Gay And Single During The Holidays

The holidays can sometimes contain nasty triggers for feelings of loneliness and despair… reminders of feelings experienced when dealing with sexual identity.

Growing up as a kid the holidays were known to be a time for family to come together and celebrate the season, and of course each other. It was “supposed” to be a special time of the year, filled with hope and happiness, where ideally, being “together” was valued highest among all other things. Of course life happens, parents get divorced or separated, relatives and good friends leave this Earth, and the dream is sometimes crushed… often with a lot of pain associated with it. Then one year, sometimes after a lengthy pause, the season becomes special again and we celebrate with great joy. Somewhere during my upbringing, the knowledge of my sexuality threw a new variable into the equation and instead of feeling like I was a part of something, I began to feel alone… even though I was surrounded by people. Not having someone to connect with… someone to share with, while the awareness of couples and family was everywhere, was a bitter pill to swallow. Since most LGBTQ+ people experience some degree of intense isolation and fear during their lifetimes while becoming aware of their sexuality, the holidays can be a nasty reminder of darker times, especially when there’s no one special to call your own.

Thanksgiving is just days away, and although I’m in a happy longterm relationship of almost eight years with my partner Eric, the memories of being gay and single during the holidays are still fresh in my mind. I thought it would be helpful to write about this from my current perspective, not only to let others know they aren’t alone, but to validate that life is constantly evolving. Your relationship situation will most likely change eventually, but even if it doesn’t, we can focus on ways to make the holidays special for person number one… yourself. I’m almost certain that my painful desire to feel unconditionally loved and to “belong” while I was discovering who I was, makes this part of the year extra difficult at times.

“Since most LGBTQ+ people experience some degree of intense isolation and fear during their lifetimes while becoming aware of their sexuality, the holidays can be a nasty reminder of darker times, especially when there’s no one special to call your own.”

I can still remember the first New Years I spent alone after ending a relationship of almost ten years. The year before I was standing on a dance floor alone at Midnight, while my partner tried unsuccessfully to acquire champagne from a bartender. The lines for drinks were super long, and I came to the realization that while his intentions were admirable, he didn’t understand how much his presence by my side meant to me, and that the champagne could have waited until after the stroke of 12. I knew our time together was wrapping up, and the following year I found myself on the couch with my dogs, bringing in 2013 alone.

You might be visualizing this scene as tragic and dark in your head, with light of the television being the only source of illumination in the room, but nothing could have been further from the truth. Every light in the place was on, I had a bottle of champagne with a cheese plate to snack on, and I was treating myself like the king… or queen, I knew I was. I made the conscious choice to celebrate the occasion as an opportunity for new hope, opportunities and abundance, and not to wallow in self defeat. I was loving myself %100 and it felt amazing, and most importantly, empowering.

Now I would be lying if I said I never experienced a dark and lonely holiday, alone in my living room with an empty wine bottle next to me… with the only light in the room coming from the television, because I have. So I get it, I know what despair feels like… all too well. But we can also choose not to let it overpower us and bring us to our knees… because I have made that choice myself and I speak from experience. Even when things seem utterly hopeless, we can choose actions that don’t reflect what we are feeling inside, as a way to keep us afloat. This applies to any holiday you may be dreading… make the choice to do something contrary to your emotions, no matter how hard it may seem.

While I’m hoping the person reading this never has to go at the holidays alone, if you are, know that others have walked this path before… more than once. As dark as things may be, as painful as they may feel, times will eventually get better and you’ll experience joy again. Nothing in life is permanent, the Universe sees to it that everything is constantly in motion. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you, just because you can’t see the light at the end of the dark tunnel, it doesn’t mean it’s not there. If at all possible, summon up the strength to throw yourself a gala of one, or at the very least, draw courage from happiness you will most certainly enjoy in the not so distant future.

Single, Gay, and Harry Potter – How I Learned To Love Myself

The year was 2001 and I had just found myself single after a brief but tumultuous relationship. Everyone has that one person in their life that fucks them up, and this was mine. The timing couldn’t have been worse as my best friend had passed away only 18 months prior, and I was still trying to adjust to life in his absence. In fact, it was one of the reasons this relationship messed me up so bad, as I was hyper aware of the void in my interpersonal circle. Weekends were just an additional reminder that I was more alone than ever… not something to look forward to in the least. That’s when I discovered another person just as alone and afraid, facing a new life much in the same way that I was. I began to look forward to our time together every Friday and Saturday evening, and in the same instance, I started to fall in love with someone I least expected…. myself.

