Being young and gay can feel quite isolating especially as classmates start pairing up. How can you feel more involved?

Dear Uncle,

I’m 16 and I just wanna know when it gets better. I’m subscribed to a bunch of TikToks of cute gay couples and guys who look like they are having an amazing time, but I don’t match. I feel fat and ugly and that no one is going to want me. All my classmates around me are pairing up with each other, but that’s not going to happen for me, there’s no one gay around and I feel quite alone and down about life rn.

Just want to know when it starts to get better?

Justin


Dear Justin,

It would be so easy for me to say, “all in good time, Justin”, but that doesn’t help you right now. Being 16 means that you can feel adult enough to make your own decisions, but legally you’re kinda stuck in education and at home, which can suck, especially if you feel you’re the only LGBT+ person in the class. Although I can say with almost certainty that you won’t be.

So, I would suggest making a few quick searches for local LGBT+ groups for young people in your area. You might be surprised to find that there’s actually a lot of groups out there. If you’re not sure, it might be worth finding the website or social media profile of your local pride event. They should have lots of info about what’s going on in the area. Another good place to start might be the Allsorts Youth Project.

FOMO for young LGBT+ people

young and gay people can feel left out of normal interactions at school
Photo by Jean-Baptiste Burbaud on Pexels.com

On to the FOMO that you have about other couples. Let’s be clear, guys and couples who upload their 30-second videos of TikToks or Snap are curating an ideal for their fans to watch. Lives aren’t perfect… And people only ever show their followers the best bits, the highlights. What do you suppose happens in the 23hours 59 minutes and 30 seconds when they’re not tik tokking?

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What I’m saying is don’t believe everything you see coming out of your screen.

Dating at school

Because high school life can feel it is centred around heteronormative activities, young LGBT+ people can really feel like they’re missing out.

As for getting a boyfriend, there’s no rush, weirdly these things tend to happen when you least expect them to. Please don’t feel that just because other people are dating and pairing up that you need to. Go at the pace that’s right for you, not the pace you think you should be going. There’s a huge difference and it can cause a huge amount of pressure and stress for you.

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