This article examines the role of social recognition in the relationship between gay men's victimization and their life satisfaction. Using a comprehensive catalog of victimization, we obtained empirical evidence that strongly suggests that victimization negatively affects gay men's life satisfaction and that this relationship is mainly mediated by a perceived lack of social recognition in society. In addition, although active involvement in the gay community served as a coping mechanism, concealment of one's sexual identity played no role in the victimization–life satisfaction relationship, neither as a coping mechanism nor as a competing mediator. The mediational role of societal recognition underlines the importance of the symbolic meaning of victimization. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.