Gay friends can help you cope with the loneliness and discrimination that often accompany being LGBTQ in a straight world, and they offer support and solidarity when the going gets rough. They also boost morale and confidence in your identity. In this article, therapist Gino Cosme shares strategies on how to make gay friends and keep them.
Find LGBTQ friends in your area by attending local LGBT-themed meetings or social groups. Whether it’s a drag queen meetup, an Instagram Britney stan group, or a monthly tarot reading group, there are many queer-oriented communities and spaces on the web to explore.
Alternatively, consider joining a community that is focused on a specific interest or hobby. Whether it’s knitting, playing video games, or learning Spanish, there is likely a community that meets up in your city around the subject of your choice. You can even sign up for a “gay speed-friending” event like Skip the Small Talk, where you’ll be paired with different LGBT people for short conversations and given a range of topics to spark conversation.
Once you’ve met new LGBT friends, make a point of reaching out and scheduling in-person or virtual hangouts to develop your relationships. Remember, however, that friendships based solely on sexual orientation are not sustainable; it’s important to view your LGBTQ friends as people with a rich inner life. This may include struggles, hopes, and fears that don’t relate to their gender identity.