How do you tell your STRAIGHT FRIENDS????

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    Dec 23, 2011 3:50 PM GMT
    Most of my friends, coworkers, and people I meet in my life are straight. I don't have any of the stereotypical characteristics where people would instantly know my orientation as soon as they meet me so people always assume I'm straight. I live, work, socialize, go to the gym, in a predominantly straight area. The idea of living in the gay area and being surrounded 24/7 around only gay men sounds very limiting and not appealing to me. I like real life and diversity--my neighbors range from young single people to families with kids, to the gay couple down the street.

    So...........

    When is a good time to tell friends and acquaintances? I'm really struggling with this on a continuing basis. I sometimes wish people just "knew" but they don't and its always a challenge trying to "work it into the conversation" in a nonchalant way. I have no problem with anyone knowing about me, I am completely comfortable with it and would never lie if anyone asked. I actually wait for someone to bring it up so I can have a reason to tell them. But they NEVER do because they assume I'm straight. I mean, do I really sit brand new acquaintances down and say "I have something important I need to talk to you about" and tell them that way?? That seems a little dramatic since they are going to be like "why are you telling me this I barely know you" or "are you hitting on me". I have tried to find places to throw it into the conversation but there is no way unless someone asks "are you dating anyone" which trust me, straight guys don't care if another dude is dating anyone. Women sit down and want to know all their friend's past relationships and feelings. In my experience, Guys do not.

    As acquaintances become friends, when is the right time to tell them and how is the best way to do it? Because the longer it takes them to find out, the more they are going to be like "I can't believe you didn't tell me before".
    But there is never a good time so its a catch-22!!

    Any help?

    Also I am bi and most of my friends have seen me date girls as well. So putting that into the mix, it isn't as easy as telling them "girls don't do it for me" or "I can't legally get married" etc.


    IMPORTANT--- Please don't just make this into a war over me using the terms "gay area", "straight area", etc. We all know what these terms mean and they are not meant offensively.
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    Dec 23, 2011 3:55 PM GMT
    shredcutback saidAs acquaintances become friends, when is the right time to tell them and how is the best way to do it?
    When they inevitably ask the age old question: "Do you have a girlfriend?"
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    Dec 23, 2011 3:56 PM GMT
    Oh, and where I work, no newbie gets asked that question. Instead, we ask "do you have a significant other?"
    That opens the door for them to be open about themselves, and works great. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Dec 23, 2011 3:58 PM GMT
    paulflexes said
    shredcutback saidAs acquaintances become friends, when is the right time to tell them and how is the best way to do it?
    When they inevitably ask the age old question: "Do you have a girlfriend?"

    In my experience straight guys don't ask that. People only ask that if they are interested to see if you're taken.
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    Dec 23, 2011 4:06 PM GMT
    I think maybe it's your perception of situations.

    How often does a friend/co-worker ever say "My girlfriend and I went to..." or "My boyfriend and I really liked that movie..."? Obviously their partners aren't main points of the conversation, but they throw them in there just because they were part of the events.

    Have you ever said something along the lines of my 'boyfriend and I'..? To you, and I assume everyone else in earshot, it'll come off as something out of the blue, but that's just the way it is. You're assumed straight until you break that mold in someone's mind.

    I don't think you can tell someone in a way that won't surprise them. You should just get used to it and act really nonchalant if they ask why you didn't tell them sooner. "Never came up" or "you didn't ask". Or, I guess starting throwing in the "My guy and I..." into sentences.

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    Dec 23, 2011 4:08 PM GMT
    I completely agree. If I had a boyfriend it would be very easy. But I can't very well talk about the movie I took my boyfriend to when I don't have one.
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    Dec 23, 2011 4:14 PM GMT
    You don't owe a explanation to anyone. You are you and that is really great. Do people sit you down to tell you that they are Str8? Do you feel compelled to tell them that you don't drink diet coke and won't eat at a McDonalds? Loving men is OK and anyone you meet should feel privledged that they know you as an awesome human Being.
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    Dec 23, 2011 4:17 PM GMT
    Shouldn't be too hard to work into a conversation. I know I can't go 10min in public with my straight friends without one of them checking out a girl and stating something along the lines 'check out the rack on her!'

    Perfect opportunity to say 'Well I'm gay, but I appreciate where you are coming from'

    I find it hard to believe you don't get any opportunities to casually drop that you are gay.
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    Dec 23, 2011 4:18 PM GMT
    You just nonchalantly point out that some guy - could be a stranger, coworker, friend - is attractive without being creepy about it. Or maybe say "He's my type." Or "I went a date with a guy that reminds me of him."

    People over-complicate this.
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    Dec 23, 2011 4:27 PM GMT
    The right time is if/when they ask. If I'm not asked, I don't volunteer. So far, I've never been put in that position.
  • rafiki87

    Posts: 331

    Dec 23, 2011 4:27 PM GMT
    Make it a non-issue and it won't be an issue. That's how I've approached it both personally (when I first meet people) and professionally.

