In a viral post on the r/AskGayBros subreddit this month, one Reddit user observed that gay men are “the epicenter of a political war,” saying he has seen countless social media videos of people burning Pride flags or physically attacking drag queens. Worse yet, he says many comments on those videos cheer on those anti-LGBT actions.

“I hate to come off as fragile and I never gave a f*ck about these hateful c*nts, but I can’t lie and say it isn’t starting to worry me,” he writes. “The sheer extremity of the anti-LGBT sentiment has me constantly worried about what my future will look like, and it’s starting to impact my mental health.”

Now, this Redditor is wondering how other gay men are dealing with this homophobia. “Are you also afraid, or am I being overly anxious?” he asks.

His Reddit thread has accumulated more than 360 comments so far, with some commenters agreeing that homophobia is on the rise and others saying that today’s society is as homophobic or even less than it was during the height of the AIDS crisis. Unfortunately, some commenters blamed a rise in anti-LGBT sentiment on the fight for trans and nonbinary equality—as if violence or bigotry that affects one of us doesn’t affect all of us—but many other comments offered useful advice.

Here are excerpts from those suggestions.

“Don’t give in or back down.”

“Never afraid. It’s having the opposite effect with me. Back in the ‘80s we were ‘fighting for our lives’. Same thing. Don’t give in or back down; it’s what they want.”

“Elections matter.”

“The response we must make is to push back on the current wave of repression. Elections matter. Know who is running for the school board and who is running for the District Attorney’s office (locally and statewide) and vote accordingly.”

“When I encounter homophobia, I confront it.”

“I go about my life as normal. The only thing I’ve changed is that I now wear a pride bracelet whenever I leave the house. When I encounter homophobia, I confront it, assuming it’s safe to do so. If we change how we live, then they’ve won.”

“Being more out than ever can only help.” 

“If you’ve got the energy and the strength to do it, being more out than ever can only help. It’s harder for people to hate gay people in the abstract when they realize that their regular customer, their coworker, the guy reading on his way to work on the train every morning, etc., is a gay person.”

“No need for that negativity in my life.”

“I started cutting people off that don’t align with my beliefs—for instance, my mother-in-law who votes red. No need for that negativity in my life.”

“Don’t let them win by being afraid.”

“I’m 58, and my partner is 62. … We survived the AIDS crisis and that was truly frightening and horrifying, but what is happening today isn’t any different [from what] it’s always been. There have always been people [who] don’t like us, but that shouldn’t stop you from achieving your dreams and goals. Let the bigots be bigots. Don’t let them win by being afraid.”

“Avoid social media.”

“Honestly avoid social media and focus on your own life.”

“People have to start talking well.”

“Those views aren’t going to be broken through a lack of communication; they’re only going to be broken through actual communication. I don’t mean yelling or cussing out the people who think us enemies either—that only serves to reinforce their beliefs. People are gonna have to genuinely start talking again, and people have to start talking well. Be civil in your interactions, don’t ever lose your temper, but always defend your beliefs, and make sure you got the [knowledge] to not give credence to the bigots. … Remember always: Know your history to save your future. It’s history more often than not that breaks the backs of bigotry and leads to further acceptance—that’s why some groups are trying to suppress it from the youth.”

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