Generally it is estimated that one in ten people is homosexual. I would suggest that this is a safety mechanism, designed by nature to stop gays from destroying each other.
My experience of being around too many gay men at once is rather negative. Before I go any further, I want to stress that I am a strong believer that one’s perspective affects one’s experience so the following observations may not be true for everyone. If that is the case, I would love to hear your thoughts.
It’s best to explore my argument with an example. There’s a local venue in my city that gay men frequent religiously on a Sunday afternoon. This particular venue has become quite the institution and is filled, no matter what the weather conditions may be, with gay men of various ages, persuasions and types. You would imagine that such a gathering would be open and friendly, and offer the potential to meet new people and mingle with old acquaintances. On the contrary. This venue is reminiscent of the school canteen (although everyone is a litter older and buffer). Boys are no less cliquey and judgemental than they were in high school. The lunch tables may be replaced with bar tops and the chocolate milk with $5 ciders but the atmosphere is just the same. It is an atmosphere of arrogance, separation, judgement and suspicion. Everyone may be tightly packed into the huge courtyard space but there is little communication between strangers and no sense of community that previous generations of gay men were known for. And what’s worse, it is as if by osmosis that I too act like one of these guys.
I’m not sure what it is that creates this disconnect between people. I’ve asked myself if perhaps it’s a phenomenon native to my city or if it’s because our communal insecure psyche is so strong when we’re gathered together. Or maybe we’re just inherently more judgemental and superficial than straight people? Whatever the reason may be, I leave the bar on a Sunday night feeling worse than when I arrived (and that has nothing to do with the amount of alcohol I’ve consumed). I promise myself that I wont be back the next week which is actually very disappointing when you think about it. We should be creating spaces that empower each other, that promote community and self-love. There are enough places in the real world where gay guys feel uncomfortable, what a shame it is that we’ve created gay spaces that make us feel the same way.
I was never one to frequent gay venues or to follow the gay social circuit. This was partly because most of my friends were straight and the few gay friends I had didn’t enjoy the “scene”. It was also partly due to the fact that I had lived in this city all my life and had observed the community from a distance, questioning whether I wanted to be a part of it or not. But when so many of my closest friends left me for exotic cities overseas I thought that friendlessness would offer me the opportunity to explore my local gay community. In retrospect, although I now know a lot more gay people than I did 5 years ago, I feel more insecure about myself when I spend time with them and find myself engaging in idol chatter more frequently than I did when hanging out with my straight friends. What’s more is that I haven’t actually made that many meaningful relationships with those guys that I have met. The best gay relationships that I’ve had in the past whether they be with friends, boyfriends or one night stands, were with people that I met outside of typically gay situations. Which makes me wonder “are gay guys in groups toxic?”.
Let me know your thoughts.
Are gay guys in groups toxic?
I find people safest one-on-one, gay or straight. Something happens when they band together, form cliques, gangs, departments, institutions, political (or social) partiies. An altogether different dynamic takes over.
Interesting perspective. Maybe this phenomenon is not just typical of gay guys? Perhaps it’s human nature?
When I first came out I was obsessed with the gay scene and wanted to be a part of it, which I was for about 7 months. Then I realised I hated it so I stopped hanging out with those people.
My experience was that people behaved like bitches and were funny but in a catty way. I think it has something to do with gays maybe not feeling like they fit in growing up, so when they find that sense of community they act like the cool kids in high school.
I was bullied a bit when I was in the gay scene which wasn’t nice but it was years ago and I am grateful for all the crap I went through.
Still I know gay guys whose entire social groups are gay and they are loving and supportive to one another. I just never had that experience.
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