Something I learned about myself some time ago, was how gay shame was holding me back and limiting my success. I was afraid of other people’s opinions of me.

For many gay men it’s challenging to feel good enough, to feel like we belong, and to feel equal within society.

Not feeling good enough started in my childhood, as it does for anyone who feels “different” (as I did) at a very early age. I felt isolated and rejected by my peers, which had a profound affect on my emotional, intellectual, and psychological development.

By trying to fit in and not draw attention to myself as a gay man, I had to hide away parts of myself. Gay shame reared it’s ugly head later in life when I realized I was afraid of my own success – I was afraid of being visible.

What a paradox! On the one hand I wasn’t afraid of being in the public eye, but on the other, years of adolescent shame about being gay was the impetus for self-sabotage.

Helpful links

The Velvet Rage by Alan Downs

Why I’m Not Good Enough. My Dirty Gay Secret

Discover how to Live OUT the best of who you are as a gay man. Join my Facebook group, The Living OUT Experiment:

Follow me on TwitterMedium: @darrenstehle

Living OUT theme music: “Summer” by | Cover Photo by Anthony Easton on Flickr.

  1. Mr Neil S Chapman 02/08/2018 at 06:08

    I’ve listened to several personal growth podcasts about overcoming your personal shame and come away feeling a little alienated. I found this podcast really insightful and helpful. It’s refreshing to hear a personal growth podcast that is aimed specifically at the gay experience and to hear a host who is prepared to talk about his own experiences. Thanks, you gave me a lot to think about.

    1. Thank you, Neil. This is very encouraging feedback for me and much appreciated. Is there a particular challenge you are struggling with at the moment, that may or may not be connected with this episode’s theme?

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