I hated myself when I came out of the closet in 2008. I felt like a failure.
I found every reason in the dictionary to rationalize why I wasn't a good person, even when it seemed as if everyone accepted me.
The first time I hooked up with a guy who was interested in me, he turned me down when I asked him to reciprocate sexual favors. I felt like a failure.
After I broke up with my first partner, I felt like a failure because he said I was too young and needed more experience.
When I was surrounded by lots of gay men in professional theatre, I felt like a failure because I didn't have the social skills to feel like myself around them and make friends.
In speaking with hundreds of gay men all over the world, I've discovered we collectively feel like failures for many reasons. Here are 33 reasons why most gay men feel like a failure:
1. You don't have six pack abs
2. You get asked, "Why aren't you married with children yet?"
3. You are often the third wheel when you hang out with another couple
4. You weren't accepted by your parents
5. Your first boyfriend dumped you
6. You were bullied in high school
7. You were teased for acting feminine
8. Your penis size isn't bigger than average
9. Your first sexual encounter wasn't like what you saw in pornography
10. One night stands leave you feeling lonely
11. You feel too fat
12. You feel too skinny
13. You don't fit in at gay night clubs
14. You're too old and younger guys don't talk to you
15. Older guys think you're too immature
16. You get nervous when you tell people you're gay
17. You don't know how to label yourself... Bear? Cub? Otter? Twink?
18. Faggot is a word that makes you feel small.
19. You're scared of getting HIV or another STD
20. You feel unworthy of love if you have HIV or another STD
21. Sex can be awkward
22. You feel like a used piece of meat for having too much sex
23. You feel unloveable if you're still a virgin
24. Your boyfriend wants to open up your relationship
25. You feel lonely after watching too much porn by yourself
26. You didn't get any action when you went to the bath house
27. Your friend died in a gay hate crime
28. You hurt after hearing about a gay hate crime
29. You realized you're different than most other guys
30. You felt lost the first time you went to a gay night club
31. You're just not into the "gay scene" anymore and don't know how to meet guys
32. Dating apps make you feel small
33. You feel like you don't belong in the gay community
Being gay isn't easy. It's just not.
But even though it's reality to feel like a failure, it's not a place you have to live in forever.
If you're ready to stop feeling like a failure, you've got to own who you are today. Stop trying to be perfect and be someone you're not.
Accept yourself for who you are today.
Love yourself for who you are right now at this moment.
There's nothing more significant and important than what you are right now.
Max DuBowy is the author of the 8 Steps to Self-Acceptance for gay men who are ready to break from stress and anxiety. Are you ready to be confident, make friends and love yourself unconditionally? INSTANTLY DOWNLOAD A COPY OF HIS FREE CHECKLIST HERE.