BFF's come in a variety of packages. If you have 'em, flaunt 'em. The problem is that chilling with the girls leaves little room to meet men. They keep you occupied, you keep them occupied. And, in all likelihood, none of you have a special man in your life. Here's the deal: I, too, have always had a fear of meeting gay men.
Put me in a room full of women and I'll charm their pants off not literally, but you get the point. Surprisingly, I can even hang deep with the straight dudes. We can box, lift weights, get greasy working on cars, watch a college ball game. All I need is some wings and a beer and I'm in frat heaven.
Now, place me in a room full of gays and I lock up like a transmission without fluid. I've thought about this extensively. What is it with me and the gay dudes? Then it hit me like a home run: My girls don't judge me, they encourage me well, except for that one hater. My straight guys are easy to get along with because all they talk about are girls which I know about since that's who I hang with and dumb straight boy stuff which I find mildly entertaining. But, the gays are the gays.
A room full of 'mos is like a tank full of potential dates, husbands, and friends. Set aside the fact that, despite our sexuality, we're all men and men like to mark their territory be that another man or just the room in general , so there is a lot of funky energy going on.
I guess Alex was a really good marker for me in terms of coming out and owning my sexuality. And he always supported me. He didn't instill a sense of internalized homophobia in me, which was important because I was a campy gay guy who'd always been teased for being campy. Alex welcomed and encouraged that side of my personality, which was really affirming. He also introduced me to RuPaul's Drag Race during, like, season two—back then, it was a pretty niche show, so he was ahead of the curve. He was so confident about eschewing gender norms and stanning certain queens.
He didn't care what anyone else thought and that influence really helped me get my life. I've known him for 11 years now and he's been a very loyal friend. He can be a little shit sometimes, but he's always had my back and lifted me up. He challenges me and puts me in situations I'd never put myself in otherwise. I think part of the beauty of queer friendship is that it can kind of develop into family, and that's definitely what me and Alex feel like now. I came out as bi in early I'm married so it wasn't about finding a partner; it was about not lying any more.
I met Charlie on Twitter about 18 months later. He's a transgender man who came out at roughly the same time as me. His journey was definitely different to mine, but we had a lot of common ground.
We're both married and came out in our thirties, and we were both kind of struggling with navigating those next steps. Our emails and texts became a support group of sorts. I was trying to comprehend my new identity so every new feeling brought a sense of "Oh god, what does that mean?
It's a simple thing, but just hearing "I know what you mean" was like gold dust. It still is—if one of us is having a hard time, we still exchange 1,word emails at 2 a. We met in person a few months after meeting online, and I was surprised how immediately we were comfortable with each other.
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I have a fond memory of showing him a picture of me at 20 years old, when I had bleached blond hair and was living on Christopher Street in New York, literally a few doors away from the Stonewall Inn. Charlie just laughed and said, "Oh darling, how did anyone ever think you were straight? After three decades of not feeling like I fit in anywhere, this little moment of acknowledgement from another LGBTQ person meant a lot. Since then I've met other bi people at Pride events, but Charlie's still my closest "queer peer.
I grew up in a small conservative town and didn't know anyone gay at school, so I met my first gay friends through social media.
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Dean was the first one who lived relatively close to me, so we started hanging out on the weekend. Dean came from a similar town and I think we both felt delayed in a way.
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We hadn't had those typical teenage conversations about boys or girls that everyone else had, so we hit it off instantly.