My Guest, Tyler Boyle came out a little later in life. He shares his unique perspective on the rude awakening of what he thought gay life was going to be like, after coming out... and what it really was. While coming out stories are abundant in our community, "after coming out" stories are definitely underrated. He speaks on how feeling like "the other" was such a big part of his experience. If you haven't yet come out or you have come out later in life and feel like you missed something, this episode is for you. Tyler dropped some serious wisdom bombs!
Tyler is an artist, speaker, entertainer, and teacher.
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Coach Maddox 0:03
Hello, Tyler Boyle and welcome to The Authentic Gay Man Podcast. I'm delighted to have you today.
Tyler Boyle 0:10
Thank you for inviting me on. I'm super excited and looking forward to it all week.
Coach Maddox 0:15
Great. So just to let the audience know, we have only met in zoom, Tyler was referred to me and I'm gonna get a shout out to one of the former guests on the podcast, Britt AST. He referred me to Tyler. And that's how we met. And so shout out to you, Brett for that referral. Thanks so much. And other than that, Tyler and I are getting to know each other as we speak. So anything you'd like to say, Tyler?
Tyler Boyle 0:48
No, I am looking forward to our conversation today. I've been listening to your podcast and some of the guests on and the vulnerability that comes up people's different experiences, the way that we can all relate to somebody's somebody's story, no matter what it is, is pretty powerful to be sharing. So thanks for bringing this forward on your podcast.
Coach Maddox 1:12
Thank you. And I'm just delighted to hear that you're listening for that. So Tyler is an artist, a speaker, an entertainer, and a teacher. And there will be some links in the show notes. So let's get rolling. So Tyler, tell me how would you define what does being an authentic gay man mean to you?
Tyler Boyle 1:38
Well, authentic gay man, or an authentic person in general, to me is somebody whose words whose actions and whose beliefs all align and intersect. When one of those three of the trifecta are, are skipped over or lackadaisical. That person loses integrity, I lose trust in them. I don't know how to manage myself around them, because I don't know if what they're saying is real, or what their, their their doing is authentic, or what they believe, is truly what they believe. So I think there's this beautiful intersection of those three of your words, your beliefs, and your actions, in that that little center point where they all meet together. That's authenticity to me.
Coach Maddox 2:35
Beautiful, I love that very, very well said. Thank you for that. I've gotten some remarkable definitions of authenticity. So now to our million dollar question, what we're here for what has been your biggest challenge in life that you have either gone through or are continuingto go through it?
Tyler Boyle 3:02
To be, to be honest, life is life is a roller coaster, as we know. But the biggest thing for me that I am most proud of that I overcame was being in the closet, and finally coming out of the closet, being ready to do so having done it and where I am today, because of it.
Coach Maddox 3:25
So how old were you when you finally made that jump?
Tyler Boyle 3:29
So, as many people I think we always kind of know, on some level that were gay or bi or what have you. I'll speak from my experience being gay. I always kind of knew, but I wasn't sure. Sure. Sure. And I started dating men in secret when I was 29. And I didn't actually come out at all until 32. And in that experience, a lot of people were a lot of people in the gay community have something to say about that. And a lot of them will go wow, you came out awfully late. Wow. You came out awfully late. Like it's something like I missed something. Or that there was something to regret, or even from straight people. There's a bit of pity in that. And I don't see it that way. I've never seen it that way. First of all, you're not late unless you miss something. And I don't feel like I missed something. And too. I came out when I was ready. It was divine timing. And I am one of the lucky ones who wasn't outed when I wasn't ready. I came out on my own terms when I was ready. And there's a lot of peace in that. You know, I also know that there's nothing that has passed me by because of the time that I spent in the closet. And so it's funny when I hear that reaction, especially from gay men like wow, you can came out awfully late.
Coach Maddox 5:04
Well, I think you have a really, really good attitude about it and a really good perspective. I would say it sounds really healthy to me. And bravo to you, you know, for letting not letting those comments affect you, or I mean, I'm sure they had their impact. But I would think, based on what you've just said that it was minimal impact.
Tyler Boyle 5:27
Yeah, I mean, it makes me i It's always interesting, because it's mostly interesting to me of where that comment comes from, in the person saying it? Is it coming from a place of pity? Is it coming from a place of concern for my mental health? Is it coming from curiosity? And I think for many people, it's a little different. But But isn't that funny? That what what is the root of that question? Or maybe just out of awkwardness? It's just something to say it's just a comment people make. But I'm more than happy to answer answer the comment with well, you only late if you miss something, and I don't feel like I missed anything yet.
