1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Are Gay Friends Necessary Just Because I am Gay?

Discussion in 'Family, Friends, and Relationships' started by OnTheHighway, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. OnTheHighway

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2014
    Messages:
    3,910
    Likes Received:
    584
    Location:
    Florida
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    Having premenantly resettled this past year I have been working through the local gay community where I now reside in an effort to build new relationships and make new friends. As discussed in other threads, finding true gay friends that are emotionally available, vulnerable and transparent within my local community has been different than what I experienced in the previous city where I lived. There are differences in culture, age, career, life perspectives and social objectives that I continue to adjust to as I navigate the local LGBT community and get to know others.

    Being back in the general geographic area where I was raised, I have been rebuilding relationships with social circles that I was part of while growing up. For the most part, those within my childhood social circles have been open and supportive of my coming out and have embraced me back within such circles. I seem to be spending quite a bit of time with high school heterosexual friends that I lost touch with but have since been reconnected with. Although, I have to admit at being a bit surprised with the embrace I have been experiecing, particularly given many of them I perceived were the same that I felt would not have accepted my sexuality back in high school (but then again, we are all adults now so on reflection I guess I am not that surprised). I am even having brunch this weekend with a girl that I would have sworn hated me when in high school and university (we went to the same schools for each), but she actually has been pushing to get back together and seems like a completely different person from what I recollect.

    So this has me wondering if I really need to build new friendships within my local gay community. I am meeting a lot of people. Building new acquantences does not seem to be an issue, but I put a different priority on friends over acquantences. At the same time, I still keep in touch regularly with, and visit with, my good friends from where I lived previously, albeit we all have moved to different locations all over the place. And maybe I do find over time some developing friends do cross the threshold to become true friends in my local community. But do I really need relationships with just other members of the LGBT community?

    By asking the question I seem to be developing my own answer, which is that I can and should develop friends outside the LGBT community. I can’t think of a rational reason while my friends need to be exclusive to the community.

    I am curious as to others perspective.
     
  2. AdityaD

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2018
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    India
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Not out at all
    Being a part of LGBT community doesn't mean that you've to have friends from LGBT community only. Friends are those people who are supposed to be supportive and are always there for you when you need them. They can be straight or gay. I've had this guy telling me once that gay people aren't supposed to be hanging out with heteros. My best friend is straight and that friend is very supportive and understanding and is 100 times better than the only friend I've from the LGBT community (in real life). How are we supposed to be fighting for equality when we are not ready to come out and interact with straight people?
     
  3. smurf

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2015
    Messages:
    1,645
    Likes Received:
    638
    Location:
    Florida
    Yes, for sure you don't need to stick to just LGBT people as friends.

    Be friend with whoever you connect with and helps you grow as a person. I wouldn't focus solely on sexual orientation for that.

    I personally enjoy having LGBT friends so its a necessity for me, but I have other friends who I am their only LGBT friend so I know some people don't have the same need. Whatever works for you
     
    #3 smurf, Oct 12, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
  4. Broccoli

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2018
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    152
    Location:
    UK
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Lesbian
    Out Status:
    A few people
    I think people make friends who share their values, interests and/or experiences. With some friends that might be a shared sense of humour, love of a particular activity or goals in life; with others it might be a shared state of being LGBT and the experiences that brings. You can share different things with different people of all different sexual orientations.
     
  5. OnTheHighway

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2014
    Messages:
    3,910
    Likes Received:
    584
    Location:
    Florida
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    This is the foundation for a relationship to blossom into a true friendship, so I appreciate what you are saying. And while I had been solely focused on my sexual orientation while I got comfortable in my own shoes, and it was beneficial to have other gay friends during this period, as I know look beyond my sexual orientation continuing my life journey it would seem that I can leverage my other interests as the foundation for other friendships. At the end of the day, I am not one to close any door, I will explore all of the avenues, follow my nose, and see where it takes me.
     
