gay boy lessons modern gay

They say that it’s in your 20s when you really learn who you are and who you want to be. While I don’t know yet if thats true, I’ve certainly learned a lot about myself, about other people and what it means to be a gay 20-something.

Here’s a list of 57 things I’ve learned (so far) about being gay in my 20s:

  1. Sex is not like it is in porn
  2. You don’t need to go to every gay dance party just because it’s a long weekend
  3. Sleeping with someone because you’re lonely won’t make you feel less lonely
  4. You will never find love when you’re desperate to be loved
  5. You can’t make people like you
  6. The best relationships start with someone being brave enough to say hello
  7. The more time you spend at the gym, the less content you will be with your body
  8. You’re happier when you’re eating carbs
  9. Brains, ambition, confidence and a sense of humour are harder to find than abs, biceps and a big chest
  10. Messaging your ex-boyfriend when you’re drunk on Saturday night is not a good idea
  11. Sundays are more fun when you’re not hung-over
  12. Devoting time to do charity will make you happier than only devoting time to yourself
  13. Gratitude is the key to happiness
  14. Don’t compare yourself to others
  15. You are not a real housewife of NYC or Beverly Hills or Orange County
  16. Everyone is just as confused as you are
  17. The people who you think have their shit together are often the most messed up
  18. The number of selfies you take is inversely proportianate to how good you feel about yourself
  19. “Liking” something on Instagram will never replace a compliment delivered in person
  20. The less time you spend on social media the happier you will be
  21. You don’t need to take your shirt off every time you’re in a place with more than 10 gays
  22. FOMO fades overtime when you realize that there’s not really much to miss out on
  23. Enjoy the moment
  24. Having a photographer take your picture does not a model make
  25. Wear what you want
  26. It’s better to be disliked for being yourself than to be liked for trying to be someone else
  27. You don’t have to have your life in order by 27
  28. Use your head and heart as often as you use your penis
  29. It’s best to leave some things to the imagination
  30. The most intriguing people are the ones you know the least about
  31. Happy couples aren’t always happy
  32. Not everything needs to be shared on social media
  33. Get over your slutty phase as soon as possible before you develop a reputation
  34. Sometimes mornings alone with Sean Cody are better than mornings in bed with some random
  35. Sleeping with straight boys is like drinking tequila, it seems like a fun idea at the time but you’ll regret it in the morning
  36. You may think you fell in love in Mykonos but it won’t last when you both go home
  37. Always wear a condom
  38. Your heart will be broken but it will eventually mend
  39. Don’t place your self worth in other people’s hands
  40. If you can’t find any gay role models, try to become one
  41. Surround yourself with people who inspire you
  42. It’s never too late to start
  43. Be careful who you send nude pictures to
  44. Snapchats can be saved
  45. You might make new friends but the best ones are those who have been there the whole time
  46. The guys you party with don’t necessarily have your best interests at heart
  47. If you’re feeling down, talk to someone, chances are they’ve felt the same way
  48. You can sit with us
  49. You don’t need to shave your chest hair
  50. Just because you love Gaga and Britney doesn’t mean you can’t listen to The Hives
  51. It may be in fashion but it doesn’t mean it’s going to suit you
  52. Bleaching your hair was a bad idea
  53. Plan for where you want to be in 10 years
  54. There’s more to you than your sexuality
  55. You are not better than anyone else
  56. Be kind to others
  57. There’s still so much you don’t know

Image by Sharif Hamza for VMAN Magazine

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  1. David Davis says:

    I could not have said it better, but generally is the way way I have lived thanks no doubt to some mentors 20 years ago!

  2. This is great, couldnt agree more.

  3. Derek Evans says:

    Apparently you never learned how to use an apostrophe… *20s, not 20’s.

    • joshvansant says:

      Thanks for the correction.

      58. Some people will only notice your mistakes

      • Touché! Great post, Josh!

      • sean says:


      • mICHAEL says:


      • Anthony Michael Clark says:

        Great article! I’ve learned all of these by age 21. I’ve also learned certain people are going to combat anything you say, just for the sake of doing so. Nice to see there are others in this community. Keep on keeping on!

      • DiAnna says:

        Bravo! And great article/list.

        My son reposted this. He is 24, has most of this figured out, and is newly engaged to the best guy ever!
        As a (youngish) mom, each time I read something like this that resonates authentic truth, I am prouder and happier for the growth and maturity I see in so many friends, acquaintances & respectable writers here. Good job, Hon!