“The Sorcerer’s Stone” introduced me to Hogwarts and to a magical and wizardly world I escaped to every weekend.

Humans are social creatures and it’s just natural instinct for most to seek out others for companionship, love and friendship. For some, being single is a worse case scenario, involving feelings such as extreme loneliness, lack of self worth and even identity issues. The idea of existing through life without a significant other is equivalent to hell on Earth. While for others it’s really not such a big deal. Either they choose a life of solitude for purposes of growth and introspection, or they’re so independent they couldn’t care much either way. If a relationship manifests, they welcome it, but if not, it’s not the end of world. Still, even some seem to just know they will find someone, and simply view being single as a stepping stone or “pause” between the next relationship. During this time in my life, I saw the prospect of a partner as a way of escaping my world as I had come to know it… empty and somewhat without any kind of direction or maybe even purpose. The relationship I had just experienced left me wishing it would miraculously and suddenly work out somehow, as if waking up from a bad dream… yet at the same time, never wanting to date again and make myself vulnerable.

I remember watching the news one day, showing kids and adults alike, being so excited regarding the release of the latest Harry Potter book. Several were already in print and this latest edition in a series of best sellers, was already flying off the shelves. I decided that I would purchase the book and see what everyone was taking about. The idea of doing something special for “me” seemed to also supplement my desire to do something different and exciting. I found myself visiting a local Barnes And Noble the next day, enthusiastic about partaking in an adventure so many on the planet were experiencing. Walking into the store, the smell of so many books combined with coffee and pastry seemed healing just by itself. My mother used to take me and my siblings to book stores often as a child, so I’ve always associated the sights, smells and sounds with warmth and comfort. It wasn’t difficult to find the Harry Potter books, they were arranged in such creative displays, stacked to attract attention and interest, which only added to my sensory buffet. I grabbed a copy of the first book in a series of four, and took it to the cashier.

Reading a good book is almost like a ritual for me, I like to be comfortable and have everything I need close by. My immediate space is configured so that refreshments and possibly snacks are within an arm’s reach, with adequate lighting and pillows being an absolute necessity. I think this is because I always saw my mom reading in bed, and she always seemed so content while in a world completely her own. Before Kindles were a thing I had to position the book so I could turn the pages without them rubbing against something, they required calculated clearance. As I’m writing this now, I’m being made aware of possible OCD behaviors in my practice, something which actually makes sense considering at the time I felt like I had little control over my own life. Needless to say, that night I locked myself away in my room and begin to read all about the life of the boy that lived in a cupboard under the stairs.

Almost immediately I began to see parallels in Harry’s life and my own… the loss of loved ones, being bullied and trying so hard yet unsuccessfully to fit in. The imagery of the text completely pulled me away from the nightmare I was experiencing and into a place filled with promise and of course, magic. The impossible became reality for Harry and that brought me the promise of great hope. That weekend I finished the first book and couldn’t wait to get the next. I was completely addicted not only to the magical world of this child, but to how I felt while reading. The pain I was experiencing did not have room to exist in this alternate reality, and I was more than happy to see it vanish. Book two came and went, and then book three and The Prisoner Of Azkaban brought in an unexpected angle… the feeling of being reunited with a long lost friend you never knew you had, something I so desperately wanted at the time.

You stop sending out the “I’m desperate to date someone” vibe and start sending out the “Are you really what I’m looking for?” vibe.

Then it happened. I’m not sure when or how, but I remember mentally acknowledging it as a huge light bulb moment. I was happy, but I was also single. I was enjoying time with myself and only me. I was learning about myself through the words and stories of J.K. Rowling… and it was awesome! I didn’t need another person to enjoy life, I just needed me. I began to look forward again to the weekends, because it was a time where I literally loved myself. I treated myself well and I enjoyed the quiet time alone, living the adventures with Harry and his friends. I stopped looking for other people to fulfill my life because I realized I could do it on my own pretty darn well. I knew that eventually I would want someone physically in my life, but I was comforted in knowing I would be good until that happened… I had become my own best friend.

