"A family of friends"

  • Chackers

    Posts: 149

    Feb 08, 2011 1:14 AM GMT
    Reading through some self help books on coming out and all that jazz (self help books are laaame i know, but i have a soft spot for them :3) and one points out that a very important step in outing yourself is to build "a family of friends" that consists of other gay people.

    "We need to feel accepted by people like ouselves because homosexuality is so detested in the larger world; being around people similar to ouselves, who love us and support us, helps build self-respect and battle self-loathing-both of which are fundamental to coming out."

    I can see the understanding behind it, but apart from random (lovely and friendly, but random) people ive met online i don't have any gay friends. All of my straight friends have been great with me coming out, i feel really lucky, loved and accepted.

    I didn't really feel like i was missing out on anything special by not having any gay friends, but after some reading maybe i am? Just wondering if anyone else sought out gay friends in their coming out process and if it helped? Or will i be fine just doing it my own way lol? Any thoughts welcome icon_smile.gif

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 08, 2011 1:43 AM GMT
    I didn't have any gay friends outside of RJ when I came here and in the closet in July '10. I gained a great circle of guys that I consider true friends who have encouraged and supported me along the way to a point where I am now fully out and starting to head off in my new life.

    Don't discount online friendships, they are just as real...and I know that when I meet my friends from RJ someday, it will just be icing on the cake. I love them all.........................Keithicon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 08, 2011 2:41 AM GMT
    Like the poster above said, friendships always make things easier. But don't beat yourself over it. You're really not on your own. You have your straight friends, and perhaps your family.

    I have maybe one gay acquaintance that I know of. We are friends only in the loosest of terms. My partner doesn't have any that he knows of. However, this site changed that for me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 08, 2011 3:01 AM GMT
    At first, I did seek out gay friends but failed. Today I have one gay friend(friends since middle school), and 2 gay acquaitances. I watched televisions shows and movies such as The Broken Hearts Club and thought that I was missing out. But eventually I realized that I am fine. Sexuality is a part of me but not the whole of me. My lowly advice would be to be treasure and enjoy the people in your life that love you and accept you for who you are. They are the ones that matter (regardless of sexuality).
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 08, 2011 3:06 AM GMT
    My best friend is straight, but most of my other friends are gay. Once I found one friend that I clicked with, I met his friends who are of the same mindset (drama free, etc) and now are friends with them. Then I met their friends, and on and on. Bottom line, it's just easier to be completely me with my gay friends. I don't have to worry about an "ew" moment with a straight guy. That being said, there's nothing inherently better about having gay friends. It's just important to HAVE friends. Different strokes for different folks.
  • Chackers

    Posts: 149

    Feb 08, 2011 3:12 AM GMT
    Thanks for all of the replies so far guys icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 08, 2011 3:22 AM GMT
    To the OP, I think as long as you have a group of supportive friends, gay or straight, that's the important thing. When I first started dating guys, I only had one close gay friend and most of the friends I got together with weekly back then are straight. As I became more comfortable with being gay, I developed more friendships with gay guys and there is a certain sense of relief about not having to worry about shocking them if some "gay" subject comes up.

    So while I still have straight friends most of the guys I hang with regularly now are gay. I think over time, it just tends to work out that way for a lot of guys even if they don't have many gay friends when they first come out.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 08, 2011 4:04 AM GMT
    A great topic. Similar to you, I had very few gay friends (1 to be exact, and a wonderful lesbian couple). All my friends were great and supportive, and continue to be. I love them all.

    But at some point, I did make an effort to find more gay friends. It was one of the reasons I moved up to San Francisco from San Jose.

    For me, it took a much longer time to make gay friends. In retrospect, I think it's because of that overlay of sexual tension that's hard to work thru sometimes. You don't have to deal with that making new straight friends.

    That said, even tho it's much harder, I've done it, and I'm happy to state that after 8 years in SF, I now have some gay friends. Only about a half dozen that rise above the "acquaintance" category, so still a very small percentage of my total friend count, but so glad I have them.

    As for "missing out" -- yes, I think gay friends provide something that straight friends can't. It's one thing for awesome straight friends to empathize with things they'll never experience, but it's very different to have a friend who's actually experienced them. Does that advantage make me want to mostly hang with my gay friends now? Absolutely not! I still appreciate all my wonderful friends. But was I missing something that only gay friends could provide? Yes. Was it critical for my well being as a gay man? No. Was it worth the sometimes extra effort it takes to make a gay friend? Definitely.

    So work on it. It's worth the trouble. Be patient tho. It may take longer than you're used to.

    PS This site is a great way to shortcut the process. A big chunk of my gay friends I found right here!
  • jlly_rnchr

    Posts: 1759

    Feb 08, 2011 4:32 AM GMT
    I didn't have this circle of gay friends prior to coming out. I didn't really know I was coming out until the words were pouring out of my mouth in the car. But I did make sure, at least at first, to come out only to close friends who I knew would be allies, and they were my support system for a while. Maybe that was cowardly, but I took no risks for quite a while. I didn't chance a bad reaction until my parents.
  • Chackers

    Posts: 149

    Feb 08, 2011 10:21 AM GMT
    Again thanks for the reply guys, they all help icon_smile.gif

    iguanaSFPS this site is a great way to shortcut the process. A big chunk of my gay friends i found right here!


    This site is full of great guys, so hopefully the more i get involved the more friends i can make.
    It seems the genereal feeling is that other gay guys will just understand you a bit more in depth than any open minded straight guy, and i guess that makes sense.
    Note to self: make gay friends! icon_cool.gif