Go it alone

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 30, 2011 1:29 PM GMT
    Hi, I was looking for some advice for a young gay guy just starting to really step out of the closet and spread his wings.

    First of all some background info. In college I was out to my friends, but had no gay friends and only went to a gay club once while there. After school I ended up moving Home and was living with my parents because I couldn't find work. So I got forced back in the closet.

    Anyway now I have a job and am moving out. I plan to tell my parents that I'm gay soon after I move. And last weekend I told the first person in over a year that I'm gay. I told my sister and that went well, then I went to nyc for pride weekend.

    Although I had fun.... I felt real alone. Like sure I met nice guys, danced talked a bit, flirted, ect. But everyone seemed to have their own click or group of friends and I still felt like a total outsider.

    After I went home and resumed my boring life alone lol.

    Now I plan to maybe hit up ptown or Boston (or both) next week and am worried about going out alone all the time. I have a good head on my shoulders, but still have to watch my back, trust no one and watch what and how much I drink. Is this something all gay guys go thru? Having to venture out alone and thus, even if you are careful, you are vulnerable?

    This is especially true because I am a hopeless romantic and crush so hard, especially when a cute guy is being friendly. Having never had a bf or even gay friends, I feel almost desperate for gay interactions and want to meet people for friends or possibly to date. Sure casual (safe) fucks r nice, but I was getting sex while closeted anyway.

    So its a bit nerve racking and intimidating to try to break into gay life. It's like I can go out and have fun, but then I have no one to talk to the next day about the cute guy I was dancing with, or to joke with, or even to talk generally about anything gay related. Also no one to tell me, "that's a bad idea" or "hes a flake", or anything.


    Does every gay guy go through this when they first try to make gay acquaintances? Any advice?

    One thing to note is a lot of guys on here have been helpful, given me good advice and are the type of nice people that I want to meet, and I appreciate all of it. But I need real life friends who understand me. And its a little scary doing all of these things alone. I mean with no one to watch my back I could walk into the wrong bar, get my drink spiked and get surrounded by 8 bareback leather daddies. Although that would prob make a good porn, I would prefer to not b an unwilling cum dump.

    Thanks for reading my long post, any advice is greatly appreciated.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jun 30, 2011 1:38 PM GMT
    First, let me say, "congrats" , for taking the initiative the way you have.. there are many that wouldn't make the effort or basically to have the guts to move forward the way you have......

    I do think you need to make some good quality gay and even "gay friendly" straight people that you can talk to and confide in when you feel it appropriate.
    I think you need to have some of this in place before you tell the rest of your family and basically come out to the world. Consider volunteering someplace
    where your time and effort will make a difference and you can comfortably be yourself. I'm sure there are some AIDS support groups or volunteer efforts needed with fundraisers. Do some research and think about what might be right for you.

    "And trust noone", the phrase you used kind of bothers me, but I think it was used in relation to drinking and a bar setting, but I do think you need to develop some trust.. in those who deserve it...

    Good luck and congrats! You have come a long way on your own. Many wouldn't. That says much about your character and who you are as a person.
    Keep up the wise approach you are utilizing. I wish you only the best in your journey.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 30, 2011 1:43 PM GMT
    Hey fella, just to say, I totally get where you are coming from. I was basically the same as you - not really out to anyone, and I was living at home and to a large extent living a double life, trying to make gay friends, going out to gay venues on my own a lot because I didn't really have anyone to go with but I needed that interaction (and it was a bit chicken and egg, how do you make gay friends if you don't go out and meet gay guys).

    Like you, I would not share any experiences with anyone 'real' and it did become quite difficult and depressing. I don't really have any great advice for you though I'm afraid - the only thing I would recommend is to try and join any local gay groups/clubs, like sports clubs or whatever, to meet guys that way, but also try and make friends online in your area that you do also meet up with in real life.

    If you are going to go to places on your own, it can seem a little scary/daunting but I am sure you will be fine. In hindsight I went to places without telling anyone where I was going, I went to strange men's places with no one knowing where I was, and that was probably quite stupid, luckily I never had any bad experiences. Try and make sure you have at least someone who has got your back.
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    Jun 30, 2011 1:47 PM GMT
    Instead of going to a bar alone, go to a gay organization alone - your local HRC or something of that nature - and start talking. Make acquaintances. It's not a quick process but that's one avenue to develop real world friendships. Also, gay sports leagues.
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    Jun 30, 2011 1:51 PM GMT
    Thanks hndsmkansan. Yeah, when I say trust no one, I mean in a club setting when you are alone. Also I say that because I fall hard and crush hard and I need to step back sometimes and look at the whole situation. Thus I can't always trust myself either lol. I could fall for a guy and completely ignore his faults for a few days until I realize.... Fuck, this guys an asshole/drama queen/ parties too much/ flake.

