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Comment: To be gay, and in love

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  1. Yet again an article aimed mainly at the men, what about all the good (and bad) lesbian films over the years, or are they not worth a mention?

    1. Then write a comment about lesbian films.

    2. Peter Venero 11 Aug 2012, 11:38am

      Write an article about lesbian films. It’s up to us to create what does not exist. If you’re looking for it, surely others are to. Take the lead! : )

    3. Paul. London/Essex 11 Aug 2012, 4:27pm

      I would refer you to the writers disclaimer halfway down that he feels that he can only discuss his own experiences r.e. love authentically.

  2. guardian soulmates. you want to find love and go on dates which the end result is not for sex, go there. there are so many intelligent, emotionally astute gay men on there who want nothing more than to find the partner to share their life with. i should know, I did it, and found my love, and during all the dates, I found men who were who were just wanting a proper connection. all you need to do is go to the right place and ye shall find.

    1. Peter Venero 11 Aug 2012, 11:42am

      Couldn’t agree more! In fact, for those interested – we’re in the process of creating an alternative to Grindr to help guys connect meaningfully with like-minds. http://bit.ly/PL2tW2

      Keep up with us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/kaliido

  3. This whole article seems to be riddled with the very stereotypes it proposes to abhor – boy toddlers in tiaras? Old men after teens?

  4. I agree with much of the thrust of this arlicle. I have always felt that the ‘Scene’, as well as being a fun, essential outlet for social and sexual energy, is an enemy to stable relationships. Apps like Gaydar and Grindr can even help people to stay in the closet by cloaking sexual encounters in anonymity. Our culture has developed through the need for secrecy. Arguably, we don’t need to be secretive any more but this way of life is with our community for ever.

  5. The predatory, explicit nature of gay men’s sexual activities does rather hinder our acceptance, I think. The boys need to keep it in their pants more if we’re going to over come the people who think we are disgusting and amoral.

    1. Spanner1960 11 Aug 2012, 6:28am

      All men are predatory, not just gay ones.
      It’s in our nature to be.

      1. Well if 25+ years with one partner is predatory then I suppose that makes all non celibate humans predatory, which rather makes the term pointless…

        1. 25+ years… congratulations Caspar :)

      2. True, which is why I have met very very few men who were worth spending any time with.

    2. A somewhat sweeping and sexist and insulting generalisation methinks, given obvious counter facts, such as that the number of men entering into civil partnerships in the UK is almost identical to the number of women, and the divirce rate for men somewhat lower…

      1. But women, and hetero men, don’t have a version of Grindr, an app designed specifically to remove even more of the humanity from gay sex.

    3. The ‘people who think we are disgusting and amoral’ need to examine their prejudices more: non-gay men who’re highly active sexually – some well-known footballers, for example – are admired and envied, and their exploits aren’t used to categorise all non-gay men. It’s the unfairness of the double standard that rankles – why are men like Lord Alli or Matthew Parris or Anthony Sher or Neil MacGregor or Stephen Fry (a random sample off the top of my head) not widely seen as just as representative of gay men? Prejudice and ignorance.

  6. OK, I must protest.
    I have found and then lost love a few times in my young life and I have to say, the websites have played their part.
    It’s true, you’re unlikely to be able to find that spark that says ‘this is that special someone’ in what amounts to a lonely hearts column with pictures attached, but what happened to me was that they allowed me to speak to an meet gay guys when I hadn’t the faintest idea where to start. There were no gay bars or clubs in my hometown and I hadn’t a clue where to look for any elsewhere. I made friends from the websites. Those friends introduced me to people.
    Who introduced me to people.
    Who introduced me to a person.
    Who I went on dates with.
    And fell for.
    And who fell for me.
    And we confessed our feelings.
    And are very very happy together.
    Had it not been for those websites, I’d be a much less happy and confident man than I am. I may still have met the right man, but I can’t know. But I know I’m glad I joined them all that time ago.

  7. I’d hope we were striving for a society in which gay men and women meet in the same variety of ways that straight people do, not just through websites, apps or gay venues, but through day to day interaction, and that a straight man or woman could be comfortable in saying ‘sorry, you’re not my type’ in the same way they would a member of the opposite sex they have no attraction to, without fear of causing offence or worse.

