1. Date yourself
Learn how to take yourself to dinner and yes even a movie all by yourself. No armor either, no phones or magazines when you dine alone. You have friends, you just chose to be alone. Remember there is a huge difference between being lonely and being alone. Even when we are in a relationship we are alone too, finding someone should never complete you, you’re the only
one who can complete you.
2. Love your body
In this gay world of Grindr and fast food fucks, body shaming is rampant. Gay men are specimens of perfect hair, faces, and bodies. But what cost does this seeming perfection come at? I have been told I’m not muscular enough during sex and that I’m too hairy or my nipples are too large. But aside from being offended, I do not let these forms of body shaming get to me because I love my body. I love my curves and my juicy ass. I’m not ashamed that I’m not a size zero with muscles. I am me. It took 32 years to get here but if you start slowly over time you can learn to love your body as well
3. Be comfortable in your own skin
Wear mesh. Wear lipstick. Wear a skirt. Who cares what you do as long as you feel good about it. Do something you’ve never done. Go skinny dipping during the day or have sex in a park. Whatever it is, free with yourself and slowly over time you’ll feel more comfortable in your own skin and will lean into the person you’ve always meant to be.
4. Don’t play the comparison game
Many gay men are expert players at this game because from a young age we feel different or marginalized and begin comparing ourselves to the hetero norm. This dangerous game of comparison will diminish our self-worth. The fact is we can never have someone else’s life, and however attractive or happy they may seem there is no way to know what they carry. The comparison game is no more visible than at a gay-themed party or pride event when people are comparing their bodies and falling prey to body dysmorphia. My best advice is to stop comparing, and just enjoy the life you’ve been given.
5. Know what you bring to the table aside from your looks
Being attractive is not only subjective but its given to you, it’s nothing you worked for. Find something you uniquely provide the world and exploit that skill or hobby. My humor is what I bring to the table, and it’s always what people remember from meeting me aside from good hair or cute face. And if you say you don’t have something, then you’re joking yourself because if you ask close friends or family, I promise you they’ll know exactly what it is.
6. Disconnect from toxic “friends”
Some people are in our lives for a reason and others for a season. Don’t keep toxic friends around because they will bring you down with them. People who don’t build you up have no right to be in your life. You’ll get what you think you deserve, and I think it’s so important to know your self-worth. I’ve had to make the hard decision of parting ways from a friend who regularly put me down and body shamed me. It was the best decision I could’ve made.
7. Delete dating apps and maybe Facebook/Twitter too
Delete–or severely limit consumption–dating apps until you feel happy being alone: apps like Grindr, Scruff, Hornet, and believe it or not even DM’s on Instagram, can be toxic when you don’t know yourself or even what you’re looking for. The can contribute to losing yourself and your self-worth. The apps focus on sexual conquest and facilitate cruel people to wield their sexual preferences like weapons. The racism, transphobia, ageism, body shaming, and fem bashing run rampant. Many gay men find the apps humorous, but I’m having trouble finding humor in something that is preventing me from finding possible love, and myself. Even Facebook, which can be toxic in their own way, has adopted a system to limit your exposure to the minefield of social media. Set your own clock, and then get back to real life.
Of course, dating and hookup apps can be amazing if you know yourself enough to navigate the landmines. Things are what you make them, so go out there love yourself, know yourself, and use dating apps responsibly.
Amir Yassai found his calling in helping people come out of the closet and feel more comfortable in their own skins. As a Persian Muslim man, his coming out was a less than stellar experience. He loves talking about issues that the gay community combats on a daily basis with an unabashed perspective and unapologetic wit. Follow him on Instagram @amir_yassai
Wanna learn more? RSVP to the Las Angeles event Queer positivity in the Grindr Age featuring Yassai, Johnny Sibilly, and Billie Lee.