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What makes me feel ashamed of being Gay

Discussion in 'General Support and Advice' started by Nice Dave, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. Nice Dave

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    It's not being called a "Faggot" by a homophobic person. It's being ignored by fellow gay men.

    This happens to me far more frequently than being insulted by homophobes. I've probably been insulted about my sexuality about 3 or 4 times by passing strangers ever since I left school. The thought of being insulted for being gay hardly bothers me any more because it does not happen regularly enough to be a major problem.

    But being ignored by other gay men does happen quite often, and it does get me down. I reach out to another gay man, either for a date or just friendship, and I get no response. Not even a belated response. Just nothing.

    I'm not needy and attention seeking. I'm perfectly capable of enjoying my own company and I go out by myself quite often to enjoy a movie or live show, or just to walk down a country lane to enjoy the scenery or visit a museum or gallery. I don't need a person to hold my hand when I do those things. But sometimes, I do like to invite a man to join me and share the experience with me.

    And if he can't make it or can't be bothered, that's fine. I can handle rejection. But I don't like being ignored completely. I would rather be fobbed off with an excuse than ignored. "Can't come, I've got relatives coming over" or "I've already made plans to go out that day" or "I'm not well, have fun" or even "I don't fancy going it doesn't sound like my sort of thing" are all perfectly good reasons to me, better than no response at all. Even if they contact me the next day saying "Sorry, I only just got your message" that's better than nothing.

    Being ignored makes me feel like I'm boring and not worth thinking about. Maybe they have more important things to focus on than my invitation - work issues, family issues, prior engagements - if I'm not told what's got their attention, then I'm left to make assumptions, usually negative ones.

    I don't expect anyone to drop everything for me and make themselves available for me 24/7. But in this day and age where technology and social media make it so easy to stay in touch, why do I end up feeling so out of touch with my fellow gay men?

    It does take me a lot of guts to ask someone if they want to join me for a day out or just meet up for a drink. And that goes to waste, because the person can't be bothered to respond, even to decline the invitation. It depresses me a bit. Especially when it comes to the summer and we're supposed to be all about pride and boosting our community and enriching our culture.

    In some sick ways, being called a "faggot" or "poof" by a total stranger is better - at least they are giving me some attention. When I get ignored by fellow gay men who I want to share myself with, then where is the compassion that we feel for each other?
     
  2. PatrickUK

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    It used to happen to me too and I know it gets you down, but you've just got to tell yourself that it's their loss and not yours, then pick yourself up and carry on. It's easy to get really despondent about it and then take yourself out of the loop for weeks and months, but time passes quickly and doing that can escalate into years. If you like and respect who you are, you've just got to tell yourself that it's their loss and remind yourself that you are deserving of better... and will continue looking for better.

    If someone can't even offer you a simple explanation, would you even want to spend time with them? You're kind of asking why is this happening to you, but I wouldn't load it onto your shoulders because this is more about their shortcomings than it is about yours. What does it say about a man if he doesn't even have the grace to politely respond to an offer of a social drink?
     
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  3. Nice Dave

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    that's exactly what I've started telling myself - that's its their loss. But then, who's gain will it be? Because it has happened with just about every man I've been on a date with these past couple of years. I'll message them asking if they'd like to meet up again or I just let them know that I'm in town, and I don't get a response.

    And its not just about romance - it makes friendships bloody difficult as well. OK, so I may not be what they want in a partner, but apparently I'm not interesting enough to just be mates with them?

    And I know it sounds like I'm attacking men of my sexuality, but my straight friends have no problem with my company. They invite me to their events and get me involved in what they're doing, and if I ask them if they want to meet up and they can't make it, they let me know. Even on social media they make better friends, because they "like" things that I post and share online. None of my gay contacts even do that.

    I do like and respect who I am, but there is definitely some sort of barrier that's not allowing me to connect with other gay men. I don't quite know what it is, so I'm just putting it out there to see if anyone else has had similar experiences. Because on a larger scale, I find it difficult to engage with this LGBT "community" that I'm supposed to be part of.
     