  8. And when the gods wish to punish us, they grant our wishes…

    It seems so tempting, when one has never known of it, to yearn for love. But it is not always the rose-garden the poets make it out to be. I have been deeply in love for twelve years – my whole adult life – and it has nearly killed me. Depression, despair, feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy – all have followed from the overweening desire for my beautiful, wonderful beloved that I cannot be rid of and cannot yet fulfil. Love has torn me apart more thoroughly than any other torture can.

    Do not seek out love, for fear of what may happen if you find it. Learn instead to be happy without it.

    1. Glen Hague 11 Aug 2012, 8:49am

      Wrong, wrong, wrong! Love doesn’t have to go wrong. I and my husband have been together 20 years now – and we are very happy! Of course I have been through unhappy and unsuccessful relationships – who hasn’t? But that’s no reason to give up. The right person is out there – you just have to find him.

      1. Congratulations to you and your man, Glen :)

      2. Spanner1960 12 Aug 2012, 9:55am

        Absolute rot. I have seen people where it has become almost an obsession to find a partner, it has made them unhappy and lonely and withdrawn, and then eventually they clutch at straws and grab at whatever happens to float past, and end up with a succession of failed relationships which makes them even more unhappy.
        Either way, it takes over their life, and prevents them ever getting on with anything else.

        I resigned myself many years ago to living life on my terms and not sharing it with anybody else, and it has made me a far better person as a result. It is not an easy course of action, and much like giving up an addiction, but once you are over it, life becomes far more positive and enjoyable once again.

      3. I have found him already. That’s the problem. While I would not wish to belittle those for whom love brings happiness, rather than pain, you are simply the lucky ones. Love is a very high-risk gamble, or would be if we chose to do it. As it is love chooses us, and all we can do is cope with the fallout for better or worse.

    2. Instead of trying to live without love, try working on your emotional immaturity. You need to move on. Simples

      1. If I could move on, I would. I tried, for seven long years I tried, but all the time my love for my beloved best friend just became deeper and more profound. It is not immaturity, it is love, plain and simple. One day it may come to fruition, but until then it is all I can do to learn to cope on my own.

        1. VP, you have been unfortunate in falling in love with someone who doesn’t love you the same way. But this has happened to everyone that walks the planet. The difference with you is that you have held on to it for 7 years. I know how painful crushes can be but you are having this love affair all on your own and need to get over it. It is an unhealthy relationship and best friend or not you have to stop seeing him. There is absolutely no need for you to be miserable. You can have more control over this obsession than you think. I’m not saying its easy but it’s possible.

        2. Spanner1960 12 Aug 2012, 6:45pm

          I know how you feel, I was once in a similar situation, but I can tell you now, it is simply not going to happen, and waiting for dreams is not going to make it any better. Treat him as he treats you – as a good friend and resign yourself to the fact that is there there ever will be. Anyway, often good friends are worth considerably more than lovers – recognise what you have in your relationship as it exists, not what you would like to happen.

    3. Without wanting to be unsympathetic, it seems to me you’re describing an obsession – unreciprocated, by implication – rather than love. It’s said that the state of being ‘in love’ seldom lasts more than a year and a half, enough time for an opposite-sex couple to breed; the erotic/sexual aspect shifts to a different type of love thereafter.

      1. Love is obsession. They’re synonyms. If one is not obsessed, one merely likes something rather than loving it.

        1. Spanner1960 12 Aug 2012, 6:48pm

          People say they ‘love their family’ but equally ‘love chocolate ice cream’ – how can one possibly compare the two?
          I care greatly for my family, and I adore chocolate ice cream, but I love neither, and I am certainly not obsessed by either.

        2. No, obsession is obsession. Love has many meanings, but it’s a mistake to confuse neediness or obsession with it.

  9. David Wynyard 10 Aug 2012, 6:30pm

    This is why I no longer pay for cable or satellite television. They do not want my money. They make that declaration by refusing to program for me.

