I haven't really read much of Cohen's book yet, but I remember seeing a chart that made a hierarchy of friends to help with healing. The idea was that gay friends are okay, but SSA (resisting gay) are more healing, straight friends are even better, and straight friends who know you struggle with SSA are the best. There was a rationale there, but I prefer to leave out the context to spur ridiculous comments. ;-)
So, I ask myself this evening, where do virtual friends fit in? My one and only gay date was found online. I've been propositioned online. I've heard that folks even get propositioned in support groups (e-mail groups as well as in-the-room group therapy). Unfortunately, I've heard of a lot of heartache resulting from cyber hookups--sometimes long-term. What do virtual friends have to offer besides temptation?
For one thing, they're my only support option in some ways. If I want gay companionship, I can knock on the wall and have the gay man who lives next door come over and be my friend, but he just thinks I'm a Mormon prude (and I really have tried to be nice to him... I guess I just reek of orthodoxy). And the fact that he's constantly inviting over calendar boys doesn't bode well for me. There's no Evergreen group within hours of here. Who am I supposed to talk to?
My discretionary time is about to vanish. Soon. How can I keep up with the chats, the comments, the posts, the e-mails? Cyber friends (sounds way better than "virtual" as it turns out) take a lot of time even when you type fast.
Well, who knows where it will all go. But to each of you who have offered your insights through comments, e-mails, and chats, thank you so much for your friendship. I think I'm a better man for it.