      • Shane Berkery says:

        Haha! Smashed it 🙂

    • If you don’t mind me asking, why do you frame your response in such a pompous fashion? As an English teacher, I wouldn’t last long in my job if I were that high-handed with students. By the way, it should correctly be, “… how to use an apostrophe. It is 20s not 20’s in this instance.”

    • KC says:

      Apparently [comma] …

  4. asmyth1 says:

    Insightful, honest and a job well done. Thank you for the share!

  5. asmyth1 says:

    Insightful, honest and a job well done! Thank you for the share.

  6. So cool … so real … so right. Wow. Great post !

  7. Patrick Reeves says:

    This is very insightful and obviously a message that should be passed through the gay community. If gay men followed these tips there would be a higher level of self-esteem and healthier relationships.

  8. Andrew says:


    Fuck. Literally nothing on this list was actually gay-specific. Titling something like this – that is so generalized – just makes the queer community look uneducated, and disconnected with the rest of the world (believe it or not, there is a world out there, outside of the gay community. I know you moved from a small town to a big city where you can live your glittery life in happiness and smug content, but there is a world out there, and they do share literally ALL of these 57 silly experiences that shape their lives)

    • joshvansant says:

      Thanks for reading and for your comment. You have actually highlighted the sub-text of this post that we are all exactly the same and our experiences are similar regardless of our sexuality,

      I write from the perspective of a 20-something year old who is gay. While I could have entitled the post “57 things I have learned in my 20s”, my sexuality does have an impact on the lens through which I analyse my experiences. I’m confused as to how this can be misconstrued as uneducated?

      • mICHAEL says:

        59. I guess you have to be there to understand, if you feel the need to reply negatively.

    • Matthew says:

      I somewhat disagree. My ‘slut phase’ began in early 2000’s in freshman year of college. When I went to college, I was just starting to realize I was gay. I was a virgin and had never been on a date. By Christmas break, I was probably averaging sex 5-6 days a week, some days multiple hookups, yet had not gone on a single date. I guess if I want to try to find a positive, I was very young, very attractive, able to hook up with about anyone I wanted, and had some amazing sex. I still wasn’t prepared for the emotional toll of being referred to as “young hung bottom” (gay.com screen name) than my real name. After about 18 months, it had really took am emotional toll on me. I don’t think very many straight students had to go through that.
      I do think students coming out at a younger age will help. Coming fully out of the closet shortly after achieving independence for the first time and being surrounded by so many attractive, young, gay students and an expanded internet that made hookups almost immediate.

  9. […] They say that it's in your 20s when you really learn who you are and who you want to be. While I don't know yet if thats true, I've certainly learned a lot about myself, about other people and what…  […]

  10. George says:

    Thanks for this. You seem to have done all the research and are well organized in your approach. I suffered as a teen and 20 something as a Catholic gay boy. In the ’60s with very little self respect, guilt, shame and frustration. Your guidelines are perfect for many of us at any age.

  11. A.B. says:

    These are universal truths, actually, which is what is great about them. I’m not gay and I still identify with them.

  12. William Sarkis says:

    This was well thought out, well worded, shows extreme humble origin from a lot that you post on here, AND I’m happy to share because most gay men don’t understand this even at 30, 40, and even 50. Cheers!

  13. blue11speed says:

    Could I be so bold as to add one:

    59. Focus on your professional self. The party will eventually be over, but you need to advance yourself and your career. The balance of the two is vital to your post-20s success in life.

    • joshvansant says:

      Couldn’t agree more. I think “Plan for the next 10 years” should definitely take into consideration career planning. I found it helpful to have a 5-year plan. Whether you stick to it or not is a different story!

  14. Gabe says:

    How old is the person who wrote this?

  15. You say, “wear what you want” and then you say “because it’s in fashion doesn’t mean it’ll suit you”. A lot of this is a load of self-righteous crap. Some good ones though.

    • joshvansant says:

      I’ve tried to wear things that have been “in fashion” because I thought they would look good on me. I’ve been wrong many times.

      It understandable that a lot of the lessons would seem self-righteous if taken out of context but they were lessons that I personally learnt and have worked well for me. I’m not trying to pass judgement on other people or come off as morally superior, I’m merely sharing my own experience. Other people may have had different experiences and may disagree with what I say and I completely respect that. In fact, I would love to know what you and other readers have learnt in their lives.

