Do straight friends eventually come around or just fade off?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 24, 2009 5:35 PM GMT
    Have gone through the coming out process in the past few months and it's been a mixed bag. Friends I thought wouldn't be ok in the past were initially great and supportive, but have grown distant after the fact. It's almost like they're no longer sure what we can talk about or have in common. Don't really know though, they've just been aloof.

    What's been the process for you guys? My slowness in coming out was in the fact that I really enjoyed the world I lived in and didn't want to disrupt it. If you had it to begin with, did you try to maintain the straight world you were part of or do you just naturally make all new friends and lose the old ones?
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    Jul 25, 2009 12:18 AM GMT


    I'm constantly asking myself this question as I too am in the process of coming out. I think that I have been distancing myself frm my friends to prepare for a backlash so it won't hurt so bad if it goes BAD! But relationships are wrk in progress and constantly need repair so hang in there
  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Jul 25, 2009 12:21 AM GMT
    I have never had anyone, let alone my friends, have a problem with my sexual orientation. Though that certainly doesnt go for everyone.

    I would take great solice in the fact that if someone did have a real problem with it, i wouldnt want to be friends with them anyway. Their loss.
  • baldone

    Posts: 826

    Jul 25, 2009 12:54 AM GMT
    yeah......during my coming out process i had/have one very good friend, in fact closer to me than my own brother...that saw me through and supported me during the whole process of coming out,divorce, all of it...he was my rock...also had another very good friend that was co-director with me of our youth choir at church and sang with me on each sunday morning on worship team, but as of late, unreturned phone calls,unreturned voice mails...also all of our mutual friends during my straight married days has abandon me for the other side so yeah starting new life,new house and new friends......saddens me sometimes,especially my best friend
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 25, 2009 3:59 AM GMT
    My straight friends have provided me with the most loyal, supportive friendships amongst any others.
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    Jul 25, 2009 4:09 PM GMT
    Great topic.

    Yeah most of my friends are straights guys and as you can imagine, the reaction to the gay thing can really depend on the person. Some of them have been really fantastic, even cool with going to gay bars with me (they don't stay long though. But often enough, I don't either.)

    anyway, my best friend still doesn't seem totally cool with it, and I've been out to him for 8 years. Things have gotten better, but I still feel a distance or some awkwardness sometimes.

    Further, another straight friend of mine just disappeared.

    So in short, I think you can expect a range of reactions and people will surpirse you.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 26, 2009 7:27 AM GMT
    It can be a mixed bag. I just told my friends, and said the hell with it. If you are going to still be my friend, that is great, if not, oh well.

    I had a really good friend junior year of high school. He found out I was gay, and we stopped talking. It took a long time for me to realize that if he wasn't a friend in the first place.

    I have made better friends since him. It is what it is.
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    Jul 26, 2009 7:34 AM GMT
    If your friends are dropping off because they're not sure what they can/not talk to you about, then I guess (if you want them to still be friends) it's up to you to keep the friendship going. Keep going out with them, talking about the stuff you used to. Bring up 'gay' things (and Im thinking the topic of guys) in the same way you would anything else. They're probably not sure how to talk about that sort of thing, so best you bring it up.

    If you show them you havent changed, and the one bit of you that has 'changed' in their eyes really isn't that big a deal, hopefully everything will be okay.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 26, 2009 7:35 AM GMT
    My very best friend (I thought) didn't take it well at all. She said that she didn't have a problem with it, but I figured when we went from hanging out every day to barely talking or texting once a week that something was wrong.

    When confronted she just said that it was "hard for her to see me with a guy." So I dunno about that.

    Most of my other friends took it just fine, and I actually upgraded a couple people from friend status to really good/best friend status. You find out who your real friends are.
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    Jul 26, 2009 7:41 AM GMT
    My friendships weren't really based upon talking about girls/trying to pick up girls, so naturally there wasn't anything that would make the friendships different upon coming out.

    If any of my friends and I drifted apart during/after that process though, I wouldn't dismiss it as being because of my sexuality.
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    Jul 26, 2009 7:45 AM GMT
    baldone saidyeah......during my coming out process i had/have one very good friend, in fact closer to me than my own brother...that saw me through and supported me during the whole process of coming out,divorce, all of it...he was my rock...also had another very good friend that was co-director with me of our youth choir at church and sang with me on each sunday morning on worship team, but as of late, unreturned phone calls,unreturned voice mails...also all of our mutual friends during my straight married days has abandon me for the other side so yeah starting new life,new house and new friends......saddens me sometimes,especially my best friend


