I have no gay friends! help me get some!
May 19, 2011 10:59 PM   Subscribe

I've never really had many gay friends, or any that I wasn't actively dating actually. Being socially awkward and naive I don't actually know where to go to meet (non-sexytime) friends, who are also gay.

Some clarification maybe: I am a massive nerd and all of my friends tend to be pretty stereotypical nerdy or geeky guys and a few girls (all straight people, not that there's anything wrong with that). While this is perfectly fine and I have a lot of fun hanging out with them, there are times when it feels kind of isolating to be the only gay guy in the room. I've asked and it turns out that for most of them I'm the only gay they know (except for a friend of mine who, to prove me wrong, hunted down some lesbians, but that is a horribly embarrassing story for another time).

I'm not a complete social outcast, I've dated people and I know random acquaintances in the community but we tend to have nothing real to talk about and so they stay acquaintances.

With that in mind what places or events should I check-out or things that I should do to meet the (apparently) elusive gay geek? Or should I just suck it up and try to expand my social network the old fashioned way: by feigning interest in things I don't care about?
posted by selenized to Human Relations (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
you need to meet more nerds. i've had entire circles of friends that were nerdy and ranging from bisexual to gay. go to cons, go to comic artist demos. look for things that will appeal to other gay guys in the nerdy world.

but, mostly, i'd guess most gay nerds are where most bisexual, straight, transexual, and asexual geeks are - the internet.
posted by nadawi at 11:07 PM on May 19, 2011

meetup.com or craigslist (probably the "strictly platonic" or "groups" section since you're a guy; people advertise platonic social groups in craigslist's W4W but M4M seems more sex-focused) for queer social groups.
posted by needs more cowbell at 11:24 PM on May 19, 2011

Yes, we gay geeks tend to walk among geeks more generally. Feigning interest in something completely foreign to you will only result in meeting more people who genuinely like the thing you're pretending to like, which is a spiral with no end. Keep on pursuing your own interest in the things you care about, but on whatever social scale you can. Here in L.A., for example, we have things like Mindshare and Flux and the Tuesday Night Project and the Downtown Art Walk and IdeaMensch and This Is Your Library and... etc. Public events with geekminded people who like being around other people. Which includes you!
posted by mykescipark at 11:53 PM on May 19, 2011 [5 favorites]

Does Edmonton have a big gay community? In my town, I pretty much can't do anything without tripping over a couple of gays. In that kind of scenario, I'd second pursuing your interests while keeping an eye on what's happening specifically in the gay community for any overlap. In a smaller town, that's less likely to work for you, and that's where the internet is your friend.

Don't rule out trying new things though. This doesn't have to amount to "feigning interesting" in things you don't care about (although that in itself is probably not a good strategy for meeting people). You can never predict where you're going to make new friends.

Also look out for a local MeFi meetup; there's lots of gays on here :)
posted by londonmark at 2:44 AM on May 20, 2011

1) Have more sexy times with a larger number of men (safely, of course). 2) Be your full geeky self with these men. 3) Some of these men will have shared geeky interests and you can continue a friendship with them after sexy times are over. 4) Some of these guys will say, "You should meet my friend/ex-lover/other sexy-time guy who is just as geeky as you." 5) Meet those guys.
posted by hworth at 4:10 AM on May 20, 2011

Looks like you've just missed Gaylaxicon 2011 this past weekend in Atlanta, Georgia - the 2012 con is set for October in Minneapolis if you're up for a vacation. If not, you could join the forum to see if there's an affiliated organization in your area - Welcome to the Gaylactic Network.
posted by oh yeah! at 4:43 AM on May 20, 2011

There are gay geeks out there. Really there are. I am one of them. We even have an active meetup group with a bunch of members. True geeks of all kinds. Larpers, Dr. Who obsessed, Furries, Star Trek cosplayers, scifi/fantasy book nerds, D&D folks, German board gamers, anime-geeks, tons of video gamers, etc. We're out there, we just usually hide those interests among normal gays, because a lot of the gay community is fairly judgmental about what are appropriate hobbies. (I often feel like this.)

Obviously the commute from Edmonton to NC is a bit far, but if there aren't any gay geek groups in your area, I'm certain you could start one, and you'd get a lot of interest.
posted by Tooty McTootsalot at 7:00 AM on May 20, 2011

dance clubs.
posted by the foreground at 9:38 AM on May 20, 2011

Response by poster: A few things:

Edmonton is not a particularly big city (the metropolitan area is just over 1 million ppl) and so the gay community is also not particularly large. The gay community is also not particularly centralized in a gay ghetto so I'm not out literally tripping over them (or maybe I am and I'm just oblivious, nobody wears coloured hankies any more...)

Just going to nerd events is what I've been doing for the last ten years, at these events I meet all sorts of interesting people but none of them turn out to be gay. I think this is again a small city problem: attendance at these events is never huge.

As for the internet. I honestly never thought about it before! Which is crazy 'cause I spend most of my waking life on the internet! Local craigslist &c. are mostly for hookups and I honestly never thought about starting my own version of the gay geek meetup groups listed above (I'm not finding any local chapters online).

So you all have given me some ideas of starting a group or maybe hunting down some of the local gay social groups and starting a spin off.
posted by selenized at 11:52 AM on May 20, 2011

OkCupid tends to attract a pretty nerdy crowd. And while folks are primarily there for dating, there are plenty of people on there who are seeking friends. In fact, some of my favorite new friends came to me by way of OkCupid. All three women emailed me and said, "Uh. Clearly I'm not your type because I'm not a guy - but you sound really hilarious and fascinating and I think we'd be great friends." And the rest is history.

The only caveat: using the internet for single-serving friends doesn't get you a group of gay friends until you turn them into a group. Because you're building your one-on-one relationship with these folks, they wont become integrated into your crowd until you invite them to do so. It took me a while to realize that I had a lot of individual friends, but that the only "groups" I had, came readymade from meetups (like MeFi).

Gay Geeks aren't as rare as you think. The slow decline of the gay ghetto, and its attendant One-Size-Fits-All Gay Personality, has permitted folks to come out of their gay closets as geeks, sports fans, religious, etc. Since Edmonton has less of a gay ghetto, you might already be dealing with folks who are comfortable in their own personalities... but now lack a social mechanism for meeting like-minded gays. I think you're on the right track with taking it upon yourself to be the genesis of a group for folks like you!

In Houston, we have a Gaymers Meetup, which is a monthly collection of queer folks who love video games. I haven't been myself, but many of my geeky gay friends go regularly and seem to love it.
posted by jph at 12:06 PM on May 20, 2011

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