We Gets No Love: Why Gay Men Struggle with Love and Intimacy

By | July 12, 2018

Right now I’m listening to Stevie Wonder’s Overjoyed and choosing insight over depression.

Stevie Wonder always moves me to self reflection and deep emotions.

I listened to him as a child go on about the life and world changing capabilities of loving and being well loved; I was given some very different messages from the mass media and my family of origin.

While he spoke of love, I was told all day in multiple ways that I would never know love; that people like me never know love.

This is one hell of a message to begin internalizing at 8, or ten or twelve.

The message was clear – there something fundamentally wrong with you which makes it ok to bully and humiliate you; there is no reason to ever believe/hope you will know and or experience true love.

How do you bounce back from that programming in particular when it comes from loved ones – those who say they love you.

My parents never discussed what love for me could look like.

It was expected that I would “just know” and understand that “love is a feeling”.

It was clear that love or being in love meant that I would have to put up with all sorts of things that are ridiculous.

We learn nothing about love from people who know nothing about love.

Whenever there is the pain of “not good enough” or “fundamentally flawed” you have the recipe for disconnection and addiction.

As a person who has spent most of his life being disconnected in an effort to save his life, I’m very familiar with addiction.

Many years ago, I began a support group known as Reevaluation Counseling.

During my time in the group, we constantly discussed patterns and addictions.

Addictions keep us separate from one another and drive isolationists tendencies.

Our dark side wants connection (safety/routine and predictability) and varying degrees of separation.

On one hand, there is a need to separate from the larger culture where few of us feel safe and our humanity celebrated. At the same time, the need for predictability and community moves us into the world of “cruising” which has its own culture and ways of dealing with the world.

Nowhere in any of these worlds is there any mention of togetherness or the kind of love that Stevie mentions.

Where is our Ribbon in the Sky our Overjoyed our As?

Until we can have and claim these types of relationships, we will always be left longing and in a state that primes us to be used and pimped.

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