Coach Maddox 6:08
Yeah, I think that's beautiful. You know, I have over the past few months with this podcast, listen to several coming out stories. And I do find that there is a percentage of, of men who they suffered. I mean, they really suffered one of my my guests, a few episodes back, attempted suicide over 10 times. And that all went away when he finally came out. I mean, all of that went away, when he finally came out that all of the desire to take his own life was purely out of the anguish of just living a lie. For I mean, so many years. I mean, he didn't come out until he was in his early 50s, had been married for 30 some odd years and had two grown kids. And I think that we've all heard enough stories where it was filled with anguish and suffering. And you sound to me, like you didn't experience that, which kind of sets you apart in a way from perhaps maybe the majority, perhaps,
Tyler Boyle 7:24
yes. However, there was I struggled very, very much with my mental health. In my mid 20s, I was diagnosed with an acute panic and anxiety disorder. And one of the very first books that I read about anxiety said, some people's root cause for such severe anxiety can be that they're holding on to trauma, in the form of this that this that or a secret. And for me, I went holy shit, is all of this is my panic attack every day are my tears before I go to bed for no reason, or my trembling as I'm walking down the street, walking my dogs is me bawling in the shower all just because my body is having a toxic reaction to something I won't let roll off of my tongue. And isn't that wild? And what's interesting is the very first person that I ever said I was gay to was my best friend of 27 years, I was in a relationship with a woman before this. And I had broken up with her and my best friend said, what happened? You guys were just such a good match. And I remember I was stirring the spaghetti, spaghetti sauce, I can picture like, I'm there right now, starting this big spaghetti sauce. And I I went quiet for a long time. And it was almost like intuitively, she knew that something was coming. And she said nothing. And I was quiet for a very long time. And I felt such pressure in my body. It's like my skin was going to explode. And I finally said, The only thing that my body would let myself say, which was, I'm confused about my sexuality. And in saying, so I crumpled to the floor, in wailing sobs. And I cried so hard, I went into shock. And I lost mobility in my hands, and my fingers and my legs, and my arms wrapped around myself and it just bawled hysterically. But in the same in that traumatic moment. There's nothing looking back that I regret because I am where I am now. So there is an element of trauma when we spend so long not being ourselves, and we spend so long repressing a part of ourselves. And so it sounds like when I tell that story to people, they're like, oh my gosh, that's awful. And I look at that and they go, Oh, my God, what a release. Because it was as I started to tell more people that now I'm not on medication for anxiety. I am I'm really well, now I'm an LGBTQ advocate, and I do public and professional speaking about the topic because I'm so comfortable with who I am now. And so connecting back to what you said about your previous guests, so many gay people, specifically gay men that I speak to about this, none of them regret coming out. Even no matter the trauma that's involved, so many of them, the majority feel better having done it, and there is something to the line, it gets better. It really does. Even though when we're in the closet, there's such catastrophize ation that you know, everybody's going to leave you somebody's going to get violent, your community is going to hate you. Everybody at work is going to ridicule you what HR nightmare, just keep it quiet a little longer. When, how much longer do I have to date a woman so that nobody asks any questions? These are all the things, these are all the things that go through our mind. Right?
Coach Maddox 11:01
You know, I love your comment about nobody ever regrets coming out. I was just sitting on my sofa on last Thursday night with a close friend that I hadn't seen in several months, because he lives out of the country. And we were just commenting, you know, about how difficult life can be as a as a gay man. And, and certainly I have experienced a fair amount of that difficulty. And yet, in our conversation, he asked me, you know, if you could do it all over again, would you do it differently? And I said, there might be some subtle aspects of it that I would do differently. Yes, it would I would I come out and and do the whole guy thing. Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. it as hard as it has been. There is no part of me. He said, If you could take a pill at bedtime and wake up the next morning, and have it all go away, would you? And I said absolutely not.
Tyler Boyle 12:05
Isn't that amazing? How
Coach Maddox 12:06
far can we come? Take a pill and wake up tomorrow and be straight and live in a you know, house with a picket fence with a wife and 2.5 children? No, no, no, I would not. No, no. Absolutely would not. You you make a really valid point there. So you listed off all these things, you know, crying in the shower and and anxiety and all the varying different things that you were experiencing? After you came out, did that all dissipate?
Tyler Boyle 12:43
Yes. That's the interesting part. That's that's something that I'm that I really wanted to talk with you about today is like what happened? What happens after? What's the story look like after the coming out story? So as I mentioned, I came up to my best
Coach Maddox 12:59
client, it's it's not a conversation that you hear very often.
Tyler Boyle 13:04
No, no, it's not. And it's it's something that I wish we as gay men talk more about, because we need to support each other and our new, like new Gabby's, through this experience.
Coach Maddox 13:21
That's the weakest link, in my opinion, right there. That I don't see nearly as much love acceptance and support in our community. As I would like to see, I'm not going to do the explicative all words are everyone are. And I'm not bashing. I just wish that we were more compassionate with each other. And of course, I realized that I realized that our lack of compassion for others is connected to our lack of compassion for ourselves. When you see people throw in hate and doing judgmental and mean things, that's merely a reflection of what's going on inside of them is what's what's their relationship with themselves.
