Does anybody else feel a disconnect from the gay community?

  • irishkcguy

    Posts: 780

    Oct 10, 2009 7:23 PM GMT
    Or is it just me? I know I am painting with a very broad brush here, but I believe that there is such a thing as what I would call "mainstream gay culture." By this I mean that there is a predominant culture surrounding being gay that involves many aspects of day to day and social life. Perhaps it's because I came out later on in life and wasn't ensconced in the culture when I was younger, but I often feel like an outsider in the gay community. I simply have a very different set of goals, interests and tastes. I often feel isolated -- like a straight guy who happens to be attracted to men instead of women. Does anybody else feel this way? Or am I alone?
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Oct 10, 2009 7:27 PM GMT
    I don't think you are alone in the least. You actually gave the answer yourself... you developed your life and how you fit... comfortably before you ever came out. Habits were formed, perceptions and a lifestyle. Why would you allow "gay culture' to dictate who or how you should act? I think its a very normal situation.

    We all can relate to the comment and the last thing I worry about is whether
    I confirm to "gaystream values".
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    Oct 10, 2009 7:41 PM GMT
    An effeminate guy attracted to women would say:

    I know I am painting with a very broad brush here, but I believe that there is such a thing as what I would call "mainstream straight culture." By this I mean that there is a predominant culture surrounding being straight that involves many aspects of day to day and social life. Perhaps it's because I came out later on in life and wasn't ensconced in the culture when I was younger, but I often feel like an outsider in the straight community. I simply have a very different set of goals, interests and tastes. I often feel isolated -- like a gay guy who happens to be attracted to women instead of men. Does anybody else feel this way? Or am I alone?


    reply

    1 - don't think you are alone in the least. You actually gave the answer yourself... you developed your life and how you fit... comfortably before you ever came out. Habits were formed, perceptions and a lifestyle. Why would you allow "straight culture' to dictate who or how you should act? I think its a very normal situation.


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    Oct 10, 2009 8:10 PM GMT
    irishkcguy saidOr is it just me? I know I am painting with a very broad brush here, but I believe that there is such a thing as what I would call "mainstream gay culture." By this I mean that there is a predominant culture surrounding being gay that involves many aspects of day to day and social life. Perhaps it's because I came out later on in life and wasn't ensconced in the culture when I was younger, but I often feel like an outsider in the gay community. I simply have a very different set of goals, interests and tastes. I often feel isolated -- like a straight guy who happens to be attracted to men instead of women. Does anybody else feel this way? Or am I alone?


    I understand! I like the big brushes and FUCK staying inside the box!...I too came out later in life, at age 37. Just because you don't feel a need to wear pride pins and a rainbow boa, or pumps or anything else that is "stereotyping", doesn't mean you aren't part of the mainstream of gay culture. Your personal comfort level is more important than going on the "trinkets and trash tour" of every gay club , pride celebration and shopping frenzy to make someone money. Welcome to being part of the "post-pride" gay life....we all just want to be allowed to be who we are. and oh yeah...I sleep with men...and its not a big deal. So much of what we see in the gay media that is supposed to be "gay culture/life" is little more than some slick marketing ploy to a newly identified market demographic.....I tire of being marketed to because I am gay, and I'm sure alot of others are too. If you don't fit the demographic or disagree with the politics of the demographic I can see where it would be easy to feel out of place or isolated. Fortunately for me, I REVEL in being the mavrick and the out of place, oddball...and so should you! It makes you even MORE unique and unpredictable! Gay life is what you decide it should be in your life...that's the whole point that seems to get lost in the marketing and politics...that the "spectrum of the rainbow" has room for you and all of the various brands of gay life, not just the ones that can be charted or sliced and diced into a market tool....Take care man...you're OK...and HANDSOME TOO! DAMN! icon_cool.gif
  • jgymnast733

    Posts: 1783

    Oct 10, 2009 8:15 PM GMT
    I guess when you come right down to it , It's more of a people thing instead of just a gay thing..I enjoy the company of pleasent funny people, gay or str8 doesnt matter.[for me]...
    Surround yourself with what your comfortable with.....
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    Oct 10, 2009 8:16 PM GMT
    I won't write a treatsie on this.

    Enough to say that I understand perfectly what you are talking about. I tend to walk to my own drum pretty much and feel little connection to the gay community
  • NyRuinz

    Posts: 887

    Oct 10, 2009 8:27 PM GMT
    I wouldn't call it a disconnect, but I would say I don't identify with some of the gay stereotypes that are out there...

    1) I'm not effeminate
    2) I don't like barbara Streisand, Cher or Kylie Minouge
    3) I'm not promiscous and nor do I desire to bed every and any straight man out there.
    4) I don't refer to my friends as girlfriend, honey or bitch
    5) and I don't do clubs (gay or straight)

    No disrepect to any gay men that do enjoy doing the things listed above.
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    Oct 10, 2009 8:42 PM GMT
    Does anybody else feel a disconnect from the gay community?

