Tag Archives: gay community

MODERN GAY DATING: YOU ARE NOT MY TYPE

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This article was originally written by The Modern Gay for Match.com

“What’s your type of guy”, she asks. “I don’t really have a type” I respond “but I would probably say that he’s of Mediterranean decent, 6-foot-3, 80kgs, long dark-brown hair, bronzed skin, light eyes, Roman nose, sumptuous lips, slim build with a light covering of body hair and a scattering of tattoos. He’s thirty-two years old, most probably university educated, successful in business, speaks several languages, dresses like a GQ model and has the wit of Russell Brand coupled with the boyish charisma of Harry Styles”. As it turns out, I certainly do have a type.

“What was your last boyfriend like” she inquires further. “English decent, short blonde hair, 5-foot-10, smooth body, 20-years-old, with the style of a surfer and the wit of a doorknob” I reply. As it turns out, my ideal type of guy and the guys I actually date are completely incongruent. Why is this the case? Why is it that our ideal type and our actual type are often entirely different? Can we do anything to bring the two into alignment? This is something with which I have been struggling of late, compounded by the big “three-zero” which looms on the horizon.

What began as a creep towards the age of thirty has now turned into a full-blown gallop and as I approach the next milestone in my life I become increasingly anxious about the type of men that I find myself dating. When I was in my early 20s and dating guys similar in age to me it was fun and carefree. It didn’t matter much to me what their long term goals and aspirations were or even if they had any. Nor was it of much concern whether or not they were the type of people I would be happy to introduce to my parents or friends. Now that I’m in my late 20s and still find myself attracted to those same guys, the things that never seemed to bother me back then have now become of greater importance. Yes he’s pretty but what else does he have to offer? Yes he is full of youthful energy and always up for a good time but does he think that Palestine is a new fragrance by Kim Kardashian? Yes he’s great in bed but would… To continue reading click here.

Image by Mariano Vivanco

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THE ONE GUY THAT EVERY GAY MAN NEEDS IN HIS LIFE

MODERN GAY BLOG STRAIGHT LIFESTYLE BLOG

There is a special type of man that every gay guy needs in his life. This type of guy is an essential partner who can make the arduous journey through life that that little bit more pleasant. He will be there to console you during your breakups, dance with you to cheesy diva music on a night out and offer you advice from a completely unique perspective. He is the type of guy that you can talk to about things you can’t with your other guy friends and although you may say, “I love you” to each other, it is a very different type of love. There is a special type of man that every gay guy needs in his life and that is a straight male best friend.

It takes a straight man with special qualities to bestfriend a gay guy. The first quality required is an unwavering comfort in his own heterosexuality. Whether he’s sharing a bed with you on holiday in order to save money or dancing on a podium next to you with his shirt off, doing things that are perceived to be gay does not faze a straight guy who is comfortable in his own sexuality. He will feel comfortable walking down the street with his girlfriend hand-in-hand while you walk next to him with your boyfriend hand-in-hand. He’ll hug and kiss you hello and tell you that he misses you when he hasn’t seen you in a while. He will easily blend into a social situation where he’s the only straight guy, not flinching when your gay friends are being overly flirtatious or affectionate and he’ll relish the fact that you introduce him as your “token straight friend”. For him, being around gay guys is not a threat to his masculinity. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t even faze him at all.

A straight best friend doesn’t see sexuality as a defining aspect of your friendship. You are not his “gay best friend” and he is not your “straight best friend”, you are just mates. This is the second essential quality. While some straight girls excitingly seek a gay best friend as some sort of glitzy, novelty accessory, your best mate loves you for so much more than your sexuality. You share similar values and similar tastes in music, sports, humor, books and fashion. Together you can talk about similar experiences in love, relationships, heartache and it doesn’t matter that those experiences are between different genders. Some of these guys may have been your best friends from a time before puberty, when your sexuality was still dormant while others you may have only met after you came out. In both cases your different sexual preferences were never a factor on which your friendship was forged.

Much like with any other friendship, the most important quality that a straight man must possess in order to bestfriend a gay guy is loyalty. It is loyalty that ensures the longevity of any friendship, it is loyalty that helps a relationship survive the ups and downs of life and it is loyalty that binds male friends as brothers. Loyal friends are those who will be there when the club lights are turned on and when the music stops playing. It is during times of personal crisis such as health scares, deaths and depression that a loyal straight friend truly displays his mateship.

Having a straight man as a best friend also provides balance to one’s life. They provide a sounding board on which you can bounce ideas, problems and concerns and receive advice back from a different viewpoint. Often if we spend too much time within our own community, surrounded only by other gay guys we can become caught up in the drama of daily gay life. Having a neutral, outside party with whom we can confer is important for ensuring not only variety but also one’s own sanity. A straight male best friend is also a reminder that in a world where we have been judged, teased and chastised largely by other straight males, there are those in our midst who love, support and care for us regardless of our sexuality.

Image by Olaf Blecker

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MODERN GAY ADVOCATE: THE POWER OF SHARING

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I have always believed that sharing our personal stories is a means by which we can create social change and empower our gay community. I believe so strongly in this idea that it was the impetus for creating The Modern Gay Guide to Life. As a matter of fact, the UN Human Rights Office also believes that sharing our stories can create positive change for our community and so they created a video entitled ‘The Power of Sharing’.

Created for International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the emotive video focuses on the impact that each of us can have by sharing our own stories and by showing our support for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex friends, colleagues and family members.
 
“It’s quite easy to hate an idea, harder to hate a person,” said OHCHR’s Charles Radcliffe. “This video speaks to the power we all have within us — to share our own stories and to support our friends and family members in the face of prejudice. For everyone who can do so safely, IDAHOT provides a chance to start conversations within our own families and communities and to challenge the negative stereotypes that fuel homophobia and transphobia.”
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RULE NO.6: HOMOPHOBIA IS GAY (LITERALLY)

Homophobia Teen

Recent studies have shown that homophobic people may in fact harbor homosexual feelings and therefore respond negatively to homosexuality out of fear of their own emotions and impulses.

I believe that this research can be used to fight bullying of gay kids, teens and young men. Let’s dis-empower the homophobes by playing into their fears.

Follow me for a moment. What is homophobia? Homophobia is negative attitudes and feelings towards homosexuality. What are homophobes? Homophobes are people that possess these negative feelings and attitudes. If we can turn the tables around and put the homo onto the homophobes then perhaps they would be afraid of showing any signs of homophobia? If everybody knew that homophobes were actually closet homosexuals then these homophobes would be hesitant to outwardly bully people based on their sexual preference. Through a public awareness campaign in schools, advertisements and social media we have a possible solution to reduce bullying of young gay teens and men.

I honestly believe that bullying is one of the most challenging issues facing gay youth but it’s also one of the most difficult issues facing educators and parents. Bullying has been around for as long as there have been teenagers and it seems that pockets of teenagers will always pick on others no matter what steps are put in place to try prevent it. The approach I’m suggesting plays into teenagers fears, similar to anti-smoking campaigns play into adults fears i.e “If you smoke, you will get cancer” or for the homophobia example “studies show that people who bully gay kids may be gay themselves”. Now, I don’t mean to associate homosexuality with cancer but teenagers are a simple minded group, they just want to fit in and will do anything to do so. If we can exploit this need to be the same as everyone else then I believe we have the first practical solution to fighting gay bullying.

What do you think is the solution to stopping gay bullying? 

(Read this Huffington Post article for more information on the studies of homophobia).

Photo credit: Jean-Francois Carly

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RULE NO.4: GAY MEN SHOULD NOT CONGREGATE TOGETHER

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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?

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