  4. OGS

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    Wow, that sounds awful. I can see how that would be frustrating. I've always felt like one of the benefits of being gay was that affinity with other gay people, especially gay guys. It's not like I'm going to instantly be friends with every gay guy I encounter but I sort of feel like we start at square three rather than at square one. To feel the opposite of that just sounds terrible--have you ever tried actually just asking one of the guys. I mean if nothing's going to happen any way maybe you could at least find out what the deal is?
     
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  5. lc asl

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    In my experience fellow gay guys are from the start VERY interested in hanging out with me, but in the end they are always out for sex and when I said that i wasn't interested in sex they would just ignore me completely afterwards.

    I only have 1 gay friend and he was my primary school best friend, so the relationship started way before we knew we were gay.
     
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  6. Nice Dave

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    I am going to bring the issue up with one of the guys.

    Maybe there is something I'm doing that's putting them off, but I'm not going to be able to improve it if I'm being ignored.

    And I don't struggle with friendships with straight people. I met up with a straight male friend yesterday and he gave me a tour of his hometown where he grew up and told me how things had changed over the decades. We sat in pubs and talked about all kinds of mundane and geeky things. To be honest it was better than a lot of dates I've been on. I would love for this kind of experience to happen with a gay man, regardless of whether or not it leads to something more than friendship. But like you said, I seem to be getting stuck at square one in all my attempts to connect with other gay men.

    I wonder if it's just how my local gay scene is? Maybe we've just become so tacky that we don't place value on things like friendship and loyalty and compassion. Homophobia is EXTREMELY rare where I live, so we don't exactly live in fear of being attacked or discriminated against, and therefore we don't really need to turn to our own for support and guidance. So when it comes to celebrating gay pride, it's just an excuse to get pissed and prance around under a rainbow to very loud, very bad music.
     
  7. Monraffe

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    I’ve had similar experiences with gay men. I’m fine with straight people but being around gay men feels like going on stage and getting booed. One thing that has helped is listening more and talking less. Learning more about their story helps me feel more empathy and sometimes they pick up on that and start liking me more.
     
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  8. dano218

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    Basically the same situation I was in. Even in my relatively small city there are a few gay guys and you would think being its a small city they would be open to friendships and stuff like that but no most of them ended up being stuck up and snobby. I mean not even a honest comment saying they are not interested or too busy but no they just ignore you. I moved to a larger city now and in a relationship and the gays here are the same way from what I experienced yet. I don't get it people complain about homophobia and being in a more rural part of the state but nobody wants to take the steps to form a sense of community. Even at gay pride which they have in this city everybody just sticks to their own
     
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  9. fadedstar

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    Because I am not the most attractive guy ever. I fear judgement from other gay/bi men and even straight women more than I fear judgement from straight men. If I was attractive/popular I would at least have that to amour me against any petty homophobia. But I'm not.
     
    #9 fadedstar, Aug 18, 2018
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  10. Nice Dave

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    Being "attractive" (which is subjective, but lets just go along with whatever's popular) is overrated. The more good looking you are, the more assumptions and expectations people have towards you. and when you don't live up to those expectations, people seem to lose interest in you entirely. When I first came out, lots of people assumed I was getting shagged every night by tons of hot guys. Which I wasn't. All through my twenties I wanted something deeper and more meaningful than a casual shag or countless nights of casual shagging.

    I do have hookups quite regularly now in my thirties. Getting sex is easy, but finding something other than sex to talk about with other gay guys - that's still a total mystery to me. Straight men don't want to go into too much detail about my sex life, therefore I find it easier to make friends with them.
     
  11. fadedstar

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    My response to the question "What makes me feel ashamed of being gay?" was more about the social acceptability of homosexuality in society and how that is more of a privilege afforded to naturally beautiful men with likable personalities than a given for everyone and how that plays into wider society and not just "the gay community."
     