Tyler Boyle 14:15
Yeah. And so that that begs the question, so why is why aren't we as as a gay male community, always that compassionate? What like, why, why is there there so much unkindness, to ourselves and toward others. And I think from my experience, I spent so long building a fence around myself, right to protect myself from other people. It takes a very long time after coming out of the closet to say it's okay to unlock those gates and not necessarily have myself inside imprisoned or keeping people out. And that requires some work that requires some work to be able to take downs. some barriers, because that
Coach Maddox 15:01
requires an incredible work I have spent most of my life it's only been I mean, I'm, I'm 65 years old. And I have just in the last two, three years, taken down the fortress that was around me. Yes, it's tend to meet that long. And I've been out of the closet for 41 years. And most of that time, I lived in a space where I just didn't believe gay men were safe.
Tyler Boyle 15:31
Yes. And on that note, for so many of us, we have such trauma from being in the closet and a lot of that trauma, I would argue from my perspective of growing up in a town of 600 people, I would argue that a lot of that trauma has to do with men. And being fearful of the repercussions of coming out from men, I think it's a little easier in certain respects to imagine how a woman might react if you came out to them. But for there's a lot of fear of men and toxic masculinity and how that puts you at risk, physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, right. And so with all this trauma that we're holding on to from toxic relationships with men, and all of that fear, that trauma, not only these fences that we built around ourselves, but that trauma I find is something that I carried over, in coming out. And I wasn't authentic, I was just doing what I needed. What I felt I needed to do given the situation, I need to treat him this way, because I'm trying to date him, I need to treat him this way. Because I'm trying to get in his pants, I'm trying to do it. Rather than coming from a place of me, I was just being reactive to my training of the trauma that I was carrying from being in the closet.
Coach Maddox 16:58
Well, and you're kind of answering your own question you said a few minutes ago, why are we not more compassionate with each other. And I think that you're addressing that, from, from my experience, in my vantage point. We as gay men have have been made wrong, we've we've been, you know, treated really, really poorly. And we've been told how terrible we are, we've been thrown out of our homes, we've been thrown out of our churches. And there is an insane amount of self loathing in our community. And when you hate yourself, how can you love others? Mm hmm. You know, and, and we project that, you know, we projection is a real thing, when when, when you got all this hatred going on inside of yourself, rather than taking it out on you. It's human nature, to project it out on others, otherwise, we would have just mass suicide. We have mass suicide.
Tyler Boyle 18:03
So the other thing about coming out of the closet that I learned is there is this re Hmm, this putting back together or establishing for the first time your personality, because before I was living two lives where I was dating men on the side, but I was showing up as a straight male to excuse me, my friends, family and community. So gay men have a fragmented personality for some that they grew up with. And that's what I did. I live two separate lives. I was I was a double agent of sorts. And I got very used to lying. And so when you're used to lying when I came out, and I realized how an inauthentic as somebody who's single, trying to date, how inauthentic people are in the dating world and how uncompassionate they are. It comes from a lot of this trauma that we're talking about, I would argue it comes from the sense of, of growing up with a fragmented personality and having to relearn about who you are and which foot you want to put forward and also being very used to lying. And that is I don't want to paint everybody with the same brush. But that was my experience of the things I had to unlearn for myself to become more authentic. Yeah.
Coach Maddox 19:22
Yeah, I completely get it.
Tyler Boyle 19:26
See the other thing too is we need to so we're talking about compassion for others, but we also have to have compassion for ourselves. And that is something I'm just learning now. So I came out when it finally when I was 32. I'm 39 now and what I'm learning and really having grace for myself, is I'm really just a babe in the woods. Really. I've only had I've only had 30 To 239 to get to know who I am, what do I like? What do I not like? What is my real personality with nothing to hide, and especially in the dating world, a lot of heterosis people, they got these rites of passage very early on and learning about themselves in their sexuality. I didn't get those until I was 29. And those weren't authentic either, because I was so in the closet, I wasn't heart forward and in what I was doing, so it wasn't until 32 to 39, we have to be compassionate with ourselves. That's what I'm learning about myself as I just need to learn to go, well, it's not a wonder that you reacted that way, Ty, because you're just a babe in the woods, you're still trying to figure yourself out. And you don't have a lot of practice at this, you have six years of practice.
Coach Maddox 20:51
I think you're spot on, Tyler. And I think that and this is certainly been my observation. I came out at 24. But I have throughout my life known many men that came out at a later time in life. And one thing that I've seen without fail, is I don't think when we're not able, as gay men, when we're not able to go through puberty, because we're so in the closet, we're not actually able to, to navigate puberty. It just, it happens when we come out, I've seen it over and over and over again, man can come out at 60. And suddenly, he is going through puberty. Mm hmm. Going through all of the hormonal stuff, going through all of it's almost like, you know, all of for many, many years, in my studies of, of substance abuse and addiction. I've learned that when we become addicted to a substance, that substance stunts, our emotional maturity, we don't mature emotionally during the period of time that we are addicted to the substance. And so if you've got 25 years of being on a substance, and you got there when you were 15 years old, now you're sober, and now you begin to progress in your emotional maturity. But you're you still have the emotional maturity of a 15 year old. Yes, I personally, this is my own theory. But I believe that being a closeted gay man does exactly the same thing.
