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Queer Corner: Is It Because I’m Gay?

Phillip Degaltini

Meeting someone is difficult for anybody, but sometimes when you’re queer, things are a bit more complicated. The queer nightlife seems to be the place to find yourself a little steamy romance, but if you don’t have an affinity for bars or clubs, you might find yourself out in the cold.

Now, if you’re like me and you just can’t seem to get a date (not that I’m begging), I’m sure you’ve heard just about everyone say, “I have a friend that’s gay, you’d love him!” Now, the question I pose is: How do you know? Is it an assumption that because we’re both single gay men that we’re definitely going to get along, get married, and adopt Angelina Jolie’s leftovers?

Now, I know that this is meant to be helpful and polite. Though, I have had some unfortunate encounters in the past with men whom my “friends” thought I would “love”. My favorite of which was a gentleman whose terms of parole forbid him to leave Suffolk County. Of course, I didn’t know any of this until after I was in his car on our way to Manhattan as he drove well over the speed limit.

I guess what I’m getting at here is sometimes our friends don’t always know what’s best for us. Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally guilty of asking my friends to set me up (to no avail, I might add), but we can’t assume that two people will get along simply because they’re both queer. There are so many deciding factors that go into picking a significant other and having the same sexual orientation is really just the tip of the iceberg.

Being gay, bisexual, or heterosexual doesn’t define who we are as people, it’s just another piece of a larger puzzle. Therefore, there should be more to a “love connection” than the fact that you both happen to be gay or straight.

I find that depending on how well you know the friend who is playing matchmaker usually defines the accuracy of the match. If we barely know each other, I’m probably going to be more skeptical of the man you assume will be my future ex-husband. Also, I can’t help but notice the fact that best friends usually don’t set their friends up on dates. This is probably because your best friends are more critical of who takes you out than you are.

Now when someone turns around and tells you that they’re not interested in meeting your friend, it becomes awkward. It’s not that it’s not appreciated, but maybe they’re just not that person’s type, or maybe they’re too busy to be dating at the moment, or maybe that person was just on an episode of “Cops.”

Before you suggest that your gay best friend and I should meet because I’d love him and we’d get along so well, try asking me what my type is and get to know what I look for in a romantic partner. If your friend does not fit these criteria, it’s likely that you just assumed that we’d get along because we’re both gay. Or, better yet, introduce us to one another as friends and let us get to know each other without your influence. I know I feel much better about myself when I think I did it all on my own.

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