    No, just the opposite for me. But I have heard this from other gays before, so I don't think you are alone at all.

    I also came out late, very late at 45, as I frequently mention here. But I took like a duck to water with gay culture, being a million times more socially successful in the gay world than I had ever been in the straight one.

    But at the same time, I was old enough, and mature enough, to have learned the skill of being selective, and having developed a strong enough character to enforce those choices, and resist things I knew to be unwise for me.

    I practice a very careful "pick & choose" in the gay world. I do what *I* want, what makes *me* comfortable, not what the mob does, not what's fashionable or popular. I've made a gay world for myself that reflects *me* and not the stereotypes.

    Does that separate me from some aspects of gay culture? Sure it does. I don't care. The gay world I've created for myself is fun, and entertaining, and full of good friends and interesting people, and is infinitely better than anything I ever knew in the straight world.

    Don't be misled by a monolithic view of the gay scene. There is more depth and variety than the gay rags would lead you to believe, what even the threads here would suggest. It does help to live in a community with a large & vibrant gay presence, but you're in LA, so that's not a problem.

    I suspect your difficulty is that you haven't yet found YOUR gay community. When you do, you will also take to it like a duck to water. So what do you want your gay community to be?
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    Oct 10, 2009 10:17 PM GMT
    I mean this in a very good way.............Its comforting and real nice to read about other guys who feel as totally disconneted to mainsteam gay culture as I do.

    I think its more a society thing, rather than a gay thing.

    We have to look out for each other. But we are out there!
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    Oct 10, 2009 10:26 PM GMT
    I came out when I was 18 and I often feel disconnected from the gay community. During college I went a few times to the "gay group" on campus but found them clickish; Outside of being gay I didn't have much in common with them. Since comming out and currently I tend to have a mix of str8 and gay friends.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19129

    Oct 11, 2009 4:01 AM GMT
    When I lived in L.A. I felt like I was completely connected to the gay community because West Hollywood just makes it so easy. Phoenix is a different story. I rarely go out to gay places, and there really doesn't seem to be a strong gay community here or a gay ghetto, so I feel very disconnected...other than RealJock, of course icon_wink.gif
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    Oct 11, 2009 4:04 AM GMT
    I hear comments like that all the time so I know for a fact you are not alone.

    Considering that what you have said (about your age), it kind of makes sense. There are other things to consider also .. you seem like a very independent person and are not prone to just accept what others believe (opposite the sheep mentality), you live in a city that maybe promotes the culture that you are seeing (maybe it is different in other places you have not lived), etc.

    I don't feel a connect OR a disconnect with other gays myself. I just don't see a big difference between gay or straights personality wise. If there is a sub-culture, I think it has partially been created by the segregation that is created with any minority group (by oppression and the need for survival) and partially created by modern trends that all different groups are subject to.

    P.S. I am reminded that there does seem to be a disconnect between younger and older gays many times. Then again it is the same with straight people.
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    Oct 11, 2009 4:09 AM GMT
    I live in the gay area, but don't really go to the bars much.
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    Oct 11, 2009 4:09 AM GMT
    No, No No you are not alone.
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    Oct 11, 2009 4:20 AM GMT
    See, people who say that they're disconnected from the gay community ARE judging. You are. Stop telling yourselves that you're not, you are.

    You are playing into the perpetuation of the same stereotypes of gay men that straight people use (effeminate, Barbra Streisand-loving interior decorators who shop for tight clothes and go to Cher concerts). Maybe if you'd actually stop telling yourselves how much better you are for not having any 'real' connection to the 'mainstream gay community' (along with how much more masculine, undetectably gay, etc, you perceive yourselves to be) you wouldn't feel so disconnected.

    People need community. You can spend your lives telling yourselves that other gay men are too different from you because of the music they listen to or the pet names they call their friends, or they way they talk, or the clothes they wear, or any other ultimately ridiculous, superficial and judgmental criteria you can come up with - but you know what? Most of them are out there having fun and being who they are with their friends, not sitting at home whining about how they are so disconnected from the rest of the world.

    Pull the stick out and stop spending so much energy being so self-righteously different (read: better) than everyone else and not only will you have more fun, you might actually find that the people you feel so disconnected from for things that are ultimately unimportant are worth connecting with for a thousand other reasons that are..
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    Oct 11, 2009 4:20 AM GMT
    Maybe you're straight and you should deal with your hetero tendencies.... icon_twisted.gif


    Just kidding....You are not alone....I can relate.
  • TallGWMvballe...

    Posts: 1925

    Oct 11, 2009 4:31 AM GMT
    Even though I came out at 22 -23 and did try gay bars for a short while, I never felt connected probably because I don't drink and also am not into the whole drinking/drugging/dancing night club scene or the Cher/Streisand Diva thing.

