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The completely closed closet


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Hello! 

Any advice about dealing with being in a closet in a conservative society? How to better deal with this? 

My situation: I live in a state were any publication or demonstration of something related to LGBTQ+ is a crime. For, like, half of this year I am, bisexual myself, in the best relations in my life. With a man. 

But if someone will know my reputation will be ruined. If we came out publicly, even accidentally... well, let's just say that I would definitely be ducked up and my partner too, probably. 

So...any advise how to cope? :)

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  • Digital Mentor

Hey,

This sounds so tricky for you, and I cannot imagine how hard it must be for you, but I would like to understand more. How is this for you emotionally? I'm wondering, is it possible for you to live somewhere else where it is legal to be LGBTQ+?

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47 minutes ago, Monsoon said:

Hey,

This sounds so tricky for you, and I cannot imagine how hard it must be for you, but I would like to understand more. How is this for you emotionally? I'm wondering, is it possible for you to live somewhere else where it is legal to be LGBTQ+?

It is not overwhelming. Like, living like this is normal for me.  But sometimes I think about it without context. It is kinda depressing and anxious. And that's actually funny, I privately diagnosed with mixed anxiety-depressive disorder. High functional and with a good anonymous treatment though. I never was suicidal. 

I do not want to relocate from Russia. This is my country and I like it. I want to believe in better future for people here and ready to work for it. I am more than my identity and sexuality. 

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19 hours ago, Alpha9th said:

It is not overwhelming. Like, living like this is normal for me.  But sometimes I think about it without context. It is kinda depressing and anxious. And that's actually funny, I privately diagnosed with mixed anxiety-depressive disorder. High functional and with a good anonymous treatment though. I never was suicidal. 

I do not want to relocate from Russia. This is my country and I like it. I want to believe in better future for people here and ready to work for it. I am more than my identity and sexuality. 

Hey there,

I am glad to hear you received good treatment, and if you ever want to speak about the emotional experience, we are here for that. In terms of advice on how to cope, it would be helpful to hear more about how you're struggling if that's okay? What kind of impact is it having at the moment?

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1 hour ago, Monsoon said:

Hey there,

I am glad to hear you received good treatment, and if you ever want to speak about the emotional experience, we are here for that. In terms of advice on how to cope, it would be helpful to hear more about how you're struggling if that's okay? What kind of impact is it having at the moment?

You know, I am of a usual type of bisexual men. Kind of undetectable. And that was really good while I had only girls and women as a partners. But, well, now is different. I am really happy with my partner, stuff between us is serious, but everybody except our friends from LARP community (very liberal and inclusive) must not know about us. It means always pretending that we are friends in public and never become visible for our society. And continue to be anxiously careful about exposure. 

I am also kind of local influencer. Eyes are on me from time to time. But, whatever I do, I can't safely declare my support to LGBTIQ+ society. Well, only on my anonymous Telegram channel about war, internal and international politics and economy. 

Something like that, I guess. I am not even sure that I am in place here, on Ditch the Label forum. Like, I am old enough, not at risk and can live my life without great struggle. 

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14 hours ago, Alpha9th said:

You know, I am of a usual type of bisexual men. Kind of undetectable. And that was really good while I had only girls and women as a partners. But, well, now is different. I am really happy with my partner, stuff between us is serious, but everybody except our friends from LARP community (very liberal and inclusive) must not know about us. It means always pretending that we are friends in public and never become visible for our society. And continue to be anxiously careful about exposure. 

I am also kind of local influencer. Eyes are on me from time to time. But, whatever I do, I can't safely declare my support to LGBTIQ+ society. Well, only on my anonymous Telegram channel about war, internal and international politics and economy. 

Something like that, I guess. I am not even sure that I am in place here, on Ditch the Label forum. Like, I am old enough, not at risk and can live my life without great struggle. 

Hey @Alpha9th

From what you've said so far, I get the sense that there is some anxiety around exposing yourselves which is completely understandable given the political climate and laws around the LGBTQ+ community. I'm wondering, in your life at the moment, can you tell me about the times that you're able to be more authentic and feel like you can cope more with the situation? 

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1 hour ago, Monsoon said:

Hey @Alpha9th

From what you've said so far, I get the sense that there is some anxiety around exposing yourselves which is completely understandable given the political climate and laws around the LGBTQ+ community. I'm wondering, in your life at the moment, can you tell me about the times that you're able to be more authentic and feel like you can cope more with the situation? 

I can say that in a LARP (live-action roleplay) community I can be pretty authentic. It's a large community with hundreds of people here. We can speak and act freely, like a couple with them. Also there is a great communicative and supporting culture. It would be much more difficult to cope without this community. 

I can give a list of things that I struggle with according to the topic:

  • Fear of exposure. 
  • Deep sadness, when I think about my and my boyfriend's future. 
  • Feel that I am not a fair part of LGBTIQ+ community. As bisexual I can live "normal" life, I am not at great risk, so...
  • Guilt for not openly opposing hateful ideas. 

Also I want to thank you for your questions and attempts to understand me. I appreciate that. 

