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Snapshot 2000 - Matthew

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[00:00:00] This program is brought to you by pride in I realized that I was gay from, I guess a fairly early age compared to what I've spoken to a lot of other people that I realized that maybe I wasn't really started was about the age of 12, when I began to notice my own body and also other people's, it wasn't necessarily men or women, it was first. And then there was a phase where I guess I could have considered myself bisexual. And that was, I guess, that lasted for about a year or two, maybe the age of 1314. There was nothing that directly influenced me. But [00:00:49] as I grew older, [00:00:50] the attraction to women, I think just became less and the attraction for men became stronger. And to the extent where they actually I just no longer looked at women. This was a little bit of a shock to me at first, I guess. But it was something that I just assumed would come back. And it never did for me. So I guess I'm still waiting, I have a lot of female friends. And I still get along with women a lot. And except probably get along with them, it's been a lot better than a lot of my male friends. But in terms of the physical attraction, that isn't any other than me being able to notice a woman is saying, she's beautiful, she's very pretty, or she's really ordinary, I can definitely comment on the state of the looks, but without me thinking that there was any sort of sexual attraction there. Whereas with a male body, I guess I can look at a male and think, yes, he's the surface that but there's also the element of whether or not I would be sexually attracted to him. So I grew up knowing that I was attracted to men. But I also grew up in an environment where I found myself [00:02:11] around a lot of homophobic people. [00:02:13] My parents was certainly not tolerant of gay people. And I guess, being based in the theater as I wanted to be growing up as a somebody letting singing and dancing like that. So particularly paranoid that I would be mixing with a lot of gay people, and then somehow they would try and convert me. And or approached me or molest me or whatever they thought it was going to do. Not if whichever happens, even though I was surrounded by a lot of gay people, I [00:02:45] didn't actually find any [00:02:47] of them attractive, they're all a lot older than me. I was only 15 or 16 at the time. And so [00:02:53] definitely [00:02:55] around gaming, but there was no [00:02:58] threat, there was an trying trying to convert me or anything like that. And at the same time, on my behalf, I didn't feel the need to approach them, or to come out with my own sexuality. So it was something that I suppressed for a long time. [00:03:15] That was growing up in the country. And then when I left [00:03:18] school, I went to university for four years, and I moved to Brisbane, which is a smaller city in Australia, but it's still, I think it's over a million intensive its population. [00:03:33] And wasn't until [00:03:36] I was 20 years old, as I finally began to think that not so much that there was a need for me to come out. But [00:03:43] that [00:03:45] I guess I wanted to find [00:03:49] somebody who I could have a boyfriend and have that sort of intimacy with, it wasn't the sexual urges that I was looking to satisfy an emotional bonding, I guess, that I wanted to have with somebody. So it wasn't until almost until I was 21, that I had my first sexual experience, which also happened to be with the person that was my first boyfriend. [00:04:14] And so [00:04:15] that [00:04:16] relationship lasted a year, and I was always quite happy, I get something that's always I've been proud of is that my first sexual experience was in a loving relationship with somebody that I had been friends with for a long time. And then was in a relationship for for about 12 months. [00:04:37] The first person that I told that I was gay was my [00:04:40] first boyfriend. And the second person that I told was my best friend who was also [00:04:46] a friend of my first boyfriend. [00:04:50] And he had a [00:04:52] lot of trouble accepting it because I had gone through this [00:04:58] phase for a few years [00:05:00] of trying to delete myself or not so much myself, but my friends and [00:05:05] assume a straight role by [00:05:08] commenting on women like saying, Well, she's, she's very attractive, or She's really pretty or she has been for us. So whatever I need, I thought would be able to convince my friends that I was actually looking. Quite often, [00:05:22] if we watch the video, [00:05:26] we, if we were taking a video with I think, okay, I'll take this video and I'll sell that girl looks pretty or whatever, when it was really in my head, the guy that I was looking at on the video cover. To keep the illusion going, I would always come in on the same out. So that this was made difficult, especially for my best friends to come [00:05:46] to terms with when I had for so long [00:05:49] gone out of my way, not only just to conceal it, but also to make it more obvious by pointing out my attraction or my local attraction to female. [00:06:01] He had [00:06:02] a lot of issues with that. And he also had a lot of issues with the fact that the person I was dating, he'd actually introduced me to, and he the way he had done it, he introduced me to this person. And then a few days later, he said, Oh, you know that person I introduced you to they're actually gay. And he sort of said it as a sort of a sniggering remarkable. And that was when my mind started thinking, Oh, my goodness, this is gay. And I've also found them attractive. So that was, in the end, why I pursued the friendship with them. [00:06:36] And I didn't tell either of them that I was gay at the time. [00:06:39] And so they both thought that I was just looking at this other person as a friend, which I was. [00:06:44] But at the same time, I was also developing feelings for them. [00:06:47] So my best friend had a [00:06:50] lot of problems with this as well. And it wasn't until [00:06:56] probably [00:06:56] be a good 12 months down the track before, he began to realize that I hadn't changed as a person. And the friend that he always thought I was I still was he, he had never had a girlfriend of his own at that [00:07:13] stage as well. So I think he felt threatened [00:07:15] by the fact that [00:07:18] we had always had each other's company and was almost [00:07:21] the fact [00:07:22] that even though he was my best friend, and he wasn't gay, we still had this sort of intimacy. And there was this relationship between us that was a very non sexual one. But almost, probably almost. If you would say this together, you would have all my soul, we were in a relationship just because we did have such a close friendship. [00:07:43] And so I think the fact that there was another male [00:07:45] entering into the thing, [00:07:49] firstly, it took away [00:07:50] from the relationship [00:07:53] of the