Tyler Boyle 22:29
So I agree with you, because somebody called me out on that when I was still in the closet, I met a wonderful guy. And if I hadn't been in the closet, things would have would have definitely been different. But the reason he broke up with me is exactly what you're explaining is he knew he needed to let me go through my puberty phase. And so he basically he accused me of being an in the closet vampire. And as a newborn vampire, what do you do, you need to go out, and you need to drink as much blood as possible, and check a whole bunch of boxes so that you're strong enough and settled enough to be a mature calm vampire. Right? And so he basically said that about about me, he's like I am, you need to go through a phase of getting to know and learn about yourself. And you are going to make a lot of mistakes. And you need to just come undone for a little bit and his his what he was alluding to, was mainly sexually, you need to you need to go out there and learn like go go kiss somebody else. Go sleep with somebody else either than me. Have you
Coach Maddox 23:37
ever seen a gay man that came out later in life that didn't act just like a kid in a candy store? i It's never fails. I mean, I just recently went out on some dates with a gentleman that has only been out for two years. He's in his mid 50s. And he's only been out for two years. And we didn't we didn't we weren't a good fit for the relationship thing. But we're coming at becoming absolutely lovely friends and I'm very thrilled to to be building this wonderful friendship with him. But one of the things that I noticed in our dating was he really was and we've had conversations about it. He was showing up like the the adolescent, it's going through puberty. Our first date, he flirted with everybody in sight right in front of me on our first date. Couldn't couldn't control himself. Yeah, and of course we've had some good laughs about it now. So I'm not saying anything I'm not throwing him out of the best or any no no had this conversation multiple times. And but it was something that I don't think he could control. It was it was that hormonal thing just going wild? And every
Tyler Boyle 24:53
everybody's a little different. Sometimes it turns on right away. Sometimes they ease into it. Even in straight culture. What am I Favorite dating coaches calls it the whole phase. And he is in his mid 20s. And he feels like he's already over his whole face. So bless him. But he talks about that even in straight culture that there is something about learning about ourselves, learning about our bodies, learning about our interests, learning about our possible fetishes, that that we need to set explore. And it's it that something that many of us not all, not all, not all, but many of us have have done once we finally gave ourselves permission to explore. And especially after I came out of the closet, when I had nothing, nothing, nothing to hide and didn't have to sneak around all the time. It made it a lot easier to find out who I was, as a sexual being or as a heart centered being. Yeah,
Coach Maddox 25:57
absolutely. You talk about the whole phase we, we we all know like, Man that never outgrew that phase. Yes, of course, at any age, of course, at any age just never made it beyond that phase. You know, I can I can I can't pinpoint the actual day, but it was, I can just a general idea of my life, you know, we all have the experience of our life being completely run by the little head. And I can remember, there was a point when the big head took over the little head wasn't in charge anymore. And it was a glorious day, because there is when the little head is in charge. It's beyond our control, oftentimes.
Tyler Boyle 26:42
And that's something else that I learned is what kind of where you're headed is sexual shame. And when I because I'm from a small town of 600 people, I didn't know what a top bottom verse twink swonk, I just learned of trunk. Bear, I didn't know these terms, I had to look them all up on what's it called Urban Dictionary, or Wikipedia? Yeah, I had to I had to Google these things, to learn to learn about who I was to learn about what this was. And I always thought that every every gay man was worse. I just thought thought that's how it was. And I found myself being because of sexual shame, being forced to fit in a box, and then fight against the box, because I wasn't happy with who I was sexually. And that's another thing that after coming out, or or while you're in the closet, that you have to navigate to his sexual shame, because also, what I didn't realize is gay culture. Like your listeners probably are well aware of this now. But I had to learn this is that gay culture is very different from heterosexual culture. And there is more air quotes promiscuity. And I had to learn to be okay with myself sexually, that I wasn't sexually shaming myself, for allowing myself for the first time time in my life to say experiment.
Coach Maddox 28:32
Yeah, you are lightyears ahead of the game, if you have. If you've made that point, if you've let go of the shame that that is such a big thing in our community. You know, it's very strange, I, I didn't experience a lot of shame. When I came out, I mean, I was raised in a house where we were taught that sex was a pretty normal, natural thing. We were never taught that it was nasty or dirty. And it was much later in life. When our own community did some things that were, you know, my own community, there were men that were shaming certain aspects of sex in our community that I felt shamed for the first time it was so bizarre. And it's taken me a while to kind of put that in perspective.
Tyler Boyle 29:33
And that, that you've led us so nicely into something else, since coming out that I had to navigate, which was very difficult is when I was in the closet. I felt such otherness. I felt so separate from my community and my people in my family. And then I got, I got I came out, and I was like gay people are going to be the most kind. The most Free, the most loving the most accepting people ever because they've all felt what it felt like to be an other. And so I assumed that that was going to be what it was when I came out.
Coach Maddox 30:14
You had a rude awakening, didn't you?
Tyler Boyle 30:15
I certainly did. You know,
Coach Maddox 30:18
I did, too. I you know, growing up, I was terrorized by the strike boys, just beaten and bullied throughout my school years. And when I came out at 24, it was like my, my thought like yours was, Oh, my God, these are my people. It's going to be okay, now. I couldn't have been more wrong.
