16 October 2008

I came out to friends and now some are casting me out

I am 14 years old and came out to some of my close friends a few months ago and they all took it well. Anyway, I had a crush on one of my good friends for nearly two years. He was not among the ones I came out to. I have not confessed to him directly but he has probably heard it from my friends. However, because of recent events, I do not really have feelings for him anymore. For the past few weeks he has stopped talking to me and he has been telling my friends not to invite me when we all go out together, and sometimes they really do listen to him. I feel like they all hate me. I really just want to be friends with him again. What should I do?

annabelle dupras

Hi Tony!

Thank you for your question.

As you must know, coming out is not an easy thing do to, and so I think it’s great that you found strength in yourself to speak openly to some of your friends about your homosexuality.

From what I understand, you are going through a tough situation, because you get the impression that this person that you used to have a crush on does not appreciate the fact that you did, and that he may be influencing your friends into casting you out. I can understand why you feel disappointed in your crush’s reaction, and that you may also worry about losing some friends along the way. It could seem hard for you right now to figure out a way to make things all good again.

Let’s take a minute and try to wonder why your friend is reacting this way. Why do you think he’s feeling uneasy with the fact that you’ve had a crush on him? If he is not gay, one of those reasons could be that he doesn’t know much about homosexuality, and therefore does not know how to react at all. There’s a possibility that he is embarrassed that another guy likes him, or that he is afraid of what people could think, and so he acts in a defensive manner, even though you have really good intentions. Tony, what could happen if you decided to address the situation directly with him? You know, it’s never an easy task, but usually communicating is the only sure way of clearing things up with people. By talking to your friend, you could at least know for sure what his feelings are, and it would give you the opportunity to express to him how his behavior is making you feel. If talking directly to him seems too big of a challenge for you, preparation may be key: decide what it is you want to tell him, and prepare yourself to what his reactions may be.

Also, I believe there are some quite positive elements in what you are saying. One of them is that when you first came out to those friends you trusted enough to talk to, they reacted well to the news. This probably means that they care about you and respect you enough to allow you to be yourself. And it could therefore also mean that they can support you. If your crush refuses to have a talk with you to clear things up, you can maybe turn to your other friends. What do you think of the idea of telling them straightforwardly that you feel like an outcast in this situation? Have you already tried that? Of course, you may feel that right now they are being influenced into excluding you from your usual group activities if that’s really what’s going on. But, if they were able to accept and respect your coming out in the first place, they are probably also open enough to hear about the feelings that you are going through at this time. Also, they may need to know more about how you feel before they can stand up for you as friends sometimes do.

Tony, the way I see it, coming out, especially as a teen, is a long process and that there will be bumps along the way, basically because people still have different opinions about homosexuality and so we can expect different reactions from them. Sometimes, those reactions will not be what we hope for. In this situation, I think you must trust yourself and also try to explain to friends how you feel about being gay. Eventually, you’ll probably find that demystifying this fact to the people around you will make things easier for everyone and that you will all grow from it.

Hoping that this has helped you push your reflections forward,

Don’t hesitate to write again!

Anna, from Alterhéros