Why Is Making Gay Friends So Hard

In order to have good friends you have to open up and be vulnerable.

Time and time again, whether it be emails in my inbox or messages in groups I belong to, gay men always ask why it’s so hard to make other gay friends. It always shocks me, somewhat, when I hear this. Admittedly, I do not go out of my way to meet new people. It is something that by my age now, I should fix. All the same, I often prefer my friend circle to be small.

No matter where you live, there is some kind of community that you can reach out to. Even online offers you a chance to meet new people, but it does come with its own host of caveats.

So, Why Is Making Gay Friends So Hard?

Late Bloomers

For the most part, LGBTQ people have a disadvantage growing up. We often dont get to experience our adolescent years the same way out heterosexual counterparts do. We spend a lot of time running from bullies and dealing with coming to terms about who and what we are to focus on learning to be functioning adults.

Interacting with people is one of those traits we often fail at learning. We spend most of our youth being alone out of fear that it is hard to break that wall down later in life. From there, we usually catapult into a sexual encounter as our first type of relationship. Since we often lack the skills to build a friendship, we latch on to this person as if they were a friend. When the relationship ends, we are left wondering what we did to end up alone. All of this comes off of the imposed idea we had about a relationship that didn’t exist.

What’s my issue

When we get rejected by people we are meeting, we resort to the tried and true thought of it must be me. We start picking ourselves apart. Am I cute enough, skinny enough, or smart enough. Combine that with apps like Grindr, Tinder, and more we only see half naked guys with six or eight pack abs everywhere. That leads you to looking too harshly at yourself, if you don’t match those criteria.

If you don’t fit the stereotype we have of ourselves, you are often left feeling alone and an outsider. It is hard to break into those circles when you aren’t like the people in them.

Our own worst enemy

Counselors have stated that many gay men find it hard to make friends and suffer from deep loneliness and isolation. And it’s not just limited to those that are closeted, in remote areas, or don’t fit the stereotypes.

LGBTQ counselor Clinton Power stated, “There is an enormous discrimination and judgment within the gay community itself. This is a sad reality because many gays men grew up being bullied and discriminated in some way.”

Essentially, we pass on the same bad habits we experienced. as children. We in turn judge those that don’t fit some idealized stereotype we developed in our youth and perpetuate into our adulthood.

There is immense cultural pressure, in the gay community, to have a muscled gym body or look a certain way. If we don’t fit into these molds they lead to feelings of shame and self-loathing. The sad truth is that those who fit that stereotype navigate to others that match it and exclude anyone who doesnt fit in.

The other side of the coin

There is another part of this endless struggle and it comes from those of us who dont know how to make friends or what friendship should look like. These are the ones who say they want to make friends but what they actually mean is that they are looking for casual sexual encounters.

You see someone you want to talk to and extend the option to be friends with. You say hello, smile, and be nice to them. Things seem to go well so you ask them out for a drink or maybe something to eat. This is where things often take a different turn. That person may start thinking that you are looking for something more than what you were ACTUALLY offering..

All end up the same, you are left wondering what just happened and why cant you seem to make gay friends.

Setting a new course

Remember this, if nothing else. It is your life and you are responsible for what you want out of it and how you get it. Okay, you may be wondering what I mean by that so let’s break it down.

Be honest with your intentions

That seems straight forward enough, doesn’t it? But what does it really mean? If you are meeting people, tell them first that you are looking for friends. Make no mistakes, explain you aren’t looking for a romantic engagement, you want people in your life on a platonic level. It sets the standards from the beginning. Expect the same from them. If you are unsure, ask them what they are looking for.

Needle in a haystack

Where you look for friends can be an indicator of the types of people you will run in to. If you are on Grindr hoping to find friends you are probably going to be sadly mistaken. The app is built around the mindset of casual sex. If someone says they are looking for friendship, they use that as a means to not sound creepy. You see searching for friends and you think the person is mostly harmless and has similar ideas to you. Once you meet them, you actually see they are like everyone else.

You are your own best friend

Yes, RuPaul has made a career out of the saying, “if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell can you love someone else.” Regardless of that, it is true all the same. You can’t hope to find good friends if you aren’t a good friend to yourself first and then to others. Expect the best for yourself and don’t settle. Don’t try to be friends with someone you hooked up with if they’re not reciprocating. Sure if you want the sex, only, then go for it. Just be honest with yourself.

With those in your life, make sure you are showing up for them if you want them to show up for you. Listen to their troubles and offer good advice when you can. Be supportive. Don’t try to sleep with your friends – unless that is the relationship you both agreed to.

Remember, you get what you put out.

You gotta have friends

If I can leave you with some advice it would be to remember that making friends isn’t easy. In order to have good friends you have to open up and be vulnerable. For many LGBTQ that is a hard thing to do, we are so used to hatred and judgment that it is easier to close ourselves off. Like any relationship, friends also take work and you have to be ready to put in what you want out of it. Lastly, think about and Imean really think about the type of relationship you want. Be completely honest with yourself. Are you wanting a quick sex hookup or are you actually looking for a bestie. Knowing that is half the battle

What about you, do you find it hard to make gay friends? What steps do you take to make sure you attract the right kinds of people? Do you think that as a gay man that you can have sex with your friends and it should be common to do so? Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear your side.

2 thoughts on “Why Is Making Gay Friends So Hard

  1. Unfortunately in the age group 50 plus …the scene was very clique-ish for many years and it made it intimidating to so many …now that everyone is getting older…And the bar scene isn’t as big…The Cliques have went by the wayside and the older group is lost and can’t figure out a way to meet anyone …..Plus if you were not part of one the big party groups …you were an outsider…And after a certain age the partying does look so good on anyone…It just makes you old and messy…instead of young and stupid ….Whats crazy about so much of this …there are more people avoiding meeting other people and it because of the past years …that have intimidated everyone ….The sad thing is we were our own worse enemy and its come back to haunt us …


    1. Some of that I agree with. Through my years, I have been fortunate enough to see more groups that are comprised of older gay and bi men who get together monthly for dinner parties, some even meet each week. It becomes a good way for many to get out of the house, meet others, and if there are options, even meet new people. They are not always easy to know where to go to find them but Facebook often has groups like that in most areas. There is still MeetUp that allows people to post those types of events. It takes a little more work but it can happen.


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