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Feelings of shame when attracted to other men

Community Member

I’m a gay male that’s been out for over 20 years. I’ve been single most of my life, except for a few short-lived relationships.


I’ve recently begun thinking I have internalised homophobia against myself, and am a little surprised by this. I love being gay and the gay community so I didn’t expect to be coming to this realisation.


I’ve found that, over the years, I’ve started to call myself “creepy” whenever I find myself attracted to other men and wish I could find ways to interact with them. A lot of the time, I fixate on the fact that I don’t know the sexuality of strangers I see on the street that I find attractive, so I call myself creepy for not first knowing their sexual orientation for it to be “okay” to be attracted to them.


Additionally, I don’t think I have much “game” in terms of charisma or confidence to indicate attraction and approach someone, so I don’t and then get caught up in feelings of shame and low self-esteem.


Do others experience this? I’ve just started seeing a new therapist and hope to explore this down the track, but this whole “I’m a creep for being attracted to men” mindset is  something that I think has held me back from pursuing relationships for a long time. How have others dealt with similar unhelpful thoughts/beliefs?

3 Replies 3

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Haydenn~

Leaving sexual orientation to one side for a moment an awful lot of people find it difficult to start a relationship with another . This can be simply shyness, or for other reasons. The upshot is often they feel themselves to be at some way in fault, particularly if they see others seeming strike up acquaintances easily, either in real or one the media. It can make a person feel more and more isolated.


If you then add in the fact you are a gay person it adds an extra layer of difficulty because, very sadly, there are still those in our society that promote stigma and lack of understanding.


So you are hesitant.


I guess one thing to thing is that both at the start and during any worthwhile relationship it takes the efforts of two people to make it work. A small hint on your part may well be met wiht an enthusiastic response.


You mentioned you had only been in a few short lived relationships and I'm sorry thing worked out for you that way. I'd think if you are lucky enough to find someone with love and understudying to share live with then your own internal doubts and feeling 'creepy' will fade away.


Do you think I might be on the right track? If you disagree please sing out.



Thanks, Croix. You’ve given me some good things to think about and reflect on. 

I think you’re on the right track with shyness, but maybe also informed by fear of rejection. Additionally, your point about “it takes the effort of two people” gives me perspective that maybe my time just hasn’t come, and I should persevere through these doubts and keep working on it.


Thanks for your response and guidance 🙂

Dear Haydennn~

Trying to find someone is hard, and while some might make it seem easy that is most often not the case. As you say fear of rejection may play a part.


Perhaps to make tihngs easier may I suggest the most important thing to look for is kindness. If you  find it you will receive at least a gentle reception, and if it pans out you will be wiht osmeone worth having.


I tried to go down htat path when my first partner passed away and I was lookng of another. It was kindness about the way they spoke about others that attracted me above anything else, and we are together still after many years (mostly due to their tolerance:)