WTF is going on?

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    Feb 05, 2011 10:58 PM GMT
    I don't understand what's been happening over the last few years: out, available gay men seem to be disappearing from the landscape. Even in the larger. progressive cities, it seems like a lot of us have isolated ourselves.

    I remember when the internet really began to take off with the AOL chatrooms around 1996, where much of the attitude was about 'taking down the walls that kept gay men separated in real life'. For a little while, the internet seemed like a promising place to find another gay man who, like many of us, was looking for the same things in life, and we didn't even have to leave home to find him. Then gay.com came along, and for a while, again, it seemed like the road to finding other compatible gay men just got easier. Today, it seems like very few guys go to these sites. Have we gotten burned too many times? Were our standards and expectations too unrealistic? Or is it because no matter what we say to each other, deep down, no matter how easy it is to meet other gay guys, the relationships just aren't happening, due to lack of dating experience or otherwise?

    The same thing has happened at the groups...the University used to have a gay mens' social and dance that, a decade ago, was so packed we had to have a second night, and a cover charge. A few years ago, we would get e-mails from guys who wouldn't go unless they saw who else would be there. Now, nobody will show up. The posters advertising the dances are defaced or torn off the walls, something that was common 20 years ago, and it seems like the progress and confidence that almost glowed from young gay men is almost gone. More anonymous e-mails from young men who are terrified of roommates/parents finding out...downright refusal to go to an actual group where they would have to see other gay people. In 2011, I can't believe I'm seeing this.

    I now have a hard time believing 'It Gets Better' because I've seen it get better. Now I'm watching it get much worse. I never thought that, at one time, I would see so many proud and young gay men who had an interest in doing something for the community, and now it's like we are back to the closet days of 'well, if i know what he looks like, maybe I'll show up...pretend we don't know each other afterward though'. I also am losing faith in gay marriage, not because of the concept; not because of the potential opposition from non-gay society, but because I see such a lack of opportunity within the gay community for dating or even socializing, how are we supposed to learn how to be in relationships with each other (or even friendships) if we still want to sit at home safely behind a computer screen calling the shots before meeting the guy who we will only meet unless he meets each and every expectation first? It just doesn't work like that.

    We can have all the approval from pop culture and straight society we want; if we don't trust each other or know how to navigate a relationship with another man who is confident in himself and comfortable about being gay, it's not going to make any difference.
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    Feb 05, 2011 11:48 PM GMT
    Life revolves in circles.
    It was good, then it got better.
    Now it's getting worse, but it'll get better again.
    Just go with the flow.

    Kinda like Florida weather...if you don't like it, wait a while and it will change. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Feb 05, 2011 11:51 PM GMT
    yourname2000 saidBig subject. So I'm grasping at straws. And I note that you list a Canadian and an American city as your two main cities and I think the experience has been diverging a bit between them.

    In Canada, now that we're legal in pretty much every way, we're not in the news much anymore. There's nothing to get angry at or be united against.

    Any chance people in your age group are settling down and you're just not noticing that a younger generation is still doing all of the things that your group used to do?

    And maybe recent world events have everyone in a funk...recession, no change in the American political landscape, etc.

    Regarding your last sentence, I think that's an entirely different issue:
    ...if we don't trust each other or know how to navigate a relationship with another man who is confident in himself and comfortable about being gay, it's not going to make any difference.
    I think that's something different...we still don't have good public role models of the gay relationship. Most pop references are hetro-visions of what a gay couple would be like. I would look forward to characters in TV and/or movies where the 'real and unique' aspects of a man to man relationship were explored...vulnerability being equated as a lack of masculinity; handling differences in financial situations/perceived value of career; dealing with each other's hangups growing up in different hetro environments; competitiveness; and on and on.

    Guys are different. While I haven't been in a relationship for a long time, I would like to see characters that showed the same intimacy and grounded-ness as you find between police partners in crime dramas while also balancing other times of sexual tension and demonstrations of love you find between spouses. I'm not a big fan of the 'Modern Family' version of a gay couple...I've never met them.


    I wanna go camping with you and hike all day and feel sore, a good sore, and covered in sweat. Then sit around a fire and chill while drinking beer and eating what we want.

    OK, ignore the man behind the curtain. He's had Chardonnay and doesn't know what he's typing. Well....he does.
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    Feb 06, 2011 12:51 AM GMT
    yourname2000 said
    wrestlervic saidI wanna go camping with you and hike all day and feel sore, a good sore, and covered in sweat. Then sit around a fire and chill while drinking beer and eating what we want.

    Haha! --you're on! icon_smile.gif I'll bring the port, heh heh heh (a reference to your other thread.)


    Man, that stuff is like, what, 23% alcohol? But, hey, for you. Anything.