Being Straight About Being Gay
Coming out is a choice we all make sometime during our life. This process can seem challenging and almost scary when you start it. It can almost be harder when you know it is time to come out to your best straight bud.
"How will he react? What if it makes things weird? What if I lose my best friend?" All these thoughts of self-doubt come rushing in every time you even get the slightest courage open up to your best friend.
Here are five tips to help support you through the process of coming out to your best straight friend:
It's all about you
When anyone is talking about coming out, I always like to help them frame their perspective. The media always shows how difficult coming out is for people receiving the information. You need to remember that this process is not about them but about you!
You are not asking for acceptance. You have already accepted that you are gay. You are just allowing others to know more about you. This topic is not up for debate: You are gay, and you are OK with it. That is what is most important.
Sharing is caring
One thing that builds a relationship is sharing experiences with each other. This is an opportunity for you to share with your friend something about who you are. No, it is not completely who you are, but it is a piece of the puzzle that makes you who you are.
I know I want my friends to feel they can share whatever they want with me. I am their friend, so I support them, without judgment, with whatever they bring up. I have a good idea your friend would not want you to feel you had to keep something from him. Isn't that what friendship or relationships are all about, accepting each other for who they are?
The "what ifs" will kill you
What if he never will talk to you again? What if he will be mad? What if he already knows? What if it changes everything? What if . . . What if . . .
You can spend all day trying to predict how things will go. Those are just possibilities that could happen, not what will happen. You can delay letting him know and dwell on all the bad things that could happen. Is this effective?
You have to believe in yourself and your friendship. Stop making it harder on yourself by preparing for the worst. Instead, simply prepare. What if everything just works out? It could happen. You'll only know after you do it.
Time it out
It's all about timing. I wouldn't recommend saying at lunch, "Could you pass the salt and I am gay."
You want to plan it out, but allow it to just flow into the conversation. He is your friend. You have shared personal stories with him before; it is just like that but this time you're coming out.
If you end up blurting it out randomly from nerves, that's OK. You won't be the first person to do that and you can laugh about it later.
Everything is the same
A great fear is everything will change from coming out. I hate to tell you, but you were gay before coming out to your friend and you still will be afterward. Nothing has changed. You have just taken the time to share this fact with your friend.
Nothing changes because you are the same people -- who just know more about each other. You're actually building a stronger relationship with each other.
In the end, it is all about love. You fall in love with men and he falls in love with women. Love is love.
I hope these tips help to support you with coming out to your straight best friends. There are tons of stories out there about coming stories that go wrong. I know I have been lucky to have great experiences with coming out and I am sure some of you have as well. It is time for us to share positive stories about coming out.
I would love to hear your great stories about coming out. Please post them in the comment section below. Tell us how you felt after you did it and/or share with us your tips to help support others in their coming out experiences.
Based in Orlando, Fla., Michael Moniz is a life coach focusing on the needs and goals of the LGBT community. Holding undergraduate and graduate degrees in communication from Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., he is also ICF-certified as a professional life coach. His practice helps others with self-image, communication skills, self-leadership, and setting and achieving goals. Check Michael's website for more information and to schedule private consultations.
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