Advicereality check

Reality Check

I am a young, gay guy in a very small town. I have been out to everybody since I was 15, and even though it caused me a lot of grief and pain and awkwardness at the time, eventually everybody just got used to it. There are a couple of other gay guys here, so I wasn’t the first one. The problem is that the others are very loud, flamboyant, stereotypical gays, while I am pretty much quiet and reserved and the opposite of that. I even have people say that I am just pretending to be gay just to get attention. The thing is, I haven’t acted on it. I mean, there is nobody here to date, so it’s not like I have had sex with anybody. I tried to date girls when I was younger, but it never felt right, and eventually I just stopped pretending.

So, now I am a high school senior, a virgin, and a total mystery to everybody here. I feel weird and isolated, and I don’t really know how to meet other people my age who are like me. I almost feel bad complaining because I don’t get bullied or harassed or dismissed or anything. I know I should be thankful for that, and I am. But I am also a little bit lonely. How can I find other gay guys my age to hang out with?

Bored and Alone

Yes, you are in a better situation that a lot of guys your age who are gay and alone in small-town America. But that doesn’t mean your situation doesn’t suck in its own way. Are you going to college next year? If you aren’t already planning it, then I suggest that at very least you find a nice, liberal, gay-friendly college town to move to. A city would also work, of course, but being from such a small town you may not want to jump straight into the Big City, so maybe baby steps are best. In the meantime, maybe you can find yourself a nearby (-ish—let’s be realistic, I know where you live) GLAAD chapter? Or an online community, so at least you can meet other guys in the same position that you’re in. In any case, just hang in there. A year from now your whole life will be different.

My boyfriend and my new roommate hate each other. I don’t know what to do because I really like both of them. I have been with my boyfriend for a year, and we get along pretty well, even though we fight about stuff sometimes. We have known each other for a couple years. We were in the same group of friends in high school, but he had a different girlfriend then. My new roommate is somebody whom I have only known for a couple months, but I really like her. She is strong and smart and independent, and in a lot of ways I wish I was more like her. Living with her, I am learning a lot about the way the world works, things I never thought about before. I also am trying to ask more questions, be a better listener and a better person, pay attention to how I am affecting other people with my words and actions.

My boyfriend tells me that I am not the same person anymore. He blames the roommate for “my crazy ideas,†new interest in politics (he thinks it’s boring and stupid) and anything else that I do that he doesn’t like, even if it’s something that has nothing to do with her. She also doesn’t like him, but she won’t say anything about it except that she wishes I was happier and that she doesn’t want to be the reason why we break up. He is getting worse and saying mean things about her, sometimes to her, and it has gotten so that I don’t want him to come over when she is home. She isn’t here that much because she works and goes to school and volunteers, so she doesn’t have a lot of free time, but I hate the way I feel when he and I are here at night when she comes home. I can tell she is not comfortable with him here. She never comes in and sits with us if we are watching TV, she goes straight to her room now. His house is full of guys and dirty and gross, and I don’t like being there except to go to bed. So, now I feel like I am torn between two people whom I really like and I care about. How can I make this situation better?

Stuck in the Middle

Your boyfriend is probably feeling threatened because your newfound awareness and ideas are not in line with the younger, simpler, high school you whom he has known for so long and is comfortable with. You are changing, because you are becoming an adult. Change can be scary for a lot of people. Do you ever ask him what his opinions are about some of the politics you find yourself interested in? “Boring and stupid†might be code for “I don’t know about this stuff and I don’t want to seem stupid, so I will pretend like I don’t care.†If that is the case, then talk to him about the stuff, or encourage him to read an article about the subject, and then ask him what he thinks. Let him know that you are genuinely interested in politics, and that it is important to you that he accept that and accept your new friend. Try to encourage positive interactions between them, and tell him if he can’t be nice to her then he can’t spend nights at your house. I assume that since he has his own place he is not paying rent at yours, and it isn’t fair for your roommate to feel uncomfortable because she is. Be strong. Good luck.