Being gay is confusing and tough. When you first sashay out of the closet, blinded by the bright pink light, you stumble around excited and confused, tripping over the etiquettes and rituals that are so ingrained in the Gayverse. Just think how handy it would have been if your outing had come with a manual; a guide about how to function in the glittering maze of trials and tribulations that is the gay community. In an uncharacteristic burst of empathy I decided to put together a list of seven simple rules for any gay neophyte to follow, which will assist on the path to fully-fledged homosexual.
Whenever you are dancing in a gay club you must mime every word to the song and physically act out the lyrics with your hands and feet. It is the law. It’s also essential that you try and out-do the person boogieing next to you and actively mock any one that doesn’t display absolutely perfect rhythm. If you have memorised the dance routine to a song then by all means utilise it, unless it is to Beyoncé’s Single Ladies, this is not acceptable. Upon your third hour in the club, you must migrate to the stage so people can watch you dance, perhaps removing an item of clothing for maximum attention. It is very important to stake your claim to a spot on the stage, as someone with bigger muscles and an even bigger ego is primed and ready to take your place.
Whatever you do, you must sleep with all of your gay friends (except the ugly ones). By and large the gay community is a big incestuous pool of fluid swapping and I guarantee that within every social circle at least four of them have seen each other’s penises, if not touched them. With their mouths. This may seem like a shocking statistic but it is an efficient and effective way of meeting new friends. Once any sexual frisson between two people has been expunged from their system (pun intended), they can then focus on building a solid friendship. (WARNING: This method has a high risk of misinterpretation of feelings see Rule No3). If you are not intimate with a friend with whom you have a mutual attraction straight away, it could lead to a drunken fumble years down the line, which puts the very fabric of the friendship in danger. Alternatively, you could show some will power and restraint.
Never fall in love with your friends, as it can only lead to pain and awkwardness. It can be very easy as a gay man to misinterpret the feelings of friendship with those of love. It has happened to the best of us. You spend every day with someone, share your most intimate secrets, laugh together, cry together, shop together, drink together. Then one day your friend will flash you a smile and you get a warm tingly feeling in the pit of your stomach (and somewhere south of your stomach). You start to look at him in a different way and feelings start to grow alongside a burgeoning obsession. Then every time he talks about another boy or kisses one in a club you die a little inside and a psychosis starts to take hold. Suddenly you decide that he doesn’t give you enough attention and you start to get more and more possessive of his time. Obviously he notices this and begins to distance himself from your increasingly unhinged ways and this is when you break. You call him crying to confess your undying love and pledge to be with him forever, an offer he politely and rightly rebuffs. You are then left as a broken shell of the man you once were, emotionally frayed, alone and minus one good friend.
Openly show disdain for sex-hunting apps such as Grindr, whilst secretly having it on your phone. Hypocrisy about sex is vital for a young gay man. You must publicly state you hate promiscuity and one night stands and that you are looking for something long-term and meaningful. While this is your public facade, privately you must use Grindr to boff as many men as you can in the local area. This double standard powers the gay community, however when posting a photo on these sites remember to not show your face initially. A shot of your torso must be used or a full-length picture with a phone obscuring your face to ensure anonymity.
Fall into a deep and committed relationship within your first year of being an ‘out’ gay man, telling everyone with ears that he is ‘The One’, before cheating on him five weeks later because you’re ‘bored’. This will ensure that the now ex-boyfriend will never speak to you again and that he will do anything in his power to tarnish your once good name. For optimum effect, make sure that you were publicly ‘In a relationship’ on a social networking site, so when this changes to ‘single’ you have to explain to each and every one of your friends what an awful bastard you have been.
Frantically obsess over your body image, whether this means going to the gym every day or closely monitoring your daily calorie intake. Unless you suffer at least a mild form of body dysmorphia or carbphobia, then you will never truly be accepted into the gay fold. Homosexuals have absolutely no time for men who are comfortable in their own skin and it will not be tolerated.
Listen up boys because this rule is genuinely serious. Whatever you do or whomever you do, always get tested for STIs and HIV regularly. If you are sexually active, it’s your duty as a good gay man to ensure you are healthy and that your partner(s) also remain so. GUM clinics, as scary as they may sound, are harmless, friendly non-threatening places that treat you without judgement. Go online and locate your nearest centre and keep it in your phonebook. P.S. This means you should always use a condom. Condoms are cool.