    I normally have the "let it happen" mentality of coming out (I can count on one hand the number of people I feel it would be best that I stay in the closet). If people ask then I tell.

    Coming out work-wise (I'm a teacher), is a little tricky, I normally diffuse the "Mr L, do you have a gf?" or "Mr L, are you gay?" question with humour. I remember a grade 11 class I had and was asked whether or not I'm gay. All I said was "well, I'm in the process of figuring that out too, but my bf of 3 years for sure is gay. I'll get back to you when I have an answer for it..." And back to the chem lesson after their laugh.

    I go with this maxim: "those that matter won't mind, and those that mind don't matter"
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    Dec 23, 2011 4:43 PM GMT
    Well I also live in an absolutey straight area.
    For me it just happened with my friends. I just told them whenever I felt like that and ALL of them very extremly kind and now it's just a whole lot better.
    You should just think about WHO you want to tell. It's better to just tell your close friends and they won't care. All of the other people don't really need to know, cause it's nothing that concerns them.

    Good luck icon_smile.gif
  • a303guy

    Posts: 829

    Dec 23, 2011 4:54 PM GMT
    Here's a couple tidbits that always have helped me.

    1: before deciding to come out to someone, always ask yourself the question - 'is coming out to this person going to improve my relationship with this person?'

    A: if the answer is an immediate "no" - STFU and move on. Its also probably a good time to start distancing yourself from that person so when he/she does get the news, (and they WILL get the news eventually) you have a certain amount of separation from them.

    B: if the answer is 'maybe' - then its probably a situation where you need to serve it up gently, without a whole lot of detail, put it on their plate, and let them digest it over time - kinda typical for parents, relatives and aquaintences.

    C: if the answer is 'yes' - then just cut to the chase, do it, and enjoy the new-found honesty you have with that person(s).

    Understand always, that a 'yes' answer to the question doesnt mean your relationship to that person wont change - because it will. In my experience, it usually results in a much better relationship, since everything about you is honest and open. It just takes time for that to take root.
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    Dec 23, 2011 5:02 PM GMT
    Stuttershock saidI find it hard to believe you don't get any opportunities to casually drop that you are gay.


    ^^^What he said, especially because this seems to be a recurring theme with you(shredcutback). Talking about a date that went well or poorly. Mentioning that you find the guy across the room attractive. Maybe there isn't a wealth of opportnities, but they're there.
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    Dec 23, 2011 5:05 PM GMT
    Its not that hard... people ask all the time if I have a girlfriend or how my love life is or whatever.... I just say real simply.... "nope... and i dont want one, cant deal with women" haha and they always ask why... then i tell them haha its as easy as that...
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    Dec 23, 2011 5:05 PM GMT
    Alpha13 saidYou don't owe a explanation to anyone. You are you and that is really great. Do people sit you down to tell you that they are Str8? Do you feel compelled to tell them that you don't drink diet coke and won't eat at a McDonalds? Loving men is OK and anyone you meet should feel privledged that they know you as an awesome human Being.


    This is my take as well. (Alpha13, you always have good takes). The only thing I can add is to consider the 'need to know basis.' If you want to work it into some conversations with people you're getting to know better, then do it. In certain business situations, I'd keep it private, but you'll know whether that applies in your own world. I don't want to see anyone else get fired over this (happened to me once). Hopefully homophobic employers are disappearing like dinosaurs.
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    Dec 23, 2011 5:13 PM GMT
    Stuttershock said

    I find it hard to believe you don't get any opportunities to casually drop that you are gay.


    Agreed. I am sure you date. At some point your sexuality works in to every day conversation. I am sure you straight friends go out and look for pussy. They must ask why you dont respond to girls hitting on you or they want you to be their wing man.
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    Dec 23, 2011 5:42 PM GMT
    Usually it automatically comes up... like ppl will be talking about their partners etc... then when its my turn I will say "o yeah, my ex-bf yadda yadda"

    Or when ppl start cracking gay jokes its very easy... like when someone will say: "only gay ppl do such and such" I will say "no we dont.. lol"
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    Dec 23, 2011 5:43 PM GMT
    Dallasfan824 said
    Stuttershock said

    I find it hard to believe you don't get any opportunities to casually drop that you are gay.


    Agreed. I am sure you date. At some point your sexuality works in to every day conversation. I am sure you straight friends go out and look for pussy. They must ask why you dont respond to girls hitting on you or they want you to be their wing man.


    What i just said lol
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    Dec 23, 2011 6:27 PM GMT
    unfounded7 said
    Stuttershock saidI find it hard to believe you don't get any opportunities to casually drop that you are gay.


