Being gay is not the same thing. 2-5% of the population for us versus 95-98% for them. And we don't give a shit what happens to each other, nor do we even care to know how to help out other gay men that make up this tiny percentage of the population. We see so little of each other that we don't even know how to be around each other sometimes unless we're stoned, high or drunk. With that said...
I'm with you on that one too, Italianguy. I haven't met anyone now since 1995 and have pretty much concluded that he's not coming back (lol) and it doesn't appear that there are many other gay guys who are looking for anything serious, much to my disappointment. There are many times where I definitely regret coming out. The gay men I knew who stayed closeted and had kids (and a few of them came out later in life) seem MUCH happier - their kids understood, in many cases their wives knew all along; in some cases the wives wanted nothing to do with them again. But at least they had the opportunity to be a dad. Single gay men for the most part will never get that chance. It's getting harder to adopt for anyone who isn't in a heterosexual marriage that has lasted at least ten years. Some countries require that just to start with. Many places will never let a single man adopt a child. There is the surrogate option but most of the gay men I've seen do this have extraordinary incomes and money will never be an issue for them. I can pretty much forget about it. So forgetting about the two things I wanted most when I had this great idea to come out: to find a gay man to share my life with and also to still be a parent someday, are two things I've learned to cross off my list about 5-7 years ago.
What hurts the most are the support networks that were set up years ago and especially with non-gay friends when they see what this has done to my emotional health, they no longer ask about my life. They don't ask if I go to Pride. They are no longer interested in anything that has to do with being gay. They see the effects of it when they look into my eyes. There is no party and there never was - that's in the campy movies and in fictional characters on the sitcoms with the stereotypical gay guy. Never in those movies are there topics that deal with the general hate and malice that goes on between gay men. So not only are we outcasts in mainstream society, we make sure that we outcast each other in gay society as well. Learning that at a young age has helped me tremendously - I see gay guys who still appear shell shocked at 40, 50 and up - thinking that all gay guys were supposed to be there for them, how could they betray each other? How could we lie to each other and rip each other off so much? Look at what we came into! A community with no rules, completely anonymous (even more so today with the internet) no relationships (that we knew much about) that ever lasted, and lots and lots of drugs and alcohol to numb out whatever we felt when we woke up alone the next day.
It's now 2009 and those of us who are still here and still healthy have learned something:
1) A lot of us who've been out for a while know that we aren't going to find anyone who has the ability to be a partner in a relationship that is going to lead to marriage. Theoretically, sure, it could happen, but a lot of gay men are still trying to figure out how to even get to first base and meet someone - 15-20 years after most straight teenagers learn these things. Most of us will be playing catch up for the rest of our lives or continue to wait for someone or something that is very unlikely to happen.
2) Our expectations are so overinflated that we set ourselves up for misery. That has to change. If we are going to live very long, especially with this recession/depression, we have to understand that we will experience being poor. The majority of us live so far beyond our means that we don't get it when society scoffs at our wanting civil rights - so many gay men have so much and live so high above anyone else it's like you're saying that Beverly Hills needs more soup kitchens. When mainstream society sees what you have and how you live, come on. It's very hard to have sympathy for anyone who has more money and education than you will ever dream of having. The sad thing is that most of us go into debt just to appear like we have things - the truth is that most of us, too, are barely getting by. There is no shame in being gay and poor.
3) Take care of yourself but don't go overboard. Meaning that we often overdo it when it comes to just about everything - the more expensive it is the better it must be, right? Do things that make you happy but in moderation. The reason why most straight married men get that checkup is because there is a wife pushing him to do it. Understand that we are probably not going to have that other person there to look out for us. It's going to be us at the end of the day looking out for ourselves. Like the one guy said about long term plans and insurance - definitely. Look into all these things now so that you don't have to deal with them while you're dealing with ten other things when you're 30 years older.
4) Last ones standing: the hardest and most unfair thing is that we are going to be the ones in our families who will see everyone else die. Get used to that idea now. Don't dwell on it, but be aware of it. Understand that for us, being alone, it is going to be much more difficult than for your siblings who have spouses and kids. For us, again alone, losing parents will be the worst thing we will go through. So at this point in your life, do everything you can for them. Mend fences. Get to know them. Help them out. You'll be glad you did later on.
I don't mean to make this a session of misery but reality - open up any gay magazine and it's as if we've all realized our dreams and are raking in money and getting married. That's maybe the upper 5% of the gay world. Lastly, remember you are not the only one thinking this! Don't be afraid to talk about it because it's on our minds too!