When I was as young as the OP I was dating girls so I may not have a lot to say about the process as a younger person, but once I came out after university (OMG I wish I had done it earlier) I made up for lost time. And frankly I had a wonderful time of it. I actively dated for about five years and to be honest... it was wonderful, and not just because it brought me to my husband (we've been together for 19 years). There were lots of sweet guys and kisses under the stoop. There were guys who sent flowers, guys who wrote me poetry, laying around all day reading one guy's comic book collection, the guy who sheepishly brought out the play he'd written. There were movies and dinners and ballgames, the guy who messengered me a care package when I was sick with the flu and he couldn't get out of the office and the guy who spent all day baking the saddest looking cake for my birthday.
And through it all there were my gay friends and we sort of saw each other through it all. There was some heartbreak but we made it through--principally with a lot of dancing, oh and brunch, so much brunch. And over the years we all sort of coupled up and moved out of the 'hood and now most of us are married. And we're more likely to have brunch together than we are to go out dancing but still from time to time dancing happens... And I can't even think of it all without smiling. I dated a lot of guys and in one sense only one of them "took". But in another sense they were all wonderful, so much fun and excitement and so many wonderful people, some of them still friends, some of them just fond memories.
So in my experience dating "in the gay community" was wonderful. I would suggest it to anyone. Date early. Date often. Date to meet great people and have wonderful experiences. Try not to date with other goals. And while you're at it do other things to meet great people and have great experiences, because you're going t need a lot of great friends to make it through...