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Gay Male and lacking a sense of belonging

Community Member

Hi, just reaching out to see if anyone feels similar to the way I do about being gay and feeling a sense of belonging.


Essentially, I don't (feel a sense of belonging). I'm a gay male, 40, white, with a partner of 18 years, in a suburb close to the city that has a lot of other gay people (but not exclusively). I feel like a little gay sheep living a world of straight wolves, and yet I feel excluded by the other sheep because my wool isn't blue and sequined.


I don't feel connected to "the scene" anymore. It's expensive, nothing ever changes (no, changing from midnight shift to universal is not what I call "change"), I feel like I don't fit in because I don't look EXACTLY like a typical twink, nor a bear, nor a muscle-guy. I'm just me and that feels not good enough, no place for me.


I don't feel a place in the wider LGBTIQ etc community either. More and more I'm feeling excluded for being a gay man as opposed to a more diverse sexuality or gender, and it feels like one is only welcome in the community if they are anything other than a gay white man PLUS you must also be gender diverse PLUS you must also be non-white PLUS ideally you must also have a disability of some kind.


I'm not asking for the "spotlight on me please", I'm just asking to feel like there is place for me in the rainbow community, which is the closest thing I've felt to a sene of belonging, ever.


Anyone else feeling like this?

2 Replies 2

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Dear murraybakersydney,


A warm and caring welcome to our forums,


First off I’d like to tell you I’m a late 60’s female widow…(straight)  I think it’s labelled…

anyway, I just wanted to tell you…that it’s always best to be the authentic you..the person that your heart and soul tells you to be….Umm what I’m trying to say, is that changing who you are to fit in, might work for a while but in the long run, it’s hard to stay that change we did….


You have a beautiful, caring and loving partner who seems to me, he must love the true you…Do you feel you fit in with your partners life style?


Sorry, if i didn’t help much..but by me posting here, it will move your thread to the front of the queue* and hopefully someone with LGBTIQ live experience will pop in and talk to you…


Sending you my kindest thoughts,


Community Member

Hi Murray,


I understand and empathise. You are not alone. I think there are more of us, what I like to jokingly call 'Suburban Gays', than there are Scene Queens - but you would never know it from the footage we see of Mardi Gras or walking into a club!

I'm female, so we don't have the same body pressures as men do (ironic for someone in the straight world to read that - hey Ggrandy!) but I recognise the pigeonholes you mentioned and have had many male friends feel exactly as you do about fitting in to any of them.


I've been on the edge of the scene, dipping my feet in every so often, for decades and unless you want to live around nightclubbing or waving placards, it can be very difficult to find a part of the community where you fit.  I actually think it's worse now than it was 20 years ago.  I'm older than you, so I remember when you could find LGBTIQ book shops, cafes, social groups etc. I think that, as we have gained more legal rights and freedoms, the need for 'safe spaces' has reduced.  In some ways this is great.  I watch 18 year olds who have no need for Gay spaces because they are accepted by mainstream society.  BUT, the big disadvantage is that it means we are back to the days of having to be an outsider. A black sheep in a herd of white ones.  I have many straight friends, but there is nothing like that feeling of being surrounded by people who 'get it'.  As supportive as they are, my straight friends have never had to pause and look around before reaching for their partner's hand in public, have never had a stranger yell abuse at them, have never had to feel their stomach clench every time they are in a new social situation and have to make the decision whether to come out (again).


I also understand what you mean when you say there's no place for you in the wider LGBTIQ community.  Personally, I like being part of the whole Rainbow People thing, but I totally understand that sometimes you just want to hang out with your own.  Women do not have the same experiences or issues as men, and a White Gay Cisgender man may have absolutely nothing in common with a Black Trans Gender Diverse person.  I used to belong to a lesbian social group and it was nice not to have to fight for space with the men, and where we were all on the same page.  We had differences but, by and large, we all understood each other's experiences.


I'm assuming from your profile name that you live in the big-smoke? That should mean there are still from gay groups around where you can find like-minded people.  Have you looked in one of the scene magazines for any groups in your area?  Or Facebook? 


I can't offer much advice to solve your issue but I can offer support and empathy.  There has been many a time when I, and people in my circle, have felt exactly as you do.  There is a safe and welcoming community out there - it's just a lot harder to find them than going to a club.