    And I don't know if I really have time, or would want to go do activism type stuff. It's just not me. I grew up in the 90s and am prob too apathetic lol. My idea of activism is watching captain planet.

    So that's out. Also trying to meet people at a club is a joke with all the loud music and craziness.

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    Jun 30, 2011 1:53 PM GMT
    I agree with HndsmKansan. Right now, the best thing for you to do is find some friends, preferably gay ones.

    I don't know where you are but hopefully you're not too far from a gay support or community center. Maybe a support group? Do a search online for resources. Perhaps call a local counsellor and ask if they know of any.

    If not, are there any gay bars in your area? Maybe visit on an off night when there aren't any big crowds. You're just looking for friends and acquaintances.

    Keep your eyes open. At the least, we represent 2% of the population so no matter where you are, there are others like you. You just have to find them. One of the biggest issues that some gays have is loneliness so you may very well end up helping someone who needs a friend too.

    Oh, and congratulations on all you've done so far. Keep going! icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jun 30, 2011 1:54 PM GMT
    wolverinecub86 said
    And I don't know if I really have time, or would want to go do activism type stuff. It's just not me. I grew up in the 90s and am prob too apathetic lol. My idea of activism is watching captain planet.


    Social groups are not always activist. A lot of those groups host mixers, etc., for young professionals. I actually met a couple of acquaintances at a writer's roundtable event. And in the past year I've met several new gays at a Wine Wednesday thing I attend.
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    Jun 30, 2011 2:02 PM GMT
    I like the gay sports team thing, but I suck at most conventional sports and prefer to kayak, rock climb, swim, wakeboard, extra.

    Maybe I could join anyway tho.

    I am worried about going to any gay groups.... for lack of better words... with an agenda. Activist overly political people of any persuasion are not my thing. I am not politically correct enough and hate pc people, they won't get most of my humour.
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    Jun 30, 2011 2:11 PM GMT
    wolverinecub86 saidI like the gay sports team thing, but I suck at most conventional sports and prefer to kayak, rock climb, swim, wakeboard, extra.

    Maybe I could join anyway tho.


    There's a group in the UK called 'Outdoor Lads' who do get togethers for camping trips, kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking etc. I'm sure there must be something similar near you!
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    Jun 30, 2011 2:21 PM GMT
    Well as per someone's suggestion, I went to meetup.com and signed up for the only gay, young adult group on there on long island. Now I get spam emails for activities I don't wanna do lol. Just today I got one to go for a cheesecake factory meetup. Now I don't mind cheat days..... But really? Cheesecake factory meetup? Not only can I not eat anything there, but it sounds soooooo lame. Like a bunch of outa shape Lonely gay guys (i am picturing in trendy clothes with Prada bags) talking about shoes. Lol maybe I am being a little harsh, maybe I just need to find a group that does activities I like.

    Wish I lived in the city... Tons of groups there....

    I could always try the nude beach near me (i won't b nude) because I heard that's the gay side of the beach lol. Dunno how good a social setting that us tho. And I could see guys sticking to their groups in that setting too.
  • ohioguy12

    Posts: 2024

    Jun 30, 2011 2:27 PM GMT
    Stop making excuses why you can't/don't want to go to things and just try them.
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    Jun 30, 2011 2:40 PM GMT
    ohioguy12 saidStop making excuses why you can't/don't want to go to things and just try them.


    Umm....ok.....

    I have limited free time and prefer to do things I like lol. Not eating cheesecake or being an activist is my choice.

    That's why I like the sport team suggestions and am asking about the beach.
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    Jun 30, 2011 2:43 PM GMT
    If you like swimming, I know there's a national gay swim league. It's big here in Ohio, at least in Cincinnati and Columbus...so surely they have chapters in the NYC metro area and Long Island.

    http://www.tnya.org/
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    Jun 30, 2011 2:45 PM GMT
    wolverinecub86 said
    ohioguy12 saidStop making excuses why you can't/don't want to go to things and just try them.


    Umm....ok.....

    I have limited free time and prefer to do things I like lol. Not eating cheesecake or being an activist is my choice.

    That's why I like the sport team suggestions and am asking about the beach.