friendship. [00:07:54] But he also for it as [00:07:57] somebody converting me to something good, that wasn't, [00:08:03] I haven't actually come out to my parents officially. But this will happen around my 25th birthday. And the fact that this new person was suddenly around all the time who hadn't been in my life before, my parents became very suspicious. And although I thought my boyfriend was fairly straight acting [00:08:25] and unassuming, [00:08:28] they, my parents picked up the body language between us, which [00:08:32] I didn't really know that we were making [00:08:35] such obvious sort of [00:08:37] flotations across the room, or whatever you would like to call [00:08:39] it. But they saw [00:08:41] a change in my mannerisms, or whatever. And did confront me about [00:08:45] it. [00:08:47] And I wasn't expecting the question at the time. So they didn't actually ask if I was gay. So they asked [00:08:52] if my boyfriend was, [00:08:55] and me not being prepared to the question, I just did not, of course, not be silly. And I went away. Because I wasn't living with my parents. At the time I was living in Brisbane, I went back to university for three months. And then at the end of the year, it was Christmas. And I'd gone home again, expecting the question to be put towards me again. Because I was still [00:09:19] seeing this person, he was still around [00:09:21] all the time. And this time, I was prepared to the question. And I would have said, Yes, I am. Oh, yes, he is. And yes, I am as well. However, the question was never put to me again. And so not knowing whether to rock the boat or what to do. I just ignored it. And I always, and it says to Spain, that unspoken thing ever since. So in my mind, I think the thing knows. But I think it's one thing to have it. in your, in your mind is I think my son is gay. And another thing for your son to come to you and say, Yes, I am. It's not confirmed to them. Although they have I had asked my sister about her comments about it. And she does know about me, and I used to live with her. And she's very open minded about things like [00:10:09] that. [00:10:10] And her any comment was, she denied knowing. But she said to them, I don't know if he is or isn't, why don't you ask him? But if he says yes, what would it matter? And they one comment was, they didn't care whether I was or not, that they would be very concerned that somebody had made me that [00:10:29] way. [00:10:30] Again, I'm sort of linking back to the comments in previous is that if I was around gay people, they would try and convert me and all that sort of thing. So there's always been this fear, this movie's misunderstanding that somehow, if I ended up gay, it wasn't through my own development, it was because of outside influences. [00:10:57] My first sexual [00:10:58] experiences something that I had, to certain extent plans, in the fact that I had now been seeing this person, I had developed an emotional bond with them. And so I assumed that they would be the first person that I would have sex [00:11:13] with. [00:11:16] The first sexual experience I had wasn't as much sex as it was just a lot of kissing. And that happened [00:11:26] all night, one night, on [00:11:29] my parents lounge. And I think that, to me, [00:11:32] was the most special moments and my actual first sexual experience, which happened The following night. Something that I'd always been interested in was, what the sensation of kissing somebody was, and having just that close smell, smell contact. [00:11:51] In terms of a sexual experience, [00:11:54] I think that wasn't that big a deal. And I ended up having sex. Because to me, May, I wasn't anything more than what I could have done to myself intensive with the release of sexual tension or anything like that. What had gone on the night before with the intimacy between me and my boyfriend, to me was a lot more significant [00:12:14] in my life [00:12:16] than anything that had come before or that [00:12:20] had come after. I think that was the turning point. [00:12:22] Because that was my first [00:12:26] time, sort of realizing I guess [00:12:29] that I was gay, [00:12:30] and that this wasn't a disgusting thing for me to do, or anything like that. It just felt very natural, and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed hugging and kissing, and just having that bond. [00:12:44] And I guess, [00:12:46] for me now, with even in when I'm having sex with somebody, is always the intimacy that I look forward to enjoying sex, probably more, or as much as the sort of having sex. [00:13:04] I think the biggest message is [00:13:07] waiting till you're ready for us. And I think there's a lot of people that, depending on their environment, depending on where they've grown up, it's really matters a lot as to how well you plan it. If you just you're in an environment that isn't particularly tolerant to you coming out, look at yourself hard and think, is it really that big need for me at this stage in my life, to subject myself to having to come out? Or is it something that I can [00:13:43] put off free [00:13:45] for six months, or however long it is, until your circumstances allow you [00:13:51] to come out without [00:13:55] backlash that could affect your education? Well, the critics affect your family's stability, obviously, it's always going to affect your family to a certain extent, and your yourself to a certain extent. You just have to look at your parents, your friends, your support network, I think is very, very important. I was lucky that when I did come out, I began to develop this support network of friends, that if I did have a very bad backlash, I wouldn't have been on my own. But at the same time, I was also independent that I was living at home. So again, if my parents had found out, and they had to throw me out of the family of something I could have survived on to say, and obviously, that's not going to happen with every family, because I think a lot of parents are extremely supportive. And some are not and only you know how your parents are going to react. But think of the long term consequences. Rather than just looking at this is something I need to do for today because it's holding up inside me too much. I just have to tell them, I think you just need to plan it and have some sort of network or something to fall back on. If it all ends up going wrong. But if it all ends up going right and or if you think if it is, then Good luck to you and do it whenever is appropriate. So if it if it means that you're a 15 year old and it's appropriate, then do it if that means you've got a if you're a 21 year old, and you're earning just beginning to accept that. Maybe this is what you are then waiting for you 21 it really depends on the first one and and whenever they're ready. Don't let anyone [00:15:39] force you to to come out.

This page features computer generated text of the source audio. It is not a transcript, it has not been checked by humans and will contain many errors. However it is useful for searching on keywords and themes.