Thursday, December 12, 2013

Keep 'Em to Yourself

In surfing the Web the other day, I found an article by a somewhat well-known gay man, who wrote about how important it is that we, as gay people, understand, accept, and love ourselves–a subject near and dear to my heart.

Below the article were reader’s comments.  One was no more than a single line, but it caught my attention for the wrong reason.  The reader said something to the effect of, when did the writer of the article not love himself?

It struck me that the tone and the intent of the comment was inappropriate (in gay male parlance:  bitchy).  And I found myself asking the question, instead of perpetuating the putdowns that have been directed at all of us at one time or another, why can’t we say something nice?  Or, if we don’t have anything nice to say, why can’t we keep it to ourselves?     

I liken this to a parent who's always ready with a disparaging comment for his child, because it's an automatic reflex, and because the parent wouldn't want the child to get the idea he's more important than he really is.  I hope this feels as wrong to you as it does to me. 

My point is, haven’t we been through enough?  Can’t one gay person support another gay person, without thinking that doing so makes the other person look better?  Can’t we put our petty jealousies aside?  Can't we build each other up, rather than cut each other down?  Can't we recognize the struggle we've all been through to accept and love ourselves, and support each other in that regard?  Can’t we be there for each other, in a way that society in general often isn’t?

If you’re a gay man, and your schtick is to cut someone down with petty, snappy comments, think before you open your mouth.  Or before you leave a comment on a website.  Nobody needs, or deserves, your negative energy.     

If we can’t love and support each other, who will?     


  1. Your entire blog is so inspiring... I've just spent the last hour reading through variou posts... I can relate to so much that you write. Your articles about self-acceptance really speak to me, and give me a good feeling about myself!

    Thank you

    1. crjrux, it's always a big thrill to receive a comment like yours. I'm so glad you've found something here that inspires you.
      Thanks for your interest in my blog.

    2. Thanks to you! and hugs from Liverpool, UK :)

  2. That sort of bitchiness evolved as a defense mechanism to shield us against homophobia. But in a world without positive role models for gay men, some internalize that negativity and then lash out at other gay men. It makes a healthy self-identity impossible and therefore precludes any attempt to build relationships with one another.

    I come to your blog regularly and I have always found them helpful. What was it that turned the tides for you, and allowed you to let go of your self-hatred?

    1. Matthew, I couldn't agree with you more. Although what I don't understand is why we think that bitchiness, that we would never direct at those who are homophobic (because it wouldn't be socially acceptable) could then be aimed at our own. Doesn't make sense to me.

      As I suggested in this post, I think if we felt better about ourselves (there's the self-loathing thing again), we wouldn't feel the need to put down someone else, especially someone who's experienced the same kind of pain we have. Another reason to focus on overcoming self-loathing, right?

      Thanks for the positive feedback about my blog. I appreciate knowing you're getting something out of it. And your question is a good one. If I may, I'd like to give it some thought and answer it in a dedicated post in the near future, which I hope you'll come back and take a look at.

  3. Hello Rick.

    Remember me? ^_^

    It's good to be back here. I subscribe to this blog since the first time I read your opinion about Karofsky. Surprisingly, it was one of your most popular posts. I already read several posts since my last visit and I think this is the right time to say hi again.

    I dated this amazing man for two or three months before I ended it myself. He was caring, smart, funny, and yeah amazing. We met online about two or three years earlier. But I, at that time, didn't have the courage to meet him in real life. Or any guy for that matter. I'm always too shy to meet new people. I think I'm not good-looking enough, mostly.

    So, one day I decided to meet him. Our first meeting was amazing too. Short story, we decided to spend more times together. We went to the zoo, watched midnight movies at local cinemas, had dinner together, etc. It was literally the happiest moment of my life.

    I ended up our relationship because I had to move to another city. And I think I would never come back to this city anymore. He also just got a job on this city, so he has to stay here for his career. I still miss him though. Day and night. Especially on weekends. :'(

    But, I am so thankful for our short time together. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't never know how amazing it was to love someone who loved me back. He taught me a lot of things actually about love and whatnot and for that I will always remember him.

    I am also grateful for your site, Rick. You taught me a lot of things too here. And I'm glad to know that each day your site continually reaches a lot more people. Some of us really need help to accept our true self. Just like me.

    PS: Again, sorry for my poor English. ^_^
    PPS: It's probably too late, but Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Rick.

    1. Of course I remember you, Aries Boy. In fact, I'm sure it will surprise you to know I thought about you the other day.

      I remembered the last time I heard from you (it turns out in July 2012), you said you had something you wanted to tell me, but I didn't hear from you again. I'd always wondered what it was, if you were still following my blog, if you'd ever leave another comment.

      And how glad I am that you did, especially this one. Meeting this fellow and experiencing love appears to have transformed you. It seems to me in your past comments you were always so reserved, tentative, scared (if I remember correctly). Now, you've blossomed with the experience of coming out of yourself and realizing maybe being gay isn't such a bad thing, after all. That is very heartening, and I'm thrilled for you. I'm sorry your relationship was so brief and had to end, but I know you needed it, and it will make a difference in your future in terms of opening you to other people and new experiences.

      Your kind words about my blog are so appreciated. You were one of the first readers I ever heard from, you and elevencats. It was always wonderful to hear from both of you. Since then, so many people, from so many countries around the world, have left comments on posts and especially written emails, often telling me things they can't share with anyone else and asking for advice. I love that part of blogging and being there for them. I always look forward to the next comment or email, and whatever it might bring.

      Not to worry about your English. I can assure you, it's so much better than my ability with your language. And thanks for the belated Christmas and New Year's wishes. I hope 2014 is a wonderful year for you as well, that you find love again very soon, and that you'll keep in touch. It's always good to hear from you.

      All the very best,