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Straight-Gay Friendship 

Editor’s Note: If you haven’t read the context for these answers, please click here.

You have a close gay friend.  How did you know your friend was gay? 

It’s kind of hard to explain, but he just had a personality that suggested that he was gay.  I had known him since my freshman year of high school, and he didn’t come out until our senior year, but word was always traveling around that he probably was gay.  I think it had to do with his personality and his mannerisms that he displayed.  He was more “flamboyant” than the average straight guy.  And this was before the term “metro-sexual” was around, but he always dressed and presented himself very fashionably.  Not to say that a straight guy can’t be fashionable or anything.  I myself would like to consider myself at some times to be a fashionable guy.  But, his style mixed with his personality, I guess, suggested to us that he may have been gay.  None of my friends ever had a problem with it; we really didn’t care one way or another.  He was still our friend.  We were all heavily involved in high school theatre and choir, so a gay person didn’t really bother us, or surprise us for that matter.  We’re all pretty liberal anyways, so it wouldn’t have made a difference if someone was or not, but with my friend, we all just had a hunch that he was.

As a friend, how did it make you feel when he did come out? 

Personally, it really didn’t matter to me if he was or wasn’t.  And frankly, I wasn’t surprised that he was.  My circle of friends had always had that hunch that he might be gay, and that was that.  It never changed anything with us.  I think I’ll probably always remember what he said to me too.  He called me and to tell me, and after he said that he was gay he said, “But I’m sure you already knew that.”  That was kinda nice, to see that he wasn’t treating it like a bomb drop.  I don’t know how much he struggled with his realization or anything, but I was happy to see that he had come to terms with himself and realized who he was, and that he was able to treat it lightly.  Part of me feels as though he had known all along or at least for a while, and didn’t want to hide it anymore.  It was our senior year of high school and he wanted to be himself, he didn’t want to hide anything anymore.  And why should he have to?  I think the tougher part for him, as it seems to be for most people, was coming out to his parents.  Coming out to his friends was probably not as bad, because we took him for who he was when we met him.  We never put any sort of pressure on him to be someone or something.  We met him, liked him, and became friends with him.  We knew who he was and that’s why we wanted to associate with him.  However, with parents I felt that, because they raised you, they put some sort of expectation on you.  And I know they probably don’t mean to, but I feel that they always have these ideas as to how your life should work out, so when they get news like “I’m gay,” they have to rethink everything.  I remember that same night my friend came out, a bunch of my friends and I met with him at IHOP to just show him that nothing was going to change.  He had told his parents as well, and as suspected, they were supportive, but a bit saddened.  But we all met with him to reassure him that we didn’t care.  It was a nice time, because nothing really had changed at all.  We met up and talked as we normally would.  The fact that he was gay or that he just came out an hour ago never even came up or fazed us.

 

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