  10. “The number of men in
    their late forties and fifties, attempting to
    take advantage of a teenager,”

    ha! so true!

  11. Spanner1960 11 Aug 2012, 1:28am

    Love is a concept invented by a consortium of Disney, Mills & Boon and Hallmarks Cards.

    It never existed. It was always a meme to try and provide an answer as to why there is an inherent desire to propagate the species. Love is just another word for God, UFO’s, ghosts, spirits, the Loch Ness Monster, Elvis on the moon and every other bizarre spiritual explanation that is used to justify our existence.

    There is only one truth: You are born alone, and you will die alone.
    We are just a planet of accidents and individuals.

    1. Blimey, Spanner. That is so sour. Sounds like for you it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. I am surrounded by the love of my partner, family and friends. If Walt Disney invented that, good for him.

      1. Spanner1960 11 Aug 2012, 11:58pm

        I don’t see as prophetic in the slightest.
        I had that view when I was 16, and I still believe it now in my 50′s
        I think way too many people desperately try to shoehorn relationships into their lives, as they somehow feel incomplete if they are on their own. This can often have an even more detrimental effect.

        I haven’t had any kind of relationship for over ten years, and sex for nearly the same, and I don’t miss it in the slightest. Remember, there is a difference between being alone and being lonely.

        1. Not to mention that it’s eminently possible to feel lonely in an unequal or otherwise unrewarding relationship.

    2. Yet again you’ve outstripped me in curmudgeonliness by far, it’s most irritating.

      I would say the consortium you refer to has propagated and capitalised on the concept of what is now known as ‘romantic love’ certainly, but it has existed at least as long as writing has. What do you think Romeo and Juliet is about, or some of Shakespeare’s sonnets?

      I think the great errors made by people today is in believing that there’s some sort of entitlement for everyone to feel an overwhelming passion for another, reciprocated (“If you wait long enough for the real thing …”); and that passionate sexual attraction will last forever and lead to happily ever after.

      1. Spanner1960 12 Aug 2012, 12:02am

        I think you are dead right there.
        I am not a romantic person, and probably the least spiritual one you would ever meet. Somehow people do see both of these facts as some kind of loss on my part, which is possibly why I’ve had few long-term relationships and I have never been able to say “I love you” to anybody, simply because I didn’t want to lie.

    3. Yikes I am sorry to hear this – love is impossible to describe and it most definitely is not learnt. I thought I was ‘in love’ a number of times based on the definition I heard in songs and the movies I watched. I used to be like umm OMG these people are obsessed, I got so annoyed by my friends because when we travelled they HAD to talk to their other half EVERY day – until of course the day I met my man. I actually cried over how insensitive I had been to their breakups – I just had not/could not at the time have understood what they had been through. I can’t explain it but from the day I met my man I have been petrified something happens to him, I crave the moment we get home from work and get to hug each other – as if we haven’t seen each other in years. You will know what love is when you find it until then – chill out it will find you.

      1. Spanner1960 14 Aug 2012, 1:23pm

        Well, that’s a nice story, and if it makes you happy, then that has to be good. However, I really would never want to see myself in a position where I was so reliant on somebody else, and I have always felt uncomfortable and awkward when people fawn over me, so I actively avoid relationships for that reason. I really don’t think anybody is worth that much trouble.

  12. What a superb piece of writing. Heartfelt, reasoned, and glittering with truth. Thank you for publishing this.

  13. Peter Venero 11 Aug 2012, 7:02am

    What a beautifully written article! Totally hear and feel where you’re coming from. We hope to change all of that. Follow us at http://www.twitter.com/kaliido

  14. It is certainly the case that the far greater availability of choice today, and not just in the gay male world, makes people more nitpickingly choosy and focused on increasingly narrow external attributes. But I don’t think there’s anything that can be done about it other than to participate without expecting anything further to develop (though a significant number of long-term male couples I know originally met in a sauna), or opt out of that particular rat-race altogether.

    The truth is that very very few people in reality, gay or otherwise, find a soulmate who’s also a sexual partner. I think we all expect too much in one package these days.

  15. While I agree that much of the gay social scene doesn’t seem that condusive to finding permanent love, we also don’t need to be too pessimistic.

