Coming out to guy friends?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 11, 2010 10:49 PM GMT
    Hey guys, have a question. Over the past month or so I've stopped being in denial and admitted to myself I'm gay. I've been a little depressed, but have been fooling around with a couple guys and have been loving learning about gay intimacy and sex. After doing research on things like gay marriage and gay surrogate children, I've realized that I can just slightly adjust my goals and still live the life I want.

    I'm in a luckier situation than most...my family will be supportive, the girls I know will be supportive, and I work in an industry that while not as gay heavy as fashion or interior design is still very gay friendly and can allow me to be successful.

    My guy friends are a different story.

    All of my best friends (like myself) are either former fraternity members or collegiate athletes. They are all hyper-masculine and fairly homophobic...not truly hateful, but definitely throw around words like "faggot" and have clear disdain for overly effeminate homosexuals, voted no on gay marriage, etc.

    I love these guys to death and have been through a lot with them. We have a ton in common but I am really afraid none of them will be supportive when (and I'm planning on doing it for sure) I come out.

    Has anybody been in this situation? I'd like to hear your stories, both good and bad...part of me knows that if they can't accept me for who I am then they are not real friends, but at the same time in most other ways they are great guys who I have known forever. They are my main social network and I'm not excited about the possibility of drifting away from them.
  • Leo123

    Posts: 126

    Sep 11, 2010 11:46 PM GMT
    I hear you..

    I'm in the same situation. I've got guy friends who I really don't want to lose.
    I came out to one of them and at first he needed time to digest the big news. After 3 weeks he calls me and we meet again. He says nothing will change between us and he really meant it. We're still buddies and we still hang out like the old times.

    But.. I've got this other guy friend who knows I'm gay and I've tried to approach him twice to talk about it. He prefers to look the other way and pretend nothing is going on. Well, I'm sure he likes me but we drifted apart.

    That's how it's going to be. Some of them will take it well, some of them won't. Now, come out to them one on one. Give them TIME to absorb the fact that you're gay. But don't expect anything from them. Appreciate those will will come back to you.
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    Sep 11, 2010 11:58 PM GMT
    Yeah coming out to your guy friends can be hard, especially if you are unsure of their reaction or expecting something not to positive. But you may be pleasantly surprised when you tell them that they will obviously be shocked, they will ask a lot of questions because they will be curious about it, and sometimes you may even be the butt of a harmless joke, but most of it is about them realizing that "gay" isn't a primary identity...it is about as important as your preference for tomato on subway sandwich.

    When I had to come out to my male friends, most were very accepting, there were some in frats/hyper-masculine types and even they took in more or less in stride. Honestly some of them are the most willing to joke with me about guys, they will go to gay bars and play "wingman"...its really funny.

    I bet they will be okay with it, especially after you talk to them, just introduce them to it gradually and you should be OK!

    GOOD LUCK and HAVE FUN!! icon_twisted.gif
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    Sep 12, 2010 12:01 AM GMT
    If they reject you, they were never your friends in the first place
  • NYCguy74

    Posts: 311

    Sep 12, 2010 12:02 AM GMT
    check out http://overnightny.blogspot.com/

    has also dealt with the former frat, coming out issue. Plus he works in sports broadcasting, yet another, not very gay friendly place.
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    Sep 12, 2010 12:05 AM GMT
    I felt the same way about telling my guy friends. All the worrying I did was for nothing. They all had the same response (after the shock). We are boys and they love me and nothing will ever change that. They still come around and give me a hug....a kiss, been the only gay guy at there all straight bachelor parties, in their weddings. If anything they see a different type of a homosexual in me...the same that your friends will see in you. Good Luck.
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    Sep 12, 2010 12:05 AM GMT
    See, you have to look at it this way.

    You love THEM to death...for all their goods and bads.

    But do THEY love you to death back once they know who you truly are?

    If they do, they are your real friends. If not, then there you go. Good luck!
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    Sep 12, 2010 12:08 AM GMT
    Perhaps give them a hint first to see how they react...like saying 'do you think that Brad Pitt's quite hot?' or something like that.

