"Gay loneliness" | The Popjustice Forum

"Gay loneliness"

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Raisin Hell, Mar 5, 2017.

  1. Long read going viral among gays everywhere: http://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/gay-loneliness/

    It's very good, but there's not a lot to say about it, is there? Seems it's just the way we are, no "solutions".

    None of the stuff about suicide, sex, and the gay scene shocked me, I just accepted all that stuff as trivial facts a long time ago, which maybe is shocking in itself. Gay life is cutthroat and many of us have high, strict standards. I don't see a solution there either: it seems as unchangeable, unpredictable and primordial as the weather or another force of nature. I'm not extremely experienced and haven't seen it all, but that's my impression.

    I also think the article does a bit too much to portray us as ruthless and competitive; speaking for myself, I've seen a lot more solidarity and candid, open conversations among gays than among straight people who obviously tend to be more conservative (to be fair, this wasn't in a club or "gay neighborhood" context but in a university context).This did shock me:
    This is... a lot.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2017
  2. Might be the best example of why "Don't make your sexuality a big deal!" is so incredibly harmful. That first paragraph really cut.
  3. I can already tell I won't have the stamina to get through this tonight but saved for when I'm not on the edge (of self loathing).
    LoveMachine likes this.
  4. R92


    This article fucked me up when I read it a few days ago. "It Gets Better," my ass.
  5. Shook; I am.
  6. One of the things that fucked me up REAL bad is the notion that I am less of a man (ie less of a person) because I am gay. Almost like being gay and being a good, worthy person are antithetic. It still fucks me up even though I am aware of it.
    LoveMachine likes this.
  7. Am I relieved or further depressed by knowing all these things I've been grappling with are so universal?

    We just don't know.
  8. Barely halfway through it, but this is a fascinating and also alarming read.

    This is me.
  9. I'm glad this is on its way out as I believe it to be one of the most toxic (if not most toxic) phenomenon in our community.

    magictreehouse, MM and andru like this.
  10. No wonder Lana still has a career.
  11. I'm reading The Velvet Rage by Alan Downs at the moment (cited in the article), incredibly slowly as it's SO heavy. It's a strange feeling to kinda...read about yourself. Not on a literal, individual level as I don't identify with a lot of the extremes discussed there or in the article - my mental health has never been an issue etc etc. But there are fundamental truths to the gay experience that are universal and universally sad. And damaging. I think everyone should read about this.
  12. I much prefer the research base of this article than the vague platitudes that can apply to almost anyone. As someone has said, there's little hope in it. If you're that concerned about someone else and their loneliness, reach out to them. The sheer amount of problems that could be solved by opening up to one another, spreading honesty, sharing our fears and hopes... I like to believe in that at least.

    As someone who suffers from some of the issues it brings to light, I see shit like this on a weekly basis. It's all finger pointing - telling everyone that people with issues are out there, that our best friends secretly want to die and that our mental health is a forbidden secret that culture feasts upon like a virus.
    LoveMachine and Txetxu like this.
  13. All this resonates with me quite heavily at the moment - I am on the edge of trying to turn everything around and make things better or let it consume and destroy me. I don't really know how I'm going to achieve it though.
  14. The parts about being "primed to expect rejection" and the constant stress hit incredibly close to home. This sounds pathetic, but I've never celebrated my birthday since becoming an adult because I've always been afraid that no one would show up... I wonder how much of it has to do with being branded as "my gay friend" and feeling like the inferior friend as a result.

    I honestly think the apps are what's most harmful especially in regards to racism. I used to identify myself as white on the apps, and I'd look for pics where my skin tone appeared lighter. I don't do that anymore and now I (proudly) identify myself as middle eastern... But the series of no replies at times can be damaging to my self esteem especially when I don't think my standards are that high (as all of you know personally).

    However, I do think the article feels a little incomplete. I was hoping to learn more about about how the lesbian and bisexual communities cope with these same kind of issues. It seems like the usual oversight to just exclusively focus on gay men.
  15. Powerful article.

    I've always felt like a cartoon character or some sort of novelty whenever I'm in a social setting with my friends. It seems like they're all living the 'normal' life with relationships, kids, engagements etc and then I'm sitting at the end of the sofa with a completely different life from them. We can't relate at all. I've tried hanging around with a different group of friends - younger males who are mostly all single - but they just want to talk about girls and sex and typical 'lad' stuff all night as well. I go on Grindr and can't relate to anyone and don't really have an attraction to any gay guys, and meanwhile I'm constantly lusting over and fantasising about straight guys in my life who I have no chance with.

