"I think I’m gay, or at least bi, but I’m really afraid that if I come out it’ll significantly change and complicate my relationship with my friends, especially my best friend who’s also female and we have a great relationship right now so I want to just keep it the way it is. "
- Question submitted by Anonymous
I 150,000% understand where you’re coming from. Do you guys know that I have a friend (my best friend in the world) who I just NEVER came out to…LEGIT I JUST NEVER SAID ANYTHING. I don’t know why, I think maybe I didn’t want her to think I was weird? It doesn’t my any sense, she’s one of the most open-minded people I know, but at the time I was just so terrified.
I ended up never telling her and she would just ask about my girlfriends and I figured we were cool.
Here is the thing, your relationships might change. It might be weird for a while, you might feel awkward, you might wonder what your friends are thinking, you might feel like everyone is always staring and talking about you. HOWEVER, they might also change for the better. Your friends will feel so touched that you’ve trusted them, opened up to them, wanted to talk to them, etc. They will want to show their support and won’t know exactly how, so they will look to you.
I think you should just come out however you’ve planned in your head 600 times, but you should add ‘also, i’m totally willing to talk about it at any time’ to the end of your sentence. THAT WAY. You’re not closing the door right after you come out. You’re not saying ‘I AM A GAY’ and staring blankly waiting for them to say something, you’re making them feel comfortable from the beginning!
I also completely understand that fear… I am sure almost every person reading this post is like YUP, TOTALLY GET THAT. It is so flipping scary to come out to friends. Even my best friends who didn’t care about anything in the world terrified me during that process - I thought that even though everything else was fine by them, this would be the thing that made it horrible.
I have two things to help you motivate toward a place where you can talk to them:
1) Remember that, by not telling them, you are keeping a very important part of yourself inside. Keeping those secrets affects the way you talk with your friends, the way you feel when you hang out with them, and the overall nature of your relationship. I know you are afraid of changing the dynamic by telling them who you are - but the honest truth of the matter is that the dynamic of your relationship is changing because you can’t be yourself! Thing might shift a bit or even be a little weird for a time, but that will be part of the journey toward you being able to be YOU within that friendship… which is more important than anything.
2) Exactly as Dannielle said, allow for room within that conversation. Coming out is rarely “perfect.” People say the wrong things sometimes (yourself included), things get a little awkward sometimes, friends aren’t sure how they are supposed to react, etc. Remember that the initial moment isn’t the end-all, be-all. Leave it open and trust that even if things are a little rickety at first, time generally helps to get you all together and on the same page.
You’ve totally got this.
I can’t promise anything, but I can tell you that after I did come out to my friends, the majority of my thoughts were, “Man, what was I so worried about?”
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