    I mean, to a certain extent yes if they don't accept who you are then they can't truly be your closest friends but then again on your part you should allow them time to adjust to the fact. Some people take longer than others to get round to it. Wish you the best of luck icon_smile.gif
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    Sep 12, 2010 12:08 AM GMT
    My mom is very Catholic. She is a lay Franciscan. Her views on homosexuality were very much in step with the Church. And yet, she was the one that introduced me to musical theater as a kid. She was the one who liked to play with my long hair and said I was like a daughter. The Church just let her believe that I was completely hetero while our interactions were tres gay.

    After I came out she went in mourning. Did the denial thing. Tried to pray the gay away thing. She never wanted to meet anyone I dated and when I finally did bring someone home she insisted that we not show any affection.

    But, in the 13 years since I have come out she is a completely different woman. She asks about my exes. She loves my boyfriend and calls him all the time. She even broke step with the church and supports marriage equality.

    She loves me and I love her. It took time for her world view to adjust to the reality of my sexuality. If your friends are really good friends they will adjust. You can do the world a favor and turn a few ignorant assholes into tolerant gentlemen. But you can't do that in the closet.

    Come out. Give them time. Be the same Travelfan you have always been. Some will come around. Some wont. But I think you will be surprised how many of them knew and how many are alright with it.
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    Sep 12, 2010 12:20 AM GMT
    Congrats on the big learning and being willing to move forward. I'd echo some of the other comments on here. I think that some will be okay with it and some will not. The hardcore ones who can't accept you - you may need to question if you still want to have them in your life. Likely it will be a mix. Even frat brothers, military guys, and any other guys in hyper masculinized environments eventually come to learn that a number of their friends are gay and have to reconcile it. You're younger so perhaps it hasn't happened to them in your circle.

    Given that you want some semblance of social stability and don't want to tear your whole network apart all at once, I'd do it slowly over time. I didn't follow that advice. I told the whole planet in about a week. It was funny to have people say, "uhhh, so you're gay. So what? You needed to call me out of the blue to tell me that?? JEEZ." So much for shocking them.

    One of the guys I was most worried about turned out to have a gay brother!! The reactions were all over the map.

    You won't know until you do.

    Find some good strong friends to help you through it, keep your own ground and center, and remember that it's not about coming out once - big bang style. You're sort of always coming out. I'm still coming out to people 15 years later when they try to set up me up on dates with their girlfriends!

    Good luck and welcome to the tribe of people who know themselves just a little bit better today than they did yesterday. icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 12, 2010 12:38 AM GMT
    I started my Coming out journey last Spring and have had experiences across the board.

    The first guy that i told, that was not family, was this summer.
    His name is David and he is a hardcore frat brother and throws gay slang around all the time. He was honored that I would tell him something that was so important to me. We talked about the fact that he says "gay" in about every other sentence and I let him know that there is a difference in someone saying that's gay and That's fucking gay and that personally it doesn't bother me when i know the context of which they are saying it. But that i will never say it in sentences like he does.

    Homosexuality is becoming more prominent everyday. You may just be the changing factor in your friend's minds. They may not have been supportive for many gay rights acts because they never thought that gay rights could personally effect someone special and important to them.

    But i know what you mean with no wanting to lose anyone.
    But with my experience for every 1 person who freaks and doesn't want to have anything to do with you...there are 10 people who do.

    Coming out is a great process. But i just wouldn't expect to be able to talk to your guy friends about guys. That will most likely never happen and just be ready to be the butt of all the gay jokes lol just be ready!
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    Sep 12, 2010 12:42 AM GMT
    Come out to who you want to come out to. It's a very private issue and you simply don't need to come out to everyone. If someone rejects you because you are gay then they were never truly your friend.

