Greetings, Sir Migs!
My (false) name is Luke, 18 y/o, and currently in college. The main reason why I wrote to you is that I’m given my present situation, I think I need a gay peer (or buddy, or friend, or call it whatever).
One important thing you should know about me is that I’m deep in the closet. All of the people I know see me as someone indifferent to matters of social relationships, and hence the toughened exterior impervious to suspicions of homosexuality. No one thinks (or so it seems) that I’m holding something back. I’m the master of disguise. The sad part is, the show’s wearing me off.
So how’s a gay peer to me like? I guess it has to be someone (or some people) with whom I can be comfortable with, but this time, completely without inhibitions or whatsoever… someone with whom I can be as gay as I like. See, me showing this tough side to people helps to keep my secret.. because once I get too comfortable, I might just wild out, the rumors would spread, info would leak to many people, and eventually to my parents. Yes, I am that paranoid, so I guess this gay peer will be a complete stranger with whom I shall start building friendship from scratch (preferably through online conversations… or if all’s well, can be through actual conversations also). Let me make this clear though, I’m looking for a friend, and not some hookup or anything related… if I’m not just cautious with people, I could have turned to my current friends… but no. Tough times. So I think the ones I’ve mentioned are the core elements of this gay peer… the other specifics: those I think I have to think over when someone already comes by (e.g. age, location).
I just don’t know. I don’t think I have the dire need for one… but that person should be a beacon of enlightenment (but it’s weird that I sound desperate, and I think it does because of the fact that I don’t know how to put all of these into words). Dealing with clashing identities with no one to regularly talk to can be tricky. I’m not yet comfortable with the gay scene at all (or am I just too young), and knowing and talking to someone who can understand with without judging me sounds good. I’ve tried gay dating sites and chatrooms, and as far as I’ve seen (protest if I’m wrong), a huge fraction of the Filipino users seem like they just aren’t in these petty things I’m looking for; it has to be either LTR and/or sex. That’s quite unfortunate for me, really.
So with this problem, I ask: how and where do I find gay peers? Do you really think I need one? Please consider the things I’ve said, for one wrong step and boom goes everything. I sound scared of people finding out, and yes I truly am… and I’m not dropping the word for quite a long time.
Another thing: what does this need tell me? How should I deal with such an issue?
Hoping to be enlightened,
Being in the closet is tough. And I totally understand why you would want a “gay peer.” Those who are in the closet, I would imagine, need a lot of loving support. I tend to agree with you that the usual venues that we know (the chatrooms, MIRC, gay party scene, etc.) typically are more popularly used for hooking up. This is the reason why I put together the MGGFF (which means “Manila Gay Guy For Friends”). It’s a venue to find kindred souls, those who truly are seeking, above all else, friendly connections with fellow gay guys. I’d love for you to try it out. The site is in transition from its old site to a new one, so feel free to join its all-new home by clicking here.
Having said that, Luke, I still cannot guarantee that you will be able to find your “gay peer.” One thing is to find a venue for meeting people, but another–I think more important–thing is opening yourself up to the gift of true and sincere friendship. In the gay self-help book The Velvet Rage by Alan Downs, Ph.D., I found a great survival tip, and have continually reminded myself of it. The tip says: “Don’t let your sexual tastes be the filter for allowing people in your life.” This may sound obvious but notice how embedded in our psyche the value of external attractiveness in selecting people, even for friendship. Be aware that all of us have the tendency to get along with the more physically attractive kind. This is the reason why a great many people miss the delicious opportunity of developing authentic friendships. As you open your heart to new people, potential new friends, beware of this trap, and keep in mind that a lot of wonderful, wonderful people are out there, and they will cross your path for certain. I just wish for you to be really open to them, for they have a gift that may not be as obvious as a beautiful face or a fantastic physique, but may just be much more mutually rewarding for both of you in the long term.
Lastly, let me address your question: “How should I deal with such an issue?” One-word answer: chill. Another one-word answer: relax. The world will not crumble, I so assure you. It will not, even if it may feel like it will. Even if you are found out. Even if everybody gets to know that you are gay. Most probably, they won’t even really care. Our being gay is one fundamental part of us, but it is not a defining core. More than being gay, you are a smart, beautiful, caring, and loving person, a sincere friend, a good son, a great brother, and a relevant, responsible citizen. If anyone refuses to see those other good parts of you, it is their problem, not yours. You may be overwhelmed by all these, that is but natural. Don’t force yourself to understand everything, so again, relax. They will become more clear to you gradually. The more relaxed you are, the faster the natural osmosis of all these good ideas will happen.
And so my dear Luke, I wish for you openness and the power to discern that which is invisible to the eye. May you have authentic, sincere friends who will fill your life with much laughter and meaning. World Peace!