    You can order a salad. Also by pre-judging guys who will be there, you are giving yourself a reason to stay alone, but go for activities you like if there are groups in your area.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 30, 2011 2:56 PM GMT
    socalfitness
    You can order a salad. Also by pre-judging guys who will be there, you are giving yourself a reason to stay alone, but go for activities you like if there are groups in your area.


    You are right, I am being unfair and judging those people. Still I suspect I will find likeminded guys that I actually wanna b friends with, doing the same activities I like to do. And not doing activities I don't like to do.

    I don't think the cheesecake factory has a salad without fried chicken on top.... Lol I'm kidding, but seriously that place is almost that bad.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 30, 2011 2:59 PM GMT
    i have friend's who moved to another city all alone and made friends by joining those gay organizations. once you make a few friends you'll make more thru their friends and so on. just play it cool.
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    Jun 30, 2011 3:01 PM GMT
    I always order the omelets at Cheesecake Factory. I get mine with egg whites, ham, asparagus, spinach and mushrooms. They're amazing and they let you sub out veggies for the potatoes.
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    Jun 30, 2011 3:11 PM GMT
    Try checking out places online like meetup.com. It's not a gay site but a site that has activities that include gays and str8s. Find a group that you're interested in, one that includes things you like or would be interested in learning (hiking, photography, beer making, dancing, cards, cycling, etc) and join up. It's more about meeting people than meeting gays. Once you meet people, you then are exposed to their friends and then their friends and pretty soon you're so busy with activities and people that you're wondering when you can get a break.

    As for other gays to hang with, look for gay specific groups. In my area there are several that meet just for social gatherings each month. A good way to meet other gays. Be open and not specific about meeting the man of your dreams. Look for guys to enjoy friendships, not relationships. Then go from there.

    Good luck and congrats!

    Edit: I typed in 'gay' as a topic and 'long island, ny' for location and had 7 PAGES of activities in that area. Perhaps they're not all for you but being involved in a group doesn't mean you have to be an 'activist'. There are theater groups, photography groups, non-scene, out and about, support, professionals, etc. I think first you need to decide what exactly you want before you start looking to meet people.
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    Jun 30, 2011 3:15 PM GMT
    Thanks guys. I will try to join one of these organizations. Hopefully there are a few on long island and not all in nyc.

    I still feel like I will b goin it alone tho. But I guess there's no avoiding it.

    Is this something all gay guys go thru?

    Also let's drop the cheesecake thing lol, I guess I was just disappointed because the group's website had a whitewater rafting picture on its homepage and they have yet to post any active get togethers.

    I dunno why I posted, I wish there was a quick easy answer, but like most things in life there is not.

    Guess I got more alone time ahead of me.

    Man being gay is hard. I always knew I was different and finally figured out why I had these feelings. I mean I was depressed prob most of my life and didn't know it. Only after telling my sister and goin out dancing with guys for the first time do I feel "up" and had a big weight lifted off of me. Guess I have taken a few important steps in the right direction, but still have a ways to go.
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    Jun 30, 2011 4:06 PM GMT
    wolverinecub86 saidHi, I was looking for some advice for a young gay guy just starting to really step out of the closet and spread his wings...

    OK, was this sister to whom you came out the same one in Boston with whom you'll be staying shortly? I think we talked about that. This is good, and maybe she knows about some gay bars & clubs near there. I do not.

    When in P-town do try to attend the tea dances at the Boatslip, whether you get a room there or not. Most guys will probably attend with somebody, but if you're gonna find some singles that would be the occasion.

    http://www.boatslipresort.com:80/

    You sound as ballsy as I was when I first came out, though I was at a much older age, giving me an advantage. I made a plan after watching & learning at gay bars & clubs, positively military in my approach, and it worked perfectly.

    I also learned who the community gay movers & shakers were, through the local gay pubs. I attended functions and met them, and via them networked from there. My dance card was full from then on.

    I actually find it easier to meet a prominent person than an anonymous one. His prominence provides you with the reason for approaching him cold, introducing yourself, shaking his hand, and saying a word or two about his activities & interests.

    With the anonymous guy you gotta devise a lame, contrived opening line, some reason for approaching & speaking to a total stranger at all. With the prominent guy you have the reason already at hand:

    "Hello, I'm Bob. I understand you're our State President for Equality. I just wanted to tell you how much I admire the things you're doing, and would like to get more involved myself..." etc

    (BTW, that really happened exactly that way in one State, almost verbatim, and he and his partner became best friends to my late partner & me)

    I suspect this is something you could do. I also suspect you're going to be very good at it. icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 30, 2011 4:39 PM GMT
    Aww thanks art.

