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Out October: “I Guess I’ll Be Coming Out For A While.”



Today’s Out October Project story comes from Greg Mitchell, who originally wrote this story for “I’m From Driftwood.” Greg’s story reveals a life of uncertainty in the face of perceived rejection.

Make sure to catch up on all the other coming out stories here.

“Nah, I can’t be g*y…I just have to find the right woman…yeah, that’s it…”

If you say it to yourself enough times, you’ll believe it.

Too afraid to face my truth for fear that God would hate me, and too afraid to face the few friends that I worked hard to have, silence was my only option.

At 16, two strands of life were developing for me: a personal one, and a professional one.  Personally, I felt different than every other 16 year-old I knew. I wasn’t interested in the same things that I saw other 16 year-old kids were into: sports, cars and girls; I was into music and boys. My interest in music was rooted in the construction and production of music, more so than the composition of it. I wanted to be a recording engineer, and I wanted to be on the radio. As far as my interest in boys, I constantly dismissed the feelings I had and delved further into my music, because all of the gay boys I saw were effeminate. I was attracted to some of the boys I had befriended who were finding their masculinity, but it seemed wrong to try and be with them.

Professionally, I wanted to make a career of my personal interests. As I moved from 16 on up to 19 and started going to college, my interest in Rap music was starting to get stronger.  I was able to separate my interest in men from my interest in music, until a male Rap star graced the television screen.  Further, the culture of Rap is very homophobic.  Even as I type this, I as a self-professed gay man am still not ready to hear an openly “Gay Rapper”.  I certainly want no part of a gay Rap movement either, because my sexuality isn’t the first thing I want people to know about me.  Rap was always entertainment to me.  I don’t really believe the stories that rappers tell in their songs, I just applaud their ability to tell lies very well.  The types of things that the male Rap stars I adored rapped about were how they found other women attractive and what they wanted to do with them.  As weird as it sounds, in Rap, I could fully accept men talking about women in ways that I can’t accept hearing about other men.  I mean, they were lying anyway, right?

Having hid behind my music and first career choice all through my 20’s, aside from one unsuccessful experience at an after-hours club at 27, I had never been with a woman.  I got more feelings from seeing male physical features and I wasn’t attracted to women at all.  I felt like I could be their friends, but sexually I just wasn’t interested. I had heard rumors of other gay men who had been with women to help them figure themselves out, but I was too afraid to get women involved in my mess of a life.  Being uncomfortable with the main act that most gay men do didn’t help me either, but I couldn’t get past that idea of actually being with a man.  I had also never been involved with a man because I was too afraid of being caught by someone I knew.  If I was out and about on a date, what if some friend or family member saw me? What would they think?

In an attempt to understand myself, to find someone to be with and to deal with the increasing loneliness and desire to have someone in my life romantically, in 2007, I started to explore my sexuality by asking questions of other homosexuals.  I had debates electronically with these people letting them know that I wasn’t afraid of them, yet, afraid to admit that I was one of them.  The debate topics ranged from gay adoption to my disagreement with the word “homophobia”.  Of course, I was defensive and relying on twisted logic to justify my homophobic thoughts, but I saw no fault in it at that time.  Still working on Rap music, I released my first album in 2008 at the age of 33.  I began the next step in exploring my sexuality by starting one-on one online communication with another gay man who had shown some interest in me.  After my experience with this man, I started reading, listening and watching materials that dealt with homosexual issues.  The movie “Milk”, the documentary on the life of Harvey Milk, “For The Bible Tells Me So”, and the podcasts and columns of Dan Savage are all things that changed my life and perspective.  For the first time in my life, I was seeing gays who lived past the sexual aspect.  I believe that God put these things in my path to show me that I wasn’t alone.  I talked to God about it through prayer.  I expressed the desires of my heart.  At that point, I had started to distance myself from regular church service because I was feeling disconnected from it for different reasons, but I still had a strong connection to God through the help of my pastor who always taught that knowing God “is about relationship – not religion”.  I was okay with that, but I still felt unresolved in my sexuality, and I had questions: Why did the experience I had feel right if gay is wrong? Why don’t I feel this way about a woman?

