Dear Bitter Single Guy: I’m afraid of gay men, but I’m gay. Funny how it’s come to work out, because I’ve been out of the closet longer than most of my gay peers. Most of my friends are straight. I do a good job of making people laugh, I actually am pretty decent looking, and I’m smarter than most… but I am petrified of other gay men.
I’ve lately come to joke about myself being a spinster. Really, it’s got a good sound to it; makes you sound freewheeling, active. Not at all like what it actually means. But I don’t want to end up a BSG. Speaking of which; why is a BSG necessarily the one to be giving advice? ~Parsley Pear~
Dear PP: The Bitter Single Guy is giving advice because he has the brilliant experience of having made nearly all the mistakes already and he’s willing to pass that invaluable wisdom to his readers (and to you). The immediate benefit for you PP, is that the BSG’s infinite experience lets him tell you that you’re not all that unique! Although the twist for you is that you’re a gay man afraid of gay men, there are tons of straight BSG readers who are afraid of the opposite sex or, more appropriately, afraid of their potential for success relating and dating with those nice folks. The BSG is hoping you don’t actually fear your Gay Brothers (and Lesbian Sisters) as if they’re going to hurt you. That’s a different problem.
The BSG is pretty sure that what you mean is that you’re not sure how to approach the whole dating thang within your tribe. The BSG knows that there is as much variability among The Gays as there is among The Straights, so he recommends you not think of your tribe as one homogeneous (pun intended…the BSG cracks himself up) group of scary potential dates. There are undoubtedly other friendly gay men who are similarly shy. You need to find them.
First, you need to get yourself a good old-fashioned gay friend. The BSG recommends, as he does for all his readers trying to get a date, that you start by joining some sort of club. A bowling league or a pottery class; some hobby-adjacent activity where you can safely meet similar folks. Then, just like in middle school, you make a friend, you have some coffee (OK, maybe not coffee in middle school, but you get the BSG’s drift), you laugh and carry on. The BSG isn’t recommending that you date this new friend (although if the vibe is there, go for it), but instead that you allow your new gay friend to slowly introduce you to the fun of hanging out with folks who have similar *ahem* interests.
Therapists call this process Systematic Desensitization, PP. Look that up in Google and you’ll see fascinating references to Little Albert and a White Rabbit and you’ll learn how the Psychological community came to be embarrassed by itself. It’s one of the BSG’s favorite stories. But bunny rabbits aside, Systematic Desensitization is a great way to introduce something scary into your life in a non-scary way. Good luck, PP. ~BSG~