When it comes to being gay, we’re living in a pretty confusing time. We constantly hear about how far we’ve come, and how people are more accepting than ever, but we’re stuck with a government that’s unwilling to stand up for our rights, and depending where we live, many of us still experience homophobia on a regular basis. As straight people flood your timeline with engagements and baby announcements, it can feel like your space to express yourself is as small as ever.
So it might not always be easy, but I’ve got a challenge for you in 2019: make this your gayest year yet. Whether this means coming out for the first time, or buying yet another piece of RuPaul’s Drag Race merchandise, it’s time to work on living your queer identity to the fullest, in every part of your life. Think of these as your gay resolutions for the new year, except I’m not going to tell you to go to the gym.
I’m not saying you should show up to your Grandma’s Easter brunch in a leather harness, but there are lots of steps you can take to be your authentic self with your family this year. Of course, the biggest challenge in this process is coming out. Many of us are fortunate enough to have positive coming out experiences, but no matter the circumstances, coming out is still a stressful personal journey. Of course, you should never do anything that makes you feel unsafe, but if you’re still weighing when and how to come out to your family, I encourage you to do it sooner rather than later. Even if you face criticism from some, there are millions of us waiting to welcome you into the LGBTQ family.
If you’ve already navigated the waters of coming out, good for you! But that doesn’t mean your work with your family is done. Lots of us have family members that are supposedly supportive, but would obviously rather not discuss the fact that you’re never going to bring home a partner of the opposite sex. This year, it’s time that you push those boundaries of comfort, and have real discussions with your loved ones. It’s 20-f*cking-19, and Aunt Trish should really be able to understand that being gay isn’t a “lifestyle choice.”
Friendships in the gay community are tough. There’s no other way to say it: it can be really difficult to meet new people without immediately being judged as a potential sexual partner. Girlfriends are great, but sometimes you just want to spend quality time with some good old-fashioned queens. If you’re struggling to find your gay group, try getting a little creative this year. Step out of your comfort zone, and you might just find your people. If there’s someone you were sort of friends with in college, but haven’t talked to in a while, reach out and suggest platonic plans. Most people are more open to new friends than you think, so getting drinks once could turn into a great friendship, and they probably have other friends that you’d like too.
One thing that I did for the first time in 2018 was going out solo. Showing up to a gay bar with no squad or date in tow can be very daunting, but what’s the worst that could happen? If there’s nothing interesting going on, just have a couple drinks at the bar and call it a night. But if you find a place with a great drag show or fun dancing, it’s a great chance to meet new people! You might not find a best friend this way, but it’s still a great way to get out of the house and have a little fun.
So full disclosure, I’m very single right now. Therefore, I won’t pretend to preach like I’m some sort of relationship guru. But I do have three different dates already lined up in 2019, so I’m doing just fine for myself. I feel like we talk all the time about how gay guys just want to have random sex, or how it’s so hard to find a boyfriend, or other major generalizations like that, but it’s not so simple. Everyone is looking for something different, and it’s just a matter of finding the right match. In 2019, try focusing on putting your personal wants and needs above any preconceived notions about what you should want. Listen to your instincts, and don’t be afraid to switch up what you’re looking for. If you’re in the middle of a slutty phase, enjoy it! (Also, here are some gay sex terms that you might find useful.)
But if you’re at a point where you’re really craving a deep connection, you shouldn’t feel bad about it. If you tell a guy that you’re looking for a relationship and he doesn’t respond well, then just cut your losses and move on! There are plenty of people out there, and you shouldn’t be wasting your time with someone who has different needs than you. If you can’t wait for someone who will go on gay trips to Disney World with you, then go out there and find them!
So whether you have some major life decisions ahead, or you just want to try something different and meet some new people, there’s never been a better time to get out there and be gay. If you need any guidance, feel free to DM me @dylanhafer on Instagram, and I’ll happily provide advice and pretend my own life isn’t a mess. Above all, let’s all love each other, and have a great, gay 2019.
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (2)