A gay man in Oklahoma wrote to advice maven Dear Abby for help trying to figure out why it seems straight men don’t want to be friends?
“I am a 47-year-old gay man,” begins the letter from Curious in Oklahoma. “I’m well-educated, but there’s something I can’t figure out. Why do straight guys NOT want to be friends? I never hit on them, I enjoy a lot of the same pastimes like games, working on cars, etc. I want to be transparent, but when I tell them upfront, they disappear.”
Curious says sometimes, in the past, it’s gotten back to him that an invite to a ballgame or other event had been interpreted by some guys as “asking them on a date.” And even though he has lots of female friends, what he’s really wanting is just some regular male companionship.
He adds that he’s already followed the advice of others like “join a meeting, a group, social activities and blah blah.” He’s even tried seeing a counselor. But, so far, none of those efforts have led to any friendships.
At this point, he’s basically “learned to just keep my mouth shut and not invite anyone to do anything.”
Dear Abby, who’s no stranger to LGBTQ topics, quickly zeroes in on one of the more probable causes of our Curious Okie’s plight.
“The problem you’re having with straight men may be that they are nervous about being perceived as ‘gay by association’ if they are friendly with you,” Abby replies. “Some may also find the concept of being friends with a gay man to be threatening.”
“Taking part in group activities and outings is certainly a way to connect with others regardless of sexual orientation,” the advice guru adds. “Eventually, you’ll meet people and form friendships. In the meantime, appreciate those female friends of yours and ask them for some input, too.”
Of course, it’s worth noting that Oklahoma isn’t necessarily known as a bastion of pro-homo harmony.
Last month, state lawmakers have approved anti-LGBTQ legislation that bans materials about LGBTQ people and topics (SB 9). And last year, the legislature enacted HB 1775 which prohibits diversity training for students in Oklahoma’s public universities regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.
Plus, in January 2021, Instinct reported on a school in Owasso, Oklahoma, that expelled an 8-year-old for having a crush on a classmate.
Although, to be fair, the news out of Oklahoma isn’t all bad when it comes to being out and proud. Last June, a dad went viral helping his gay son fly a Pride flag.
And in 2019, a straight man covered his pickup truck in rainbow stripes and joined the Oklahoma City Pride parade with the message, “Not all country boys are bigots – Happy Pride Month.”
So, hang in there, Curious in Oklahoma. There’s definitely some straight guys out there worthy of quality bro time.