From the time I came out, I've feel like I can't be friends with any new guys. I mean, I do have my friends, but all the new ones are girls. When I want to approach a guy, I feel like it's not possible and I can never come close to starting a conversation. Thus, it is not possible for me to meet new guys and even a possible relationship. What has gone wrong and how can I correct it?
-Chillin' With The Ladies
Dear Gay Man,
First, there's nothing wrong with having a troop full of females. BFF's come in a variety of packages. If you have 'em, flaunt 'em. The problem, as you've realized, is that chilling with the girls leaves little room to meet men. They keep you occupied, you keep them occupied. And let me guess, none of you have men?
Here's the deal: I, too, have always had a fear of meeting gay men. I do it anyway (which is weird, but I'll explain why in a minute). Put me in a room full of women and I'll charm their pants off. Well, not literally, but you get my point. Surprisingly, I can even hang deep with the straight dudes. We can box, lift weights, get greasy working on cars, watch a college ball game... All I need is some wings and a beer and I'm in frat heaven.
Now, place me in a room full of gays and I lock up like a transmission without fluid. Since gay business is my business, you can imagine how often I pop and lock (up). I've thought about this extensively, young gay. What is it with me and the gay dudes?
It hit me like a home run: My girls don't judge me, they encourage me (well, except for that one hater). My straight guys are easy to get along with, because all they talk about are girls (which I know about since that's who I hang with) and dumb straight boy stuff (which I find mildly entertaining). But, the gays are the gays. A room full of 'mos is like a tank full of potential dates, husbands and friends. Set aside the fact that, despite our sexuality, we're all men and men like to mark their territory (be that another man or just the room in general), so there is a lot of funky energy going on.
Enter a gay social event and some are cruising, some boozin', others schmoozing. It's like a free for all. I lock up because I like to know what to expect. And, in a room full of gays it's difficult to know what's going to happen (or not happen). Inevitably, I clam and revert into my introverted half.
Fret not, little gay-hopper, we are not lost causes here. It takes practice. Your comfort lies with the girls, that's why you have no problem being in the Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants. But, as a good stylist friend of mine says, if it makes you uncomfortable you should probably try it on. It is through this discomfort that our brains are trained into comfort. By actively seeking out the discomfort, the anxiety and tension lessens and eventually the action becomes comfortable. Get it?
So, get those girls of yours to go out to the gay bar with you or to a social event at the LGBT Center or to the PG-13 bookstore or Bed, Bath & Beyond. This time, instead of focusing on them, make it a point to start a conversation or flirt a little with at least one boy. It's going to be extremely uncomfortable and your crew will probably giggle, but eventually you'll strike gay gold and meet someone cool.
Yours with sweaty palms,