Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Male Media Mind Bearcast Episode 2: Bears and Coming Out (w/Mark O Estes)

Episode 2: Bears and Coming Out (w/Mark O Estes)
February 3, 2015

Coming out is one of those facts of life that almost every gay man has to experience at some point in his life. Not every coming out story is the same, but each of those stories has similar themes. First there's some form of self-acceptance. Not every man who has sex with men is going to consider it an act that defines him. Others will see him as essentially different, and one he accepts that it, he has to consider if the people around him will accept that difference as well. It's often a painful process having to defend one's masculinity and manhood. Often you have to come out, you often have a lot of work ahead of you, explaining your sexuality to those who are ignorant, sometimes over and again, and having to deal with hateful people. In the third episode of the M3 Bearcast, I talk with M3 Contributor Mark Estes about his experience with coming out. I hope that his story will inspire others to feel a little more comfortable in their skin.

Eric and Mark in New Orleans 
What's interesting about Mark's coming out story is that it happened less than a year ago. He's very intelligent and well-spoken and can tell about his experiences with a level of detail and clarity that most people are unable or unwilling to provide. He's from a small town the bible belt. He came out using social media. His story is both classic and fresh in the sense that technology made it possible to tell everyone in his life simply by pressing post, and that he had to soothe the concerns of conservative Christian parents in much the same way many gay men have had to do in the past. 

He also made some mistakes common for gay men coming out for the first time. The first being that he would only have to come out once. Mark warns young gay men about some of the lofty expectations led him to profound disappointment in the wake of his coming out. He explains what they should expect to get from being an out gay man, and what question they should expect to answer.  

A large part of any coming out story is the unexpected love and support that can be found from people close to you. His best friend Eric helped him bounce back from his debilitating depression he felt in the wake of his coming out. He tells an uplifting story of acceptance he felt as he went to New Orleans for Marti Gras. It's one of those benefits of coming out that many closeted gay men will not know until hey have experience the crushing sense of vulnerability that being out can cause. And then the acceptance of the people choose to stay in your life. 

Male Media Mind