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I barely understand the gay friend who's being protective of me

Discussion in 'Family, Friends, and Relationships' started by vortices, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. vortices

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    About a few months ago, I posted on this forum asking if a specific gay friend of mine liked me or not. Probably should provide an update on this and I'd like to hear your input/hear me vent.

    To give a bit of a background, I had a closeted double life for about 4.5 years back in my hometown (Phoenix) where I hooked up with guys. I lied to them about my name, major, where I went to high school, career goals and my ethnicity (I'm multiracial) to prevent any information from getting back to my parents or friends. When I arrived in Washington, DC, I did the same (only with my name), instead I told the truth about what I studied and where I went the school, and now I tell the truth.

    About six months ago, I came out to one gay friend and a mutual (straight) best friend. The gay friend was warmer to me after I came out to him, and our straight best friend took a while to adjust, probably because both of his close friends aren't straight. That being said, it doesn't affect anything between us and the mutual best friend, if anything a lot of the aloofness the straight best friend had at first was all in my head.

    I knew the gay friend had an alpha personality type (he's more outward, I'm also more alpha but I'm just quiet and very stubborn). If anything the gay friend turned out to be absolutely unafraid to constructively criticize me and force me to look in the mirror, figuratively speaking, and he told me several months ago that the reason he did that was because he liked me.

    He told me that after I said I was dating someone. I just smiled and was flabbergasted at the same time because I thought (and still somewhat think) it was hyperbole because he was out of my league, muscular and hangs out with muscular guys (and it's what one of his profiles says he's into- in terms of checkboxes- I'm thin) and well, he never said whether he liked me as a friend or not. So I set that aside, and decided any thoughts that he likes me were delusional. I never bothered to tell him I liked him back.

    The gay friend came out to his parents at age 18 before hooking up with guys and he's now 26. I'm almost 25, started hooking up with guys when I was 18. Am not out to parents yet.

    He didn't want me to come out to my parents in December 2015 because we were in the midst of a difficult school year, but he emphasized the need for me to come out to them for their emotional support. So I decided to do it in December 2016. After my mom pestered me with questions and asked six or seven times if I was interested in any girls, and was surprised no one had asked me out (I told her I was too busy and didn't want to deal with it or talk about it), he told me I needed to come out to them in June. Which took a while for me to get used to the idea of, but I realized it was true because I needed their support and I think they're catching on to things (I rarely bring up dating or anybody I'm interested in).

    So, about three weeks ago I had an argument with both him and our best friend, with him at the forefront and driving it. What sparked it was the fact that I told our best friend that I was bisexual, and implied to the gay friend that I was gay (I never used the word "gay" though). He quizzed me on when I last had sex with women (three years ago), if I had to throw who could I see myself with (i.e. if I had to pick either a man or a woman, which would I prefer), how much I'm sexually attracted to women (not really these days), the difference between an emotional and physical crush, etc... and he concluded that I was likely gay but still in denial due to internalized homophobia. I wound up realizing he was right after being hit on by four girls in a party a week later, and finally acknowledged I'm gay. I was uncomfortable with them doing that because I knew I'd disappoint them in the bedroom if it went there.

    What made him upset and hurt though was when I told him and our best friend about my closeted double life. Well, maybe not so much about the life but he was hurt and upset I hadn't told him in the past five months since I came out to him when I had ample opportunity to. He also didn't like the fact I was being very secretive (this is just a holdover from my closeted life- I never discussed, much less acknowledged anything about my private side). He also seemed to be in disbelief that I was probably at the same level as he was sexually because both he and I started hooking up with guys at January of our freshman year in college; and that I never made friends in the process and turned down any discussion of sexual orientation.

    So I admitted I lied by omission and that I hurt him and our best friend.

    A few other gay people I talked to online think his reaction is weird. I understood why is it the straight friend didn't take it well, because he probably doesn't understand that coming out does not start when you hook up while you're in the closet- coming out starts when you tell people you know, i.e. family and friends. Meanwhile, the gay friend has a lot of other gay friends and if he's been out for 7.5 years, he's a very intelligent guy, and he of all people should know that it's common for people to hook up in the closet before they come out, and he shouldn't have been in disbelief because I'm almost 25, for Pete's sake.

    So, now, he's concerned that other people will mislead me, and he won't trust himself to give me advice, he doesn't trust other people (including people online) to give me advice, and he told me that I will go see a gay-affirmative psychologist to sort this out. He also does not want me to advance too far in the "scene" until after I come out to my parents. Then he told me flat out he (and our best friend) was very protective of me- though I'll be honest, a lot of this is driven by him, and the best friend was just in along for the ride.

    He also complained about how one-sided things were with him helping or giving me support much of the time (he denies support from me when I ask if he needs help- I already complained about this to him), and I heard him mutter that I never initiated contact with him. I hinted to my parents about the "not initiating contact" thing, and they thought the friend was weird (I didn't tell them he was gay) because that really, that only happens between a man and a woman, not between friends. I raised my eyebrows.

    Which honestly, I figured out he was being protective months ago, but I thought I was delusional and overthinking it, then it turned out I was right. He's being both dominant and protective at the same time.

    All I know, is that as it stands right now, I'm in a vulnerable state and he's attempting to protect me, but I don't know how far is normal for people to do that because I barely know any other gay people in person (not in terms of hookups).
     
    #1 vortices, Feb 15, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
  2. AlmostBlue

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    It does seem a little bizarre and his behavior is somewhat controlling, which is a slight concern. Perhaps he feels that it is his responsibility to help you get through the initial coming out stage. He was probably surprised to hear about your encounters in the past because he assumed you were a lost sheep? Some people have messiah complex, and perhaps he is like this with others? It is hard to tell from what you wrote, but either way, it's good to assert your individuality and agency, and not let him manipulate you into feeling guilty or feeling like you need to contact him more often. I'm sure he will get used to it.
     
  3. vortices

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    Well, he's made it very clear that he cares about me (considering my support network is very small in the DC area), but it's just that if you replace the word "friend" with "parent" he automatically becomes a helicopter parent. To be honest, he's usually correct and he reminded me of my best friend from high school who also found the constant need to nag me and be my mirror (during high school), when I was also extremely stressed out, so maybe I'm overthinking this.

    He's not like this with others, as far as I know, including our best friend, who actually supports him. He jokes with others, and acts serious around me. I think part of the problem was that he was stunned at how long I've stonewalled thinking about my own identity (and simply stuck my head in the sand) even when I had hooked up for so long. And frankly, I do think he thinks I'm a lost sheep and doesn't want me going down a bad path. My regular psychologist said that it was obvious he didn't want me being taken advantage of by other people for my naivete.

    The affirmative therapist was a good idea, because I needed to do a lot of soul searching and figure things out before I tell my parents. The telling my parents thing in June (which the best friend also agrees with) is also a good idea because I'm feeling like my parents are starting to catch on to things and I honestly do need their support.

    I'll make it clear that he's a very good guy who has been there for me when I needed it, including letting me vent to him and talking me through it.

    There is the possibility he may actually like me (he made it clear he hates seeing me hurt), so I'll have to address this in due time. But I've never come across someone this protective, save my parents and my best friend from high school.
     
    #3 vortices, Feb 15, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
  4. Euler

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    This does not sound normal. He has clearly some issues with boundaries and you need to step up and decide where the boundaries are and communicate those to him. It's OK to accept help but you have also right to decide what kind of help you accept.
     
  5. vortices

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    Then I'll have to do that then.