    They probably feel that you have been 'deceiving' them all these years. And then there is the 'wronged wife' syndrome to deal with !. She may have been hurt and suffering loss too. . . . plus, you mention a church. Things are different here in Europe but America has a fearsome reputation for Righteous Minded Christians going on the attack ! No doubt to many of them see you as Morally bankrupt for even THINKING of sucking another guy's cock. Sorry to put that in such colorful terms but that is the bottom line of it all. They will conjure up a sordid picture of two guys together in bed and then immediately repress it because it is too 'dangerous' to even imagine such images, so that leads to tension and pressure and bingo ! over reaction !
    I wouldn't place too much value on a friendship that is built on limitations and conditions to such a great extent..... yes, it is hurtful when these things happen but then, from their point of view this was all sprung on them like a surprise, whereas it was a gradual internal process for you, probably over many years.
    The best thing to aim for is your own sense of balance and inner harmony. Easy words, hard practice. I just hope that you have moved as far away from it all as you can. You need 'time out' to re-adjust. Think about the glorious freedom that you have walked into to be yourself and who you really are. Compare that with the restricted life you had before. Good Luck !!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 26, 2009 9:02 AM GMT
    Don't think about this too hard! Any world where you could not be yourself was not yours to begin with. You haven't really changed, you just became more honest.
    As far as friends, all you can do is keep in touch with them .. friendship is a two way street. If they really can't accept you now, they are not very good friends.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 26, 2009 9:11 AM GMT
    i was a churchie...so i lost 50 friends immediately......a few still talk to me


    others, it depends...they are OK knowing your gay, then they see you with guys...and some just slide away


    the good friends which are usually for most of us stick with you! because they love you

    painfull process....great at the end when you have great close loving friends who accept you.......endure the journey!

    Craigicon_cool.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 26, 2009 9:59 AM GMT
    Friends generally fade off.

    You're lucky if you get any friends for life. And the ones that are in for the long haul are often surprising.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jul 26, 2009 10:31 AM GMT
    It depends on how much you were fooling yourself in trying to be str8
    If you were making yourself up to be someone you're really not then they are likely to fade away little by little after getting to know the new you

    Friends stay friends because they have common interests
    usually as you explore the life you've opened up for yourself a lot of your str8 friends will be left behind
    The ones that remain will be the ones who know the real you are are really your true friends that you'll will keep for life
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 26, 2009 11:30 AM GMT
    Great topic. I had a pretty tight circle of straight guy friends when I came out in my late twenties. They were cool with it and we even went on some group dates while I brought along whichever guy I was seeing at the time. There were some ackward times but probably as much me not knowing exactly what they would be comfortable with as vice versa. Still, we stayed pretty tight for a year or two after I came out.

    I don't see them much anymore. I don't think it is anyone's fault and was as much because of me as them. Part of it was that I started a long term relationship and was focusing more on one on one time with my partner. Part of it was that I had made some gay friends that I started hanging out with more often and that weren't a part of the straight circle of friends I had. Part of it was that some of my straight friends started getting married, having families, moving, etc. It just became more challenging to get together. So yes - sadly they have faded off for the most part. I still keep in contact with one of them, but we are no longer as close. He is busy with his family and has moved so it requires a lot of planning to get together.

    I don't know that the fact the group of friends I had when I came out faded away has so much to do with me being gay as it does with friendships evolving in general. The one friend I still keep in contact with only stays in contact wiht one other guy from the group so I think it was really more about people going in different directions with there lives.

    My best female friend from when I came out is still my best female friend. and I've continued to develope new friendships both gay and straight.
  • silverfox

    Posts: 3178

    Jul 26, 2009 12:36 PM GMT
    Well I came out when I was 22 (you do the math...a long time ago). Looking back I think I can say that the straight people around me were pretty supportive. It was me who pulled back from them. I think I just felt a bit uncomfortable as I started to put my new life together. This was the same with my family. I came out to them at around the same time, but for some reason I just kind of stayed in my comfort zone mostly...I moved out of my house, into NYC, and hung witn my new friends.

    It was somehow easier for me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 26, 2009 12:51 PM GMT
    I started coming out to my friends in High school. Before I had ever told a single relative. To my surprise none of my friends had an issue. In fact, still to this day I have never gotten a negative response from anyone for coming out to them. many of my friends who seemed to be homophobic, or actually were, still didn't have a problem with it.

    But there was a point where I felt like they were drifting away from me. At the same time however, I didn't make any efforts to contact them, see what they were up to, or if they wanted to hang out either. Part of me almost felt like I should give my friends the space they needed to abandon me if they wanted to, which is just silly.

    And I think on some level there was fear of how do I slowly integrate the gay me into this straight world I've been living for long. To start bringing up what my bf did when they complain about annoying things their gf's do. Or to bring up the awesome sex I had the night bf when one says, "dude sarah gives awesome head." Or to just really show up to an outing with a bf and to rest my head on his shoulders in front of them then suddenly in their eyes I'm not so manly at all.

