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Published on October 8th, 2013 | by Healthy Gay Lifestyles

A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing

by Rick Clemons

Most of us as gay men have, at one time or another heard, the phrase or fable about “A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing.” Regardless of the debate whether this fable originated with Aesop or from some biblical reference, this phrase is used to describe someone who is playing a role contrary to whom they really are at their core. In other words, “pretending to be something that you’re not!”

I get it; we’re all human and venture into the fabulous “little white, not quite so truthful arena” from time to time. No harm, no foul. Yet, curiosity has got my cat up and wondering, “Why do we as gay men often live as a wolf in sheep’s clothing?” Let me explain.

For starters, we wear a loving little sheep’s skin as little wolf pups from the time we’re born until we finally shed the skin and come out of the closet. During those years, we’ve been conditioned to hide ourselves from being who we truly are, becoming confused, frustrated, angry little wolves. Once the sheep’s skin of “coming out” comes off, we may mellow out, or continue to be frustrated, confused, angry, depending upon the reaction we receive from our wolf pack.

Venturing from the den, we stalk excitedly, curiously, and with a little intimidation into the pack of gay brotherhood. For each of us this journey is different. Some of us find solace in urban wolf terrains where our breed thrives without much threat, while others become lone wolfs in less populated areas trying to survive, yearning desperately for the support of a kindred wolf pack. Chance, circumstance, and choice all impact our ability to find fulfillment in the global brotherhood of gay wolves, often leading us to don the sheep’s clothing once again in fear that someone might discover our truth.

Whether it’s our burning desire for acceptance within the gay culture, finding balance between our homosexual self and heterosexual society, or fully embracing our special cocktail of “masculinity with a twist,” it’s more common than not to keep our sheep’s clothing easily within reach. Our wolf instincts remind us, to be fully exposed, places us in potential danger, so better to put on the sheep’s clothes. Fear, anxiety, lack of self-esteem, and overt need for external acceptance literally causes us to become hungry wolfs in hiding.

Ravenous to our core, it’s not uncommon that our hunts guide us into unchartered territory that doesn’t satisfy, only leading us to crave, crave, crave. Unable to satiate our desires we blindly relinquish our prowess, abandoning our instincts, and take on the flocking and following behavior of the sheep. No longer capable of embracing our own power, we shed our wolf’s fur, and embrace the sheep’s skin for better or for worse.

While our flocking ability as sheep protects us from predators, we also become our own worst enemies by habitually and blindly following the leader without consciously thinking about who we are in our own skin and where we may be going. Yet, as social animals, we find comfort in being in close proximity of our own kind and easily become agitated when separated from the flock. In those moments of feeling franticly estranged from the flock we have three choices to graze upon.

  1. Revert back to being the deceitful wolf in sheep’s clothing; pretending to be something we’re not, which creates danger for others and ourselves, eventually leading to our basic nature betraying itself.
  2. Retreat fully into sheepish behavior by following the leaders and losing our self completely to the expectations of others.
  3. Powerfully embrace the wolf and sheep energy, using the prowess of the wolf to create a passionate life while flocking together in the brotherhood of the gay community in support of one another.

Living powerfully, purposefully, and with passion as a gay man is a beautiful amalgamation of many traits and characteristics, which may even, include adopting wolf or sheep like behavior at times. The beauty of being a gay man is, realizing when you’re acting like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, your hiding your authentic self. The undertones of this parable are based on fear and danger of the wolf. Personally, I’d invite all of us as gay men to see it from a slightly different vantage point.

When we behave, as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, the danger isn’t necessarily about hurting others; it’s about causing harm to ourselves. Whether it’s participating in risky sex practices, over indulging in drugs and alcohol, refusing to let our guard down to be vulnerable and intimate with another guy, buying into beliefs that “I just don’t fit into the gay culture,” or letting “not good enough” permeate our thoughts, we all become wolves in sheep’s clothes in some way, shape, or form; hurting ourselves first before hurting others. With that in mind, “What are you doing today, that has turned you into a “Wolf in sheep’s clothes?”


Rick Clemons is a life changer, motivator, guide, mentor, and The Coming Out Coach for men who are ready to authentically be himself as gay man. His mission is to support gay men in powerfully stepping into their true sexual energy, finding their voice, living their passion, and embracing their purpose in life without external validation or regrets.

Rick is a Certified Professional Coach who’s been featured on The Ricki Lake Show, and is a highly sought after radio show guest, blogger, and author, who lovingly address the many facets of a life time journey of being a gay man. Rick is the host of the, The Coming Out Lounge podcast, and is a contributing blogger on and Huffington Post Gay Voices!

Learn more about Rick and his life coaching services for gay men who are unfulfilled in life, and ready to discover how to live passionately without regrets personally and professionally.

To schedule a complimentary coaching session Click Here

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