Need More Gay Friends? Matthew Dempsey's Guide Will Help
Making friends can be hard. Luckily, YouTuber and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) Matthew Dempsey is here for us! Matt has been working for years to help LGBTs navigate the sometimes rocky roads of love, friendship, and meaningful life. Having worked with the LGBT Community Center and Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) of NYC, Matthew is an adept and compassionate counselor, and our newest lifestyle guru.
If you need help trying to figure out how to make new friends, watch's Matt's video below and click-through for more tips!
And while you're at it, check out Matt's website and full services here. Too far away to book a session with Matt? You can simply subscribe to his YouTube videos, because he is a man of many talents!
1. It's not always easy to make friends
It seems like it would be totally easy to make friends after coming out of the closet, but it can be harder and lonelier than expected. It takes time and investment on both sides to create a great friendship—not just pleaseantries. The main point here is to not give up hope. You will find your people.
2. You'll deal with mean attitudes sometimes
Sometimes, gay guys can be a bit standoffish or aloof, making for an instant turn-off when building friendships. Often, this is because a lot of gay guys grew up in homophobic environments where negativity became internalized for them—which then projects onto others. It's important to recognize this and either try to get them to come out of their shell, or move on if there isn't any reciprocation.
3. Realizing homophobia exists in the community can help us combat it
As strange a thing it is to say, homophobia very much plays a role within the gay community. That being said, you can actively choose to be less defensive, and instead, be more open to others. That particular point slices the battle in half.
4. It's key to remain mindful to all types of people
Be mindful of all the kinds of people you want to surround yourself with (supportive, loving, kind, patient), and then, invest similarly and show up for them in return. There's already a "preference" issue in gay dating, and the same issue can sometimes pour into friendships. It's wise to not isolate yourself with types of people you think you should be friends with. You don't know where some awesome connection might be waiting, so make sure to be open and supportive.
5. It's not luck, it's actively investing
Friendships, much like relationships, are work. Some might be easier, some might be harder. But one thing that makes for success in either is investment.
6. You're going to get stirred up a bit
Meaningful connections = getting a little muddy sometimes. It happens to everyone. You are going to get personal, you're going to reveal things intentionally or unintentionally. You've got to show all the wonderful, messy, loving sides of you in order to gain that friendship magic.
7. Needing connection isn't bad, it's human
There's absolutely nothing wrong with needing people and connection. That's a vast part of the awesomeness of life. You are worthy of connection, you are deserving of love and friendship.