Tyler Boyle 30:37
And that's something that, as I transitioned out of the closet, I needed to reconcile was, I felt such otherness, being in the closet. And then I stepped into gay world, where I also felt like I didn't fit. And that is a difficult transition for people coming out of the closet is, how can I still be an other? And where is my community of people? Because I thought I had found them. You're
Coach Maddox 31:10
telling my story, Tyler? Yes. And I'm sure that there's many people that are listening to this. And it is telling their story.
Tyler Boyle 31:19
And it's my story. It's totally my story. Even even now. Even a perfect example, this weekend, I was talking to a gentleman on Instagram, we had met on dating apps, moved it over to Instagram, chit chat, chit chat back forth, back forth, ooh, vibe and vibe. And suddenly, in conversation in context, I said, By the way, I'm coming to the city pretty often. I would love to go out for coffee or a beer with you. If your schedule allows it, boom, ghosted, gone. And, of course, what does my brain do? It turns everything internally and says, What did you do wrong? It was too too forward too much to this to that to this to that. And I, it's just such a good example of when you put your heart forward. And it's not received, it hurts and stings. And so as gay people, when we spend this time in the closet, then we might join the the gay world, if you will, the gay, dumb, and still feel othered it can really do a number on people's self esteem. And I find, especially with the conversations that I have with men in your generation who are single, because you have had more time, air quotes more time to try to navigate that space. And it doesn't seem to get any better. Everybody's living a similar experience, in some ways, in trying to navigate especially the dating world, right?
Coach Maddox 33:00
I would say it's very challenging. In fact, I'm not so sure that it doesn't get more challenging as we get older. You know, there are less spaces for us. As a 65 year old man, where do I go to meet eligible men? It's, it's, I mean, when I go out and about I'm fairly social, when I go out and about I rarely bump into myself. In other words, no matter where I go, I'm one of the oldest ones in the room, oftentimes. And I'm okay with that. You know, I mean, it's not ideal. It's what I have to work with. I don't not go because I'm the only oldest one in the room. I go, if I decide I want, in fact, I've got I've got probably a large percentage of my friends are considerably younger than I am. I relate to younger people way better than I do. Men my own age, I've got a couple of friends my own age, but it can be challenging sometimes I'm, I'm, I'm social. I'm energetic. I'm active. And I don't meet myself all that often.
Tyler Boyle 34:18
Yeah, yes. And I have to share with you this too, because you're alluding to it is, this is such a silly thing that I felt shame about is finding my tribe, inside gay culture. When there's daddies and otters and this and that, and this bears. I didn't have a tribe. I was just the guy called that grinder called clean cut. Is that really what am I not a jock? I'm not a twink. Even not having a tribe, even for us. That That doesn't even fit into a bear category, subcategory a jock category I went, there's literally there's not even a space for me here. I'm just clean cut. Oh, okay, isn't that so strange, but this is something that I had to navigate in coming out of the closet is, okay, here are the terms, but there's not a term for me other than clean cut
Coach Maddox 35:17
well, and then when you start to look at the the actual profiles and read them. For me, I was shocked at how many of them said, masculine seeking the same. And I wasn't sure I could pull that off, I wasn't sure that I fell in that category. Most of my life I had been called a sissy. And so I didn't see myself as a masculine man. Now, it's only been in the last couple of years that I've gotten to the other side of that, you know, and for me, it was the realizing that there was a happy place where masculine and feminine integrated. But, and I'm at peace with it now, but I've lived most of my life, also feeling like other, you know, outside, because our community over the last couple of decades has put in an insane amount of obsessive focus on masculinity. And I just didn't feel like I could be put in that box.
Tyler Boyle 36:25
But But you're saying now that you're more at peace with it, right?
Coach Maddox 36:29
I'm much more at peace with it. I actually did something I it was so simple. I did a grounding exercise about two years ago, where I just sat down and really wrote down what masculinity meant to me, I grounded myself. And that really defined it for me, it's not a dictionary definition. It's my definition. But when I realized when I wrote it all down and then read back I realized that it was there's not a term. You know, I was thinking about this this morning on my morning walk I don't I densify we we've got to get an either or you're either masculine or you're feminine. And where is the term? Why do we not have a term that indicates that beautiful intersection, where the the two of them work together so beautifully, once I embrace that, and really allowed myself to, to show up at the times when it was called with the more masculine energy show up at the time, when it was called for the more feminine energy this piece just came over me and life smoothed out. And yet we don't even have a category for somebody that honors both.
