Gay chat rooms can be places to hook up for real-life meetings or an opportunity to make new friends online.
Finding a Gay Chat Room
The web is full of chat sites, and some are more user-friendly than others. Many chat sites are just a way for the owners to get ads onto your computer screen. But a few really are set up for people to meet and form a community.For an annotated list of active gay chat rooms, try The People's Choice Chat Directory at Chatterhead.net.
Sex Talk and Friendly Conversation
Unlike adult chat rooms on sites for heterosexuals, gay chat rooms aren't only about sex. Personals sites for gay men often feature sexy pictures, there are plenty of sites for adults to "hook up" just for sex, and you can even find explicit web-cam videos. But chat room conversations are also sometimes more friendly than sexy.
The first time you visit a gay chat room, take a few moments to see where the conversation is going. Members might be talking about local restaurants, where to take a date, or how to deal with a family member who opposes homosexuality. Then again, they might be swapping sex stories or inviting each other into private rooms for cybersex encounters. Make sure you understand the vibe before jumping in.
Some Chat Sites
Some of the largest gay dating sites also have chat rooms.
- Gay.com. A recent visit to Gay.com showed more than 20,000 people using the chat rooms. The site offers a geographic directory, so you can choose to chat with people in your own city or around the world.
- PinkSofa.com. The Pink Sofa is a lesbians-only site with personal ads, information of interest to gay woman, and a chat area. The owners try to keep the site free of spam and unfriendly chatter.
If you're New to the Scene
Many gay chat rooms welcome people who are exploring their homosexual feelings. If you think you might be gay, a chat room can be a place to talk about your choices while remaining anonymous.Most of the better sites require you to register before chatting. They all ask for an email address, and some want your name and location as well. If you're not ready to come out to the world, you may want to set up a secondary email account for your registration confirmation and any other messages from the site.
Then, do some exploring. Check out a few chat rooms to find one where you feel comfortable. It's ok to watch the conversation for a while to see if you fit in.
Making the transition from male to female or female to male is both exciting and incredibly tough. Transgendered people must learn new behaviors, such as putting on makeup or tying a tie. Sometimes friends and family are not supportive. Strangers may stare or ask rude questions.
While transgendered people are welcome on many gay chat sites, there is at least one set up especially for them. URNotAlone, a site for transgendered people and their families and friends, hosts a free chat for members. Registration is free and requires only an email address. On a recent night, conversation in the chat room was friendly and mostly non-sexual.
Taking It Live
The safest choice, when participating in online chat, is to keep your personal details private. Meeting a chat room friend in person can be disappointing or even dangerous. Gay men have been lured to meeting places and robbed, hurt, or even murdered by homophobic people.
On the other hand, many people have had enjoyable encounters and even begun lasting relationships with partners they met online. If you decide to meet someone, use common sense. Wait until you've known the person for a while and have some indication that they are trustworthy. Meet in a public place, and tell someone where you're going and when to expect you home. If anything doesn't seem right, cancel the date or end it early.