Disclosing to Family

By Troy, Chicago

An escort’s decision to tell his family and friends about his job is one that every escort is likely to at least consider. Of course, escorting doesn’t necessarily have to be anybody else’s business, but at the same time, you may feel something lacking in your relationships as a result of hiding this part of your life, or maybe it is just your nature not to pretend. Like all of our non-sexworker friends, it makes sense that you would want to be able to share about your work with others. If you were practicing medicine or law, this would not even be a flicker in your mind. But Mom and Dad are probably going to be shocked silly when they find out that their son is doing something that is, at the very least, not held in high esteem by our society. Yet it also not fair to think that you are not allowed to make this fact about yourself known to loved ones.

In the year 2012, it can still be a challenge to be gay. With all the newly integrated enlightenment, structured support systems, and the Enquirer headlines, this fact remains though there is a lot of encouragement and support for people to come out and be open about being gay. In contrast, there is zero encouragement for escorts to be open about being escorts. I do not know of (nor can I imagine!) any groups that endorse male prostitution. We do not have mentors or teachers. We do not have supervisors or co-workers (usually not, anyway!) or paid breaks. With the exception of a good attitude and a hard dick, there aren’t really any rules regarding the business. So, if you are going to tell people that you are an escort, you will probably have to look inside yourself for strength and guidance. Maybe some of your friends already know. Maybe you are lucky enough to have a few escorts as friends. Personally, I have found the most difficult part of escorting to be the absence of any built-in support system. By the same token, this solitariness has given me the opportunity to learn things about my own strengths, weaknesses, and needs that I would not have otherwise. This is as good a place to start as any when pondering the central debate of whether or not to reveal oneself as an escort.

Ask yourself, “What do I like (or dislike) about being an escort?”, “How do I view myself in terms of being an escort?”, “How did I come to do this for a living?”, “Why am I now wanting to let others know about my escorting?” If you can think through these questions and arrive at answers that are satisfying to you and make you feel okay with your telling others, then you will be better prepared to discuss this out in the open. And if you feel good about yourself and about being an escort, this will reflect on how you are coming across to others.

There are no escort floats in the gay pride parades (at least not here in Chicago). Integrity comes from within. Remember that the #1 reason why people will react negatively to your newsflash is that they know very little, if anything, about how you do what you do. And unless you come from a long line of escorts, your family is going to know nothing about prostitution in terms of escort/client dynamics, nothing in terms of legal and safety issues, and nothing in terms of why you chose this path for yourself. Their only point of view is the stereotype.

Friends are probably going to be somewhat more accepting than family. Some of your friends may even think your “outlaw” status is cool and will proceed to ask you every question they can think of. Good for us, I say, because we do not get too many chances to talk freely about what we do. However, these questions may get at what is essentially the “taboo” nature of prostitution. Questions like “How much do you charge?”, “Have you ever had a psycho for a client?”, “Do you get a lot of married guys?”, “What if he’s really gross and ugly? How do you get hard?” These are all good, even fun questions, and they welcome your answers. Still I would try not to put myself on too big a display here. Unless you are telling people that you are an escort in order to get their attention, try to stay focused and remember that this is what you do and part of who you are. I have told several friends and, for the most part, been very lucky with my positive response ratio. Again, I usually have gotten lots of questions, but this is an encouraging sign to me because it allows me to become less self-conscious. Being a male escort will probably never become fully accepted by our society at large, but when it comes to disclosing your professional identity to your loved ones, do so by being as true and fair to yourself as possible. The people who are going to count in your life will be able to see beyond the stereotype, and you become one step closer in that lifelong process of self-discovery.

Troy lives in Chicago where is working toward a graduate degree in psychology. He plans to stop escorting no time soon. His favorite angel is Sabrina

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