Here’s the money quote, but you should read the whole thing:
And by “make me feel like I belonged,” I don’t mean that they tried to shape me into their image. They didn’t give me a guy-makeover, forcing me to go to football games or to participate in other culturally masculine activities I didn’t enjoy.
They actually did (and still do) something utterly foreign to many men today: they sat down and talked to me. They invited me over for dinner or out for coffee and initiated conversations about things in which they knew I had interest. They asked about my life. They asked about my family. They told me about their life. They told me about their family. They shared their struggles with me in a way that showed me they didn’t view my same-sex attraction as worse or weirder than their own brokenness.
These guys embraced the patient work it was to push through my walls and get to know me. They gently, but stubbornly, pursued friendship with me . . . even when I didn’t want them to. If, for no good reason, I declined an invitation to hang out, my phone would start ringing almost immediately. They wouldn’t allow me to retreat from fellowship without a fight.