Loneliness is a curse and those who are going through it, can actually explain it elaborately. And if you are gay, single and lonely, then no one can understand the darkness around you but you.
Am one of you who is openly gay and exclusively single and dangerously lonely. Yes, I do have a handful of very close friends and they have nothing to do with how I am and they are very much comfortable when I speak to them about my life and current happenings. So the question arises that if I have friends and they are comfortable being with me, then what stops me from getting out of the dark and dry world of loneliness?
The reason is that they are not homosexuals and they understand my problems little more than other ignorant heterosexuals. And why do I not have homosexual friends? One word “TOUGH”.
In this world of Grindr, OkCupid, GayCupid, Hornet, PlanetRomeo and such other apps, find me one guy who doesn’t want to have sex with you before proceeding for a friendship. Yes, there are people who don’t want to have only sex but the numbers are little and few and to find one or two will seem like an exam (at least it feels to me).
Now, one cannot be lonely and sad always and it is natural for a human to get out of the pain. So I have organised my life in a way that I feel less lonely. For those who relate with me, they can follow the following steps to make life a little easier. Didn’t we have a very tough life since childhood, and should we not do a bit to make it liveable?
a) Download MeetUp app or anything similar to it
Meet Up app is a very useful app. Once downloaded, you can register yourself for free and go on to search for events which include discussion, book reading, treks, travel, music etc under the LGBTQ option. It will give you full details of what is the MeetUp about and what are the objectives, how many can join, and the entry fees if any. Once confirmed, you can visit the venue, meet like minded people and have a great day. No one will be there to judge you and you can be yourself and enjoy the events.
b) Grindr or such apps
Apart from viewing the shirtless pictures of guys, please take some time to get to the intro. Although very few, some guys present there are into travel and trekking and some of them put trip details in the intro part. When I first encountered such a profile, I was left wondering why would someone do that? I buzzed out of curiosity, and soon went on a trip with 32 other gay guys. It was a very nice experience to be around those men and none of them had sex on their mind. Sex is important but should not become a compulsory element and that what I experienced in that trip. No one was judging anyone on how one talks, walks, moves. It was a big stress buster for me.
c) Attend Events
Events like literature festivals, fusion music carnival, handicraft expo, flower show, book show, film festivals etc, are great places to be. As far as I have experienced, people who attend these events have more broader outlook and liberal thoughts. Events make you learn and understand many things and help to grow your knowledge and intellect but also are good places to see inclusiveness forget the tensions of life and the pain of ostracism faced till now in life. And if you are lucky, may be your Mr Right will be waiting to meet you in such events.
d) Writing and Reading
When there are no events or you don’t feel like going out, the best thing is to read books. Read anything. And if you get a chance to read gay stories, am sure you will feel like writing down some of your thoughts. For me, I read all types of books, be it a romantic novel or an erotic poem. I read primarily in in Bengali and English.
I also have a collection of close to a hundred poems in Bangla in my secret diary and a handful of English poems, most of which have been published on Galaxy Magazine.
Reading and writing are great ways to elope from loneliness. You don’t need a topic to write. Write what you feel like. I feel lonely and so I write things about loneliness, past experiences, lost love, yearnings for stability and also about sex and a man’s body.
Try it, you will discover an author in you. The most pained can give birth to the most sensitive poems or stories. We were always in pain, isn’t it?
e) Painting and Movies
Not good with words, no worries, try colours or monochrome. Let paintings and drawings explain the story inside your heart. Draw anything and everything. There are options to even sell your paintings on Amazon. Go to the SELL option to explore.
Attend film festivals, better if it is Queer Film Festival. Not only will you be amazed by the movies you watch, but you can also meet a lot of people whom you have always wanted to meet and be with.
In case there is no festival, there is YouTube to rescue you. Name it and you get it. Watch it and if you are a film critic, pen down your thoughts and see if you have any platform to publish it.
f) Solo Trip
Once in a year, for at least three days, go on a solo trip to a destination unknown. It can be a domestic or a foreign destination, just go for it. A solo trip doesn’t mean you are lonely and no one wants to go with you. Even if you have someone, don’t take him along. Just go alone. Being alone and being lonely are two different things. A trip of you, for you, by you can be a blessing in disguise than going with friends and family. But of course if you feel difficult, do take friends.
That one solo trip will give you knowledge about how to spend time while alone and not lonely. I go on solo trips on my birthdays.
While planning solo trips, Oyo and AirBnB can be your first choices for stay. I keep planning trips and if you wish to be on a trip with me, you can mail to email@example.com
g) Write content for Gaylaxy Magazine
This is my favourite and hence I have kept it last so that you don’t forget it easily. Good things come at last, isn’t it? When I am free and feel like pouring my heart out, I choose to write and what is better than writing content for Gaylaxy Magazine, which is a trendsetter and the biggest Indian platform to take your word forward?
Sukhdeep in my view is the most responsive editor-in-chief. He will respond to you, correct you and help you build your confidence. And who knows, you can inspire somebody through your words!
Above are the things that I do to avoid loneliness and if I find some other great ways, then I will surely share those with you. Till then, start living and start loving yourself. Loneliness can kill you tomorrow if you don’t kill it today.