    It's just this constant feeling of being lost and alone and not being able to relate to ANYONE. I honestly wonder how different my life would be if I was straight.
  16. I'm so glad It Gets Better is becoming less of a thing now. I can't remember the last time I've seen it cited anywhere. Despite it's intentions, I always found it never sat well with me because it felt it like it was conveniently sweeping aside the negative aspects of being LGBT in favour of projecting positive roads to coming out which isn't realistic for many people and provides a false sense of hope and security that many will sadly never feel in their lives.

    The article was really interesting. I resonated with the thoughts around constant stress/minority stress impacting us while we're young/in the closet and then sticking with us into our adulthood. In my teens I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - the doctors told me it was most likely due to the amount of ear infections I had as a kid and that my body was tired and struggling to recover from them at that point - but as I've grown up and become physically healthier, I've often looked back and wondered how much of that was a result of all the stress in my life around the time I was diagnosed - family breakdown, rejection after coming out and bullying. Never mind the fact being gay was at the back of mind all day, every day, like the constant punching described in the article, and still is now to a lesser extent. I'd never pieced it together until my mid 20s and the more I live with it, the more I think it's true and I see how damaging all of this toxicity can be to our mental and physical health.
  17. Thank you for bringing this up too. An incredibly important issue I wish more people would also consider.
  18. This article is a tough one for me because it brings into account marriage and how that equates to things.
    Its sad to say, no matter where you've gotten you truly never are able to conquer the messiness of these feelings within yourself. If anything the 'progress' of marriage has made me feel even more inadequate and boxed in from my peers; I constantly compare my marriage with my straight peers, and judge and calculate our standing next to theirs. (unrealistically) On the other side, I feel cut off from my single or struggling gay friends, who I think feel a resentment to me for getting married or feel they can't connect or relate to me or be in my world. (perhaps this is more internal nonsense) I suspect its one of those things that they never would say to my face but is a mindset I have seen reflected on the internet and when out with my friends. I end up in my own little world where I still feel like I don't fit in with anyone, even if I'm sure there are many in my exact same place.

    I still pit myself against everything and everyone, I constantly size up social situations.

    Anecdotally, my husband can't relate to this as much as I do, he does know of these feelings but never has gotten into the spiral that I have still. I find this interesting, and I wonder if a lot of these things expressed in the article have much more to do with upbringing and the state of society then meets the eye? He was raised in a traditionally white/straight liberal household where he came out in his college years to little fanfare or shock from his family. I was raised in a mixed race, broken household (which means in my case multiple households) and came out to my gay father when I was quite young. I feel affinity to all these things because I've experienced them myself and through my gay father, who warned me of the sadness I would feel in my life through life lessons. As a pre-teen he took me with him when he was navigating a not very accepting gay world in the 90s and early 2000s. I saw older gay men suffering and alone a lot when I was learning about myself. I grew up going to queer groups for homeless youth trying to grapple with my young sexuality and protect and learn with others less fortunate then me about their struggles with loneliness and pain.

    It does feel hopeless, in my case I can kind of see its always been a self serving cycle. I was taught to feel on guard in this way by my father because he felt the same way as me or worse when he was growing up. It was to protect me. My therapist has done a decent job at pinpointing one of the few solutions/studies that seems to improve things that they mention in this article; Affirmation. She's also mentioned several times that I tend to have unexplained feelings of impostor syndrome, anxiety and mental barriers that cause me to feel almost nothing at all about things. Affirmation and honestly help repair these things, but it does indeed feel hopeless as its such an ingrained feeling within me that I don't know if I'll ever fully be free. I can only learn to cope I guess. Navigating the world can be hard.

    I think its a very interesting article. Sorry for the word vomit, just some thoughts. My take away is that I need to continue to strive to be much more kind and in love with my fellow man, and do my best to prop everyone up in the way I so desperately need to be propped up.
  19. Well this has just brightened my day... Not.
    The truth hurts. I do feel a slight comfor from the fact I'm not alone but at the same time I am and doesn't look like that will change. I identified with the majority of those traits and that's scary.

    The fear of rejection controls a large portion of my life, for instance I've been an observer of this forum for years but never posted, on the grounds I was scared no one would want to hear or care what I had to say, it's something I've come to expect and to read that other people probably relate that gives me some comfort.

    It's hard being a gay man but we make it so much harder on ourselves. How will that ever change?

    I feel the same that I'm a cartoon character when I'm around straight people and I find myself acting a certain way to fit their stereotype of me and when the mask falls people are shocked if I'm not the centre of a joke or being sassy. It gets really tiring and then comes to opposite of that from technicolor cartoon to going home and I'm black and white.

    If that makes any sense.
  20. It certainly upsets me when friends who I have opened up to and shown so many sides of myself to will still introduce me as 'the gay one'.

    Whether I make jokes about being gay or not, you shouldn't be either immediately outing me before I speak to someone or deciding what defines me to someone.
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