I know this has become a very very long read. Part of it is therapeutical to myself. Writing down your feelings and thoughts is good for your ease of mind. Hello, It all started 3 or 4 years ago. I was having serious drinking issues combined with the use of cocaine. On the surface everything looked normal. I was studying real estate development in school and my life was reasonable in order. The only thing I didn't have was a nice girlfriend, or even have intimate contact with a girl. My friends were all having relationships etc. During that time I was totally obsessed by outward presentation by having nice (expensive) clothes, expensive car, lying about the job of my parents (a higher education job than reality). My life was a total facade. All of that was because I was (and still am for a bit) very insecure but I managed to hide it very well. People knew me as a gregarious person although that was mainly because of the alcohol (and later cocaine). Because my outward presentation was somewhat 'perfect' I started to worry that people would find me gay because I never made any real advances towards women. I was 23 back then and I never had a girlfriend or much success with women. My real friends of course knew of my anxiousness (and problems with booze, drugs and porn) but most of the people in town don't. I was worrying that the lack of women in my outward presentation and my faked secure-ness would start people to think I'm gay. This became an obsession. Like I wanted to prove something to the world. Of course with this added weight that I put on myself my success with women was even worse than before. But as my friends were having stable relationships I started to see them less often so I started to see another guy I knew from going out. Somewhat a looser rich parent dude who didn't really have any real friends so who was also always in for partying in the weekends, just like me. Usually I was very bored during conversations with him so I drank very much to get it somewhat entertaining, all the while he was sipping a few beers. I open up when drinking (more then I want to) so I was telling a lot about myself, while he told never anything about himself. When I look back at it, I feel I don't even barely know this guy. So during this period (which lasted for 2 or 3 years) I stupidly started to 'trust' this guy. We saw each other every weekend after all. One time I was extremely drunk (while he of course was not) and I told him that I was scared as hell of people thinking I might be gay because I did not have enough women in my presence. He gave me a sincere tantrum of keeping my back straight and never give up in believing in myself. These thoughts were based on nothing he said. I was genuinely thankful for this. The day after I felt incredibly stupid, I was ashamed that I opened up like this. Not even my best friends knew I felt this way. So I started to see this guy less and less. Also one of my best friends got into a conflict with him and that furthered the end of me seeing him. I also moved to another city while he still kept living at his parents house in our small rural border town. Time flew by. I changed somewhat. Not focusing on what people think and putting way too much importance in materialism. I have had few intimate interactions with women, not as much as I would like to though but it's okay. So now when coming back to my hometown (everyone knows each other by some degree) and I started going out people shout ''gay'' towards me out loud on the streets. Even people I don't even know! Also some known acquaintances (who see this guy where I hung out with) are making homo jokes towards me. Most of the time I ignore this and continue to have a conversation, even with them. If I were somewhat colorful clothes (I like the Tony Soprano, Tony Montana, etc. style) people approach me and say ''this is another confirmation''. I don't really know how to behave under all this so I just smile and walk away. Also because they don't do it in a aggressive manner but more in a teasing manner, they keep smiling. So this 'friend' of mine told people I came out as gay I think because before this something like this never happened before. Fun how my insecurities of back then now hit me back like a boomerang years later. This has hurt my trust in people somewhat, even while I know I was a bit naive myself. I'm afraid of going out in my hometown and drinking too much because I might splatter all kinds of unwanted stories about myself to people who act nice in your face but destroy you when you're not around. But what I'm most afraid of is that I don't really know how to stand up for myself against these people who act nice but are still insulting towards me. If people think I might be gay or not it now the least of my worries. I think small minded people who never got too far in their own lives need to tear down others who are successful themselves without the comfortable golden spoon of mommy and daddy. However I want to enjoy going out again and enjoy a nice evening speaking to nice people I did not see for a while, and even maybe pick up some girls. Most of the time however I do not because of the insults I get, the slandering, etc. I'm a kind person by nature, I do not like conflict but I can manage in a real conflict. I just don't know how to handle this kind way of expressing insults. And I don't like the fact that even people who I don't know even approach me like this now. How to stand up towards people like this? I want them to confront me like real men instead of this sneaky way of slandering my name. I know deep inside I should not give this as much attention that I do but I have to find a way to stand up for myself, because I know they still respect me somewhat. I want to intimidate them in a masculine way without using force but with a smile. I was a bad boy before who got in all kinds of trouble with police, I'm not proud of it but people still know me for that. A small town never forgets. Even now I have bettered my life and found a good education in university. As much as people don't forget that they won't forget the slandering of me being gay although I still believe most people don't even believe that I still want to suppress these rumors without giving it too much attention. I need to stand up against them but how?