Hi Niceguy, it is a bit of a bummer when you’re not living close to the city, that can make it harder to meet other gay people.
Using apps can have mixed results, but if you go in there with your eyes open, fill out your profile honestly, and don’t take rejection or non-replies personally, then it can be a good way of putting your toe in the water. Because the apps are location-based, it is the quickest way to find people who are near to you. Happy to talk more about how to get the best out of using apps, there are nice people out there to be found.
I’ve found the greatest success in making friends to be around shared interests, rather than sexuality. That said, you can find gay interest groups that meet outside of the traditional venues like bars and clubs. If you’re into sport at all, I’d recommend taking a look at Team Melbourne teammelbourne.org.au . A helpline like Qlife might be able to tell you if there are groups for guys who are newly out, there used to be things like that but it’s been quite a few years since I came out so things may have changed :) .
Rest assured, you won’t be alone in being on this journey.