    #11 fadedstar, Aug 18, 2018
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  12. Nice Dave

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    I'm the opposite - I moved from the city to a countryside town where I thought the gay scene might be a bit more friendly and laid back, but it's not much different from the gay scene I experienced in the city, just smaller.

    What I don't get is a lot of gay people have felt excluded and had trouble fitting in with larger crowds, but now that they have a crowd to fit in with, they treat other gay people from outside of their group exactly the same - like you would have to go through some sort of rite to prove yourself worthy of being among them. My straight friends aren't like that. They don't care what you look like or how you dress or how socially awkward you are and they don't care if you haven't watched every episode of Sex and the City at least 9000 times. They are a lot more likely to give new people a chance.
     
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  13. OGS

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    Apologies if I'm being nosy, but I'm still trying to square the difference in my head, as my experience has always been pretty much exactly the opposite. I guess it makes me wonder where and how you are meeting gay people. And I guess maybe what the expectations are going in. One thing I have noticed over the years on this site is that it seems like there are people with lots of gay friends and people with, well, none. And I understand from the perspective of the latter it makes sense that simply being gay is enough to build a friendship on but from the perspective of the former it... just isn't. It's built on common interests, common experiences, mutual affinities... like friendships with straight people. I don't know that that is what's going on but I wonder.
     
  14. Nice Dave

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    That's not the case for me. First of all, my straight friends don't all share my exact tastes. But they still enjoy my company, and I enjoy theirs. They don't ignore me.

    I have met gay guys who had similar tastes to me, but that wasn't enough for them to take any further interest in me. Even though I've contacted them asking if they'd like to meet up.

    The latest gay guy I took an interest in was someone I met at the local gay pride festival. I recognized him from facebook because we had a mutual friend, and I used that as an opportunity to introduce myself to him, and we got chatting to each other quite nicely. We had quite a few things in common. We even ended up snogging each other, and exchanging phone numbers and social media. Last week I messaged him asking if he'd like to meet up because I had a weekend off. No reply. Then just yesterday i noticed he'd uploaded a load of photos of himself and some friends of his all enjoying a night out, getting drunk and grabbing each other's asses. So, apparently, that is the kind of friendship he wants. All based on getting drunk and being overly sexual. The things we had in common with each other weren't enough for him to prompt a second meeting, but having a drunken night out with a bunch of gay lads and their fag hag was.
     
  15. dano218

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    To be honest I wonder sometimes I wonder if some gay guys treatment of other gay guys when it comes to relationships stems from experiencing homophobia or hatred fro others. Sometimes people become bitter and stuck up because of situations they are in and its like a vicious. I don't mean that to sound rude but I also noticed people who suffer from depression can be like that I had knew a gay guy who later ended his life who gave me that kind of treatment and as sad it as it was it made sense that he may of treated me that way because he had issues himself. Also there seems to be some gay guys who believe they cannot be just friends with other guys and think every guy they come into contact with wants something more from them. I am not trying to be offensive just speaking from experience.
     
  16. Nice Dave

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    I didn't find anything rude or offensive about your post. I really haven't experienced much homophobia since my school days (those days are long behind me) but some of the gay guys I've met and tried to get to know better have experienced homophobia from close relatives. My family have been mostly positive about my sexuality, they didn't disown me or anything like that when I came out, and we're all very close now. I've met people who had much worse experiences with homophobia than I have. So there may be some truth to what you've said. Overall, my experience is that I've received better treatment from straight people than from gay people.

    I would be very upset if I found out that a gay guy I liked were to take his own life. This is another reason I don't like ignorance among gay men. It may sound dramatic, but what if a guy I liked was not talking to me, and then I found out that he took his own life because he felt like he couldn't reach out to anyone, when I was willing to listen to him the whole time? The thought of something like that happening does trouble me a little.
     