    I think in the end I was less uncomfortable with my sexuality than the majority of them were. And when they would try to pry me for answers and subjects gay related i start to whisper or get slightly awkward. Which probably portrayed the image to them that it was a bad thing to talk about.

    if you are craving a particular closeness from your friends, or a feeling of acceptance and belonging where they call you up, check on you, invite you to things. Just make sure you are doing what you need to do to meet them halfway. I found when I reached out, I got the same response in return.
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    Jul 26, 2009 12:55 PM GMT
    Most of my straight friends were actually really cool with it. I had one friend react really, really badly but we've since made up. We're not as close though. You definitely find out who your real friends are and who loves you just for being you.

    Good luck man.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jul 26, 2009 12:57 PM GMT
    I may be a little atypical here. Of course I accepted my sexual orientation a little later than most so a number of my high school, college and law school friends had gone their separate ways (which is normal.. we all get busy and drift apart.. except for a few). I've always felt lucky to have so many friends from college for years after graduation.

    When I decided to come out, it was a slow process. A few of my longer term friends know about me, but not all. It hasn't been an issue because
    I never viewed it as a problem. I still have several of the friends I made in elementary school. I remember hearing about one of those friends, a female friend was pregnant and had a child she put up for adoption at 19. Did I quit being her friend? Absolutely not.

    My point is, in the challenges of today's society, you would hope most would be focused on their world and the success of that world, not judging others sexuality.
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    Jul 26, 2009 1:31 PM GMT
    Congratulations on coming out, Mr. Meethead. What you're describing is pretty usual. Some of your friends may warm back up to you after they've adjusted.

    I came out after a brief 7-year marriage. I think some people felt betrayed by my dishonesty. Others said "Duh," and in retrospect it almost seems as though they were more comfortable with it than I was.

    But there's no way around it: Coming out is about assuming a controversial identity. It's important to monitor your own feelings as much as those of friends.



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    Jul 26, 2009 2:24 PM GMT
    Thanks for the variety of perspectives. It's cool to hear that so many people had rather positive (or best-case-scenario) experiences.

    The best thoughts are the ones that challenge me and it's really true that I'm the friend that's held back something big from them. Of course it would cause friends to reflect on how close they really are to you if you've never shared a really big part of yourself with them. I think there's room to restart on friendships where we get to know each other again and deeper than before.
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    Jul 26, 2009 2:49 PM GMT
    I think a large part of the problem for you is coming out in your 30s. Of course there is going to be a churn in your friends... you're a different person than you were before you came out. You've been hiding something from them (and perhaps yourself) for 15 years of your adult life. Yes I know you are the same person inside, but in a way you weren't really sharing your full self with your friends. It's only natural that relationships will change.

    I had friends that I knew for years before I came out who were upset with me for not coming out sooner... it was like I was telling them that I didn't trust them. In fact one of those friends was a Lesbian and we never came out to each other until much later in life. It was a sad waste of a potentially very supportive and understanding relationship. I don't do regret much, but I really regret not coming out to her sooner...

    I came out when I was 18 and I am glad I had the freedom, confidence, strength and support to do it. I couldn't imagine living my life for the past decade in the closet. It is a big shift in your life... enjoy the ride and appreciate yourself for what you really are.
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    Jul 26, 2009 2:51 PM GMT
    I've only come out to my best friend in real life, and only recently too (last year). After the initial elation at having finally come out and his being totally okay with it, I also began questioning if we would eventually drift away.

    He's just decided to proceed to med school, so I rarely see him now. I came out to him during his brief stint as a med tech in a local hospital after graduating. So yeah, we're drifting apart but not because I'm gay. More because we're entering the adult world now.

    We hung out last summer, and to the contrary our conversations were a bit more interesting. icon_razz.gif We compared porn, discussed girls AND boys, etc. But the funny thing was, those things only constituted a very minor part of the conversations. Most of our talks were still like before. Geeky stuff, weird stuff, music, his bike, school experiences, escapades, other friends, etc.

    I think that if you and your friends only really talked about blatantly heterosexual stuff (like girls, boobs, girls, boobs, and more boobs) then of course, there'd be an understandable drift. I think this will be true with some some of my male friends. But they were never really close friends anyway. My best friend and I go way back even before we hit puberty, so our friendship was never really based on any of the sexual machismo we adopt in our teens to impress the girls.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Jul 26, 2009 2:56 PM GMT
    Lost_And_Found saidFriends generally fade off.

    You're lucky if you get any friends for life. And the ones that are in for the long haul are often surprising.
    SO true! icon_sad.gif