The Things I Kn- the Things I Think I Know

It seems every time I log onto Facebook, within five minutes I come face to face with an article informing me on what type of gay man I am supposed to be. If not that, I encounter a column about the toxic gay behavior I am displaying or an older insightful gay man telling his younger self what he's learned from years in the community. I've usually tuned out by the second paragraph, as the writer has unknowingly committed one of the worst sins in my book...homogenization.

If you were to strip away the layers of the gay community and try to find what it all comes down to, don't look at the core for the answer. Instead turn and look at all the layers you've ripped away and see that the answer lies in the many pieces stripped.

Diversity.

We are a community of people from all different walks of life, of all different types, of different creeds, of different passions, of different tastes and hundreds of other idiosyncrasies that make us wonderful and vibrant and interesting.

To tell someone else how to be a better gay person or why they are failing at a gay relationship, is not only arrogant, it's also adding fodder to the people who continue to oppress us. Do we really want to continue to be categorized as "The Gays?" Do we want to perpetuate the stereotype that we only flock together and all live within the same neighborhoods and communities? By writing an article that places us all together and tells us how to live, you are saying that our hearts and minds all beat and think alike and that we all seek the exact same goals within our lives.

Now before I get to a list of my own, here is the admission that should preface anything else I write within this entry. I am a 33 year old gay man who is still figuring it all out. Sometimes I think I've finally come upon some solid answers and sometimes I think life is supposed to be complicated and confusing for a reason. I've had two long term relationships, yet am currently single. Sometimes I have wonderful dates and romances that restore my faith in relationships. Sometimes I wake up next to someone I met the night before and have to Rolodex my brain for his name. I love a relaxing trip out in the country with friends but I'm also often found at a Sunday brunch where my sunglasses are the only thing holding the throbbing headache from bleeding through my skull.

I'm a human in search of answers, some that may take decades more to find, but here are some things I've found to be true as a gay person. Not things you should be doing, not rules to make you happier, but truths that I have found within my own life.

1. There is no stress I have encountered that a night out dancing with friends can't fix. Sometimes you need to throw your hands in the air and surround yourself with music and those you've chosen as "family."

2. There's a huge amazing world out there, go see it! Not only will your experiences make you a more informed person but you will see how incredibly fortunate you are as a homosexual to live in this country.

3. Don't judge each other. There are plenty of assholes out there to do that for us, let's not add to the noise. If we ask people to live and let live, we must practice it within our own community.

4. See a cute guy at a bar? Pick him up. It's thrilling.

5. Don't try to be a certain gay guy. You're only going to exhaust yourself because the best version of you is already there.

6. Just because we have the right to marriage, does not mean that everyone has to get married. Rushing into/furthering a relationship that is a bad fit will only end in disaster. I assure you, there's no rush.

7. Know the people who gave you the rights you enjoy today. You'll appreciate what you have more and want to further the advancement of LGBT people in any way you can.

8. Resolve issues you have with your family. The weight only grows heavier as you get older. You may not agree on everything perfectly but you'll be amazed on how much people can grow.

9. Sometimes not inviting someone up to your place is the best card played.

10. Listen to those who were around during difficult times in our community. They get it.

11. There will always be a hotter man around the corner. Always. But if you keep looking around the corner, you'll never clearly see what's right next to you.

12. Hookup Apps can be fun, but if you're on one while inside a bar/club, it's time for a break.

13. Don't take this article too seriously! These are just thoughts from a person figuring it out the same way you are. Live, learn, make mistakes, correct them, repeat them, etc. You get one life. You get one chance. You got to make it count.