Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Can a Boyfriend be Too Gay-Friendly?

It was very hard for me to write this, but i am going crazy and i need your opinion. First i have to start by telling you that i was raised in Mexico, in a very catholic, homophobic and conservative family. When i moved to the us i became an advocate for gay rights and gay marriage. i think it is a matter of being human regardless of your preferences; my best friend is gay and i do not consider myself  homophobic. I always dream of a man who would not be a patriarchal macho [type] and i found him. He is American. He comes from a super liberal family -his grandparents and parents are pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage etc- Although, i think i am very open minded this is still a shock to me; I could never dream of my grandparents being pro gay marriage. 

Long story short, my boyfriend is very liberal. He moved to another city and he has a gay roommate. I went to visit him not that long ago and his roommate mentioned that he'd like to date my boyfriend and he wants to marry him. When we walked around the city my boyfriend would point out at every gay-friendly place.  A long time ago, i told him that one of my girlfriends hooked up with a girl when she had a boyfriend, I remember  he told me that cheating is not cheating if is with the same sex, i told him that i disagree. For me cheating is cheating period. (it's about the violation of the trust) One time he visited me and we were mentioning that one of my housemates was gay, he said "there is nothing wrong with being bi curious;" i was too shocked and did not say anything.

I know two of his best friends are gay. One time at a party he was so drunk and him and his friend starting joking about my boyfriend eating this other guy's "c*m." i told him this bugged me and he just said that it was the way he got along with him. He is too comfortable being around gay men. I know this sounds horrible on my part. I intellectually understand, but emotionally i am dying. We have been dating for more than a year and he asked me to move in. I love him. I talked to my best friend about this and he as a gay man told me that my boyfriend -due to his family history- was in the perfect environment to come out since his  family is so supportive, loving, caring and open minded. His parent's best friends are a gay couple.  His parents and him  together watch shows like Will and Grace.

Now, he is not the macho type i am used to dating; he is sweet caring and loving, but this situation makes me so uncomfortable, i know he's gone to gay bars with his friends and his roommate often refers to him as his date. It makes me so jealous. Please help me, should i confront this? I love him so much i want him to be happy and he knows it.

Well, first of all, since you're so uncomfortable with this situation you have to eventually confront your boyfriend over what's going on in your mind. It's obvious that you're afraid he's attracted to men, and frankly, it sounds like he probably is.

Now understand that neither I nor anyone else can be certain of your boyfriend's sexuality without knowing him [and not even then] but I confess that one thing certainly jumped out at me, and that was this business that it really isn't cheating if your bed mate is of the same sex. This sounds as if your boyfriend could be setting you up for a situation in which you may be his main girlfriend [or even "beard'] while he has sex with guys on the side. 

So let's say that your boyfriend is at the very least bisexual [and keep in mind that the label "bisexual" is often a cop-out and inaccurate]. Being bisexual does not mean that a person has to have sex with both men and women, so even if he's bi and his preference is women [a big if] it is still cheating if he has sex with men. And why would you want a boyfriend who cheats on you with either sex?

There are other things to consider, however. Since you admit that most of your previous boyfriends were of the macho meat-head persuasion, you may find it hard to believe that a man can be sensitive, gentle, respectful of women etc. and be genuinely heterosexual, but such guys do exist. [Just as there are, sadly, macho meat-heads in the gay male community.] The fact that, unlike you, he grew up up in a liberal household may explain why he is comfortable with gay men.

So he could be a secure, open-minded straight guy who has no problem being friends with gay guys [good for him!] -- hence the joking around with his roommate that you find a little crass and disturbing -- or he could be a man who's wrestling with his sexuality or is keeping the full truth from you. One strange thing I've observed over the years is that people can be very open-minded on the subject of homosexuality when it comes to other people, but just the opposite when it comes to themselves or members of their family. [Which is why some parents who support gay rights nevertheless send junior to a psychiatrist if he tells them he likes guys and some gay-friendly guys have such trouble coming out themselves]. Also, men who consider themselves bi tend to tell gay men they like women but generally don't tell their wives and girlfriends that they like men. And while it's true that there's nothing necessarily wrong in being "bi-curious," there's a difference in being curious and having actual same-sex bed partners. 

So, you'll just have to sit your boyfriend down, explain what's bugging you, and ask him to be completely honest with you about his sexuality. If it turns out he's attracted to men, it doesn't make you homophobic if you're uncomfortable with that [especially if he thinks his having sex with men wouldn't be cheating!!!] and want to move on.

Lastly, if it turns out he is bi or gay, I must say I respect and admire any woman who can love a man enough to let him be happy with someone else.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your response. I am going to confront the situation today. I just do not know how to approach it?since a month ago we have a long distance relationship so talking about these things over the phone or skype is weird. Any advice on how should i ask him? Also, maybe i am naive enough to believe that he is not cheating on me. I trust him. He is actually a very ethical man. I just want to get this over with. I love him so much, as my partner, my lover, my friend as a human. If he is struggling with this i may not be there for him because i am in love but i will try to understand. I just think i do not deserve this. I want to make sure what i am getting into before i decide to move in.

Bill Samuels said...

When you talk to him about it -- and it may be better to wait until you can do it face to face -- be non-judgmental and non-accusatory. Make it clear that you would find it hard to be in a committed relationship with someone who isn't entirely honest with you, that you care about him and want him to be happy, to be himself, but that you also have the right to be happy. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I just came back from a session with my therapist. My therapist also advised me to wait until we do this face to face (my boyfriend is coming back in 3 weeks) we are both graduating college this summer. My therapist mentioned that college is a time to experience, and i agree to certain extent. It is just very hard for me to be in a committed relationship with someone that it is not honest -if this is the case- It is just so difficult to think about just asking him, are you gay? you know, we are both so young. Thanks so much for your guidance, i really appreciate your help.

Bill Samuels said...

My pleasure!