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I'm Sara, Sez for short a mature bi woman and volunteer community champ for BeyondBlue forum. Lovely to meet you Grant. It seems mid life crisis has hit with a vengeance hey?

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One thing you haven't mentioned is children. I'm wondering if this has any bearing on your situation. Mind you it's not to confuse you anymore than is present; it's just an observation. You and your family sound beautiful. You have a wonderful life Grant so this hiccup is throwing things out of balance; life's like that.

Please look up a 'Sex Therapist' in your area. They are in one word Professional, non judgemental, balanced, unknown to you and intent on helping you get onto the next phase of your life. As there are no mental health issues you've disclosed focus will be on the issue at hand. I really do hope you pursue this avenue of support as it's the best way to unravel a changing sexuality mindset.

What you've expressed is totally normal and very important. Congratulations for seeking support and being brave enough to express your confusion, it really does take guts. Please let us know how you're going and what direction your crossroad takes. I for one would love to hear the next chapter of your journey. Mid-life has surely hit with a vengeance! Well, actually it's finally brought this to a point where I can no longer bury my head in the sand. Becoming a parent has been a topic I've mulled over for the last few years, and whilst it would be an amazing experience to become a parent, it's not a must for me.

This question of where I sit on the sexuality spectrum has caused much confusion and paralysis over the years. I've had up to 5 years at a time where I've not dated or had sex with anyone as I had just shut that part of myself down. It was easier that way. I have decided now that it's time to move on this, ready or not.

When will one ever be ready for anything? I hadn't thought of seeing a sex therapist actually. I had seen a counsellor and a psychologist when I was younger which helped me sort through some other matters but couldn't really help me navigate this one. I will definitely look into that.

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Surely there is more to understanding a person than which gender they prefer to have sex with. Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones. You are currently: Home Get support Online forums. Online forums Before you can post or reply in these forums, please complete your profile Complete your profile. Cancel The title field is required! Hi there, I've always identified as gay but, at 28 I had the first idea that that might not have been the case. I can't keep ignoring the issue and can not be with Men anymore, it just doesn't feel right.

The last piece of the puzzle is working out this sexuality conundrum. Thanks, Grant. Hey Grant, You dude are about to get a whole lot of advice, Here is mine, At 40 I couldn't give a rats about your past,gay whatever!!!!!!!! Do the things you love in life, I don't think you need to decide on what ice cream you want. You will meet someone, you will know. Hi Grant, welcome Im a 61yo hetrosexual male but even I can identify with your problem.

Read your post, interesting. Chances are that one of these people will be what what you have been looking for. Not really advice I realise. It is just what came to my mind when I read your post. Regardless, I hope things work out for you. Just Sara Champion Alumni. Warm thoughts; Sez x.

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Hi Sez, Thank you for your words of advice and understanding. Thank you again.

Hi Dory, Thanks, you're right. Hi Tony, Thanks mate, I appreciate it. It's a journey, that's for sure! Hi Unbeliever, Thanks for your perspective. Countless years of discrimination necessitate a safe place for care delivery.

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This is also evidenced by the many participants who continued to see primary care providers in Vancouver due to established rapport and acceptance. When asked to describe a safe place, simply an indication that the health service was open and accepting of individuals who identify as gay would suffice, as articulated by this participant, involved with a local AIDS Service Organization ASO.

So people are kind of scared to approach. I think a lot of people are being missed in the gay community because of that factor. Preference of a gay health provider was indicated by some; However, most men stated that providers must simply be open-minded and express genuine concern for the health needs of the consumer. Being prompted by discrimination to speak up, resilience was bolstered by the ability to not only advocate for health needs but also insist on a respectful provider.

By refusing to engage in a negative and potentially harmful environment, men set a precedent for their health that ensured meaningful and effective health delivery in the form of a respectful provider. In doing so, participants greatly contributed to the cultivation of their own wellness.

The purpose of this investigation was to explore how middle-aged and older gay men developed resilience over the life course, specifically, identifying the external protective processes that comprise resilience to promote health. The extensive discrimination experienced by gay men solely by virtue of their sexual identity is recognized as a structural risk factor that played out over the course of life.

Ultimately, resistance to discrimination in the form of the three interrelated protective processes prompted developing resilience. In the following section, four key insights are discussed: This is potentially the first qualitative investigation into resilience development among middle-aged and older gay men. The sample, however, was predominantly comprised of White educated men, representing a particular social location that bears influence on the development of resilience.