Tyler Boyle 37:42
And this is the the beautiful part like we've we've talked a lot about the the negative aspects of coming out in the confusion and the mayhem and feeling like we don't fit in and all that stuff. But this is the beautiful part that we should should end our conversation with today is the parts of coming out of my journey coming out after war. I just feel so at peace. And the biggest one for me was, I realize that I have one of the most beautiful experiences that a heterosis person will never understand. I get to live a life better than the happily ever after I get to live a life better than I ever could have imagined. Because my dreams were only were once only as expansive as the walls of my closet, where I was living day to day and refuse to look at my future. And all I saw on that future was a wife, kids misery and not being myself, or tears and anxiety attacks. And now, because I'm on the other side of the closet, my world is so expansive, I get to think about my future and fantasize. Whereas before I was too shameful to fantasize about marrying a man or kissing a man or sleeping with a man. Now I get to fantasize that about that of one from every color of the rainbow if I so chose. And that's something that a straight person will never understand. They will never get to know in the same way that I would love to know what it's like to carry a baby in my belly. But I can't because I'm a man heterosis person will never understand what it's like to be able to completely redefine your future. And for all this darkness and shadow of a closet to just be light and rainbows outside of it after you work through the trauma components. And you get to fantasize you do you one one of the most. If I could go back to my in the closet itself and give him the biggest hug. I would say I want you to do one thing. Here's a piece of paper and I want you to write everything that goes wrong that you're afraid is going to go wrong. Get it all out every last thing including you Your dog will suddenly turn rabid because it's allergic to gay. And then it's going to bite you in the jugular while you sleep. Write it all out, whatever your brains doing. But then, on the second sheet of paper, I want you to just take a moment to allow yourself to fantasize, fantasize about what it would be like, if everything was okay. fantasize about what your dream dude would look like if you were allowed. And if you're terrified to actually write it down, then burn it after but at least, at least imagine what it could be because my life is better than I ever could have imagined. The fact that I'm sitting here, only six years after coming out, and I have had a talk go viral on online, we'll put well, we'll link it in the show notes. I've had to talk go viral online, where I admit that I'm gay. And in over in under 48 hours, it had 25,000 views or 250,000 views. And I just came out to 250,000 people and that was within four years of my coming out, I never thought I'd be there. And this is the thing about coming out that I wasn't ready for is how beautiful it can be on the other side. Once you slowly work through your trauma, you work through them in tandem, you work through your trauma, and you get to live your best life. I had one of my friends, his friends used to call him Dexter, because he had no emotions ever. He wouldn't get overly excited, he wouldn't get overly sad. He would never smile all the way to his eyes. I knew him when he was in the closet. And when he came out, this guy smiles and has a belly laugh that that most of us never saw coming. And is something so beautiful and so special. That it yeah, there's a lot of trauma and shit that goes with coming out at so much beauty too.
Coach Maddox 41:53
Yeah, there really is, you know, it's amazing repression is a killer. And when we finally step beyond that, we, we can experience life completely differently.
Tyler Boyle 42:06
Yeah. And, and you get to, as we alluded to, in the very beginning of our conversations, you still get to have those experiences you feel it feel you missed out on. Some of my friends really regret when they came out. Like my friend that I just mentioned their Hebrew, Hebrew, he regrets that he came out too late. And I believe he came out in his early 30s or late 20s. He feels he came out too late. But everything that we want is still ahead ahead of us, your ideal partner is still out there somewhere. It's somewhere it's luck and magic to find them. It really is. It's luck, magic and work.
Coach Maddox 42:41
Yes. And personally, I do want to speak to something there, you have made several references to working through the trauma. And I just want to call that out. Because I talk a lot about if we're going to have meaningful lives, we must do our work. You can't sail through life and expect it to have any deep and meaning quality. When you're not stepping up and and taking charge. You have to be the captain of your own ship. And I'm continually saying you want a better life than you got, which most people do. I don't I don't know very many people that say my life is just perfect and ideal just the way it is. Most of us want more, we're wired, to want more to want water. And to have better and to have more you have to do your work. It's just it's what we're here to do. And it's amazing to me how many people refuse to do their work, when it is really what we are literally here to do. We're here to grow and evolve and you don't grow and evolve without
Tyler Boyle 43:49
the work. And you know, I think some of your listeners might be listening and saying, yes, Maddox. Yes, Tyler, but that costs money. Because to do the work, I need a therapist and blah, blah, blah. We are lucky to live in a time right now where you can watch a motivational video on YouTube. You're there. My favorite section of the bookstore is self help. There's audiobooks and stuff like that. And really what it comes down to is, and I'm a teacher, an elementary school teacher, I tell this to my kids all the time. Let's funnel it down to are you being kind Are you do you have a healthy heart? And are you doing Are you following the golden rule of treat others the way that you want to be treated? If the way that you want to be treated as healthy and good? If we boil it down to that you can you can come up a far, far, far away in a short amount of time. Yes,
Coach Maddox 44:47
I agree completely. Yeah, that excuse that. It's expensive is not not plausible anymore. There's more free content in the world than you could ever consume. And really, really good
Tyler Boyle 45:00
content. Yep. And then somebody, somebody might challenge you again and say, well, all that content, how do I know if it's good? And what if I'm just filling my head with some rando, who doesn't actually know what they're talking about? Here's the thing. In talking and getting a variety of opinions and talking to different people, we get to pick and choose the nuggets that resonate with us. Even if I disagree with somebody, I can listen to their podcast or something and go, Okay, that was a good point. That's a keeper. Right? Exactly. It's so important for us to do the work because for some of us in in, in the gay community, we've had a rough go. And we've had a long time not being ourselves. So doing the work, and I'm preaching to myself here too, because I'm doing it. I'm doing the work is super, super important. And it just leads to more abundance and happiness and better relationships, whether they be romantic or even friendships and family. Yes,
Coach Maddox 45:56
I agree completely. I had a realization here not long ago that for many years, I did the work, I was doing the work and sometimes not getting the traction that I wanted. And then there was a point where I began to really get the traction. And I can look back now and I've only been able to spot this recently, that what shifted, where I went from not getting so much traction to getting more traction, I can look back now and realize that instead of doing the work, I became the work.
