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Straight Friend wants to go to Pride? How "Straight" is he?

Discussion in 'Coming Out Advice' started by Greggers, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. Greggers

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    Hey guys, long time to talk! For those of you who don't know me, I am Greg and I used to be a quite active member. I don't come back here often, but I have a question I think you guys could really help me with. Here it goes...

    So this Sunday is Vancouver Pride (yay! This is my 2nd year!) and I had made plans to go with my BFF (who then invited her sister and her sister's BFF, but that is an entire other thread in itself...). So the plan was for the four of us to go together. Good. It was all settled.

    Or so I thought? I just got a text from my closest straight male friend, let's call him "bob". So bob is an amazing friend who I have known for many years. We have had our rough patches and such, but the "coming out" to him was not one of them. He has always pinged slightly on my gaydar, but I waved that off because I assumed he would have told me. The thing is, his parents are the most ultra-conservatives I have ever met (think like one step under WBC). If he is gay, he is so far in the closet he has started to find woodland creatures. Anyways, so he texted me. He wanted to come to Pride with me. His text however was "I assume you are going to pride", so he did not even actually know when he asked. This kind of threw me. Surly he knows how intense and...well, gay the parade is? And the Vancouver one no less? So I texted him back saying "These girls are coming, and if you go you do know a lot of things will be assumed about you right? But I am fine with it". He is ok with all that and wants to go, even throwing in a joke about it being a "Date" basically.

    So I don't know what to do now. I REALLY want to be there for bob. He has always been there for me. He even wrote me this amazing poem for my birthday this year basically saying we would always be friends and it was very sweet. I feel like this might be his uber closeted way of outing himself to me? I don't want to jump to any conclusions or out him or anything, so I am kind of stuck. I think I will just go to Pride with him and see how he acts and does with that. If he is straight and just trying to be a good friend though, it is going to be WAY TOO AWKWARD for me with all the hot men around. Ugh. I don't know what to do :frowning2: First and foremost I want to make sure he knows I am there for him. Other than that, I just don't want to be too forward about it or make something out of nothing.

    I am open to all comments, even "Snap out of it Greg you silly queen!" if that is what I need here. :lol:
     
  2. Owen91

    Owen91 Guest

    Just be open. Everyone has different comfort levels when they come out. Some people are alright with just openly telling everyone they meet, and others need certain circumstances.

    It seems to me this would be the perfect time for a bit of therapy for your friend. Take him with you and maybe after a couple hours or at the end of the night, ask if he wanted to experience it all because he's questioning his sexuality. Maybe he'll tell you he just wanted to have a good time or maybe it will be an opportunity for you to be the friend he needs right now, since he can't talk to his family.
     
  3. Danny19

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    i think u should just tell him that he can trust u with anything like u trusted him when you came out. and just let him find his way. put urself in his shoes, what would u do? ur friend probably wants to come out, but its probably hard for him to accept himself and who he is. Just be patient, if he is gay, then let him come out. dont push. Be a good friend and be there.. hope this helped. :slight_smile:
     
  4. x2x2x2x2y2

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    My advice: don't do anything besides being a good friend(which you already are). If he's gay, he'll tell you when he's ready.
     
  5. olides84

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    Don't jump to any conclusions. There's lots of straight, supportive people who go to pride. If he's gay, questioning, whatever, just let him be. You are all there to have fun--keep it that way. So you don't feel awkward, maybe you could just say things like "Hey bob, you know you are gonna see the most flaming Greg ever, yelling at all the cute boys. Hope you can handle it :wink:" Just keep it light and in party mode.
     
  6. Filip

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    Well, it sounds like he's at least wanting to deal with something. And his way of asking does raise some questions. Is pride heavily advertised? (around here it isn't. I've missed it two years in a row now...) If not, he apparently did his research, which is not something that a lot of straight guys would do.

    On the other hand, maybe it's more of a religious issue. Maybe he is straight, but just wants to break away from his background and become more openly accepting of gay people.

    And maybe he doesn't even know for sure himself, but is just seeing this as an opportunity to be in a gay setting, without people judging him, and see what the experience does to him.

    I think the best option here is to remain agnostic about his reasons for joining in, and not pressure him. I don't think that, were I in your place, I would even mention: "it's OK if you're gay". If he's wrestling with something, that might already be too much of a pressure.
    Just go there, have fun, make comments on hot guys (no need to stop doing that. He knows you're gay, after all :icon_wink), act as if you would have if he hadn't come. And at the end of the day, ask him if he had a good time. If he's ready, he will probably tell you.
     
  7. OutToSea

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    My opinion on this is pretty much the same as the previous posters. He's probably just supportive and cares deeply about you as a FRIEND. If he is actually gay, he'll tell you. If you confront him about it he may not take it well. For now, just let it slide. He may be curious, who knows.

    Bottom line: Just be a good friend to him.
     
