Gay and Lonely?

Someone left a comment on my blog piece titled, “Is It Hard for Gay Men to Socialize with Straight Men?” where he said, “I know exactly what you mean and I personally have trouble making friends because I’m so uncomfortable or uninterested. It’s a thin line I guess. I don’t have any friends.”

Oh man, that’s sad. What I was trying to say in my blog piece is that it is hard, but not impossible, for a gay man to make friends — good friends — with straight guys. It takes three things: 1) a straight guy who is secure and open-minded enough to accept that his friend is gay; 2) the gay guy not having sexual interest in his straight friend; and 3) having something in common that they share.

I am a happy, confident, secure gay man. I am in a monogamous relationship with one man. I like other guys — for who they are and what we share in common interests — but not in a sexual manner.

I am fortunate that I live in the same area where I grew up. I have a number of friends who I have known since I was a child. I still see them regularly. I also have friends who I have met as an adult through various community activities. We help each other out — I help them with home repairs, ride motorcycles together, engage local elected officials about community issues important to the residents where we live, and even helping to coach some of my friends in dealing with their parents developing dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. I’ve been through that with my lovely aunt and know how rough it can be to be a caregiver.

I never said that making new (straight) friends was easy, but as this website points out, a gay man who wants to make friends should get involved in activities where he shares common interests, and can use his talents for a cause or the greater good.

So what if you don’t like sports and can’t hit a ball or catch one? There are a lot of other things you can do! Get out, meet people, share your skills, and learn new things. You don’t have to have only gay friends. Like the person who left the comment implied, he doesn’t have any friends because he is uncomfortable and disinterested in things that other guys may be interested in.

There are many, many ways to overcome lonliness as a gay man. But you have to take the step of getting involved in the straight world. Face it, there are many more straight people around than gay people. I have felt that having “only” gay friends is unhealthy because you get stuck with a singular world-view. You need to expand your horizons and do things that you enjoy together with other people (gay or straight) who enjoy those things, too.

An interesting side-note: in the three-plus years that I have been blogging, I have been contacted by and have developed good on-line friendships with more straight guys than gay guys. These guys learn pretty quickly that we have common interests — boots, leather, motorcycling, caregiving, community activism — and also learn by my style of communicating that I am interested in them as a person, and that’s it.

Life is short: you are only as lonely as you allow yourself to be.

1 thought on “Gay and Lonely?

  1. "You are only as lonely as you allow yourself to be" says so much about how we choose to limit ourselves. I often remind myself that the hardest battles in life are often those fought to overcome our self-imposed limitations.

    –Kevin

Comments are closed.