will never go away. He prays, he promises God and himself “Never again!” but the next day he faces the monster again, then again, and again, each time taking a little bit more of Tommy’s self-worth.
Tommy does not get the experience of holding the hand of the one he has a crush on like the straight boys do. He doesn’t get to have a boyfriend as the straight boys have their girlfriends. This keeps Tommy from participating and learning the dating rituals of our society in an authentic feeling way. He only mimics the other boys. This is not fair to Tommy or his pretend girlfriend. Learning how to have a relationship and dating is like learning a language. Young people can pick up nuances of language much better than an adult because young minds are much more adaptable as they grow. In the same way, young people can learn how to make bonds that are real and lasting much easier while they are still young.
Tommy grows into a young adult without authentic key life experiences, hiding his shame, much less likely of learning the skills of dating and relationships. Tommy is living a lie. Living in the closet is filled with traumatic stress. If Tommy marries a female. Even if he can perform the sex act, he lives and endures repetitive traumatic stress. We can’t imagine forcing straight people to have sex with the same sex. There is a double standard. Not only does the secret injure Tommy but the marriage to a person who is not the gender he needs continues to silently traumatize him. It doesn’t matter if Tommy learns to love his wife, he still is injured, longing to have his needs met.
So, Tommy’s choices; continue giving up his own pursuit of happiness and live out his days unhappily or... come out of the closet and lose his immediate family, half his wealth, his friends and much more.
There is a third option.
You don’t have to rush and come out. You can find a safe, healing place now and not disturb your present life. The facts; In coming out, he would be taking the big chance of being alone. His life would be turned upside down. He might not be comfortable with the “in your face” environment of the bar scene so he may end up isolated. He doesn’t have the dating and relationship skills he should have learned as a young man.
Tommy needs two very important things before he can find some happiness. He does not have to come out of the closet to start being happier and heal. He needs a safe place NOW, where he will not be judged, a place where men are not unfairly held to a different standard, a double standard. Tom needs a place that promotes empathy of men’s feelings and stuffed heartbreaks. He needs a place to feel safe enough to get direction and the accepting male camaraderie to heal. He also needs access to professional resources such as suicide prevention hotlines.
It’s not too late for Tom. A man’s trauma, whether it is from his being raped or being forced into a marriage that doesn’t fit their sexual orientation, can cause PTSD. We are here for the Tommy’s out there, the men who are stuck. We’re a safe place for men and a hub to direct men to the professionals they might need. We have safe discussion groups and Empowerment Events to help men get in touch with their feelings. We’re a fun place to make friends and relax by the pool, hot tub, lounge, BYOB Saloon, TV room or own private bedroom that locks. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO COME OUT TO COME TO CCR. We respect your present home life and guard that. Your anonymity is honored.
If you are a man over 21 years old and you need to spend quality time in the company of men who are not going to judge you, come to CCR and at least have a portion of your life that is about your pursuit of happiness, truly felt relationships and possibly love. This is within your grasp. You are only needing a safe place to be nurtured.
We at CCR are trying to build a bridge, closing the gap between men of all races, religions, socioeconomic status and sexual orientations.
If we men can heal, then there is hope for a better world. YOUR happiness matters! I want you to know someone cares and wants you to find joy, whatever that means to you. There is no fear of ridicule here. You’ll be in the company of other men, a place where core values like respect for others, owning your feelings and being kind are encouraged.
We will reach out to you!
Bobby Cook PhD