Confession time. This will be another post that has some insider information about the gay community that isn’t too glowing. I make it a rule not to speak about unpleasant things, unless the goal is to educate to fix minds and hearts, or its to put down practical advice on how to well, fix it. Yes this is my experience and thus my perception of the gay community, but there are so many articles, Facebook group conversations, and conversations with friends in my gay world that echo what is to follow. With how tough it is to get not even respect, but a moment to just exist being gay, I don’t want to add to the struggle. I’m so happy it is June and thus for us, PRIDE Month, I feel I want to open up about my life in the gay community ( I have novels about some things and working on more), and what my gay life looks like after I decided not to follow the status quo any longer.
I’ve written about my experience in the gay community a few times. The one that seems to be the hardest for me has to do with race (click here). I hate to say I still feel separated from my gay brothers and sisters due to the fact what is seen to be attractive and even friend-worthy doesn’t come with a dark face. Sure I have black friends, being black myself, and yes I have white friends but when going to some bars and events, it’s still hard being a hand full of black in a sea of white. I want to be clear, this is not a phenomenon exclusive to the gay community, but the shock is always there because this community is supposed to be about inclusion and celebrating differences. What I have found is the gay community that I have witnessed seems to double down on exclusion based on race because to me it feels like this is only about sex.
I am loathed to make this kind of statement because it is the kind of thinking anti-gay crazies tend to champion as why being gay is wrong. The sad part is with Grindr and other “dating apps”, with what you can see at some gay events, the actions in the clubs, and posts on social media by gay magazines, it’s hard not to see sex as being the main attraction in the gay world (click here). I even have many friends that can’t seem to stay just friends; all sleeping with each other at one time or another, some still having sex from time to time calling themselves friends. I just have been having trouble seeing love in the gay community, friendship in the gay community, and inclusion in the gay community.
All that being said I’m gay. It’s not something I got when issued my driver’s license. I am attracted to only other men. I have no desire to be with a woman sexually. As much as the gay community frustrates and casts me aside, I’m gay but I’m not going to be a victim of the gay community hierarchy or framework any longer. Just like I did with diversity in my friendships (click here), I have decided to craft what I feel the gay community should look and feel like to me. I’m sharing this for the boy who doesn’t feel like he fits in. To the girl who is tired of trying to be a lipstick lesbian and really just wants to hang with the guys, and the white party goer that has had enough. I’m sharing this to show you can break free and do you.
So for me, I may have been a typical slutty little gay boy, but that isn’t me deep down. I started by going on dates and foolishly giving men sex on the first date thinking it was the only way to keep them. Over time it just seemed like that was how the gay community operated so I continued on, maybe switching to second and third date for those I liked, but still coming up with the same result. It could have been the guys I chose but I tend to have a very large taste spectrum, which leads me to believe the community might be at fault. This prioritizing of sex and body over friendship and love has turned hearts cold. So I’ve decided to lock down my goodies, focus on bonds with other gays and live life with friendship and heart in mind. Do I still hook up? I have to say it’s been pretty rare lately. I’m the type that doesn’t do anything cold turkey because I know I will reverse course harder when I do. Instead I lengthen the time between usage, and yes this whole hook up and hook up app thing is just as addictive as any drug you can find.
My focus on the two areas that trouble me in the gay community, race and hook ups, are to really share my experience before I just drop down what needed to change in my world to have the gay inclusive community I have always wanted. By stopping hook ups I have been able to gain friends and new perspectives. By keeping a diverse set of friends, I learn so much about culture and again, more perspective on life and views. By venturing away from the gay clubs, I get to see more. I get to see more than smoke and Fireball shots. I get to see real life and people who just happen to be gay.
My gay community is diverse. My gay community is about friendship. My gay community is about inclusion and uplifting other gays. My gay community works for me.
NOTE: Please click on the “Click Here” links. They are to older posts of mine what expand upon some key ideas in this article.