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Matthew

January 1999

Matthew, 23, freshmen communications major at University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. I enjoy the outdoors and am active in the campus GLBT student organization. Single and seeking the love of my life.

Gay: 1) Cheerful 2) Homosexual

The dictionary definition of gay doesn't really seem to fit. Yes we are homosexuals, but cheerful? Who is that kidding?

I haven't been out that long, and I haven't had that many gay friends. In my limited experience, however, it seems to me that most of us gay men could use a little cheer boost. Almost every post on an email list, every story in an online magazine, every article in a gay publication is full of loneliness and longing. Being gay is not easy. At least it doesn't seem so.

I live in a large town that is mostly conservative. This isn't the most conducive atmosphere for gay acceptance. Due to my location, the number of friends that I have that are okay with my sexuality, or who share it, are few. Even fewer are the number of guys that I want to date. For me this presents a problem. I am looking for someone that I can share my life with, good and bad. Sex is nice, but love inspires. So here is the problem; with few possibilities how is a guy to raise his spirits? How is a guy supposed to feel warm and fuzzy about the future?

One could travel. I live about two hours from Madison Wisconsin, arguably the gay capital of Wisconsin. Long distance relationships don't seem very feasible. Telephone bills pile up and cuddle sessions dwindle. The thought of not being able to hug my boyfriend after a hard day, just doesn't raise my spirits too much.

Another option is to turn to the Internet. I am sure some guys have found great people over the internet, but it scares me. Maybe I am inherently suspicious of people, but I always wonder if the person on the other end is telling the truth. Again, not the best solution.

You could attend local GLBT groups, if possible. I have become involved with my campus GLBT group, and am glad that I have. It has provided me with the support I need to come out and stay out in this trying world. I even tried dating a guy from the group. So far so good, right? Wrong. My group is made up of a melting pot of people from all social circles. Because these smaller groups have little in common with each other, they tend to stick together. Gossip runs rampant (and unfortunately I have participated) in these smaller circles. A relationship with someone in the group might work, but I think it would be hard. Since everyone knows everyone, when a new person arrives, the excitement tends to overshadow the more important features of their personality.

So what's a guy to do? What is the point of this rambling? The only solution that I came up with that works for me, patience.

Being homosexual isn't a choice, being cheerful is! It is hard sometimes to find the beauty in the sunset when you are looking at it alone. This is part of the package. Finding that special guy isn't going to be easy or quick. You can't go to McD and order a male meal deal. The best thing to do is concentrate on the rest of your life. Stop thinking and moping about the fact you are alone. Balance your checkbook, cook a good meal, or go to the gym. Just live your life. Something a friend of mine told me that really helped me: sometimes the best things happen when you stop looking for them. I'm not saying you should give up the search for a boyfriend, just don't let it consume you.

I realize this is easier said than done. I go through my periods of depression too. I know that being alone and/or gay isn't always fun. If you find the good things about single life, about being gay, and start to enjoy them; if you live up to both definitions of the word gay....

And if you have patience...

Someone will find you!

Matthew


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