    Also, give them a chance. People will surprise you. although there will be some disappointments, for the most part, no one will give a shit and more than a few will say "I always thought you were but that never mattered to me"...
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    Sep 12, 2010 12:43 AM GMT
    Thanks to all the advice so far. Yeah, I feel like some will be cool and some won't. The only issue is that we all roll in the same social circle so I don't want to be ousted from the group as a whole...watched it happen to the gay guy who came out to a group of friends we know peripherally, and although they all accept him individually they don't invite him out to guys nights anymore. It's kind of sad.

    Also, I live with the two guys that are probably the least likely to be cool with it...that's the other issue. One of them is so homophobic that he doesn't even like to sit across from another guy if we're grabbing a slice of pizza...in his words, "I don't want people to think we're dating." He's so homophobic I've often suspected he's gay, but I don't think so since he sleeps (or desperately tries to) with a ton of chicks and will often comment on aspects of girls anatomy that just goes over my head (ie, which pair or large breasts is shaped well and which isn't). So I think he's honestly just a grade-A homophobe who happens to be my apartment mate, but we've been through a ton together.

    I know it's so easy to say that they weren't my true friends to begin with, but I think that makes the issue too simple. There are some things that would be dealbreakers where I would potentially end a strong friendship (a pedophile, a rapist, etc). While I know being gay is not even slightly equivalent to those things, that doesn't mean that the average 20 something hyper-masculine guy does not believe them to be equal.

    I don't think I'm coming out to anybody let alone these guys for at least a couple months (need to investigate the gay community up in SF first to get a feel for it), but it's been bugging me. Every time we go out together it feels like the end of an era to me...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 12, 2010 12:49 AM GMT
    Hey...

    If they blow you off because you are gay, then it IS that simple and they weren't your friends to begin with... That said, I'm telling you, people will surprise you and you will be surprised by how few people actually give a shit about your sex life. You are not actually that interesting...it's the truth, I lived that.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 12, 2010 12:49 AM GMT
    I went through this in college when I was in Engineering for a year and it was pretty much filled with young geeks who got culturally trained in the dept to be misogynist, homophobic idiots.

    The fact that you live with a couple of guys who are like that is probably the biggest issue. You can be pretty damned sure they don't want you bringing your dates home.

    "Investigating the gay community" is a red herring. If you're gay and you know it, clap your hands. (Sorry, couldn't help that last bit).

    The only issue is where you'll live if your roommates can't handle it. That seems to be your biggest issue. You need a roof over your head and you need to make sure people have your back and if that's seriously unlikely with your current living situation and you tell them and it all goes sideways, do you have a place you can move tomorrow? If not, then you might want to move out and get sorted out in a new situation before you bring it up with them. Or bring it up now and use it as a reason to test the friendship. No easy answers. Only you know how to deal with it in your situation.

    Good luck man.

  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Sep 12, 2010 12:57 AM GMT
    Just a couple of points.

    The ones most paranoid and vocal, like your roommate, are usually the ones most insecure. It may help to reassure him that he is not likely to be assaulted , but that you would be glad to talk things over with him.

    I sometimes compare the folks who yell faggot at the top of their social lungs to those who use the term nigger. It's odd how they calm down with the black epithet in the presence of a black person. "That's so gay." Has gotten to be very common. It may be a way of adjusting, but it is almost certainly not as judgmental as it sounds. Not hat I thank any of this usage is good, but there may be a little less to it than meets the ear.

    I often ask myself, when a straight guy says "That's so gay." just how he knows.
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    Sep 12, 2010 1:55 AM GMT
    travelfan saidHey guys, have a question. Over the past month or so I've stopped being in denial and admitted to myself I'm gay. I've been a little depressed, but have been fooling around with a couple guys and have been loving learning about gay intimacy and sex. After doing research on things like gay marriage and gay surrogate children, I've realized that I can just slightly adjust my goals and still live the life I want.

    I'm in a luckier situation than most...my family will be supportive, the girls I know will be supportive, and I work in an industry that while not as gay heavy as fashion or interior design is still very gay friendly and can allow me to be successful.

    My guy friends are a different story.

