There are more than a few guys here who have tried to live gay lives but who aren't gay--a result of their CSA. It takes time for us to learn who we are, what we want, how to love actively and reciprocally. It's very exciting for me when someone who's been told they are gay (with the implicit message that they deserved the abuse), and aren't really gay, come out as straight. A friend did that with me years ago and I cried tears of joy for him.

But it's also important to remember that even as a gay man your perception of our "community" is going to be affected by your history and circumstances. I, for instance, have had the wonder of living in a gay community that was vibrant, active, supportive, compassionate, loving, and hilarious. There are way more than 50 shades of gay, just like with straight people.

If you are gay and having trouble with the perceived "gay community," it might help to realize that there isn't a monolithic gay community anywhere. There are many communities variously constituted. If you live in an urban area you can find gay senior groups, gay square dancing (absolutely saved my life after my partner died 20 years ago), any number of volunteer situations where gay people are active, gay-supportive churches.

Personals and dating apps are very tricky. I met my partner on If you want a partner, and someone age appropriate, GRNDR is going to end up depressing the hell out of you!

If you're hanging out with people with something you can call a "veneer" then, really, find new people to hang out with!

Gayness is a genetic component and a hormonal component due to conditions during pregnancy. It is not caused by upbringing! This is science, not conjecture.

Keep searching for the people who make you feel good about yourself. You'll feel good about them, too. Sometimes it's as hard to make friends as to find a life partner. But it's a worthy endeavor, and life isn't much without friends.

Remember to think kind thoughts about yourself today.
Harry Nicholson (attended Hope Springs, October, 2014)