Glance at what the bougie media is feeding you and feel like you missed the memo that all gay men should be out with their friends on Sunday mornings with their perfectly quaffed hair, drinking their perfectly scrumptious mimosas. Wonder if all the gay men you were promised when you came out are hiding on the closed set of a Britney Spears’ music video. Wonder where all your gay friends are and why you aren’t making them.
Try convincing yourself that you’re funny and smart and knowledgeable enough in Bravo! show trivia to snag at least one gay friend. Force yourself to go to your campus PRIDE student union and feel like you just fell into a dark fever dream. Run away when they show you their boxed series of Queer As Folk. Ask yourself if you think you could ever fit in somewhere like this. Be fearful of yourself for a few moments and wonder if coming out was even the best choice for you. Doubt your ability to be good at being gay.
Befriend a girl in your writing workshop who tells you how much she loves, “the gays,” as if you’re all a conglomerate being sourced for her amusement. Have her bring you to house parties and sit with her while she gets high before class every Wednesday and Friday. Tell her about all the men you think are hot and which tops look good on her- feel like you’re making progress. Finally let her take you to a rager where she introduces you to her “posse of gays,” before traipsing off to throw up next to a fence. Exchange numbers with the boys at the party and take a cab home. Realize your writing workshop, “friend” actually sucks and politely sit away from her for the rest of the semester.
Through her introduction, start going to gatherings where it is solely gay men and feel uncomfortable at first. Try wine nights and facial masks and HBO shows. Revel and live that cliche; realize you love it. Paint your nails once because all your friends were doing it. Paint them when you’re on your couch alone because it weirdly makes you feel more handsome.
Go through all the drama that comes with groups of friends all feeling like they’re vying for some unobtainable goal. Kiss your friends, and sometimes even fuck them. Feel confused. Mistake sexual tension with emotional intimacy and blur the lines between what makes sense to you, and what exists in the gray area your penis dictates. Step on some toes. Cry a little, then cry a lot, then grow hardened to gossip and slander. Wonder if you even want, “gay friends,” and decide that everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, has the capacity to suck.
Take all the little gay-boy lessons you’ve learned from your time deeply immersed in the, “gay scene.” Realize that drag shows are fun and petty gossip sucks. Pick and choose your own homo adventure by meticulously selecting the stereotypes you’re fine with fulfilling and which ones never fit you properly.
Take a close look around at the friends you and take stock in the people who make you feel like more than your sexuality. Love the ones who understand that your sexuality is only a small fraction of the whole person you are. Realize that they relate to you not only because of your sexuality, but because sometimes you need your gay friends to let you know they understand the crippling isolation that sneaks up upon us. Trim the fat of the friends that made you feel like a commodity, like a quota-filler, like a means to an end. Invite them over to watch the Beyoncé visual album and then out to drink mimosas. Because if you’re into that sort of thing, your carefully crafted tribe will understand.