I went out with a couple of (girl) friends from work to West Hollywood on Saturday. One of my friends has been trying for weeks to get me to go out to meet guys, partly so I can get over my (straight) work crush.
Even though it’s been nearly eight years since I first came out, I still felt incredibly awkward and out of place in the gay club/bar environment. I basically freeze up; I don’t know what to do or say. I become a wallflower.
Part of my awkwardness might come from the fact that a loud club/bar really isn’t my scene. A larger part, though, is that I still don’t really feel comfortable being around gay people, which probably stems from still not accepting who I am (almost eight years after coming out).
On a day to day basis, I’m completely fine. I feel like a normal boy, and I don’t see my being gay as an issue. But when I’m put in a situation where my being gay is called to attention, I get shy and down on myself. I know that it’s okay to be gay, but I still don’t feel that way sometimes. I feel like it makes me “different.”
I was still feeling pretty down about it yesterday, so I sat down with my work crush during dinner (it was in the office this time, but still just the two of us) and told him about my weekend and how I felt about it. He thinks that I need to find more gay friends and eventually make a network of gay friends. As much as he tries to relate to how I feel, he can’t because he’s straight. He also thinks it’s important that I put myself out where others will see me, and maybe they’ll approach me instead of the other way around.
Anyway. After having talked about it with my work crush, these thoughts aren’t churning in my head as much, so I’m better now. But I’m sure I’ll get these feelings again when I’m back in a similar situation.