Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Gay -- or Just in a Bromance?

Hi, I really thank you for your time to read this, and I'm in desperate need to ask for your opinion. I guess my question has been similar to many questions I have read in your blog (a great one by the way, thank you!). But, there is something different about my case.

I am in a different culture than, I think, most readers of your blog. I am in a culture where guys seem to have a higher level of bromance
[a very close, affectionate, non-sexual relationship between two heterosexual men, sometimes called a "man-crush" -- Dr. B], which is my main problem. You see, when it comes to love life, I'm a miserable screwup. Gay guys in my culture are not really my type, because most of them belong to effeminate category (I don't have any problem with that, they're just not my type), and I'm usually attracted to guys who are masculine and manly. These kind of guys are usually available in other countries. I am a person who is close to foreigners in my place (I was studying at an international university), and too bad that they also have a culture where bromance is very high.

And recently, I befriended a Turkish guy, who just came to my place. He is just so attractive that I really wanted to avoid meeting him because I knew that he'd not be able to reciprocate my feelings (I saw his pictures in facebook). However, last week, a friend insisted that I come to his house (where this guy was) where I met him and I instantly became infatuated with him. It was our first meeting and I found him to be a wonderful guy, plus with those looks! And now I can't forget about him, and he is in my mind 24/7. What makes it worse is that in our culture, gays are abhorred and coming out is not exactly something wise to do. And now I'm depressed because he is engaged but he keeps becoming so romantic to me. But I am told that guys in Turkish culture can be secretly gay or something. Do you know anything about this?

For your information -- this happened several times -- I seem to attract straight guys to become cuddly with me (and they don't seem to do that with other guys), much more cuddly than is usual in my culture. Do you think it's something to do with my personality? Am I being flirty? Because I don't remember being flirty. Or am I just unconsciously inviting them to be cuddly with me? I don't know. I really hope you can share your insights in this.

Thank you so much.
[From Malaysia]

To start with your last point first, even here in the United States straight guys occasionally give one another a hug, sometimes when they've been drinking or are feeling emotional or excited about something (and men in this culture are not generally very "touchy-feely," as we call it). It may well be that they simply like you and your friendly personality. Straight men can be affectionate with other men; for them it just doesn't go any further.

As for guys in Turkey being secretly gay -- guys can be secretly gay in every country on the planet. Apparently the attitudes towards homosexuality in Turkey are much more progressive than in other Islamic nations, which may mean that Turkish men are actually more open about their sexuality.

It sounds to me like you're in a situation that is very universal among gay men of all nations. You have feelings -- both sexual and romantic -- for another man and you just can't tell if he feels the same [his affectionate feelings for you may not be sexual] or even if he's gay or straight. Even the fact that he's engaged to be married doesn't exclude the possibility that he's attracted to guys.

However, the fact that he's engaged does make him a little less available, and there is also the strong possibility that he is straight. I recognize the danger in coming on to him. The only thing I can suggest is that in a casual way you ask him what he thinks of homosexuals, gay marriage etc. At least it will give you some clue as to how he feels on the subject. Even if it turns out he is very homophobic it doesn't exclude him being gay, but it does suggest that it would be best for you to look elsewhere for a romantic or sexual entanglement. Good luck!

There's more about gay life in Turkey and Malaysia in the post below.

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