What do you mean by that?
I embodied the work wasn't something that I was physically doing outside of my body, I internalized it I literally became the work it wasn't, instead of being something I was doing, it became somebody that that I was it was a way of being I guess is what I'm trying to say. Yeah, instead of doing it was a beingness. And that's when I started to get real traction. Brilliant. This has been epic, you have anything you die, I still have a couple of more questions you have anything that you'd
Tyler Boyle 47:06
like know, before we know hit me with some questions.
Coach Maddox 47:10
Well, I guess maybe. I do have one more question. Before I get to I'm going to we're going to do some rapid fire questions. But I have one more question. If you could dropped some wisdom on the listeners right now. About speaking from your experience, and specifically about the Okay, what do I do after I come out? You've learned a lot I can tell in this. What did you say six years, seven years? What is the the wisdom bomb that you can drop right now? For the listeners?
Tyler Boyle 47:52
I think the most important one goes to our friends that are still in the closet. And what I learned was I put a lot of pressure on myself where there was this internal fight of when are you going to come out versus never ever, ever come out? Never let yourself be that. And what I realized is, and I hear this a lot in people's stories, gay men stories is there's just a moment. For me, there was a moment, it was Christmas of 2014. And I had said a joke at my family table that wasn't well received. And it tripped on somebody's triggers. And then it tripped on their triggers. And then these triggers got triggered. And there was this moment of within my family where I felt so otherness. It was done. The decision was made and I was ready. I had no fucking idea that moment was coming. I had no idea. I thought I had to plan and find the right day in the right conversation and sit people down to have the conversation. There's a moment for many of us where the time has come. So don't, don't put pressure on yourself to come out. You'll just know for a lot of people. And the pressure can sometimes come with a lot of shame and self ridicule and self loathing that you're not brave enough yet. And for me, there was just a moment and I was ready. And I did it. And I think that was my one of my biggest learnings.
Coach Maddox 49:23
I love what you're saying. And if I'm hearing correctly, that instead of not being brave enough, just tell yourself that you're not quite ready. Oh, and when you are ready, you'll be brave enough.
Tyler Boyle 49:36
That's it. bang on. When you are ready. You will be brave enough and then I can't even believe the bravery it took I can't even believe the bravery it took that was the bravest thing I ever had to do. Because you never know how somebody is going to react when you say it or put put that forward and you have to do it again and again. And don't let that scare you. If you're listening and you're in the closet that is empowered Rain, we as gay people, we should also be flexing our muscles a lot more, because we have been through some shit. And coming out is, is one of those experiences for some of us where it's really, really tough. It is really tough. It's it has made me so strong, and I am able to be assertive. I can say to myself now while I survived that so I can be assertive with my boss over this issue. Easy peasy. Yeah,
Coach Maddox 50:26
I agree completely. Yeah, there is a power that comes along with that and a strength that we wouldn't have gotten otherwise. Beautiful. I love that. I hope the listeners I got a lot of what you just said. So I hope the listeners do. Let's shift to our rapid fire questions. And you kind of I'm going to ask it again. You kind of touched on this and maybe your answer will be a little bit different this time because that was something about it was more of an assignment and doing question. My first question is if you could go back in time and say anything to the younger you What would you tell him?
Tyler Boyle 51:07
It depends which age but right away. I pictured going to my my son myself at the age of six. And just saying, man, it's going to be alright, you know that little thing? That little thing inside you that's going to turn out to be one of your brightest lights.
Coach Maddox 51:26
It's going to be alright having a moment a moment okay, composure, Maddox.
What matters most to you and why?
Tyler Boyle 51:58
What matters most to me?
Coach Maddox 52:02
What matters most to me? I think is
Tyler Boyle 52:09
happiness and mental health? What What can I be doing? To stay happy? And mentally healthy? Like because for so long? I wasn't. So what can I continue to do to to expand my reach of happiness and mental health? What are the strategies that I can add in to my mental health practices to to stay healthy and focused? What are the Wait, what are the things that makes me happy and make sure that I'm doing that on top of all the things that you know, the grown up adulting world asks me to do? Those? Those are the things that are most important to me happiness and mental health.
Coach Maddox 52:48
Beautiful. I love it. What are you most afraid of?
You know, I don't know.
Tyler Boyle 53:02
Does anybody ever answer this question? I'm afraid of dying. Does anybody say that?