    After all Civil Partnerships now regularly account for a little over 2% of all legal unions in the UK, not that much less than the gay % of the population, suggesting that gay people’s desire and readiness for permanent commitment is not that different to straight people – it just often takes us a bit longer to find it – partly a case of looking for gay needles in hetero haystacks….

  16. Christopher 11 Aug 2012, 1:45pm

    Maurice, Another Country, TransAmerica…

    The gay “scene” for me was and is one of great disco music, the joy of movement and dance, the place where you can be yourself and not have to edit who you are for the sake of those who don’t approve! You meet people who appreciate fine wine, great art and literature, and who also have shoulders and pecs to die for!!! If this is shallow, then drain my pool – I’m happy splashing about in a puddle!!

  17. These sites are great if you are only looking for a quick hook up. But if you want to take the time, be honest about what you want, and to quickly reject those who aren’t, you can meet some great people on line. Make sure you meet them in person as soon as possible, so you don’t create unrealistic ideas about who they are. This worked for me. I met a few guys who have become close friends and ultimately, my husband.

  18. Nice post, enjoyed reading it.
    I can only speak of my own experience of gay cinema which is extremely limited, the only 3 gay films I’ve watched are Beautiful Thing, Weekend and Shelter, two of which are on your preferred list, Shelter is an alright film, it’s got some annoying characters in it and follows the story of inexperience and discovery in a hugely predictable way, but still not a waste of an hour and a half.

    As for Grindr, Gaydar and the like, I think they serve as an important tool for helping young, lonely and confused guys connect with others. This isn’t always to the good, many people have stories of regret concerning people they’ve met online, but if I hadn’t found that first guy I met on Gaydar I wouldn’t be where I am now. Out to all my friends and family and fully supported by every single one, confident and proud of being who I am and being able to be myself around everyone I know and meet, and with the love of my life who I’d never have met if it not for Gaydar x

  19. A beautifully written and thought provoking piece.

    As for gay cinema, keep an eye out for Vito Russo’s biography @

    http://tv.nytimes.com/2012/07/23/arts/television/vito-a-documentary-about-vito-russo-on-hbo.html/

  20. ‘…if love be the ultimate reason we fight for gay rights…’

    hmm, not sure i would agree with you. like with any fight for human rights ultimate goal is equality followed by the need for respect and freedoms. i dont support SSM because i want to get married i suport it because i dont want to be treated like a second class citizen

  21. I think you’re using it wrong.

    Seriously, there’s a lot of convenient stereotypes here… Not everyone on dating sites just wants sex. I’ve seen some racist profiles but definitely the minority.

    It may be that it’s getting easier and easier to find no strings sex, but I don’t think it’s getting harder to find love.

    With these sites and apps I come across more gay men who are just looking for sex, but without them I don’t really think I’d come across any gay men at all.

    I think maybe you’re just focussing on the negative aspects in order to build up a straw man to attack. I find that there are (for example) plenty of people on Grindr who are only looking for love.

    1. Spanner1960 14 Aug 2012, 1:28pm

      Just because I may not wish to sleep with blacks or Asians does not make me racist any more than not wishing to sleep with women makes me misogynistic.

      People need to get over themselves and recognise that it’s horses for courses and what I like another may not and vice versa. All this politically correct BS has frightened people into asking for what they want or don’t want. If I say I don’t want to shag any fat, balding, tattooed socialists, then see it as my choice, and move on.

      1. I think you’re absolutely right there. And yet, examining the reasons why you might cling to these tastes, or prejudices if you prefer, can be useful too.

  22. To come out in a homophobic society we had to over come the ultimate taboo. From here technically anything goes, right? I mean if you can over come the moral obligation to be straight then surely all and any of the other societal norms are automatically can be tested? I find the gay community fascinating, because for those who did not have the luxury of an accepting society and equal rights this was the only way to live your life, anonymous sex and living out side of society’s norms and laws. We have to wait until we are absolutely bursting with sexual tension before we act on it and then you do, again and again. Today that is not necessarily true, I met my true love on GayDar dating in public as anyone would before hitting the sack.

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