The Unseen Hearts of Gay Men

November 3rd, 2010

If you’re a gay man, you know the buzz – gay guys are mean to each other, catty, sex-obsessed, and have a shallowgay-friendly therapist focus on appearance.  We don’t need to go over that again.  It’s become a culturally-shared truism.  Thankfully, there is a different perspective.

David Nimmons, in his book The Soul Beneath The Skin (St. Martin’s Press, 2002), illuminates many of the unseen and unrecognized gifts of gay men and gay male cultures.  For example, he points out that not only are gay gatherings almost free from physical violence, but that gay men care for and love each other as well as the broader community in ways that are different than other folk.  We display higher rates of empathy than Americans in general.  And we volunteer at higher rates than other population segments.  The author suggests that society, as well as gay men themselves, might take a different view of gay culture.  A view that gay men have a lot to offer.  That other folk can learn from us.  And that the negative stereotypes and internalized homophobia we’ve adopted for ourselves aren’t necessarily true.

This perspective can be freeing for gay men.  A freedom to understand ourselves differently and experience our lives more fully.  If you struggle with seeing yourself in a positive light – if you sometimes believe what a homophobic culture tells you – you might consider working with a therapist.  A therapist who can help you understand what’s going on with you, and then journey with you towards what Nimmons calls your “unseen heart” could be of great help.

If you’re looking for a gay-friendly therapist in Dupont Circle, Washington, DC, feel free to contact me at 202/460-6384 or

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