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Old 2nd Jan 2010, 12:32 PM   #1
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Default Becoming Comfortable Around Other Gay People

So, one of my ongoing challenges is how to become more comfortable being around other gay people. I know I've still got enough internalized homophobia going on that I'm still not totally comfortable around other gay people. The few times I've tried to go to a gay bar, it's been a horrible experience..not only because the places I've gone are usually filled with cliques, but also because everyone there is engaged in Random Hookup Fest, or so it seems to me.

How have others gotten over this and become more comfortable around people who are like us/like me?
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Old 2nd Jan 2010, 12:40 PM   #2
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Default Re: Becoming Comfortable Around Other Gay People

I'd try to find some local LGBT activities that aren't a gay bar. Bars are generally gonna be full of people trying to hook up, anyway. It's how bars are. =P

What I did, apart from just chatting on here (which did help), was go to my university's GSA. I don't know if you're in school, or if your school even has a GSA if you do, but you can google your city's name (or a big city nearby) and "LGBT" or "PFLAG" or something! Maybe you could find an LGBT sporting group or book club or something. Maybe there's a resource center you could volunteer for! That sort of thing.

Basically, it involves being around queer people who are just bein' people, and not trying to get into each others' pants. =P Just hanging around with them, talking, being friends! I know being around people who are all hitting on each other is crazy uncomfortable. :< I'm still uncomfortable around queer ladies 'cause I worry they'll mistake me being friendly as me hitting on them and get all offended! I don't know. It's something I'm still working on too, so you're not alone, at least! =)
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Old 2nd Jan 2010, 08:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: Becoming Comfortable Around Other Gay People

This is the OP. I forgot to mention - I am out of college so there's really no GSA available to me...I've already started inquiring about some volunteering opportunities...I would just really like to be around gay people without the meat markes aspect of things. And, for the record, EC has already notched my comfort level up a bunch...I just know that I need something similiar for face to face interactions...
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Old 3rd Jan 2010, 01:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: Becoming Comfortable Around Other Gay People

GD has the right idea. If you're looking to simply interact with some gay people, gay clubs aren't ideal. They're fine for what they are - a place to drink, dance, maybe find somebody for the night. But if you're looking for conversation, you might want to start someplace a bit less...loud?

Most towns of good size have what you might call "the gay section of town". It might not be all gay, and not everybody you meet there will be gay, but that's where you'll find the gay clubs, the boutiques, the gay resource centers, things like that. You might try going there. Swing by the coffee shop, visit the boutiques. Start a couple random conversations. They may not lead anywhere (they probably won't, actually) but it's a start. And while you're there, you might pick up the gay alt-weekly (if your town has one) and scan through it. No telling what you might find there, either...

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Old 3rd Jan 2010, 02:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: Becoming Comfortable Around Other Gay People

Hi there! In addition what has been mentioned, maybe try finding some groups such as PFlag or a wellness group in your community. Maybe try a goggle search as well and see if something comes up.

Glad that EC has helped you in becoming more comfortable!
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Old 3rd Jan 2010, 04:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Becoming Comfortable Around Other Gay People

I actually posted a 'strictly platonic' ad on a free internet classified web site. I said I was looking for a gay friend - and I actually got several good replies. There are all kinds of ways to meet new people.

In Toronto there is a group called 'Out and Out' that organizes various social events for the LGBT community. If I was looking to meet new people, I'd be joining that. Perhaps there's something like that in your community...
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Old 4th Jan 2010, 12:06 AM   #7
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Default Re: Becoming Comfortable Around Other Gay People

Not OP

But I have also been having trouble feeling comfortable around other gay people. I've been out for about 3 years now, and I still haven't made one gay friend. Its not that I'm actively avoiding them or anything, but more so that there are virtually none where I live.

I live in a pretty strictly religious town, so those who may be are closeted, and the very few who are gay - are extremely, i dont know how to say, not very compatible with me. It has nothing to do with their orientation, since I myself am gay, but their expression of character that I just find, obnoxious. This very point is why I wanted to keep this post anonymous, I don't want to openly insult anyone in anyway. But they have some very overly expressive mannerisms and flail their arms excessively and can be down right rude in public places to people.

So I mean my situation is similar, and with my limited view of the gay community, I have had a very rough time meeting another gay person. And the reason I'm even looking for a gay friend is that there are just some things I wouldn't want to share with my straight friends that I think a gay person would better understand. And, you know, it'd be nice to find someone like me who has had an idea what I've been through - someone to relate with ya know? While still being manageable to hang around with
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Old 4th Jan 2010, 08:47 AM   #8
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Default Re: Becoming Comfortable Around Other Gay People

I understand where you guys are coming from. Until I got my current job, I didn't know many gay people at all. Now, half the people I hang out with are gay, lesbian, bi or trans - yes, I've got friends from each group. Diversity is an amazing and fun thing to let into your life. Now for me to get a girl/boyfriend. *shrug*
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Old 4th Jan 2010, 10:33 AM   #9
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Default Re: Becoming Comfortable Around Other Gay People

I would avoid the gay bars, because they are usually just people looking for the hookup. I've been to a few myself and they are full stereotypes.

The preconceived opinions we have about people tend to go away once we get to know them, and it seems like you are making the effort to do so.

Do you have any gay friends that can introduce you to other gay people? or like others have said, find a LGBT in your area.
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