Why do gay men frequently feel unlovable? What can we do about it?

Young depressed man crying in bed

Our “Goodness” is not up for debate: Nothing we can do, or have done to us makes us unlovable…

I don’t care who you are, where you got this notion or even who said it: you are not unlovable.

Why? Because you’re a human being, just like me.

We make mistakes; we do things for reasons; we are natural creatures of impulses, desires, needs and wants.

None of that makes you unlovable.

But Ed, what if I cheated on five partners, lied to everyone, I’m a fraud and a pretender inside, I’m a failure at work, I made my family’s life hell and all the evidence suggests I really am the garbage I tell myself I am…

Nope. Still not unlovable.

That would just make you someone who’s having a terrible experience and not functioning in a terribly practical way. That would be normal, that is understandable, that is human. I see you, I accept you.

I’ve done really bad things. My behaviour has not always been what I expect of myself and promise to others. Do you now hate me? Or do you understand me? Do you see me as human, rational, lovable?

Are we having the same – or very similar – experiences, when you pull back the thin veneer of artifice we wrap around ourselves all the time?

Politicians can be the worst. Image managers. Gah! Just throw it out the window boys and girls: you don’t fool me – I see you. You’re human, you’re flawed, you’re limited. But you’re trying.

To be anything else would be superhuman, or sub-human.

Tangent: The Uvalde school shooting in the US occured recently. The news labeled him a monster. It wasn’t a ‘monster’ who did it. It was a human. A person. He had reasons. He did what he did because he thought it was right at the time.

How did he come to that conclusion? Well, how did we come to the conclusion that burning witches and criminalising homosexuals was a good idea? We can convince ourselves of anything.

What we can’t do is ignore, kill or destroy what our heart and our whole intelligence, says to us: if we’ll just listen. How do you know you like men so much? You just feel it. You just know it. It’s true *for you*. 

When we accept ourselves, and everyone of us, as just human – it all makes a hell of a lot more sense.

Don’t ever treat yourself as less than human or choose to believe you’re somehow unlovable: it only hurts you, and helps no one.

Much love,


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Self-Empowerment for Gay Men

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