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  • Digital Mentor

I'm glad you have the LARP community; being authentic is so key to living a fulfilling life, and when you are in a situation where certain factors prevent you from doing so, it's important to find those pockets of joy where you can be yourself, such as larping. Are there any other pockets of joy in your life at the moment? 

Also, thank you for listing the things you're struggling with right now. Although you have described yourself as not being at great risk, there is risk attached to your situation, but regardless of that, you are still a fair part of the LGBTQ+ community regardless of how 'normal' a life is perceived to be; I often question what normal means! In terms of the guilt you have for not openly opposing hateful ideas, it's completely understandable that you cannot given your current situation, and even if you could, there is no pressure for you to openly opposing them. Activism comes in many different forms. What do you think? 

 

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11 minutes ago, Monsoon said:

I'm glad you have the LARP community; being authentic is so key to living a fulfilling life, and when you are in a situation where certain factors prevent you from doing so, it's important to find those pockets of joy where you can be yourself, such as larping. Are there any other pockets of joy in your life at the moment? 

Also, thank you for listing the things you're struggling with right now. Although you have described yourself as not being at great risk, there is risk attached to your situation, but regardless of that, you are still a fair part of the LGBTQ+ community regardless of how 'normal' a life is perceived to be; I often question what normal means! In terms of the guilt you have for not openly opposing hateful ideas, it's completely understandable that you cannot given your current situation, and even if you could, there is no pressure for you to openly opposing them. Activism comes in many different forms. What do you think?

Hm, yeah, I find joy in my work and in studying medicine, but, more of all, in gaming. Sadly, I don't have much time for myself. I didn't watch films or played video games for a months now, although I liked that. Wanna have more time for relaxing, but then I'll feel like I am losing precious time. 

I agree that activism comes in many forms, but who, if not people like me, will show an example to others? It isn't like LGBTQIA+ people killing here (well, except for one specific crazy republic Chechnya), so it is mostly about public appearance. Because of keeping it I feel guilty. Like, something is done, but not enough. 

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34 minutes ago, Alpha9th said:

Hm, yeah, I find joy in my work and in studying medicine, but, more of all, in gaming. Sadly, I don't have much time for myself. I didn't watch films or played video games for a months now, although I liked that. Wanna have more time for relaxing, but then I'll feel like I am losing precious time. 

I agree that activism comes in many forms, but who, if not people like me, will show an example to others? It isn't like LGBTQIA+ people killing here (well, except for one specific crazy republic Chechnya), so it is mostly about public appearance. Because of keeping it I feel guilty. Like, something is done, but not enough. 

*LGBTQIA+ people being killed

My apologies, stupid mistake. 

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  • Digital Mentor
11 hours ago, Alpha9th said:

Hm, yeah, I find joy in my work and in studying medicine, but, more of all, in gaming. Sadly, I don't have much time for myself. I didn't watch films or played video games for a months now, although I liked that. Wanna have more time for relaxing, but then I'll feel like I am losing precious time. 

I agree that activism comes in many forms, but who, if not people like me, will show an example to others? It isn't like LGBTQIA+ people killing here (well, except for one specific crazy republic Chechnya), so it is mostly about public appearance. Because of keeping it I feel guilty. Like, something is done, but not enough. 

I think that there are plenty of other people out there who feel like they are losing precious time when they are relaxing, but remember, you are precious and you deserve that time to look after yourself, so maybe try to find some more time for that. I think that in terms of the activism, it sounds like you might be putting a lot of pressure on yourself. Your situation limits you in terms of how outspoken you can be, and even if those circumstances weren't present, the very act of existing as an LGBTQ+ person and doing whatever you can to be as authentic as possible is activism; what do you think? 

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41 minutes ago, Monsoon said:

I think that there are plenty of other people out there who feel like they are losing precious time when they are relaxing, but remember, you are precious and you deserve that time to look after yourself, so maybe try to find some more time for that. I think that in terms of the activism, it sounds like you might be putting a lot of pressure on yourself. Your situation limits you in terms of how outspoken you can be, and even if those circumstances weren't present, the very act of existing as an LGBTQ+ person and doing whatever you can to be as authentic as possible is activism; what do you think? 

I do deserve all the nessesary timy. But it is limited. That's why I must be productive, otherwise I will lose a lot of opportunities. 

I agree with you, there is many forms of activism. But we are talking about being authentic only in a closed, already inclusive community. Why do you think that this is an activism? 

And, you know, it is hard to say when I can or can't be outspoken. When it's nessesary to stay silent? And when it's cowardly? I am kinda confused. 

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On 8/6/2022 at 11:33 AM, Alpha9th said:

I do deserve all the nessesary timy. But it is limited. That's why I must be productive, otherwise I will lose a lot of opportunities. 

I agree with you, there is many forms of activism. But we are talking about being authentic only in a closed, already inclusive community. Why do you think that this is an activism? 

And, you know, it is hard to say when I can or can't be outspoken. When it's nessesary to stay silent? And when it's cowardly? I am kinda confused. 