    ^^^What he said, especially because this seems to be a recurring theme with you(shredcutback). Talking about a date that went well or poorly. Mentioning that you find the guy across the room attractive. Maybe there isn't a wealth of opportnities, but they're there.


    It is recurring for me because I'm always meeting new people in life and having to continually "come out." I know I'm not the only one that has a continuing dilemma about this.

    And I should probably clarify that I'm bi so most likely I will also find the "girl with the nice rack" that someone mentioned above hot. That usually isn't a great "in" since most of my friends have seen me date/hook up with girls too.

    I definitely agree with the people that said, if they ask, you tell otherwise its not their business and I agree for the most part. But when someone moves from just an acquaintance to a friend, I like my friends to know the whole story if they are a close friend.

    Also people don't usually understand when they hear "bi". People usually want to put people in absolute categories: black or white, up or down. But, maybe I am overcomplicating.
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    Dec 23, 2011 6:32 PM GMT
    A short & sweet response: When you get the inevitable question, "Are you married?" answer, "It's not legal in this state." Unless it is...
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    Dec 23, 2011 6:39 PM GMT
    I have a few questions:


    How often would you say you date guys?

    What kind of conversations do you have with your straight guy friends?

    How many of these friends would you say are close friends, meaning you see/talk to them on a regular basis?

    Do ANY of your straight friends know you are bi?
  • neon_tiger

    Posts: 145

    Dec 23, 2011 6:42 PM GMT
    shredcutback saidI completely agree. If I had a boyfriend it would be very easy. But I can't very well talk about the movie I took my boyfriend to when I don't have one.


    Its def a lot easier to disclose when you have a partner for sure. Ive noticed that very often, if you disclose that youre gay while single, people will assume you are promiscuous. If you disclose you are gay while in a relationship, they will understand much better, because they can relate to the idea of having someone meaningful in your life.

    Id say leave it for a time when someone try to hook you up with their beautiful, lvely and single female friend/cousin/etc. Then say "i bet she is lovely but she is probably not my type" When asked what is your type then, say "for starters, male" Worked for me. My friend laughed it out, and actually brought us together. And if prompted to comment on a female or if in a conversation that involes men drooling over females, stay neutral, or go further and sat " she doesn't do a thing for me".

    I got grrat friends who are straight, and i cant believe the degree of comfortableness they show when i comment on guys. They actually engage in the conversation, just like i do when they talk about females. Its great. Your true freinds will surprise you.

    I relate to your case a lot. Not a lot of gayness happening around me- and im okay with that.
  • ozhanSean

    Posts: 186

    Dec 23, 2011 6:48 PM GMT
    I dont tell them. Straight people dont come and tell me who they chose to have sex with. why would I? I dont feel the need to discuss my sex life with people, they usually find out when they see me with another man. Or hear it from some one else. If they bring it up, then thats another thing. My cousin never knew, so last time he was here we got talking about girls and sex, and I casually said, "Yeah, I have had sex with some women recently but I still like my guys better!"
    The plain truth, from a position of strength. I wont approach people to explain myself. I also told my mom because she asked me (finally!!!LOL)
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    Dec 23, 2011 7:04 PM GMT
    Just saw that you added that you're Bi - also Bi here. It does add an additional wrinkle into the mix of sharing personal information. I've shared with all my close friends about my attractions to both.

    I've shared myself with them, with these truths in mind: (i) they're my confidants [people I value & trust their character & integrity]; (ii) they're the ones that know all the 'little things' and 'quirks' about me and that doesn't matter to them...they don't care; (iii) they're also the ones that I've shared life experiences with.

    So for me, confiding to them - although nerve-wrecking - was very easy; since I've always shared with them everything else. This was simply another dimension to whom I was, to add to their composite view of who I am.

    If you're telling people that you have a strong bond with, then I would just share it to them along these lines...

    "I don't know if you know already or suspected it, but I'm attracted to girls AND guys. I'm sharing this personal layer of me, because I value you as a good friend and more importantly as a confidant. And hope that you understand that I'm still the same guy as before; you just know a little bit more about me today than before."

    Most close friends are honored to be privy to be someone's confidant - as it exemplifies a strong bond.

    What makes your situation a little bit different is that you are considering sharing this side of yourself with 'acquaintances' [I view those as people that I only know in passing or meet in specific locations].

    Sharing info with acquaintances I wouldn't be able to comment on; especially being a bisexual man - that's a very under-represented demographic with tremendous negative stereotypes to contend with.

    Ohh...I just thought of something, but it creates it's own melodrama - which I am not cool with, lol.

    You could direct them to your Facebook profile - assuming you have one - and allow them to see your likes and so forth and issues or groups you support that are PRO-LGBTQ.

    Personally, I am not comfortable with sharing so much information on facebook - for a variety of reasons; but, facebook [or any other popular social media] is a great way to broadcast your likes & interests to all those that are curious to know. Especially the part where it says, "Interested in Men & Women" haha.