I had a similar positive experience when I was first coming out as gay. I went to a support group for gay fathers, and I immediately felt at peace. A moment in the presence of those men shattered every stereotype I had about being gay. It put an end to the self-hatred I had.
I have recently attended a gay fathers’ support group in Toronto that has operated for many, many years. We need more of these.
Men tend to avoid groups like this and also don’t go for mental health care when they need it. They see sharing feelings as a sign of weakness. Buck up. Snap out of it. Get ahold of yourself. Men don’t cry.
I think that speaking about your thoughts of suicide may have overwhelmed them. They didn’t know what to do with that information. Speaking about suicide creates a sense of helplessness in the listener. These thoughts can and should be shared, but a support group for people with depression would be a better place to do it.
Find out if there is a local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.