DEAR ABBY: I am a 47-year-old gay man. I’m well-educated, but there’s something I can’t figure out. Why do straight guys NOT want to be friends? I never hit on them, I enjoy a lot of the same pastimes like games, working on cars, etc. I want to be transparent, but when I tell them upfront, they disappear.

Sometimes it gets back to me that they thought I was asking them on a date if I invited someone to go to a ballgame, for example. I have plenty of female friends, but what I really want is a male best friend or, hell, just a male friend, period.

Of course, everyone has their own opinions on what I should do — “join a meeting, a group, social activities and blah blah.” I have done all of those things, and I can’t figure out what’s wrong. I have now learned to just keep my mouth shut and not invite anyone to do anything.

Any suggestions would be welcomed, but I have pretty much tried everything, including seeing a counselor. — CURIOUS IN OKLAHOMA

DEAR CURIOUS: The problem you’re having with straight men may be that they are nervous about being perceived as “gay by association” if they are friendly with you. Some may also find the concept of being friends with a gay man to be threatening.

Taking part in group activities and outings is certainly a way to connect with others regardless of sexual orientation. Eventually, you’ll meet people and form friendships. In the meantime, appreciate those female friends of yours and ask them for some input, too.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.