social dilemma

Gay man wonders: “Why do straight guys NOT want to be friends?”

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A gay man has appealed to syndicated columnist Dear Abby for some social advice. The middle-aged man wants to know why he doesn’t have more straight friends.

“I am a 47-year-old gay man.” the reader, identified only as “Curious in Oklahoma,” writes. “I’m well-educated, but there’s something I can’t figure out. Why do straight guys NOT want to be friends? I never hit on them, I enjoy a lot of the same pastimes like games, working on cars, etc. I want to be transparent, but when I tell them upfront, they disappear.”

“Sometimes it gets back to me that they thought I was asking them on a date if I invited someone to go to a ballgame, for example. I have plenty of female friends, but what I really want is a male best friend or, hell, just a male friend, period,” he continues.

“Of course, everyone has their own opinions on what I should do — ‘join a meeting, a group, social activities and blah blah.’ I have done all of those things, and I can’t figure out what’s wrong. I have now learned to just keep my mouth shut and not invite anyone to do anything.”

Related: Dear Abby: My grandchild is trans, what do I do?

As usual, Abby returns with her sound advice. She also calls out what could be some anti-social homophobia among Curious in Oklahoma’s circle.

“The problem you’re having with straight men may be that they are nervous about being perceived as ‘gay by association’ if they are friendly with you,” Abby observes. “Some may also find the concept of being friends with a gay man to be threatening.”

“Taking part in group activities and outings is certainly a way to connect with others regardless of sexual orientation,” she concludes. “Eventually, you’ll meet people and form friendships. In the meantime, appreciate those female friends of yours and ask them for some input, too.”

We think Abby gives some sound advice here, though we’re also surprised that she doesn’t mention the historic climate of homophobia in Oklahoma.

Last year, a private, Christian school in Owasso, Oklahoma expelled an eight-year-old student for having a crush on a same-sex friend. Also last year, a gay bar in Oklahoma City reported vandalism of the building and cars parked in their lot two nights in a row. Politicians in the state also have a nasty record on LGBTQ issues. As recently as 2018 the State Assembly passed a bill making it legal for adoption agencies to ban same-sex couples from adopting children.