Saturday, March 15, 2008

Is My Mate Gay?

Hey mate I'm in my last year at school and I don't really wanna come out at school, but I have fallen for my mate, who has hinted to me he might be bisexual, by saying stuff like he has got off with a guy when slightly tipsy b4, but I don't wanna risk losing the friendship and ruining my whole school life by telling him how I feel. Do you have any tips at all in ways I could find out for sure that he is in the same boat as I am, and whether we could have a relationship without either of us coming out until we leave school? m.

Aside from intimacy, there's no absolute, positive way to tell for certain if someone is gay or bi (okay, an older person might be able to pick up certain indefinable signs that a younger person might not), but your mate has already hinted that he's fooled around with guys. The thing is, is he trustworthy? Was he telling the truth or only trying to find out if you're gay? Of course, if it's the latter, then he might be gay himself and as interested in you as you are in him (or at least hopes for some support). The trouble is that even if he's gay he may not be willing to admit it to anyone at this point, even you. And if you seriously think that he's likely to blab to everyone about what you've told him about yourself then you obviously don't think he's to be trusted just yet.

I suppose you could start a conversation with him on the subject without making any actual disclosure. You could say a closeted friend or acquaintance came out to you and see what your mate's reaction is. If he's positive and sympathetic, that's a start. He may confess all. [And for all you know, his mentioning of the gay incident that occurred while he was "tipsy" may have been a way for him to see how you felt about it, a starting off point for his own coming out. He might have been trying to see what reaction you would have to his own disclosure.] At least it will begin a dialog on the subject that may help you make a determination one way or the other. And his reaction to this imaginary person's coming out may also give you a hint as to how he'd react if he knew you were gay.

But be careful. When you're infatuated with someone, it's all too easy to imagine they're gay -- or at least that they're comfortable with their sexuality -- when they aren't. His saying that he got off with a guy, if true, is a red flag, of course. I can tell you that 100% hetero guys do not have sex with other guys even when under the influence. But whether he's comfortable with this or looking for a relationship is another story. He may not yet think of himself as being gay or even bi.

If he does come out to you and vice versa, don't immediately tell him about your deeper feelings for him. Give him time to digest the news. Even if he's gay, he may just want you for a mate. And he may not want to date you or anything else until you're both out of school. Yes, gay people can date each other while still in the closet, but of course it's easier when both are Out.

But the most important thing to remember is that Gay is Good. Have pride in yourself and all the rest will follow. Even if this mate of yours is not gay, not ready, or just not interested, there are many other young men out there waiting to meet you! Remember, when you're ready for intimacy, stay safe, and look forward to all the wonderful years ahead of you.

If you have more questions, let me know. Good luck!


Tom said...

Hi Bill,

I just discovered your blog and really enjoy reading your posts.

I am not sure I really understand this last message: do you mean that we have to know if everyone around us is gay or not?

I am gay and outed but still think that some people are more comfortable living their homosexuality hidden... until he day... anyway, I guess they have to do the first step when they are ready, not the contrary.

Off course some people may also need a little bit of help...

Bill Samuels said...

Thanks for your comment, Tom. No I'm not saying that we have to know if everyone around us is gay or not. The young man who wrote to me has feelings for a friend of his whom he suspects might be gay. Naturally he wants to know if this man he's attracted to might be gay himself, and could, therefore, perhaps share his feelings.

I absolutely agree that people should not come out or be outed until they are comfortable enough with themselves to be open about their sexuality. But, as you say, some people do need a little help.

Best, Bill