    All of my best friends (like myself) are either former fraternity members or collegiate athletes. They are all hyper-masculine and fairly homophobic...not truly hateful, but definitely throw around words like "faggot" and have clear disdain for overly effeminate homosexuals, voted no on gay marriage, etc.

    I love these guys to death and have been through a lot with them. We have a ton in common but I am really afraid none of them will be supportive when (and I'm planning on doing it for sure) I come out.

    Has anybody been in this situation? I'd like to hear your stories, both good and bad...part of me knows that if they can't accept me for who I am then they are not real friends, but at the same time in most other ways they are great guys who I have known forever. They are my main social network and I'm not excited about the possibility of drifting away from them.


    Don't sweat it. Just tell them. Lots of frats guy are one step from bisexual. The saying goes frat boys are only a six pack and a dirt road from being bi; most days you don't need the dirt road.

    In my personal experience, the ones making the most noise are often the gayest of all.

    If your friends are assholes about you being gay, get rid of them.
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    Sep 12, 2010 6:16 AM GMT
    travelfan said...I live with the two guys that are probably the least likely to be cool with it...that's the other issue. One of them is so homophobic that he doesn't even like to sit across from another guy if we're grabbing a slice of pizza...in his words, "I don't want people to think we're dating." He's so homophobic I've often suspected he's gay, but I don't think so since he sleeps (or desperately tries to) with a ton of chicks and will often comment on aspects of girls anatomy that just goes over my head (ie, which pair or large breasts is shaped well and which isn't). So I think he's honestly just a grade-A homophobe who happens to be my apartment mate, but we've been through a ton together.

    ...

    I don't think I'm coming out to anybody let alone these guys for at least a couple months (need to investigate the gay community up in SF first to get a feel for it), but it's been bugging me. Every time we go out together it feels like the end of an era to me...


    It is the end of an era, to some extent. You've come to a moment of truth about yourself and have continued to mature. Many of your friends probably have not completed anywhere near the amount of self-discovery you have, and that makes many guys insecure.

    You will likely find that once you are honest about who you are, your friends will respect you for it. They might be uneasy about it for a while, but if Guy Who Doesn't Want People to Think You're Dating has a problem with it, just tell him he's not cute enough and laugh it off. In my experience, the guys who are uncomfortable when you come out to them often feel that way because they think it means they have to tiptoe around you for fear of saying something offensive. Once you assure them that you're still the same guy and you still like the same stuff [other than boobs and poon tang], they should come around just fine.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 12, 2010 9:22 AM GMT
    travelfan said One of them is so homophobic that he doesn't even like to sit across from another guy if we're grabbing a slice of pizza...in his words, "I don't want people to think we're dating."


    So awfully sorry, I know he's your friend and all but this guy has some issues. If he doesn't accept you, then don't accept him the day he comes out lol. icon_wink.gif
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    Sep 12, 2010 2:13 PM GMT
    what i understand is that you are great guy to be friends with, Your friends must be lucky. And they will stand by you if they are your real friends. Probably they might be cool, sometimes we assume things too much.so go ahead and take control of your life.

    Congrats for the realization and stay happy dude.
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Sep 12, 2010 2:39 PM GMT
    part of me knows that if they can't accept me for who I am then they are not real friends

    Why is it that people say this? It kind of doesn't make sense.
    To someone who is not gay and doesn't understand it, they could very well be thinking the same thing, that if a friend were truly a friend they wouldn't be as something so horrible as being gay or giving in to such desires.

    See how it doesn't really work? I think it feels good to say something like that in a self-serving way but that's all it is, sort of like a coping mechanism.

    A person who is gay can have a really hard time dealing with it and even not accepting it for years or hating it - and that is for some who IS gay! Imagine how hard it might be for someone who isn't even gay to try and accept it especially with so much 'training' in society to be against it or not accept it.

