God, I remember my early bar days with affection but also acknowledge that for much of my beginning gay life I felt a bit inferior to others on the scene. Others seemed more buffed, slimmer, neater, better dressed and having more friends. Having the nerve to pick up got harder the longer I thought about it while watching others in the bar. Bar pick-ups are now replaced with the internet but I am sure, for many, feelings of inferiority still exist on the gay scene using this contact medium.
Feelings of inferiority are said to develop in early childhood with adults having all the power and us none. We saw the people around us as being superior to us as they seemed to know what to do and took charge about doing it. This natural sense of developed inferiority in childhood can affect us as adults if we do not address it. As adults we should strive to feel equal for good mental health.
The first step is to acknowledge it and think about how it developed, then park all those feelings in the past basket with all the other negative self-talk crap. Consider what you have achieved as an adult like your education, employment, finding somewhere to live, having friends and your love of personal interests. I am sure there are many things you can be proud of. So when you consider these achievements you are already equal to others.
The gay scene can be difficult (I call it the homosexual landscape) and stressful trying to fit in and be accepted. Rest assured that it is exactly the same for others so there is no reason to feel inferior, try feeling equal instead.
Mardi Gras is coming up and I remember the nights sitting up in the bleeches watching the heaving mass of beautiful men on the dance floor. If I am honest I recall the negative self-talk sometimes sinking in, I was too old or not fit enough to look as sexy as others on the floor. But then I would snap myself out of it, lose myself in the music, smile at someone and the night was mine again.
You can bet that if you are feeling a bit insecure or having feelings of inferiority on the gay scene then others are as well. Acknowledge those feelings as natural human emotions, park them somewhere and keep moving in a positive direction. You are as equal as anyone else, on the dance floor or elsewhere on the gay scene. Take care.
Gerry North is a gay couples counsellor and also treats depression and anxiety • Email: [email protected] or gaycounselling.vpweb.com.au