From my perspective, being authentic in a closed, inclusive community is activism because you are existing and living your truth there, and not everyone can do that, so by being able to live authentically in a certain part of your life shows that you are being courageous in pursuit of living how you want to live, and although you cannot be fully visible, you are doing what you can to be. What do you think? 

Also, can you tell me more about the opportunities you will lose? Additionally, I'm wondering, what would you say helps you to be productive?

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8 hours ago, Monsoon said:

From my perspective, being authentic in a closed, inclusive community is activism because you are existing and living your truth there, and not everyone can do that, so by being able to live authentically in a certain part of your life shows that you are being courageous in pursuit of living how you want to live, and although you cannot be fully visible, you are doing what you can to be. What do you think? 

Also, can you tell me more about the opportunities you will lose? Additionally, I'm wondering, what would you say helps you to be productive?

Actually, you have a fair point about activism. Although I don't help to make people more tolerant directly, I try to help community members emotionally and in a business environment. Sometimes I look for positive medical boards for trans people. I also promote the idea of high-quality mental health care, share contacts of trusted specialists. It's worth something. Thank you.

What helps me to be productive? Antidepressants, lol :)
Sorry, just couldn't skip that joke, wich is half true. Other half is pleasent things (like LARP, hanging with close people, rarerly films, animations and videogames), my ambitions, CBT and system management of my own life. My scheldue is pretty full, but I still feel like it isn't enough. For example, I want add some physical training to my scheldue, but I don't know when. I could be more active in my university or on a political and public stage. That kind of things.

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  • Digital Mentor

Yeah, you are clearly helping a lot of other people in the community, but also, even by just existing in that space, you are doing a lot of good. Also, it sounds like there is a lot that helps you to be productive. From my perspective, by taking more time for yourself, you can then get into a better headspace to then be able to help people in a more effective way. What do you think? 

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56 minutes ago, Monsoon said:

Yeah, you are clearly helping a lot of other people in the community, but also, even by just existing in that space, you are doing a lot of good. Also, it sounds like there is a lot that helps you to be productive. From my perspective, by taking more time for yourself, you can then get into a better headspace to then be able to help people in a more effective way. What do you think? 

It's not easy.  I try to find a balance, but I end up either feeling like I'm missing something and worrying about it, or I get overwhelmed with things to do.  

And then finding the balance becomes just another tedious activity.

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  • Digital Mentor

Hey,

So, from the conversation we've had so far, I kind of get the sense that you have a lot of responsibilities to handle and there is often plenty of tasks that need completing; is that fair to say? On a scale of 1-10, with 1=not overwhelmed at all and 10=extremely overwhelmed, how overwhelmed would you say you are generally?

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6 minutes ago, Monsoon said:

Hey,

So, from the conversation we've had so far, I kind of get the sense that you have a lot of responsibilities to handle and there is often plenty of tasks that need completing; is that fair to say? On a scale of 1-10, with 1=not overwhelmed at all and 10=extremely overwhelmed, how overwhelmed would you say you are generally?

Yes, this is correct. Although I can become less busy, I will lose some opportunities that way. So, yes, it's fragile balance between anxiety and overwhelming. 

It's 6 for now, sometimes 7, rarely 4-5. It was worse before, I am definitely able to live like this.

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4 hours ago, Alpha9th said:

Yes, this is correct. Although I can become less busy, I will lose some opportunities that way. So, yes, it's fragile balance between anxiety and overwhelming. 

It's 6 for now, sometimes 7, rarely 4-5. It was worse before, I am definitely able to live like this.

I'm wondering then, what could be done differently to take you down a point or two on the scale, to a 6 or 5 perhaps? What small changes could you make? 

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46 minutes ago, Monsoon said:

I'm wondering then, what could be done differently to take you down a point or two on the scale, to a 6 or 5 perhaps? What small changes could you make? 

I am sorry, but I don't have an answer. I am sure there is something, but if I just could understand what exactly, I would already done so. 

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  • Digital Mentor

That's okay, maybe you need some time to think about it. I'm wondering, out of all the competing demands you have, can you rate them on a scale of importance, with the ones at the top of the list being those that are the most important to get on with?

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26 minutes ago, Monsoon said:

That's okay, maybe you need some time to think about it. I'm wondering, out of all the competing demands you have, can you rate them on a scale of importance, with the ones at the top of the list being those that are the most important to get on with?

I can't, and that's the problem. All things look like a basic minimum, all of them I see as necessary. 

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  • Digital Mentor

Hey there,

I think it might be helpful to still try to put them in some kind of order, even if the differences are minimal. Can you have a go? 

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40 minutes ago, Monsoon said:

Hey there,

I think it might be helpful to still try to put them in some kind of order, even if the differences are minimal. Can you have a go? 

Of course, always do. Tried it for a few days already (thanks for this thought to you and to my therapist). Will keep trying. Sadly, it will take time and I can't share any good news for now. 

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  • Digital Mentor

Hey,

I know you can do this. I think the challenge might be in putting equal importance on all of them, thus finding yourself with more and more responsibilities, when really, these kinds of things can always be put into a hierarchy of importance. Maybe you could go through them with your partner as well as it might be good to have a different perspective. What do you think? 

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