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  17. dano218

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    Yes that very true. There were actually two I knew of. One of them I actually had no problem with and the other one I talked to him and than one time he yelled at me to stop talking to him because he has a boyfriend now and I never said anything about wanting to date him. I think the main point being gay or any other type of minority does mean your gonna be a compassionate and understanding person and want to come together to ease the burdens that come with being different. I would say I probably had better treatment from straight people myself which is not a large group of people I came out too.
     
  18. Filip

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    First of: *hug*. Getting stood up is never fun, even if it's just online. Doubly so if it's by people who should know just how important it is to feel part of a community.

    I don't really have a universal understanding of why people give others the cold shoulder. I'd like to think it's all due to misunderstandings, and honest mistakes. I'm actually guilty of doing that to others a few times myself.
    As I am getting older, however, I can't help but start realising that there's also people who just like to play games. Unfortunately, so far no universal theory seems to be forthcoming to determine which is which.

    However, some things OGS said spoke to me, and I do feel like they shed some light on at least my own chronic tendencies of flaking out on people.

    I honestly feel like the part about "starting at square three rather than square one" can be a curse rather than a boon.
    In theory, it is indeed simple. Friendships with gay people should be similar to striking up friendships with straight people, except that you can hit the ground running and fall back on at least one bit of shared background/outlook.

    But in my experience, it's also tempting to get hung op on that whole square three business. You're supposed to have this set of commonalities, but what if that turns out to be a red herring? There are, after all, many ways of "being gay".
    What if instead of a commonality, you find a set of differences? You're supposed to hit the floor running, but instead you sprain your ankle. Sprain it a couple of times and you start flinching just at the thought.


    Long and personal story warning. If you're bored, skip to the general conclusion.

    I kinda had a bad experience that way. When I came out, the one gay friend I had from highschool did his darndest to make me "come in" to the local community.
    Was that too early? Or did we go to the wrong places? I don't know. It wasn't wholly succesful, though. It was nice to see that I wasn't the only one. I never came away feeling actually bad.
    But also... I did fail to relate to any of the people he introduced me to. They were friendly alright. And they definitely tried breaking the ice. But their attempts also went in directions of which bars I had already frequented. And whether I had ever dated someone they knew. Or whether we had any acquaintances in common. And what my parents said when I brought home my first boyfriend. And to all of those, at the time, I could just offer bewildered stares.

    Does that mean it was a bust? Could I never have befriended those people? Did we have nothing else in common? In retrospect, I probably could have. But I went in hoping for easy connection, and instead it felt like we weren't both on square three. They were on five and I was somewhere between zero and one. It was nice knowing there's other gay people out there, and that they were having a community, but it also felt like a community that came with a barrier to entrance.

    And... after a while my friend just assumed he introduced me to enough people and I could find my own way. We started moving in ever different circles. And I just... didn't have the heart to go on.
    That didn't stop me from trying to find local gay groups and hangouts and watering holes. But everytime I'd commit to going, I'd get fairly close and then just feel that feeling from those first meetups. Being around people who I should have common ground with, but whose most basic questions I couldn't answer. It felt like that whole "all being gay" part is an extra hurdle, rather than a kickstart. Every step closer is just more difficult than the last, and before I get there, I end up just going home and huddling in my comfy couch instead.

    I can't say I actively flaked out on many people. I'm usually not even reaching out to many, just because I know I'll flake anyway. But as a recent example, I did reach out this last month to my old gay friend from highschool and asked him whether I could tag along for Pride. After ten years of being out, i'd be nice to finally attend one.
    But on the morning itself, the feeling of "what if the people there will figure out I don't have my "being gay" shit together and they decide I'm a waste of their time? What if I'm just bringing down the party?" was just overwhelming. And I sent a flimsy excuse about a fabricated family emergency. My friend was clearly not buying it for a second, but didn't press the issue, and we haven't talked in the months since.