    What is a real friend? Someone who supports and loves another conditionally or unconditionally? Who accepts someone for who they are? What if part of what someone is, is really 'bad'? Then what? Being gay may not be that, but in many people's mind it is because they don't know any better or can't get past how they've been trained to associate it with bad things like anti-humanity or of the devil, etc.
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Sep 12, 2010 2:47 PM GMT
    Also what does hyper-masculine mean? That in of itself sounds homosexual not anti-homosexual. Two guys having sex or a guy having sex with a woman - which one of those is sounds more masculine? Being turned on by the masculine or the feminine (which is most often associated with women)?

    To me being attracted to another guy is more masculine than a straight guy being attracted to women because as a guy being attracted to another guy, that's just pure masculinity, whereas most straight guys are attracted to women because of how they are not masculine which doesn't sound masculine especially in regard to sexuality.
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    Sep 12, 2010 3:11 PM GMT
    I'll try not to be too lengthy, but there's a lot to cover here.

    First, don't make assumptions about your friends. All too often people act on a "groupthink" mentality. They say and do things because they think it's what they have to say and do to fit in with their peers, even if it's not really how they feel. It's a rare but powerful thing when someone will stand up and challenge the groupthink.

    A good example of this is Scott Fujita, a pro athlete in the NFL who has publicly supported gay marriage. You think he doesn't get razzed a bit from his NFL peers? Probably so, but there's probably many others in the NFL who agree with him, but would have publicly said otherwise, just to fit in.

    Secondly, this may be easier said than done, but don't worry about losing your friends. It's likely you will lose some. But if so, their friendship is not unconditional as it should be. It's conditioned on their belief that you're a straight guy, which you're not.

    Ten years ago, I came out to my very closest friend. We had been friends for years. There was hardly a memory of my 20s that didn't include him. Initially he said he was OK with it. But within six months we weren't speaking anymore. Does that suck? Yes. But today, I think it's trivial. I've got many other friends who know me well and accept me as I am. I can be myself with them and share every part of my life with them without having to censor myself.

    The quality of my friendships has improved greatly. I feel like I've gained much more than I've lost.
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    Sep 12, 2010 3:26 PM GMT
    travelfan saidThanks to all the advice so far. Yeah, I feel like some will be cool and some won't. The only issue is that we all roll in the same social circle so I don't want to be ousted from the group as a whole...

    You're 22, so you won't realize this right now, but the chances that you'll still be hanging out with this same crowd ten years from now are virtually nil.

    Trust me on this. Take a poll and see how many guys here still run around with the same crowd at 32 as they did when they were 22.

    So whatever drama you're worried about now, it won't matter in ten years anyway.
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    Sep 12, 2010 3:27 PM GMT
    People will surprise you. people you think will roll with it might not, and those you think will hate you forever might be cool with it. I had mostly a positive experience with my fraternity brothers, despite going to school in a uber conservative area of the world.

    I was in a frat and stayed in the closet until just before graduation. I slowly began telling people. First my most trusted brothers. Everyone that I told in person was way more open and understanding than I expected. Never one bad word...only a hug and a "you're still my bro no matter what." As the word spread I didn't really notice much of a change except from a few brothers who were polite but didn't make much of an effort to talk to me anymore, Shortly there after I graduated and moved away.

    The most amazing thing that happened was a few years later when I went back to visit. I was told a story about one of my brothers, who I hadn't told because of his homophobic attitudes. Apparently, he and some other alumni from my class went up to the house to hang out with some of the younger guys, somewhere in conversation, my name came up and some of these new guys (who had never met me) started calling me faggot etc. Well this "homophobic" brother lost control and attacked the guys making fun of me and threatened them with their lives if they didn't shut the fuck up. When I heard this I was blown away! Well as luck would have it I ran into this brother and his fiancee the next night while out. He actually saw me first, came up gave me a big hug, and just started asking about how things were going for me. At some point I brought up the story I'd heard and thanked him. All he said was "youre my brother, and I love you man"

    Every time I talk with a brother I'm surprised by the fact they nearly always ask how my partner is doing. Makes me wish I had come out earlier.