CONNECTING WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS from Living a Full Life, MMP, Oogachaga

Editor’s Note:

As Chinese New Year approaches and many in our midst begin to feel the need for love and support from family and friends more and more, here is an extract from Living a Full Life which we hope you would find relevant.

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Connecting with Family

Family forms the core of a support system to many and can be made up of your same sex partner, opposite sex partner, children, parents and siblings. In the case of a mature gay man, even the extended family such as nephews and nieces is important. Many receive comfort and care from family members, especially if the relationship is close.

For some people, when things are not working out well with their family of origin, they have a group of close friends or family of choice whom they can turn to. Your family of choice can be made up of straight or gay friends who can provide mutual support when necessary.

Connecting with Friends

Many mature men who grew up in a less open and accepting society during the 1960s to 1980s may struggle to cope with their own sexuality. Many are already taking a bold but small step to find new friends, gay or gay friendly straights.

If you are only beginning to venture out to make gay friends now, it is not too late.  If you don’t know where to start, begin with joining some of the informal gay groups or networks such as Blowingwind, Rainbower or TheBearProject#.

Whether you are currently having a close relationship with your family of origin or family of choice, being in a group of like-minded friends with similar interests can be healthy for your mental health. Whether it is singing together at the karaoke, going for movies, bowling, travelling, trekking, doing yoga, having a meal or drink together or simply going for a walk, you will find many choices for activities. It is time to take your first step and connect to someone out there.

#These are informal gay websites and organisations in Singapore which have been bringing gay people together.

Blowingwind – http://www.blowingwind.org/ – this website, which has an age lower limit of 18 years, has a lively forum where discussions go on about issues of interest to mature gay men.

Rainbower – “A community for gay men to interact and have fun through social activities while building healthy and lasting friendships.”  For more information, visit http://pinkdot.sg/pink-profiles-rainbower/

TheBearProject – “…a local gay community group where size matters….events aim to create a friendly environment where bears, cubs, ‘G-men’ and other stocky and big-sized men – as well as the guys who love them – can hang out, exchange ideas and mingle.” Visit http://thebearproject.blogspot.sg/

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