    In the end, it's easier starting from square one with straight people. At least I know square one. And I'm used from starting there. In fact, if the topic of me being gay comes up, it's an easy topic. Quite naturally I'm an expert compared to them, without even trying.
    With gay people, I so often get lost determining which square we're on, relatively. I get hung up on proving my "gay cred", whilst secretly fearing I have none. And that is just so tiring, I never seem to get to actually connecting as people. Doesn't stop me from wanting that sort of connection, but apparently it is enough to stop me on following through on any openings I create.

    (Before you feel too bad about me, it's not all bad. I do have a boyfriend I love very much. And my best friend happens to be gay. Bonded with them about gaming and then discovered they were gay almost as a lucky afterthought. Though even they have learned that trying to get me to meet more gay people is actively triggering, and they're too kind to ever just grab me, tie me up in the trunk, and drive to a Pride kicking and screaming. In a way, I managed to befriend them while keeping the whole "being gay" part consciously on the backburner.)


    General conclusion:

    I honestly feel that a lot of people out there have been hurt before, and this is continuing to harm their ability to form a community. Maybe objectively they weren't hurt that much. It's not enough to stop them from reaching out. But it is enough to stop them from ever following through. And even if they do follow through one time, they might get hung up on the silliest little detail, determine that this has no chance of working out, and that it's best to just save everyone involved the trouble. And if you're already in flight mode, it's just easier to keep your head down than risk prolonged back and forths. Those only feel like more proof it was never going to work.

    Maybe that's bleak. But I do suppose it's best to look at it from a place of compassion than one of frustration.

    ...or, y'know. Maybe i'm just projecting my own issues on the gay community xD
     
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  19. smurf

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    I admit I haven't read the whole due to time, but great stuff!

    The only thing that jumped out at me is this right here. It seems whenever people criticize the gay community (and there is a lot of valid criticism) it goes back to "And the straights have it better because...."

    But most of that time that perception is just simply not true and gay guys who say that have this romanticized notion of the straight community as a whole. If only they were straight they wouldn't have to deal with catty gay guys and they would be happy with the straight community.

    If straight community was as accepting to new people as you make it out to seem, then we wouldn't have the MILLIONS of movies about straight people being bullied, miserable and feeling lonely. You wouldn't have movies like revenge of the nerds or you wouldn't have movies where the whole plot is a straight guy having to change everything about themselves in order to date one single girl.

    Suicide among straight men is also incredibly high because straight men refuse to have deep and open conversations with their guy friends because that is not what "Men do". So they are slowly dying inside.

    So what I'm saying is, yes there are valid criticism, but idolizing the straight community won't solve any of your problems.

    I, like many in this thread, have had an amazing experience with the gay people around me. It has been life saving. Hell, this forum alone is an amazing resource. You think this would exist for free, without ads, and with volunteer moderators if gay people didn't give a damn?

    Seriously, the only thing I can suggest is for you guys to create SOMETHING in your local area. Create something that you think doesn't exist and make it happen.

    You think you need more community and make sure that people don't feel ignored? DO IT! Go fix it. Start talking with local LGBT leaders. Get their input, see how you can get plugged in etc. It can be as easy as creating a once a month meet up at a local bar for gay guys. Set it up, get volunteers whose only job is talking with new people and introducing them to older members, and make this happen.

    I'm not kidding. Create the change you want in your own community. No one else seems to give a damn, so care enough to fix it. You can do much more than you think you can
     
  20. Nice Dave

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    My posts are nothing to do with "idolizing the straight community", though you have raised valid points about all the issues straight men struggle with.

    If I'm honest, though, I do think straight men open up a lot more about their feelings these days. I also think that a lot of straight men have come to admire gay men for being honest and opening up about our sexuality. I practically get praised by straight men who think I'm ballsy for just speaking so freely about my sexual encounters with men, and that's where I start to feel pride in myself as a gay man - after those horrible years of adolescence I went through, being called faggot and poof and being criticized for not being as manly as the other boys, now I'm surrounded by straight men who don't give a damn how I act and who I'm getting off with. It's fellow gay men who I feel more judgement and less acceptance from.