Coach Maddox 53:07
Tyler Boyle 53:08
because you know, I'm, I'm not with my anxiety, anxiety, taught me to not to not fear death, because I was in such a dark, dark, dark time in my life. And so that feels like what the answer should be, but I'm not. And so what my answer will be, is what do I fear the most to be honest, I am 39 years old, and I have never been in love. authentically with a man I've been in love with a woman. But it's different, isn't it? Yes, it is. So I fear going through life. Never having met anybody that I can fall in love with, like, deeply, madly, the stuff of dreams. This stuff of fairy tales, because I cannot wait to love and dote on somebody and have that reciprocated and feel what that feels like, because I yet have no idea.
Coach Maddox 54:13
You know, there's two things I want to say. One is that we're tracking you and I are tracking right now because that would have been my answer to that question. Having I have had been in a marriage with a woman and four serious relationships with men. And yet there's a part of me that believes that I have yet to experience the type of love that's in my heart. And that would probably be one of my biggest fears, the fear that I could live my life out and and not ever experienced that.
Tyler Boyle 54:49
And the hard part is with so much in our life, we have so much control. We can control so many of our goals that we want to achieve and that one requires a little bit of that God's help you the universe says Help. It requires a little bit of magic. And it's about maintaining a positive. A positive outlook that that you're deserving of it and that it can still come no matter the age.
Coach Maddox 55:13
You have magic, faith and surrender. Yeah. Amen. Well, and the other thing I want to say is I just realized my my moment where I got choked up a few minutes ago, there was a gift in that for me, and I want to say, thank you for that. Because in that moment, I think what touched me so deeply is I realized that you were talking to the little boy that still lives inside of me.
Tyler Boyle 55:43
And look at where you're at now with your with your podcast, you the part that feels a little strange and resistant is now your light. You got you literally have a podcast called the effect of gay man. It is your light that has become your light. And that's what I would want my little six year old self to know. And I'm glad that that your six year old self needs to hear it too.
Coach Maddox 56:05
Yeah, I didn't realize he needed to hear it. But I got it when he heard it. Yeah. Yeah, it's been pretty amazing. You know, it's very, very hard to host a podcast called the authentic gay man. And then to not be an authentic gay man, it has really, really like lifted me up like it's slightly in the wind beneath my wings, you know, I feel this social responsibility to, to show up that way to set an example and to lead.
Tyler Boyle 56:49
And here's I have, so this is a beautiful for full circle moment. One of the first conversations we had you said, What does it mean to be an authentic gay male, and I said, when our words actions and beliefs align, and I run workshops for pre dating, I'm not a dating coach. I'm like a free dating coach, where I help people get in the right mind space before they jump into the dating world, or jump back into the dating world. And I was presenting the idea of words, beliefs and actions to a group of people. And somebody challenged me on that and said, But wait, how many of you in this room feel like you're the example of where your words beliefs and actions always aligned? And not many people put up their hand? And so he challenged me and said, Well, if we're not even we're, if we're not that, how can we expect that? And to your point of what you're mentioning right now, is all we're doing is we're speaking to the ideals. We're speaking to what's good. And even on the days that we can't action, the things that we preach and the things that we learn. It doesn't matter, because we know, we've got the target, and we're aiming for it.
Coach Maddox 58:03
Yes, nobody bats. 1000.
Tyler Boyle 58:06
Coach Maddox 58:10
This is been remarkable. Tyler, I really appreciate your vulnerability and your your sharing your story. It was a unique story. We have yet to have a story that's like yours. And so I just want to tell you how much I appreciate you showing up and being courageous and brave and vulnerable and authentic and do all of the above and I and I want to say that you indeed are an authentic gay man. Thank you, Alex. It's been a pleasure. Absolutely. Thanks.
Entertainer & Educator
Spirit Artist - a term once used to describe Tyler’s niche in the visual world, now used to describe his uplifting and inspiring energy and performances.
Tyler is an entertainer, host/emcee, hype-guy and speaker. Since 2012, he has been working in the festivals and events industry as a dancer and hype-guy. In 2017, he was invited to perform at TEDx Collingwood then invited back the following year as host. He has also hosted for various Pride events and his local chapter of the popular show Dragon’s Den. In 2019, Tyler participated in Speaker Slam, Canada's #1 Inspirational Speaking Competition. His talk entitled, Sabotaging my Dating Life went viral after it was posted online.
Tyler is also a painter and sculptor specializing in Spirit Art where he explores the theme of masculinity and the gay male experience.
As an elementary school teacher, Tyler is a recipient of the 2020 Prime Minister’s Award of Teaching Excellence and the 2020 Elementary Teacher's Federation of Ontario's Award for Local Humanitarian. Additionally, Tyler is an EDGEucator and resource consultant for a progressive education company called Moving EDGEucation.
Currently, Tyler is working on expanding the Dreamwalkers Meditations project. Dreamwalkers is a mental health resource of guided meditations for youth in schools.
Find out more about Tyler at www.tylercboyle.com and www.dreamwalkersmeditations.com