    And yeah I will b with my sister in Boston, but am a little worried about goin out with her and having her see me dancing, flirting, and anything else that might happen with another guy while out. She does know the gay clubs in the area and I always have fun with her and her friends tho, and at least I wouldn't b goin out alone.

    And I don't think I am ballsy, I just can't stay home and play video games all weekend anymore, heck I just need any real human interactions lol. My straight friends, even tho I love them are boring and I realize more now then ever how different our interests can be.

    And I am not sure how to meet or even identify prominent men exactly, nor do I really care to. But I guess you are telling me its an easy opening to networking. But put the most gay friendly senator and the most repressed gay hating senator next to each other and I couldn't tell the difference.

    Also I think I do well in a face to face conversation and have no problem just being myself. It's just... I can have fun all night with a guy, be charming, funny, witty, sexy and then the next day I am still alone. Inevitably the person lives far, is a flake, or apparently just wanted to be friends for that one night.

    Granted I haven't really given this much time, bit its years of outsider feelings culminating, and you finally find your group.... And you are still an outsider.



    BTW thanks to all who have listen to my bitching and have offered help.
  • tautomer

    Posts: 1010

    Jun 30, 2011 7:57 PM GMT
    In all honesty, it sounds like your trying to hard, and thinking too hard. You're absolutely putting yourself out there and looking for things. Nevertheless, I get the sense that you are thinking and focusing so much on each individual aspect of meeting someone, that your overlooking whats important: you simply want to meet gay friends.

    Make it simple. Go to a gay bar with a friend. Just a friend. All you need to make sure if is that they are comfortable with it. If your within somewhat close distance of the city, go to it. Don't make the assumption that some distance can block friendships, or some kind of meaningful connection.

    I understand and relate to what you're going through. For me, I just never really have seen the point to having gay friends. Partly because I went to college in rural Montana, and the gay scene there was... flaming/bitching. It is hard, but where there is a will there is a way. Just talk to people, get to know them. Try going to these meetup places. Even if you think you might only somewhat like it; what harm can it do? You might just waste a day, but that's it!

    Just try man, and don't try so hard and over think it. Relfect on how you met your current friends. Simple, right? It shouldn't be, and won't be any different from metting gay friends.
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    Jun 30, 2011 8:30 PM GMT
    Thanks for the advice. I guess I will try to relax and not overthink it. I have little human interaction except with the old ladies at work during the week, so i guess i have a lot of time to overthink things. Also I have known my current ny friends since elementary school, i dont even rememner how i met them lol.

    Yeah I would love to have someone to go out with me, but if I had that I wouldn't have the "goin it alone" problem. The only person that knows I am gay in the ny area is my sister anyway. Guess I will have to suck it up and go out with her in Boston, so at least I am not alone. This works for next week, but when I get back to ny I will b goin it alone again. Also I agree that I don't need gay friends, its just my str8 buddies would never go out with me to a gay bar and I haven't told them I'm gay yet. Plus they just wont understand some things.


    So it seems these feelings aren't as common as I thought, having to venture out into the gay world alone.


    P.S. ur name brings back horrible memories of organic chem. I have no idea how I passed that lol.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 30, 2011 8:49 PM GMT
    It takes time to build up a circle of friends, and it seems to get a bit harder as one gets older. You said you feel alone, yet your seems to enjoy activities that are predominantly solitudinous, like kayak, rock climb, swim, wakeboard... as oppose to group sports like soccer, etc...

    I have tried support group, dance lessons, bars and clubs, and online forums. To me it was at the support group where I found my partner and friendship that lasted. And since then, I have made a few more gay friends through those I met at the support group.
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    Jul 01, 2011 12:25 AM GMT
    wolverinecub86 said So it seems these feelings aren't as common as I thought, having to venture out into the gay world alone.

    They're so common they're practically the gay standard. Most of us grew up knowing we were different but totally lacking gay peers (at least any that we would want to identify with). So to come out we had to take the first steps alone.
    Some never outgrow the dread of being alone, and that's why you see so many gay men who go absolutely everywhere with their little pod of a mutual support group.
    Others realize that their history of loneliness can be turned into a source of strength and self-reliance. Over time you realize that all the resources you need for a satisfying life can be found within yourself. And it's at that point that you are best prepared to build a lasting relationship with someone worth keeping.