Matthew Dempsey | News

Why Some Gay Men 'Compare and Despair' and What to Do About It: VIDEO


Psychotherapist Matthew Dempsey, whom you may remember from his video discussions of why gay men are so judgmental toward one another and the need for validation, takes a look at the tendency some gay men have to compare themselves to others and be left feeling not good enough, and what can be done about it.


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  1. You guys, I think this is supposed to be a joke. I wonder if he's just trying to see what comments he can provoke.

    Posted by: DC | Aug 7, 2013 5:53:08 PM

  2. Good lord! Just because someone is traditionally attractive doesn't mean they lack feelings/hardship/empathy. He's probably a more kind-hearted soul than most of you bitter queens.

    Posted by: Jason | Aug 7, 2013 6:31:02 PM

  3. you just landed a regional commercial......someone lives in hollywood.
    hes gorgeous though.

    Posted by: disco | Aug 7, 2013 7:57:52 PM

  4. He has a very soothing voice and makes good points in his video.

    Posted by: jaragon | Aug 7, 2013 9:41:09 PM

  5. I find this messaging an important one, but the way it was presented was completely skewed by this psychologist's obvious privileges, both racial and of class. Most queer people living in the hard economic brutality of neo-liberal economics do indeed feel that they are not performing up to the levels of their peers in the bar when there are huge gaps in wealth present. Gaps that are usually evident by what is in the parking lot outside.

    I believe if this messaging had perhaps gone through some vetting by race politics, gender politics, and an acknowledgement of the very real existence of HIV stigmatization, we would have seen a methodology that could apply to poor and urban gay men more effectively. Economic pressures are real pressures, and the presence of poverty and massive debt in our community can not be so easily brushed aside with self help platitudes. With the rigors of survival in our own capitalist pyramid scheme applied to queer people (sometimes by other queers, whether intentionally or not), you will find us hard pressed to feel good about ourselves in a society that has dictated most of the rules of our interactions for us, before we even come out.

    Every closet is a prison whether they are of race, orientation or class.
    --Victoria Brownworth

    Posted by: john | Aug 7, 2013 9:46:55 PM

  6. Like it or not the gay male community constitutes a totally narcissistic subculture . I'm not sure anything can change that given the visual nature of the male gender . A woman can look across the table at her date and see the prince inside the toad . All a man sees is the toad , regurgitating the last fly it devoured . . .

    Posted by: Paul Liehr | Aug 7, 2013 9:50:40 PM

  7. This is an SNL skit, just missing the self awareness of how pathetic it is. Regional commercial to True Blood role--really? It was laugh out loud WRONG!

    Posted by: Felix | Aug 7, 2013 10:07:31 PM

  8. i recall from past posts by this narcissist that he has a msw from hunter (i think that's it - no more than an Masters at any rate) - not impressive - says a lot when you have an MSW and you go around calling yourself a psychologist - more accurate to call him a social worker - which is what his degree is -

    Posted by: j | Aug 7, 2013 10:10:30 PM

  9. Tranquilo - You're a bartender who doesn't favor the cute ones and doesn't respond to large bills. Really? Are you paralyzed as well? We all try to provide a service and get the best we can out of it. But not you, you are an ethical provider of an addictive narcotic that has ruined more lives than heroin and crystal meth ever could. Thank god you are behind the bar. What fun you must be to sit and talk to.

    Posted by: Markt | Aug 7, 2013 10:20:37 PM

  10. Regardless of his qualifications as a therapist, it's a more than a little disconcerting to be lectured on this topic by such an attractive man. Yes, we shouldn't base our self-worth on our physicalities but for decades, gay men have judged one another in just that way. Should we resent how attractive he is? No. Should we take his advice with a grain of salt? Absolutely. Therapy is a completely subjective and individual process. To give across-the-board advice like this is irresponsible (at best) and condescending.

    Posted by: Brian | Aug 7, 2013 10:32:57 PM

  11. Hmm. Lol. No thanks. Lolol. I think this was posted as a joke or else just because the guy is attractive? Well, that aNd the rancour it would generate in the comments. Funny sh&&. But worth a serious contemplation??

    Posted by: Just_a_guy | Aug 7, 2013 10:49:44 PM

  12. People work hard to look good. Let's face it, if you want to be part of the club scene you need to look a certain way. I did it for years but there comes a point where, no matter how good you look, you're just too old!

    Posted by: Jonno | Aug 8, 2013 7:06:09 AM

  13. Re: comments, Ouch.

    Posted by: Rob West | Aug 8, 2013 8:53:01 AM

  14. Speaking of “damage nation”… Most of the comments are solely based on what this guy look like as supposed to what he is saying. If this guy would have been overweight or unattractive, no one would have clicked on this link and the ones who do would have been crucifying him for being unattractive... Get it together gay people. It's totally pathetic to discredit what he is saying based on his appearance, just because he looks like a model doesn’t mean he can't be insecure, models are most insure people you ever find,, beside you don't have to be a criminal to understand how criminal mind works. He is professional who has credentials to understand human behaviour period...I wish most of the comments where about the content of what he is saying, not what he looks like but apparently most people who click on this link are incapable of that …I truly hope it isn’t a reflection of our community, otherwise we will need all shrink we can get (ugly or beautiful)

    Posted by: beaunic | Aug 8, 2013 11:12:52 AM

  15. Damn, I know exactly what he's talking about! FIVE of my close friends have snagged recurring roles on True Blood...

    Posted by: BobN | Aug 8, 2013 12:57:41 PM

  16. MARKT - proudly in defense of crystal meth ! ROFL !!!!

    Posted by: BabyCakes | Aug 8, 2013 2:35:12 PM

  17. Benr & John (& probably others), I agree with your comments. Too many have taken the tack of attacking the person instead of his ideas (ad hominem). Some day people will learn to leave personalities & ego out of the equation and intelligently discuss the topic.

    Posted by: Sean Westmann | Aug 8, 2013 5:33:30 PM

  18. Jesus, what is WRONG with you people? Seriously. Ugh. You wonder why people can't stand bitchy queens.

    Posted by: KG | Aug 8, 2013 7:16:42 PM

  19. If this guy was my psychotherapist, I'd be engaging in big time "compare and despair" the whole session!

    Posted by: JC | Aug 9, 2013 2:10:29 PM

  20. He's somebody's summer trick. I wonder whose??? Hey I''ll give you a story on my website....

    Posted by: DreamBoy | Aug 23, 2013 3:41:34 PM

  21. He's somebody's summer trick. I wonder whose??? Hey I''ll give you a story on my website....

    Posted by: DreamBoy | Aug 23, 2013 3:41:39 PM

  22. Must be Andy's. He views himself as some kind of "Hollywood Royalty" to quote Joan Crawford.

    Posted by: DB | Aug 23, 2013 9:40:21 PM

  23. Is he related to Patrick Dempsey at all?

    Posted by: Alan K. Chan | Nov 24, 2013 1:22:40 PM

  24. Somebody PLEASE parody this guy.

    Posted by: David | Nov 27, 2013 6:08:30 PM

  25. Jesus, some of you people are absolutely wretched. Regardless of attractiveness levels or not, your souls are ugly and I'm sure that comes out to trump whatever physical things you have going or not going on. Y'all are not the diamonds in the rough you think you are, you're just rough

    Yeah, a lot of this is "It hurts when I do that/Don't do that" stuff but (as a doctor myself) I can tell you that's what some people need to hear sometimes.

    Oh and apparently when I go into clinic I should put on my burlap bag and splash some acid on my face so people will take me seriously... talk about superficial

    Posted by: MaddM@ | Dec 16, 2013 2:42:52 PM

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