  16. Getting someone in his 20s to believe a lot of these things, though, is an entirely different embarkment. While true, I wouldn’t have believed that a heart can be mended or that there are consequences to many of my actions. Now in my 30s, I think another list would be applicable. No. 1 would be: “You may not believe them, but you should really listen to your elders.”

  17. 58. Respect and cherish your gay elders. They paid the price for things getting better for you.

  18. Gaz Instone says:

    Hmmm, Agreed on most. Points:

    4 – More people on here need to remember this one.
    7 – Utter, utter bollocks. I hate generalisations, it may be true for one or two but no the majority.
    8 – As per anything moderation is the best course of action
    13 – Happiness involves far more than that.
    14 – Human nature this will always happen.
    18 – Mostly agree, although some people are just attention seekers 😉
    20 – Moderation again 😉
    26 – And the sky is blue…
    32 – People take this on board.
    40 – One of the stand out points 😉
    51 – Skinny jeans come to mind – only a few people suit these and it tends to be the stick insects among us not those with actual real thighs!
    54 – Yep being gay is a big part of you but it certainly shouldn’t define you.

  19. jpsgreenroom says:

    Reblogged this on The Scandalous Philosophies.

  20. Reblogged this on openmindedlawstudent and commented:
    This speaks to me tbh…

  21. Ben says:

    #15….but I want to be a real housewife….lol

  22. mariusvos1 says:

    Reblogged this on Marius Vos.

  23. omarp says:

    Wow awesome words. Thank you for sharing some i knew and some i was learning until i read this.
    Thank you.

  24. Reblogged this on onlysmithalive and commented:
    Must read for everybody – straight or gay.

  25. […] 57 Things I’ve learned about being gay in my 20s. […]

  26. sergio solis says:

    amazing ♡

  27. Vanessa Rodríguez says:

    This not only works out for gay people, they are actually great advices for everyone.

  28. Nano says:

    I disagree with the reputation bit. I slept with anyone I wanted to. If someone thinks I’m a slut for it, that’s not the person I want a relationship with, anyway.

    Also, please at least spend some time working out. You don’t have to go to the gym. But working out is so important to your health. It makes me sad to see so few people care about their fitness.

    Otherwise, you will continue to learn. We all do. I’m about your age.

  29. JE says:

    Word man. I wish everyone would learn it=)

  30. KHT says:

    Gosh! i love this blog! learning so much from your inspirational and informative posts. Especially when i’ve just come out to the world and finally accepting my sexuality. I’m only 18 and reading your blog helps me get through my early stages of my gay life. You also warn me of some of the dangers that i could possibly fall into caused by my naiveness. i am so thankful that you made this blog., it is really The Modern Gay Guide To Life!
    Can’t wait to see more of what you got up your sleeves.


  31. […] They say that it’s in your 20s when you really learn who you are and who you want to be. While I don’t know yet if thats true, I’ve certainly learned a lot about myself, about other people and what it means to be a gay 20-something.Here’s a list of 57 things I’ve learned (so far) about being gay in my 20s …  […]

  32. I am 19 at the moment, so this could not have come at a better time. Thanks a lot, man. Excited for your new YouTube videos coming out soon. Kudos. Love your blog. 😊

  33. chris says:

    Wow I’m impressed really

  34. go to hell! says:

    My Favorite Quote by Charles Pierce in 1980 – It’s better to be black than gay because when you’re black you don’t have to tell your mother.

    Check out GGGAAAYYY DOT COM – http://www.gggaaayyy.com

  35. finnwest2015 says:

    Awesome post!
    Disagree with 7 too though.

  36. Diego says:

    Who is the genious that wrote this?! I was reading number five and i was just so amazed of how this things are real.
    I just found this blog and it is awesome!!

  37. Vorgasms says:

    Really great list – some really great life lessons for anyone.

  38. Oliver X says:

    #46 is too true. Funny how people who are best friends can change on a whim and suddenly you’re a pariah. If only I had come across your list in my 20’s. All of these things still apply, even in my 30’s.

  39. […] Now read this – 57 THINGS I’VE LEARNT ABOUT BEING GAY IN MY 20s […]

  40. BoyKitsch says:

    Messaging anyone when drink on a Saturday night is an awful idea, haha. I had to delete all of my dating apps.

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