The year 2009 became a year that I will never forget.  After all the years of living a double life online, fearing that the two worlds would clash horribly if anyone from one world met people from the other, I finally began my process of coming out.  First, I came out to the one female friend I had in college that I saw myself possibly being with when I denied my sexuality, then I came out to my mother and sister.  From there, I slowly started having that conversation with the close friends that I had made within the past 10-15 years. Surprisingly, all of them accepted me.  Slowly, I gained the courage to come out to more people. As I continued slowly coming out to my friends, 2010 approached.  I moved to Chicago to finish school, and I started attempting to date and meet more men.  I submitted a draft of this paper to the website “I’m From Driftwood” in an effort to slowly come out some more, and I showed the piece to other homosexuals that I had previously argued online with about sexuality, while attempting to atone for the horrible things I had said to them.  On October 11th, 2010, I officially came out online to the 200+ people that I had befriended on Facebook.  Aside from that, I have still resolved to continue to be private about my sexuality, but if asked, I won’t lie about it, so I guess I’ll be “coming out” for a while.  There are still some of my family members who don’t know, but in accordance with living what I believe is my truth, I will risk losing those relationships if this topic comes up and they disagree with who I am. I feel closer to God because I’m living my truth now.

If there’s a moral to this story, it’s this: truth always rises to the surface.  Fighting it may delay it, but it will eventually rise.  We all have truths that we refuse to deal with in our lives, but accepting them is how the bruises in our lives begin to heal.

Editor’s Note: Back in July, contributor to The New Civil Rights Movement, J. Rudy Flesher, wrote for this blog, “I’m From Driftwood,” a review of the project. It’s a good read, with some excellent videos!

Remember, there are always options.
The Trevor Project: a 24-hour hotline for gay and questioning youth: 866-4-U-TREVOR (488-7386)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255)

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‘I Feel a Little Bit Dumber for What You Say’: The Nine Worst Moments of the GOP Presidential Debate



The second Republican presidential debate was mired in in-fighting and personal attacks by the candidates,  a vow to wage physical war against Mexico, hate against LGBTQ people, an insistence the U.S. Constitution doesn’t actually mean what the words on the page say, and a fight over curtains.

Here are nine of the worst moments from Wednesday night’s debate.

The debate itself got off to a rough start right from the beginning.

Multiple times candidate cross-talk made it impossible for anyone to make a point, like this moment when nearly half the candidates talked over each other during a nearly two minute segment as the moderators struggled to take control.

READ MORE: ‘I Don’t Think So’: As GOP Debate Kicks Off Trump Teases Out the Chances of Any Candidate Becoming His Running Mate

Vivek Ramasway got into a heated argument with Nikki Haley, leading the former Trump UN Ambassador to tell him, “Honestly, every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber for what you say.”

Ramaswamy launched an attack on transgender children.

Moments after Ramaswamy attacked transgender children, so did Mike Pence, calling supporting transgender children’s rights “crazy.”

He promised “a federal ban on transgender chemical or surgical surgery anywhere in the country,” and said: “We’ve got to protect our kids from this radical gender ideology agenda.”

Former New Jersey Governor Cris Christie described the First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, who has dedicated her life to teaching, as the person President Biden is “sleeping with.”

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, as CNN’s Manu Raju noted were “one-time allies,” after “Haley appointed Scott to his Senate seat,” until they started “going at it at [the] debate.”

“Talk about someone who has never seen a federal dollar she doesn’t like,” Scott charged. “Bring it, Tim,” Haley replied before they got into a fight about curtains.

Senator Scott declared, “Black families survived slavery, we survived poll taxes and literacy tests, we survived discrimination being woven into the laws of our country. What was hard to survive was [President] Johnson’s Great Society, where they decided to take the Black father out of the household to get a check in the mail.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, currently leading over everyone on stage, said practically nothing for the first 15 minutes. He may have said the least of all the candidates on stage Wednesday night. But he denounced Donald Trump for being “missing in action.”

Watch all the videos above or at this link.




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‘I Don’t Think So’: As GOP Debate Kicks Off Trump Teases Out the Chances of Any Candidate Becoming His Running Mate



Donald Trump, again refusing to participate in a GOP debate, teased out the fate of every candidate on stage Wednesday night: he will choose none of them as his vice presidential running mate.

The ex-president who is facing 91 felony charges in four criminal cases across three jurisdictions and is now also facing the dissolution of his business empire, brought up the running mate question around the same time the debate on Fox News was kicking off.

“It’s all over television, this speech,” Trump falsely claimed, referring to his live remarks at a non-union shop one day after President Joe Biden stood on the picket line with UAW workers.

READ MORE: ‘Apparently You’ll Never Believe Us’: House Republican Melts Down After Reporter Questions His ‘Evidence’ Against Biden

“You know, we’re competing with the job candidates,” Trump said, mocking his fellow Republican presidential candidates after he scheduled an event opposite the debate he refused to attend.

