Being A Gay Man With No Gay Friends

As a child of the 90s, I have truly grown up along with the rise of gay acceptance.  I came out at the right time for me, the end of my freshman year in college during a time post the age of Jack’s coming out on Dawson’s Creek and pre the age of It Gets Better. Now, as a recent college graduate who has been out for over 3 years I am discovering all the problems with having no gay friends.

I attended a small, Catholic liberal arts college encapsulated in the suburbs below Boston. The community and administration constantly discussed the concepts of diversity to a positive degree, but in reality for every LGBT student, student of color, student of a different faith or socioeconomic status there was sea of straight, white, and upper middle class New Englanders in North Faces and Uggs.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love my alma mater. The community of my college allowed me to truly accept myself, discover my passions, and find lifelong friends. I have learned however since graduating how much going to a school where I was one of honestly 10-15 gays out of the 2,500 students has stifled me. No exaggeration, I know to an almost 100 percent certain degree that I am one of four gays from my graduating year.

The gay men were wildly obvious on this campus not by choice, and mind you almost none throughout my 4 years were very flamboyant (think more ABC and less Bravo). Take the combination of these slim pickings, hook up with a couple of them, and you can imagine why I find myself at 23 no gay friends.

Circumstances never allowed me to bond with another as friends discovering our identities as gay in the new millennium. I have straight friends that text me whenever they end up going to a gay bar, yet not one would go with me until my 23rd birthday. You can’t be “that gay” who tries to roll into a gay club with an entourage of girlfriends so I find myself not able to experience life as a young gay man to its fullest.

I am more or less forced to use social websites or apps like Okcupid and Tinder to try to meet people (sorry Grindr I want to find love, not sex). You can imagine how well that is working.

I don’t have friends to talk about sex with, not that sugar coated Ryan Murphy Glee crap kids see on TV. I don’t have friends that understand how difficult it is to see constant heterosexual PDA, knowing we still live in a world where I would get gawked at (or worse) for attempting. I could go on and on about the predicaments of living in a heteronormative American society, but I currently cannot on a level with another human who gets it with me having to explain it.

I have been labeled as the gay by society before I have even had a chance to discover what being gay means to me. I have realized how I need to break down the perceptions of gays projected onto me.

I get it, I am still young and living in some of the most unique years of my life with plenty of inevitable cycles of friends in my future. If anything, I hope this small rant helps other gays realize they aren’t alone if they are feeling the same. More importantly, I hope any straight people who read this do a little more to help his or her gay friends because I can strongly bet the thought “oh where are all my straight friends at?” has never occurred once. And don’t tell me you don’t have any gay friends, that’s some BS. TC mark

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