    Now at an older age, I look back and realize it is not all that uncommon to make your own way... so Irishkcguy, please know you are not alone.
    The mainstream gay culture seems to revolve around drinking and drugging at bars/clubs and dancing in your underwear at Pride parades and all our media is geared towards that. You can find your own community as I have.
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    Oct 11, 2009 4:34 AM GMT
    The gay "community" isn't a community any more than any other widely differing group. Heck, I keep saying that we're lawyers, teachers, athletes, engineers, etc. If the only thing many of us have in common is being gay, that's like saying the "Swedish community" or "the left-handed community."

    I've always been an outsider in the "gay community", and for years, when i was young, was sure I couldn't be gay because I didn't fit the stereotypes that were fed to us.

    My point? Look for community where there is shared interest or passion. I've got a lot of friends, mostly gay, but what holds us together isn't sexuality, but common experience and interest and mutual caring.

    in spite of all, there are a lot of good people out there!
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    Oct 11, 2009 4:42 AM GMT
    I used to feel a disconnect, but as time has gone on I sorta realised it just wasn't going to happen unless I forced it, I just don't seem to fit in with the "gay community" or at least the "gay community" that I have found.

    Which bugged me to no end but it's not the communities fault but my own, I'm just not built like the guys who seem to be so well integrated into it.

    So I've sorta settled on my own little community of friends and family.
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    Oct 11, 2009 4:42 AM GMT
    One more thought: We all have the ability to connect with people that are "different" than ourselves. If we cannot, what does that say about us?

    I am thinking that community is not what makes the connection, but the connection makes the community. The connection is not based on how much we are alike, but our capacity and willingness to care for others. If not, community is like a theater where people come together to watch the same movie we are interested in even though there is not necessarily any connection.
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    Oct 11, 2009 4:45 AM GMT
    What's the point?

    I mean, you don't feel a connection with the gay community. So what? Do you want to feel a connection? Or are you happy the way your life is?

    I don't feel a connection with the Sydney gay community and I don't really care. I have my life and it's pretty good, and that's that.
  • cowboyathlete

    Posts: 1346

    Oct 11, 2009 4:51 AM GMT
    Count me in with most guys in this thread. i would much rather work out to Chris LeDoux's greatest hits than to any house or techno music.
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    Oct 11, 2009 5:00 AM GMT
    ActiveAndFit saidOne more thought: We all have the ability to connect with people that are "different" than ourselves. If we cannot, what does that say about us?

    I am thinking that community is not what makes the connection, but the connection makes the community. The connection is not based on how much we are alike, but our capacity and willingness to care for others. If not, community is like a theater where people come together to watch the same movie we are interested in even though there is not necessarily any connection.


    Amen. But nobody's reading anything in this thread that doesn't contain the same boring "I'm so disconnected because of those FLAMERS and their drugs and their club music!"

    Really, this shit is exhausting. Maybe you're disconnected from the community because your (not all, most of you) insufferably boring/broad stereotyping and dismissing of huge populations of people makes others avoid you.
  • cowboyathlete

    Posts: 1346

    Oct 11, 2009 5:05 AM GMT
    badmikeyt said
    ActiveAndFit saidOne more thought: We all have the ability to connect with people that are "different" than ourselves. If we cannot, what does that say about us?

    I am thinking that community is not what makes the connection, but the connection makes the community. The connection is not based on how much we are alike, but our capacity and willingness to care for others. If not, community is like a theater where people come together to watch the same movie we are interested in even though there is not necessarily any connection.


    Amen. But nobody's reading anything in this thread that doesn't contain the same boring "I'm so disconnected because of those FLAMERS and their drugs and their club music!"

    Really, this shit is exhausting. Maybe you're disconnected from the community because your (not all, most of you) insufferably boring/broad stereotyping and dismissing of huge populations of people makes others avoid you.
    In my view the OP has made no personal attacks. You, by contrast, have done so. Why would anyone want to join a community when it has people like you in it?
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    Oct 11, 2009 5:08 AM GMT
    badmikeyt said
    ActiveAndFit saidOne more thought: We all have the ability to connect with people that are "different" than ourselves. If we cannot, what does that say about us?

    I am thinking that community is not what makes the connection, but the connection makes the community. The connection is not based on how much we are alike, but our capacity and willingness to care for others. If not, community is like a theater where people come together to watch the same movie we are interested in even though there is not necessarily any connection.


    Amen. But nobody's reading anything in this thread that doesn't contain the same boring "I'm so disconnected because of those FLAMERS and their drugs and their club music!"

    Really, this shit is exhausting. Maybe you're disconnected from the community because your (not all, most of you) insufferably boring/broad stereotyping and dismissing of huge populations of people makes others avoid you.



    oh lord. its comments like that which will confine "the gay culture" to its bars and 2 streets for pride.