In the modern-day, dating seems overwhelming and sometimes even unpleasant. It has its ups and downs, magical yet, disappointing moments but never what you could expect. This time around, I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and allow someone else’s voice to be heard.
Sometime last week, I reached out to a kind soul who spared me some of his time to conduct a brief but powerful interview. I am always trying to get myself involved closer to the gay community and, being honest, every job or university class I had, homosexuals, are the first ones to approach me and make me feel at home. I know this is very little I could do to raise awareness, however, it could serve others to understand how the LGBTQ community are humans beings just like heterosexuals.
When did you notice that you were not attracted to girls?
Around the age of 16, I realized that I was attracted to both girls and boys. I thought being attracted to boys was a curious phase so, I never acted on it and continue to date girls until college. To this day, I can still appreciate a beautiful woman, but I know I am attracted to men.
When was the first time you came out to the world?
I want to say around 21 years old. I had to say it to myself before I could say it to the world.
How did that make you feel?
I felt like my life finally started coming together and, it was the beginning of my journey to discovering who I am.
How and where did you meet your first partner? How long did it last?
I met my first male partner at a gay club. We exchanged numbers, then we had our first date on the beach, sitting on a blanket at night time. It only lasted like three months because I chose to focus on my career growth than truly focusing on developing a real relationship.
How do you describe the dating scene in Miami versus anywhere in the US?
Miami’s dating scene is definitely more complicated compared to other cities. This city is known for hot bodies, beaches, and the nightlife so, the temptation in this city is very high. Since this is a tourist city, people come to Miami for a good time, not a long time.
What are the characteristics you seek on a partner?
Goal-oriented, sense of humor, respectful and, have moral values.
What has been the most special date you have been so far?
The most special date I have been on was when I got invited by an ex-partner’s family to have a home-cooked dinner with them. He was the first person I dated that had a very accepting/loving family and, they fully embraced me. This is not normal to see in the gay community to meet an entire family that accepts their gay child and the person they choose to date.
What has been the worst date so far?
I would say the time when I was in a complicated relationship and, the person I was dating told me he met someone new. This all happened on the last night of our weekend trip.
How do people treat you when you’re out on a date?
In the past, I would get stares and different facial reactions. Other than that, I have not had many memorable bad experiences.
What are your views on gay parenting?
It is the same as straight parenting, the only difference is that gay parents have to fight twice as hard to prove that they can raise a child. A child does not see sexuality, they only see if someone loves them enough and is there for them.
Religious and conservative groups have made it harder for the homosexual community to become parents. There are so many opinions online about this topic, but nothing appears to be a fact. Whilst this topic may not have enough scientific evidence to be proven, all a child needs to grow up feeling loved, comprehended, and nurtured. Gay parenting is just as good as heterosexual parents, they could offer love, food, and stability.
Have you ever felt excluded by any religious groups?
Yes, in general people use religion to promote their agenda or negativity all the time.
Is it easier to go on a date in a homosexual environment or a straight environment?
Homosexual environment. However, living in a progressive city like Miami, I do not feel as limited to sticking to these places.
Have you ever felt threatened by someone else attacking your sexuality?
I have never stuck around long enough to deal with anyone’s attack. You cannot attack me if I am not there to receive it.
What would tell someone coming out for the first time and joining the dating world?
It gets better. You have to start with loving yourself, you cannot love anyone else if you do not yourself. You need to create a core group of friends or in other words your own gay family. Since a lot of us in the gay community go through rejection from our blood family, we end up having to create our own family. This will help you get more comfortable with your sexuality, who you are, and make it easier to go out in the dating world.
Coming out is one of the hardest things to do within the LGBTQ. Sometimes they get kicked out of their houses with nowhere to go, sleeping on a friend’s couch or sometimes even the streets. This is why we need to inform ourselves and intervene when someone is in need. It is our human duty to help others overcome their hardships without judging.
If you can do anything to raise awareness to the LGBTQ community, what would it be?
I just want the world to understand we are human beings and did not choose our sexuality. We just want to love and be loved unconditionally. We are stronger as the human race if we can get past our differences and focus on what unites us.
Now that we have both an idea of the hardships of the community, I invite you to keep your eyes and guard up. Be kind to others and speak up whenever inequality is happening. Open your hearts and your mind to those around you just because it does not affects you directly, is less important.