I’m wary of friendships and relationships with gay men due to past experiences and my own insecurities. I used to be much more naive about people and their intentions. I think this is mostly due to me being raised up in a small farming town where I grew up trusting everyone I met and partly due to my desire to believe everyone is innately kind.
My first steps into the gay world was a disaster. I hated home so much that I bought a one way ticket and flew out to Hawaii the morning after my high school graduation. I found a job and made friends quickly. Life was great and I didn’t even have to pay rent because one of my coworker offered to let me stay at his place. He was a gay white guy about 10 years older than me. He was the first person who I told I was gay and me being young and stupid I was just like “Wow! Thanks man! You’re the best.” I thought the gay community was so caring.
Soon, though, things started to feel not right. I couldn’t explain at the time but my gut instinct was trying to tell me I needed to get out of the situation. He started to buy me gifts, paying for my meals every day, getting upset when I would hang out with other guys.
Then one night he came into my room with tickets to Maui and was upset when I said I didn’t want to go. He tried to kiss me and I was so repulsed but so shocked and scared that I literally couldn’t move. Eventually he left me alone.
The next day I told one of my other coworker who is also gay what happened. I guess he’s what you could call the stereotypical gay flamboyant guy, he was also Filipino god bless him. He was shocked, in retrospect probably about how dumb I was, because he thought that the white guy was my sugar daddy. I didn’t even know what the term “sugar daddy” meant and he had to explain to me.
Against my wishes he reported the situation to our boss who is also gay but in a glass closet. This is where things got messy because my boss and white coworker had bad blood which I was oblivious to as everything else. He forced me to file a sexual harassment suit against white guy mostly because he had always wanted a reason to fire the guy for personal reasons. I became a pawn in his personal vendetta.
I came out of the situation feeling used by all parties. I packed up, left Hawaii Kai and moved into Honolulu were I made ends meet for a bit before I ended up living with a Filipino family in Makaha.
University began and I flew out to Los Angeles for the first time. I would be thrown head first into not only the biggest city I’ve ever been in but also into one of the biggest and most vibrant gay community with all the positive and negative consequences that it entails.
And yes, I listened to Party in the USA as I landed.
It is very unfortunate that @letters-to-charles had such negative experiences in his first encounter with the gay community. However, I don’t believe he is alone. People’s first interactions with the community will often define his or her perceptions. We should work toward creating a more supportive and welcoming community for our peers. This is what I hope G3S will achieve.