Going through life as a gay man is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have as a person. From becoming a part of a fantastic community and sharing a common interest with people from around the globe to having the freedom to experience life authentically, being gay is an exciting journey. Gay men, regardless of race, culture, economic status, or place of origin, share uniting experiences that set them apart from their straight counterparts. From the moment you experience your sexual awakening to the moment you take your last breath, life as a gay man is full of colorful events, emotions, relationships, and occasions that mold you into an exciting being.
Important stages in the life of a gay man
As a gay man, every stage in your life is important. Unlike heterosexual men, you will experience more challenges as a gay man because of your sexual orientation. Not because there is anything wrong with being gay, but because while the world has made tremendous strides in eradicating homophobia, there is still a long way to go. While a gay life may not be a smooth ride, it’s also full of wonderful stages that you would have otherwise not experienced if you were not gay.
Here are some of the most important stages of life for gay men:
· The Learning Stage
Your learning stages are between your early teenage years all the way to your twenties. For most LGBTQ+ people, the learning stage is difficult, confusing, scary, and full of self-discovery. The learning stage is where you discover your sexual identity, which can completely change your life’s trajectory. The learning stage is significant in your life as a gay man because this is where you discover who you are as a man, what you want, and why you are different from your friends. At this stage, you are driven by the desire to find people that share your sexual interests, which can be exciting and scary at the same time.
Because of heteronormativity, the learning stage can be isolating for most gay men. The fear of being different, not fitting in, or going against social norms sometimes leads gay men to go against their nature to fit. Teenage boys and young men in their 20s act straight by dressing a certain way, dating women, or adopting certain traits that make them part of the heterosexual herd. Depending on your cultural, economic, and family background, the learning stage can make or break you as a gay man. For some gay men, the learning stage ends with estrangements from family and homophobia that can last for years as your loved ones try to understand and accept your sexual identity.
· Adulting/adulting stage
The adulting stage is a transition era for gay men. You are no longer in denial about who you are and can no longer show society the middle finger when something doesn’t go your way. This is the stage where you make important decisions about your career, family, investment, and causes you want to support. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself comparing yourself with other men. If you feel a little jealous because your friend Santa had a big promotion at work or Claus had a fabulous gay wedding, it’s completely understandable. A little jealousy never hurt anyone, plus it shows you are a competitive male. Focus on building on what you have, not what could have been. Build meaningful friendships if you want a family, find a great man, create a life to love, and earn a living doing something you love.
For gay men, the adulting stage is also a celebration of life and a commitment to fight for equal treatment in society. Various LGBTQ+-related studies show that nearly a third of gay men attempt suicide before adulthood. Before you reach your adult stage, there is a likelihood that someone you know committed or has tried to commit suicide, which can be pretty traumatic. For this reason, the adulting stage is a bittersweet stage for people in the queer community because it’s a triumph and an acknowledgment of loss. A triumph because you made it to adulthood despite the numerous challenges you faced as a gay youth. It also acknowledges the loss of young queer men who lost their lives simply for being gay.
· Teaching stage
The teaching stage is the time of giving back to your community. After going through life’s ups and downs as a gay man, you, more than anyone else, know how difficult life can be if you are different from other men in society. Despite the challenges, you have triumphed and become a pillar of your community. You are what young gay boys or girls aspire to be when they grow up. You have the career, beautiful family, great friends, and a close community that rallies behind your causes-you have everything you ever wanted. Think of yourself as the Ricky Martin or Anderson Cooper of your town. So, what do you do when you are at the top of your world?
You can become the leader the gay community needs. You are the best person to teach queer youth about living a fulfilling life because you are a real-life hero, not some fictional character in a book or movie. Becoming a volunteer at an LGBTQ+ center, coaching, teaching art, or serving as a guidance counselor for local youth is something you can do.
The teaching stage is a critical stage in the life of a gay man because it brings out your humanity. Your actions are not driven by money, ambition, recognition, or greed but by a desire to give back to your community. The few hours or days you spend with vulnerable queer youth could save someone’s life. Your life’s story can inspire someone to dream big or prevent someone from making destructive that could save their life.
· Live your best life
The live your best life stage is the stage of comfort and having fun. You are at the pinnacle of your career, have amazing friends and family, and have everything you could ever want. You are no longer competing with the masses, so you can finally relax and enjoy everything you have spent years building. At this stage, your goal is to enjoy life by getting the things you procrastinated about because you didn’t have time or were scared to spend too much money. If your dream was to drive a Porsche, break the bank and get one or as many as your garage can hold. If you are a daredevil, make a list of adventurous places to visit while you still have the energy. This is the stage to take risks, spoil yourself, pamper your body, and get everything your inner kid and young adult wanted but couldn’t afford.
While the live your best life stage is exciting, it’s not all fun and games. It’s also the time to learn new tricks that can add to the quality of your life. For instance, you can learn how to knit, play piano, or join a pottery class. You will have fun learning new tricks that can strengthen your mortal skills, keeping you in shape as you age. The live your best life stage is important in the life of a gay man because it enables you to grow and have fun while learning new things.
· Contentment stage
What do you do when you have been alive for more than half a century? You’ve probably traveled to the best places, sampled the fanciest meals, met amazing people, and learned some big lessons. By the time you have reached the contentment stage, you have known love, loss, pain, and joy and experienced a truckload of human emotions. The contentment stage is significant in life because it’s a time of appreciation. At this stage, you gain a new respect for your achievements and those who have helped you get where you are. You can acknowledge your mistakes and learn from them without letting bitterness coat your experiences, whether they were good or bad.
· Reflection stage
The final stage of a gay man’s life is a time of reflection. The reflection stage lets you look back on things with the benefit of foresight and the wisdom of old age. You spend more time with your loved ones at this stage, knowing you can leave them at any moment. The reflection stage can sometimes feel a bit disappointing, especially if you didn’t achieve everything you dreamed about in your youth or teenage years. Maybe you hoped to become a star or join a Fortune 500 company to show a middle finger to every homophobe that told you were worthless, but your life turned out different. That is okay; life rarely pans out the way you plan it, and that’s what makes life exciting. The reflection stage involves love, forgiveness, and silent goodbyes.
A gay man’s life is a combination of exciting stages that make life exciting. Every stage in life is filled with color because of the unique experiences you face as you become the person you were meant to be.