Finding another gay man when I was a teenager and into my twenties meant one of three things: looking in the personals section of an underground newspaper; going to a bar, or cruising a park or restroom. None of these I found particularly attractive.
In a bar, I could never get up the courage to approach someone and start a conversation. Even today I find the idea of approaching a stranger in a bar daunting. I went to a bar in New York City this past week and couldn’t get myself to start a conversation with another guy who was also alone. And I have never tried to pick up a man in a public place, even though I’ve looked longingly at a few men now and then. I did try the personals as a teenager a few times with mixed results.
As I’ve noted in other postings I’ve been out of the gay world for over 20 years, and even before I was married I was mostly an outsider. Fast forward to the age of Grindr. I find I’m addicted to Grindr. I don’t have my face online as I’m not ready to be that out yet but I could play with Grindr all day.
I still find some of my introductory chats kind of cheesy and I’m not sure what to say that another guy will respond to. Many of my chats go unanswered, and as I’ve gotten more sure of my gay identity, I have begun to send my picture with an intro chat to mixed responses.
One of my goals in moving out of my marriage is to use an online dating services to actively date. OkCupid and Match seem the best from everyone I’ve spoken to and I’m anxious to get started and to go on dates.
Part of what has been a surprise to me over the past year is to begin to see gay relationships with the same depth, richness, emotional connection that I’ve seen heterosexual relationships. This may be a strange or stupid sounding statement to make at this point in history but I think I’ve been blinded by my own narrow thinking through the years and the period I grew up in. Thank you Glee and Kurt! Thank you to the many TV and Movie portrayals of gay men as having depth and richness that just did not exist when I was growing up. My thinking on these topics has changed significantly in the past year and I’m excited by what I see.
I’ve begun to see the possibilities for my own life and increasingly am excited about this new future. I hope to find depth, honesty, and connectedness that has not existed in my marriage to a woman. Let the adventure begin.