Hello Sandra, thanks for dropping us a line!
I’m sorry you are having to face this dilemma with your good friend. It seems like there are 2 main struggles going on. One is the struggle to be heard, to be understood, and known for your true feelings. The second struggle is the need to keep your Christian friend without compromising her values by saying the truth.
A very tough choice to make! In most cases, I would tell you to be upfront with your friend about your feelings for her. She deserves to know, and you deserve to share that with her. However, religious beliefs can make things more tricky. There is such a thing as a gay Christian (or bisexual, etc, insert whichever category of ‘queer’, non heterosexual group of people needed), but it doesn’t look like your friend is very open to this idea. She has been honest with you about her feelings about homosexuality. If you choose to tell her you are not heterosexual (since you say you are still uncertain of your orientation), she might take it very hard. She might no longer want to be your friend. She might call you names. But perhaps in the end, if she is a true friend, she will find acceptance because she knows you are a good person, and that nothing in your friendship would change JUST because of your sexuality.
Now, your dilemma has an added layer, which is, you are thinking about telling her how you feel about her. If you should choose to reveal your orientation, and she DOES accept you, it does not mean she will accept that you are in love with her. These are 2 different things. Both can jeopardize a friendship. If you were hetero and your friend was male, you would still be faced with the same questions, ‘Should I tell him?’, ‘Will he reject me?’, ‘Will I lose my best friend?’, ‘What if he doesn’t like me that way?’, etc. Regardless of your friend’s feelings about homosexuality, or her religious background, this would still be hard to deal with, right?
So my suggestion is to decide how important it is that your friend know that you might be gay/bi/etc. Also think about how important it is that she know how you feel about her, romantically. Depending which is most important to you, this will alleviate part of the trouble, if you feel you simply need to tell her you are not heterosexual, in order to be ‘you’. Where I wonder if it’s a good idea to reveal your love for her, is that you mention she thinks of you as a sister. Usually this means, the relationship (on her side) is very platonic. Sisterly love is a great kind of love, but to me, it sounds like she’s already made it clear HOW she loves you. This might never change. Of course, both of you are still young, and many things can happen in life to change a person’s way of thinking. Some people change religions, some drop their beliefs altogether. Some people who were once faithful to their religious upbringings, and thought homosexuality was sinful, might wake up one morning when they are 30, and realize ‘wow, I’m gay!’. This does happen, as far-fetched as it might sound. But in your case, you shouldn’t be counting on such events. Nobody knows what the future holds. You can’t predict how your friend will react.
To play it safe, if I were to pick one “announcement” over another, I would choose to omit that you have feelings for her. Not only has she made it clear you are like a sister to her, you also say she would probably never date you. Perhaps you already know you can never be with this girl, romantically, no matter how much you wish you could. So ask yourself if revealing your secret is worth potentially distancing your friend. Do you think it would be better to tell the truth and maybe lose your best friend, or do you think it would be better to stay quiet and keep your friend? As long as you know she would not be interested in dating you, you should let that slide. It’s sad, because I know how much you care about her, but sometimes things just weren’t meant to be. Instead, enjoy your time together, as friends, as sisters. And if one day, you feel you are ready to come out to her, maybe, just maybe, she will be able to handle that. If you tell her you are gay AND you have feelings for her, she might be completely overwhelmed and have a “fight or flight” reaction.
This is an unfortunate position you’re in, and it really is hard to decide what is best. If you choose to reveal everything to your friend, understand that she might be offended, she might not want to talk to you, might hurt you, without meaning to, because she just can’t understand what it means to be homosexual. If you are ready for this kind of reaction, brace yourself, and tell her what’s in your heart. But if you don’t think you could withstand the rejection and potential separation from this friend, maybe the best is to not say a word. I wish I could give you a concrete yes or no answer, but there really isn’t one. You must decide what is right for both you and the relationship you have with your friend.
I wish you tons of luck, and if ever you need to ask us any more questions, don’t hesitate! Be strong and do what you feel is right FOR YOU.
Dee for Alterheros