In particular, building and sustaining networks was identified as a central protective process to resilience, as stated in the literature Herrick et al. The findings indicated that involvement in formal networks e. The protective process of addressing mental health offers preliminary insight into how gay men promote their mental health and signals the importance men placed on mental health. The integral role of time to resilience development was also identified: Over time, discrimination directly contributed to health inequities, but time also enabled experience and confidence through years of learning how to respond and ultimately thrive.

Advocating for respectful care encounters speaks to ongoing discrimination in health settings and recognizes gay men to be informed, responsible health-care consumers, in opposition to the discourses that position gay men as irresponsible Adam, ; Forstein, The historical and ongoing experiences of discrimination directly contribute to health inequities for gay men Ferlatte et al. To fully support the health of gay men, discrimination must be situated as a determinant of health Krieger, Several major pathways have been theorized that link discrimination and health inequities, including economic and social deprivation, social trauma, health-harming responses to discrimination, and inadequate medical care.

Background

These insights have been drawn from ecosocial theory to demonstrate specifically how exposures e. Active resistance of discrimination was a key finding in this study: Gay men are not passive victims of discrimination, but rather they actively resisted historical and ongoing systemic discrimination to develop resilience over the course of their lives. Essentially, gay men responded to discrimination with tremendous strength and tenacity to overcome the adversity present in their everyday lives.

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The pervasiveness of discrimination behooves socio-structural-level change to ensure people of various sexual and gender identities enjoy the same civil liberties as everyone in society. Dismantling the structures that perpetuate discrimination is a huge undertaking that will require more time; therefore, practical strategies to support individual efforts are needed in the interim Browne et al. One such approach gaining momentum is equity-oriented PHC Browne et al.

For gay men, an equity-oriented PHC approach would necessitate recognition of historical and ongoing discrimination as the fundamental systemic contributor to the health inequities many gay men face. An equity-oriented PHC framework would take knowledge of systemically induced inequities among gay men and integrate this information into practical strategies via four general approaches: Allied health professionals must advocate for the development of needed policies and processes within their organizations to support the development and implementation of equity-oriented PHC services.

Findings from this study showcase that health providers are in need of guidance to meaningfully support the health of gay men. Discrimination toward gay men by health providers was prominent in this study and although possibly unintentional, was nonetheless harmful, a finding well substantiated in the literature Alvy et al.

Furthermore, the need for support guidance for providers regarding HIV treatments and health needs of individuals with HIV is indicated.


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The findings showcased that men with HIV face unique challenges in the health setting, namely, preoccupation with HIV status on the part of health providers. The need for updated knowledge for providers regarding HIV treatments and training to address health issues for individuals who are HIV positive is indicated to ensure health issues and concerns are not overshadowed by HIV.

Equity-oriented PHC would also support the resilience demonstrated by gay men: Despite the numerous challenges and unfavorable health-care experiences the participants shared, the overwhelming majority of men displayed an unwavering dedication to maintaining and bettering health. Appreciating the value of supportive networks as fueling resilience via complex interactions at the personal and interpersonal level necessitates additional research to inform the development of meaningful support services for gay men. The findings from this study indicate that men in Victoria would benefit from established, community-based peer networks to be able to connect and engage with other gay men.

Such community-based services would also prove beneficial in addressing health issues, most notably, those that were prevalent in this investigation: The development of primary care services inclusive of and sensitive to men of varying sexual and gender identities is indicated and would benefit from an equity-oriented PHC design. Drawing attention to the impact of systemic discrimination is fundamental; for example, the importance of establishing the health setting as a safe place was a finding of key importance to middle-aged and older gay men.

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Mostly, this translated into something as simple as a rainbow flag placed conspicuously to indicate an acceptance of diversity. Considering that access to health has been identified as a key determinant of health World Health Organization, , this finding is integral to the health and well-being of gay men. In particular, it has been reported that older gay men are five times less likely to seek health care and social services out of fear of discrimination Sharma, Unfortunately, the generalized dearth of primary care options in Victoria currently specifically, family physicians confounds this issue.

Many participants expressed their discontent with walk-in clinics, primarily due to the inconsistency with regard to health providers: In essence, you rarely see the same provider twice, creating difficulty in developing rapport and communicating health issues of a more sensitive nature e.

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