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I'm a 23 year old gay male living in NY. I'm finding it increasingly challenging to find young gay men like myself that are out and masculine. I like football, baseball, and essentially most sports. I'm not trying to come across as internalizing homophobia -- I'm well aware that I have some homophobic tendencies. However; I think it's only natural to want to hang out with people that are of the same mannerisms and hobbies as myself. I've moved to a new city and am having problems connecting to others. I've been here two years, and get depressed when I'm staying in on weekends or having to go out by myself. For some reason I'm either not well liked or just misunderstood.

I tend to have masculine qualities and be attractive, so a lot of times I use my sexuality as a cruch and sleep with other gay men in order to not be alone. It seems like in gay culture that if you're wanting to have a connection with gay men -- or at least from my experiences -- that you better have sex with them.

I have not been diagnosed with any mental disorders, however I'm definitely becoming more depressed. I'm away from my family and childhood friends and I'm starting to use both alcohol and sex as a crutch. It's not getting in the way of my life -- I'm a student and am going to have a good GPA at the end of the semester, however, the increasing loneliness and isolation I feel cannot be good for me.

My basic question is how you would go about connecting with other gay men my age. I've tried to go to University meetings and the students there tend to be more effeminate. I'm not trying to be a close-minded ass or be homophobic, but as earlier mentioned, it's only natural to want to hang out with people that are like-minded and have similar mannerisms. I've also joined GLTA sports associations but I tend to not connect with them either. It's important for me to connect with people based on my sexuality -- I want to be able to go to a gay bar with my gay friends.

Any advice would be appreciated.

- - Carlos

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I would really stress to try to give the people at the university a chance. If they're clique-y and unwelcoming, that can be really obnoxious, but if you're making assumptions about how they would be to hang out with based on manneurisms, I think that's a little unfair of you.

I'm far from what I like to call "fabulous", but some of my best friends can flame out with the best of them. I think it's also worth noting that if they're "not your type", and maybe you aren't theirs, that can actually be a GOOD thing if you're looking for gay men to be friends with and not just more people to sleep with. It's good to have friends who are "safe": where there's never any question about either of your intentions. Furthermore, everyone has friends: if you can get along decently with one other person, you'll end up meeting a bunch of other people through them.

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I'm a 23 year old gay male living in NY. I'm finding it increasingly challenging to find young gay men like myself that are out and masculine. I like football, baseball, and essentially most sports.

"Straight-acting, seeks same for discrete relationship. Drama queens need not apply"

Sounds kind of dull, doesn't it?

Sure, some of it may be a little "I'm gay, but not like one of THOSE fags", and that may be the vibe you're putting out

unconsciously. On the plus side, it warns away the worst of the folks who you would rather punch out than take out.

On the minus side, most of the everyday guys you'd enjoy being with have, know, or see themselves as one of THEM ...

and pass you by.

Now, MY usual vibe is "Get. Away. From. Me!" ;) so don't expect pointers on how to fix your body language.

I would, though, suggest backing off on the "mannerisms" requirement. In many cases it really is a put-on, and when you

do learn to feel more comfortable with the non-sex-based aspects of being gay in the USA it might not bother you

as much. In truth, it takes a hell of a lot more guts to do drag in public (even for laughs on Halloween) than to blend

in with the crowd or even to wear fetish gear in public/semi-public.

So, give some of your more effeminate cousins a chance. The real ditzes and bitches will make it quite clear before

the end of your first "coffee date".

My basic question is how you would go about connecting with other gay men my age. I've tried to go to University meetings and the students there tend to be more effeminate.

Either things really changed since my undergrad days, or I was really, really oblivious to all the girly guys prancing

around the Student Union. (Don't answer that) While I suspect you're being way too sensitive, many of the activist

"type" haven't a chance in hell of fitting in with the rest of the herd, and maybe never had. Why the hell should they

try to act straight just because you're there and unavailable?

I'm not trying to be a close-minded ass or be homophobic, but as earlier mentioned, it's only natural to want to hang out with people that are like-minded and have similar mannerisms.

There are several things wrong with this:

1. Most of the guys that fit that description are not homosexual.

2. College is THE time and place for hanging out with people who are different from you in background, interest, outlook,

lifestyle, you name it.

3. You are looking for the guy you think you see in the mirror. If you ever do find him, you might not be so interested.

4. The "It's only natural" argument applies to Man+Woman=Babies ... I think we've already established that that dog

ain't going to hunt.

I've also joined GLTA sports associations but I tend to not connect with them either. It's important for me to connect with

people based on my sexuality -- I want to be able to go to a gay bar with my gay friends.

The sports clubs are there for connecting based on a love of the sport and not getting your ass kicked when you mention

your boyfriend. If you want to connect on a more interpersonal basis, you're going to have to do that outside of practice.

And to do that, you're going to have to make friends based on your common NON-gay interests. Also, you may have

to make friends with lots of straight people. Once they are confortable with you based on something other than sex,

then they might introduce you to their gay coworker/roommate/cousin.

Specific recommendations:

1. Do see a counsellor about the creeping depression. You want to head that off at the pass before you do develop

some self-endangering habits or need a handful of meds to get through a work day.

2. Find out what you have to offer besides youth and a fit body (It gets you bed partners but not too many returned

phone calls - but you knew that already), and then take that to places where it's valued.

3. Learn to take a chance.

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