Something else starts to happen when you come to this realization. You stop sending out the “I’m desperate to date someone” vibe and start sending out the “Are you really what I’m looking for?” vibe. People begin to approach you for dates without you even asking and your tolerance for bullshit and falseness is at an all time low. I clearly remember going on a couple of dates with someone extremely good looking and fit, and realizing that they were way to aloof for my taste. When he abruptly cancelled our third date I decided there wouldn’t be another one. He began to accuse me of being in another relationship, and that’s why I was calling it quits. He couldn’t understand why someone would turn him down… he was so wrapped up in his own vanity, he chose a reason he could wrap his head around. What he didn’t realize is that being with him wasn’t as fun as being with Harry and his friends… yes I’d rather be alone than with someone that didn’t make me feel good. And that’s when “the bar” was created and raised for me. Something I wouldn’t have done unless I realized how to love myself.

As I mentioned earlier, people are social creatures and I know it’s hard to be single. But it’s even harder when you haven’t learned to love yourself and don’t have a healthy level of self respect. You don’t need to be arrogant, you just need to know what it is you want and the type of person you’re looking for. And when you meet another person with those same qualities and aspirations, your relationship rises way above insecurities and jealousy that can break even the strongest of loves. Love yourself first and watch love come to you. Stop searching so hard and let it find you instead. It so pains me when I see other gay men putting themselves down, wondering why they’re still single. They’re so eager to find someone, but haven’t realized the person they need to love first, is staring back at them in the mirror.

Invalidating Affection


Cooking for someone is probably one of the most spritual and fundamental things you can do in a relationship.   That warm and fuzzy feeling you get when enjoying a meal together prepared at home probably has some serious anthropological roots.   Thousands of years ago ,when we existed as hunters and gatherers, we brought back our kill to the family or tribe and took pleasure in the consumption of an animal which would sustain us nutritionally and even possibly clothe us.   Every part of the animal was utilized for our sustained existence and so it’s no wonder that sharing a meal with someone you care for, references some pretty ancient behaviors  and feels pretty darn good.

Read more “Invalidating Affection”

When Mom Gets Old

I’m getting to be that age, you hear it often around the office almost on a weekly basis, someone’s parent is ill or has suddenly passed away. I’m very blessed because my mom is still around, about to have her 81st birthday. My mom isn’t in the best of health, and I often worry about her and how’s she feeling. It’s difficult for her to catch her breath and she’s constantly connected to a variety of oxygen machines, concentrators they call them, and they sustain her life. When she walks out the door, the gentle hum of the machine she’s carrying can be heard underneath her words. She’s a talker like me, that’s where I get it from, and I often have to stop her and say “breathe through your nose” so she can get some O2. You can probably guess I love my mom very much and I don’t know what I’d do without her.

Mother’s Day With My Mom
Read more “When Mom Gets Old”

Why Are Gay Men So Damn Needy?

I’m sure it’s happened to you before. You get home after a nice date with a handsome guy, he looked just like his pics online, so that’s a plus right out of the gate. Sex was pretty much a slam dunk so he’s definitely getting a second try and you’re actually looking forward to it. You get the usual text message accompanied by some cute emoji…

tonight was really great, thanks for being so cool.”

You smile and drift off to sleep as you contemplate how dating really isn’t that bad after all.

The next morning you wake to the familiar routine of shutting off the alarm on your phone, oversleeping, and suddenly realizing you’re late for work. As you rush to get yourself together and out the door, you notice you have a text message on your phone which must be from the office reminding you of a meeting you’re late for. In what has become a very automatic set of movements for your fingers, you navigate immediately to your texts and retrieve the poorly timed piece of information…

“thinking of you.”

Read more “Why Are Gay Men So Damn Needy?”

Transactional Friendships

I was all psyched out the other day because I thought I invented a new term. I think my partner Eric’s banking career had something to do with it as I’m constantly hearing expressions and other vocabulary related to finance. I was going about my business when suddenly “transactional friendships” popped into my head along with the meaning. Before running off to tell everyone about my cool new discovery and writing a book about the topic I decided to Google it. Sure enough, the term and the meaning already exist. I was pretty bummed out but I figured I could at least write a blog post about it. A book deal would have to wait.

Read more “Transactional Friendships”