  6. CL1990

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    California
    Gender:
    Other
    Gender Pronoun:
    Other
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    A few people
    i feel the same as you. i have reconected with my friends (straight) and new people in a much deeper level than i used to and i feel i dont need to go out looking for gay people.

    having said this, i also find it extremely helpful to go to this support group for gay woman i go every other week just because i hear situations that i go through aswell voiced in someone else and i feel understood at a completely different level. in that way i feel that i i ha a balance in my life and it works for me. it you find the balance and happyness with your straight friends that is perfectly fine and you shouldnt feel like you have to force yourself into any friendships just because they share your orientation. i have done it and it really doesnt work for me
     
  7. Devil Dave

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Messages:
    1,077
    Likes Received:
    305
    Location:
    UK
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    I've always found gay people difficult to be friends with. Whenever I'm with other gay people, I don't feel like they really accept me the way I am, I feel like they want me to be something else. I feel like I'm not exciting enough or interesting enough to be part of their group. I feel like I'm doing something wrong, or like I have to put in more effort to impress them. I don't feel that way with my straight friends. When I'm with my straight friends, I can just relax and be however I want to be. I don't have to try hard.
     
    zuice likes this.
  8. Rade

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2018
    Messages:
    1,180
    Likes Received:
    630
    Location:
    Bedford UK
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    I suppose in an ideal world a mixture of straight and gay friends is s good healthy balance .
    I'm only just entering LGBT community so most of my friends are straight. And my old friends have been very accepting too.
    As a gay guy I seem to have many more straight female friends who are always there for me so I'm lucky ......
     
  9. OGS

    OGS
    Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    2,664
    Likes Received:
    678
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    I think it's important not to conflate having gay friends with having only gay friends. I think for most people that are gay it probably is important to have gay friends. In the same way that if someone who was, say, Baptist (and it was important to them) asked me if they should have friends who are Baptist--I absolutely think they should. On the other hand if they then asked if it would be a good idea to only have Baptist friends I would think that it would be unfortunate if it just kind of worked out that way and I would frankly think it a rather terrible decision if they flat out decided to only have Baptist friends.
     
  10. Love4Ever

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2018
    Messages:
    2,696
    Likes Received:
    1,216
    Location:
    US
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Lesbian
    Out Status:
    A few people
    I agree. In fact the last sentence is something I unfortunately have dealt with a lot. A lot of people around here are not interested in being your friend if you don't go to their specific church.
     
  11. OnTheHighway

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2014
    Messages:
    3,910
    Likes Received:
    584
    Location:
    Florida
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    I want to clarify and make sure what I am saying is understood. I am not talking about “acquantences” but rather true emotionally connected (albeit non physical) friends. Religious friends, at least for me, have always fallen under the “acquantences” category since I was never religious to begin with (and I appreciate this is just being used as an example).

    Finding real friends where you each care about one another’s well being is not quick to come by.

    Interestingly, I had two experiences this past weekend which reflect what I am trying to articulate. In the first instance, I met with my high school girl friend that I mentioned previously. We were in the same social circle during high school, went to the same university, but never really connected with one another back then. When we got together, we actually opened up to one another and realized we had so much more in common than what I perceived from back then. Even more so, she expressed her fondness of me but her own insecurities prevented her from being open with me while in high school. This lead us into a very deep and personal conversation, and I felt almost immediately connected to her after just a two hour lunch. Following lunch we agreed to stay connected and have actually already been staying in touch.

    In the second instance, I hung out last night with a guy I have coined one of my “developing” friends. We did date very briefly immediately after my divorce was finalized (both dates and phyiscal intimacy), but agreed to not pursue a romantic relationship after a few get togethers. When we agreed we not to pursue a romantic relationship, we did agree to build a friendship with each other. however, while I did explain having come out of a marriage I was not ready to go right into another relationship, the reality is that I was also just not into him from a romantic stand point. So, last night when we went out for drinks at a quiet venue to talk about a romantic situation he is now involved with, rather than being emptionally open as a friend, he turned the conversation around and directed it back at me reflective of a jealous guy challenging me on my relationship with the current guy I am currently dating with building emotions (as discussed in a prior thread). His emotional state of mind given how our relationship started was clearly not in a place where we could really develop a true emptional bond together as friends.

