I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for almost 2 years now.
He’s great to me and my daughter without hesitation.
About a month ago my boyfriend had surgery and left his phone with me during the procedure. Long story short, I found Facebook messages from before we got together. There were messages between him and several different guys about hooking up. I confronted him about it and he said he went over to the other side because he wasn’t receiving sexual attention from females, and in addition to him being previously sexually abused by male family members. He says he’s not gay, but I’m having a hard time believing that. I know everyone has a past but I can’t seem to get over this. Is it possible for someone who was been sexually abused to experiment with men and not be gay? – Is He Gay
Dear Ms. Is He Gay,
Uhm, hmmmm, well, uhm, your man has admitted to having sexual relations with other men. And, by my deductions and conclusions of his admittance, yet, his denial of being gay, I conclude that he is gay but is in denial. How about that?
Look here, you discover that these messages are on his Facebook before you got together. These messages have to be over two years old, and therefore, I am wondering why does he still have them? If he is not gay, or if this was an experiment, then why not delete the messages? Why is he saving them? And, is he maintaining communication, relationships, or whatever with these men? But, more importantly, keeping these messages leaves open the door of possibility to continue what he is or probably has been doing since he’s been with you. And, my summation is that he is gay, he is in denial about his sexuality, and he wants to maintain communication and/or relationships with these men to get his sexual needs met. I’m just saying!
So, ma’am, ma’am, I am really going to need for you to stop making excuses, and stop trying to rationalize your relationship with him. You and he are both in denial about his sexuality. He is gay, and he is using you to cover up, and fight his desires to be who he really is. Unfortunately, and like most men who refuse to identify sexually because of the societal norms, the community pressures to be heteronormative, and his own struggles of dealing with sexual abuse my men, your man is in deep denial and struggling to deal with his sexual identity.
He requires therapy and counseling, and I do believe it is a result of being sexually abused by males in his family. It’s unfortunate because there are so many men who are raped, and sexually abused by male family members, or male friends of the family, yet, they do not speak up or speak out because of the stigma of being sexually assaulted and raped by another male. It’s difficult for young boys to speak with someone about being victims of sex acts by another male. There is the stigma and shame of it, as well as the embarrassment. Many go into a deep depression, or they act out sexually and never receive treatment because the shame and embarrassment keeps them in a dark place of hiding and guilt. Many feel they did something to bring it on themselves, and they question why they were subjected to the abuse. And, they begin to question their sexuality. Thus, they secretly have sexual relationships with men, fighting their urges and desires to be who they really are, and continue to hide because they feel they will not be accepted.
The prime example of this happening is when Bishop Eddie Long coerced the young men from his congregation by buying them gifts, taking them on trips, and providing “mentorship,” and a “father figure,” that many of the boys were missing in their lives. Now, whether the boys were gay prior to him doing this is uncertain. However, over a period of time he built up a trust and bond with these young boys. Then, he began sexually abusing them. Many of them may have never been with another man before, but because of the power, money, gifts, and desire to be accepted by their “mentor,” and “father figure,” they engaged in a sexual relationship. Though, it was rape by coercion, many of them were too young to know what was happening and why it was happening.
We don’t know what happened with your boyfriend and the situation or dynamics of who abused him and why. It will require him being in therapy and discussing it with a therapist. But, he will have to do the work of identifying whether or not if prior to the abuse he was questioning his sexuality, or if he had already identified as a gay man. Or, if the abuse is a contributing factor to him continuing to seek out sexual relationships with other men. The therapy will help him get to the bottom of this.
But, like most men who are in denial about their sexuality, I immediately gather that he is gay. He has admitted that he went to the “other side” to seek sexual attention because he wasn’t getting it from females. Most heterosexual men will not “go to the other side” if they are not getting attention from females. I truly doubt they will seek out sexual attention from males. Your man is not being honest with himself, you, and everyone else he is pulling into his charade. For two years he has manipulated, deceived, and duped you into believing something that is not true.
Therefore, you should ask him why is he with you? What is he getting out of being with you? If he has cheated or been with any other man, or men, while he’s been with you? Does he desire to be with a man while he is with you? He’s admitted that he is not gay, then how does he identify? Is he bisexual? Is he on the down low? How often does he think about being with other men? Is he online reaching out to men, or are men reaching out to him to hook-up? Why did he not tell you about this two years ago before you started dating? Does his family know, and do they know about the abuse? Is he interested in speaking with someone about the abuse, and helping him to talk about his desires and his sexuality?
I honestly do not think you should continue a relationship with him. He has a lot of work to do with himself, and it will be an emotional and mental rollercoaster. He may be hurting, in pain, and dealing with other emotions that this journey will require a lot of inside and deep soul searching. You can be a friend to him and be a support system of someone to talk with, but a relationship is not advisable. Like most victims of sexual abuse, and rape, he will deal with a lot of raw emotions, and mental thinking that will take him to places he may never have ventured. So, if he’s interested in speaking with someone, he can find a LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered) Center in your area and ask to speak with a staff therapist or counselor who can help him deal with his sexual identity issues. And, he also needs to find a therapist or psychologist who can help him deal the trauma of being raped and sexually abused. Good luck! – Terrance Dean
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Follow Terrance Dean on Twitter: @terrancedean