It has taken me a while to finally come round to and get myself used to the fact of being Gay regards sexuality. I have only reached this conclusion recently.
I'm now beginning to ask myself, and others who know, how best to go forward. One of the things which I'm commonly told is to find a group of friends first (men obviously) or mixed LGBT etc which I could become friendly with a man from.
I have tried using Facebook, Meetup.com and spoke with a charity local to me. The results that I have received have been limited due to the charity's nature, Facebook groups being unreliable and no local groups on meetup.com (nearest Gay Friends group is quite a distance and requires payment for membership).
I myself am suffering with vulnerability both sexuality and health wise.
I was wondering if anyone could help me with this as I have been told by family and friends that the best way into a potential Gay (or Straight) relationship is to be friends first.
I'm looking for any suggestions, advice and recommendations for how to make Gay friends in a safe, secure and vulnerable risk free way - both online and offline.
Glad to hear you are now happy with accepting you are gay. That's a great step forward.
I think the advice given by your friends is good but at these pandemic times it is particularly hard to implement isn't it! Under 'normal conditions' joining clubs and groups where you can meet people with common interests can lead to friendships. Unfortunately, as you already have noticed, finding someone gay, near your age, that you get on with, is much harder than if you were straight. The options are far fewer in many such venues. This is probably why most people find their LBGTQ+ partners in clubs specifically for us. This often means having to go to places where you don't feel safe or are a long way away from where you live. I have Asperger's so I know that feeling all too well!
One thing I know is you never know when the right kind of person will turn up but this may take years to occur and life is too short. How you speed up the process I think is a very personal journey. You know yourself the best - what you can cope with and what you can't. I think if you continue to put out feelers like you are eventually you will gain experience and confidence.
How to stay safe online is very important, I agree. I wonder if you would benefit from Gay Men's Therapy? It's an online service and one of the the things it is designed to tackle is loneliness and isolation issues, coming out, staying safe, etc. They may of course be inundated at the moment, but worth a try maybe