“They’re all running for a job,” he continued, as the audience began to boo.

“They want to be in the, they’ll do anything,” he continued. “Secretary of something.”

“They even say VP, I don’t know,” Trump said. “Does anybody see any VP in the group? I don’t think so.”

Watch below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Careening’ Toward ‘Risk of Political Violence’: Experts Sound Alarm After Trump Floats Executing His Former General


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‘Apparently You’ll Never Believe Us’: House Republican Melts Down After Reporter Questions His ‘Evidence’ Against Biden



Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) became defensive and accusatory after repeatedly being unable to answer a reporter’s questions in a press conference Wednesday, held to announce what House Republicans claim is “evidence” against President Joe Biden.

A shortened version of the video posted by the news organization Heartland Signal went viral, garnering nearly one million views in under three hours on the social media platform X.

“Mr. Chairman, question about the timing of all of this,” began an NBC News reporter identified by Mediaite as Ryan Nobles. “You’re talking about a two-tiered system of justice. If I’m not mistaken, on August 7, 2020 Bill Barr was the attorney general and Donald Trump was the president, so explain to me where the two-tiered system of justice comes into play. And then the WhatsApp message you have, I believe, is dated June 6, 2017. Joe Biden is not vice president or even a candidate for president at that time. So where is the direct connection to some sort of criminal malfeasance within these two pieces of evidence?”

RELATED: ‘Everybody Has Seen That’: Fox News Host Smacks Down Republican Pushing Biden ‘Burismo’ Video People ‘Not Talking About’

Chairman Smith could not only not answer any part of those questions, he appeared to forget a portion of them.

“Well, I think the facts speak for themselves,” Smith replied. “There’s over 700 pages of examples of, where people should be very concerned, when you’re talking about um, ah, – what was your first question?”

Smith went on to say, “It doesn’t matter who’s in the White House,” after being reminded them President at that time was Donald Trump. “We need to make sure that the Department of Justice works for all people and doesn’t treat those who are politically connected or wealthy much differently. And unfortunately, we have several examples that came forward by the two IRS whistleblowers, that proves that people are treated differently because they’re politically connected.”

“Are you suggesting that Joe Biden being the president now, is unfairly treating Donald Trump in his indictment?” Nobles asked.

Again, Smith did not answer the question.

“What I’m talking about is the 700 pages that we have before us, which is all the information that came from the IRS whistleblowers, and that’s what we’re releasing right now,” Smith replied, again not answering Nobles’ question. “And I’ll tell you, I would encourage everyone in this room to look at those 700 pages. If you think it’s okay, with what’s in it, then we live on two different planets.”

RELATED: ‘You F**ked Me – I Know It Was You’: Top House Republican ‘Exploded’ at McCarthy After Losing Chairmanship

“Can you explain the timing of the August 6 WhatsApp message? Why is that evidence of some wrongdoing?” Nobles continued..

“I’m not an expert on the timeline,” Smith admitted, before pivoting to say, “I would love to have President Biden and his family to tell us about all the timelines, because it’s really, really unfortunate that we see so many meetings and so many phone calls that involved around official activity that the Vice President has been participating in, and then big sums of money follows later –”

“But he’s not the president or the vice president at that time. Where, where’s the wrongdoing? He wasn’t even a candidate for president,” Nobles pointed out.

“He was a candidate – ” Smith claimed.

“On August 6 –” Nobles began before Smith interrupted him.

“So apparently apparent – what source are you with?” Chairman Smith asked Noble.

“I’m with NBC,” the reporter replied.

“So apparently, you’ll never believe us,” Smith charged.

“I’m asking you a very direct question,” Nobles explained. “You presented a piece of evidence that you say came on August 6, 2017, that demonstrates that Joe Biden was using political influence to help his son. He wasn’t a political figure at that time. The first WhatsApp message you put up, where yo talk about the brand,” Nobles explained. “I’m completely open minded about this. I’m asking you specifically, how does that demonstrate that there was some sort of political influence being put over him, if at that time, he is not a political – he’s not an elected official?”

“I’m definitely not going to pinpoint one item,” Chairman Smith said defensively.

READ MORE: ‘Jaw Dropping’: Democratic Senator Slams Tuberville’s ‘Open’ Talk About ‘White Supremacy’

“You presented it!” Nobles acclaimed. “It was the first thing that you brought up.”

“So apparently, you don’t agree with that. So report that you disagree with it. I’ll take the next question. Yes?” Smith said, refusing to answer any of Nobles’ questions.

Watch below or at this link.


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