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Not only is this far too prescriptive, you also run the risk of coming across as overly negative. Say what you like to do, who you want to be with, and why people should date you.
This is becoming a bigger issue in the gay dating world. All this liberation and equality is leading to increased bigotry among us. What does that even mean? If you like someone enough, open your mind to other possibilities. Not everyone on a hookup app is looking for sex and even if they are, who gives a toss? Spare us your sanctimony, your grace. This is fine — nothing wrong with a one-night-stand — as long as he realises that too. We place a lot of importance, misguidedly I feel, on not having sex on the first date.
Things change when you start living on your own. You can feel the eyes lifting off of your back. You finally have space to breathe. For most of us, it inevitably brings the ceaseless search for love — a journey that turns out to be more about self-discovery than actual match making. Growing up, I never really let myself confront that sinking feeling in the back of my mind. I had never met a gay person before in my life, at least not that I knew of. I was only vaguely aware that other people like me existed.
There was nothing grounding the insidious feeling of difference in reality. It was difficult to ignore, but impossible to embrace. I felt like I was lying all the time, to my friends, my family, and of course, myself. I wanted to get away from everyone that knew me so I could hit reset and start living honestly. I had my tunnel vision set on college.
The social strictures of high school seemed to mostly fade away. Friend groups shifted, styles changed, and fantastic personalities emerged. In my first week I walked by a Pride Student Union display, excitedly supported by throng of students. My first night at a gay club masquerading as the token straight friend was a transformative experience.
I was surrounded by all different kinds of guys—reserved barflies, neon-haired flirts, drag performers, more than a few pole dancers—but if they were united by anything, it was the simple fact that they just did not care what anyone else thought of them.
My old anxiety over identity felt like a lifetime ago. That feeling I refused to let bubble to the surface was rising all around me. For the first time, it made sense to accept the inevitable. One of the biggest things holding people back from announcing their orientation is the knowledge that the people they tell will never truly understand the depth and nuance of the experience.