    I am coming to the conclusion that having initimate relations with someone whom thereafter wants to remain friends creates unintended consequences which I am not sure is worth the effort. Given how promiscuous my local community seems to be, and how many friendships are based on two guys having sex at some point, the drinks I had last night with my gay developing friend compares much less favorably to the lunch I had with my straight high school friend. Also, given I dont have the same needs for sex today as I did previously and I am in an exclusive dating relationships the thought of making friends through casual encounters is simply not appealing to me. My situation with my developing friend last night is a case in point.

    Now I am not suggesting these examples should be used to overly generalize the social dynamics within the community i live, and I certainly have my share of responsibility with how the developing friendship has played out with my gay developing friend, but I do think the example is reflective of what I have been expereincing in some circumstances. This does not rule out my continued effort to meet guys through more traditional channels, such as charity events, social events, sport leagues, etc; but even in those settings, it seems an underlying sexual current is often perceived by people I meet at such functions.
     
  12. smurf

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2015
    Messages:
    1,645
    Likes Received:
    638
    Location:
    Florida
    This is interesting to me and the main thing I kept thinking through out your story is "Why didn't you bring this up with your friend? Why are you all not openly talking about it?"

    That is what vulnerability allows us to feel. She was able to admit to you some of her own weaknesses, you both spoke about some very real emotions and went through them. It just seems like you are holding back with your other friend for some reason. But it does sound that you just don't really enjoy spending time with him.

    I hope you find the relationships that will uplift you soon!
     
  13. silverhalo

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    10,056
    Likes Received:
    3,173
    Location:
    England,
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Lesbian
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    I am gay and completely out and open but most of my friends are straight, they are for the most part the same friends I had before I questioned my sexuality with some additions along the way. I don't think it is necessary to have LGBT friends but there are of course aspects of being gay that other LGBT understand in a way that straight people don't. I think as with everything there are advantages and disadvantages. I'd never be friends with someone just because of their sexuality so I suppose it just depends who you meet.
     
  14. OnTheHighway

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2014
    Messages:
    3,910
    Likes Received:
    584
    Location:
    Florida
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    My conclusion was based on the open discussion we had. Given the history, he remains romantically attached rather than plutonicly, and this is clouding his ability to be a true friend despite his claimed desire to be just a friend. It’s difficult for me to be open with him and make myself truly vulnerable when he has another agenda.

    I also mentioned previously where another older local that I met and did not have any intimacy with also first started out wanting a physical or romantic relationship with me. Where now we seem to be on our way to becoming real friends, it took a bit of time before he accepted that the relationship would only be as friends without any romantic or physical connection. Again, the physical or romantic connection seems to be somewhat of a prerequisite for becoming friends amongst those I am meeting in my new hometown.

    Don’t get me wrong, as I reflected in my post, I have a very close circle of true friends that I engage with almost daily. We all just so happen to live all over the world given I met them when I was living overseas. While I am not looking for a specific “uplift”, ideally it would be good to create a local circle of friends that I can engage with and be open with. The difference? Previously I set out to make gay friends whom could participate on my journey of self actualization as a gay man and where today I am now comfortable with myself as a gay man while I now focus on bettering other more general aspects of myself. Hence, I no longer need that specific type of sexuality specific support and common connection. Instead, I am now opening up to developing, or as it relates to my childhood friends redeveloping, heterosexual relationships in my new hometown.
     
    #14 OnTheHighway, Oct 15, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
  15. alwaysforever

    Full Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,143
    Likes Received:
    167
    Location:
    Maine
    Gender:
    Female (trans*)
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Lesbian
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    I don't have a lot of straight friends. Most of them are somewhere on the LGBTQ+ spectrum. Obviously straight people CAN be supportive and wonderful friends. It just so happens the straight people in my life were less supportive, more inclined to socialize with their other straight friends than me, or they got married and faded away into the ether, never to be heard from again. It's also very fatiguing when a majority of conversations are focused on stuff I have less and less interest in, such as guys, babies, and other things that just aren't a factor in my life.