Coming out later in life is already hard, but try doing it in a pandemic.
One of the topics we have been discussing for a while now in virtual support group meetings is how men just beginning their journey out of the closet, and in some cases marriages, can explore meeting men, building community, dating, and sex with men and be safe at the same time.
Our support group virtual meetings have been a great vehicle for men to build up up their personal networks. If a man finds someone during a meeting that they want to know better or something that a man said resonates, they can use the meeting platform to message another man following the meeting and begin a conversation.
We have also discussed not to underestimate our own fears and use our fears as an excuse to do nothing. It is easy to look in the mirror and see an aging body and wonder if you have what it takes to successfully explore the gay world. Will anyone want this older body is something I certainly thought about as I began to come out.
What do you do when you have not dated for twenty, twenty-five, or thirty years? It takes work and courage and moving past your fears. Going on dates, putting yourself out there, meeting guys cold is really hard and fear-inducing. But we need to find ways to push past our fears and get ourselves out there.
I heard a wonderful quote last night watching Miss Coco Peru Live. If you have not heard of Coco Peru, she is a well-known drag performer known for her humorous storytelling. She did her first live stream event last night and it was a wonderful mix of humor, song, and storytelling. One thing she said that she had learned, which resonated with me was, “make sure your vision and your goals are bigger than your fears.”
For men beginning the journey of dating, meeting men, gay-sex, and building community, creating goals and a vision for the life they want is incredibly important. It is the goals and vision that truly do get you past all the fears, and there will be many fears that come up.