1. Currently, opportunities for LGB people to embrace and celebrate their identities in western society are probably greater than at any time in the past. We still have a ways to go for full equality and dignified treatment across all segments of society, but the greater openness and acceptance of homosexuality in contemporary society is unmistakable and remarkable.
2. I am not constrained by traditional western concepts of gender. In many ways, my personality is consistent with mainstream American concepts of masculinity, yet I am free to be tender, nerdy, sweet, spacey, apathetic about football, or to be anything else I am comfortable with. Obviously straight men are free to be whatever they want to be as well, but there is often pressure in the heterosexual male world to act in ways that meet certain norms.
3. I really value my close male friendships. Friendships have almost exclusively been the way for me to experience intimacy with male peers, so they have long been an important part of fulfilling some of my homosexual emotional needs. I hope that what I offer my close friends reflects how important those relationships are to me.
4. I usually feel very comfortable around my closer female friends and co-workers. I don’t know how many straight men have trouble being close friends with women, however I suppose I have little or none of the sexual or romantic tension that can arise sometimes in those relationships for straight men.
5. I appreciate the male body. I will just leave it at that.
6. I can celebrate my uniqueness. Being gay is not all that common and it is one way in which I stand out.
7. By being gay, I have a way to empathize with the underdog. There have been a lot of challenging things about being gay in my life, especially while growing up and coming to terms with my sexuality. While feeling a little bit inadequate isn’t always the best feeling, it usually prompts me to work extra hard. It is hard to defeat hard work.
8. I feel best being myself. The closet sucks. Having a secret identity (unless you get paid for it) sucks. Loathing something about yourself (which you are powerless to change) is no way to run a life. I don’t know when or how I acquired my sexuality, but I am pretty sure it is here to say. I am out now and happy when I am comfortable with my identity.