  8. johnnappiboy

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    Im straightbut my brother is gay but you should not do anything that will mess up your friendship with your best friend,remember bros before hoes.
     
  9. Greggers

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    Ok...sound good. I am just really confused by his actions.

    And to Filip, our pride is quite big, but he obviously has been doing *some* research about it. The fact he confronted me about the issues when he had not heard anything from me about it is what really gets me questioning.

    But I won't try to freak him out by asking any questions. I am just I guess more worried about suicide in his case. It was something I went through and he has it far worse than me from what I can see. The pressure he faces to live up to his parents expectations and the examples set by his "perfect" married brother with child and "perfect" sister who gets amazing grades is really getting to him. I feel like if I don't say something at some point (not now, pride might be a better chance to observe rather than take action) he could just become another statistic. If I see him suffering, isn't it wrong not to say anything? I dunno. Just really torn. I see what you are all saying though.
     
  10. Chip

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    I'm voting that he's somewhere on the continuum other than completely straight, but is "safely" exploring it by going to pride. I've seen this pattern with a lot of people in a lot of different ways.

    Yes, there are plenty of totally straight people who go to Pride simply to support their gay friends... but in this particular case, my guess is that something else is going on.

    The advice you've gotten is really good. Simply let him know, with actions or with words, or both, that it's OK whatever he is, and that you will be there for him when/if he wants to talk... and let him take his time.
     
  11. Filip

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    Well, if you see him suffering, that's another matter. Maybe not talk about it at pride itself (lots of people there, and your other friends, which he might not know so well as to bare his inner struggles before them). But maybe you could engineer other moments to talk?

    Let's assume you have fun at pride, then it should be easy enough to just contact him a couple of days later, and say "Hey Bob, I had a lot of fun hanging out at pride. And that reminds me it has been a bit since we've just hung out. Care to grab lunch with me tomorrow?"
    (or a similar way of hanging out together. I'm not sure how often you see Bob alone, so the above might not make sense). Try to engineer similar moments at regular intervals (though not so regular that it becomes "Greggers' weekly therapy hour" :wink:)
    If you see that he's not doing well, I think it's best to ask in general terms: "You don't look too happy today? Something wrong?", rather than implying he's gay.

    He may have a bad situation at home (though I do think that falling short of perfection is a burden for everyone, even those who are supposedly "perfect"), but if he's gay, he does have one advantage that you didn't have: a really openly gay friend (I like to think that having one myself saved me years of angsting who to come out first to). So I hope that will make some difference already.
     
  12. Greggers

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    Ok, thanks Filip. That really helps.

    But reading my last post, I should make it clear that the family pressure is the cherry on top of his problems from what I understand (we do talk about that quite a lot) and I don't think that just because he is having a few family issues he is going to go suicidal or anything. It is a mix of a lot of stuff.

    ...anyways, again, thank you, and I will just take this from after pride :slight_smile:
     
  13. adam88

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    I saw plenty of people at Toronto Pride with "STR8" buttons on, so maybe you can get one for him at pride?
     
  14. Walolas

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    It seems like there might be more than this than your friend being supportive but like everyone else said, go to pride with him and enjoy yourself. That is a day for you to be happy. If you wanna ask him about his intentions do it after pride like you already said you would.
     
  15. TwistedNerve

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    You have an awesome friend. He must think you're one too.
     
  16. I wouldn't pressure him or say anything to him about it. Just go to Pride with him and act normal. If he is something other than straight, maybe this will help him open up. Otherwise, you just have an awesome friend and you are very lucky.

    But as far as suicide goes, just let him know that you are there for him, no matter what. Don't put any emphasis on if "there's anything you want to tell me". Just that you're there for him, like he was there for you
     
  17. zzzero

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    I think the best thing you could do was go to pride with him, act like you would if he wasn't there. Check out the guys and enjoy yourself. At then end of pride if you both end up having a lot of fun or if he sends more signals that make you believe he might be gay, then ask him. It's a lot easier to say "yes" than "I'm gay". If you give him the easiest possible way to come out, he's more likely to do it. If he's gay, he'll come out eventually, and him going to pride is a pretty big step. Maybe he wants to go because he wants you to ask? Enjoy the day first though, then ask if you still suspect! It wont be hard to find a place in conversation to ask him since you'll already be around so many other gay people that he'll probably feel safe there.
     
  18. Lexington

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    We have lots of straight friends join us to watch the Pride parade, and to go check out the actual event. So I wouldn't read anything into it. :slight_smile:

    Lex
     
  19. paco

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    sounds like an open minded straight guy to me. deeply closeted guys usually steer far clear of anything that might make people think they might be gay. you know, that running joke that the biggest homophobes are actually gay themselves. it's very rare to find a fully closeted guy that will even let himself be dragged into a pride event.
     
  20. rachob1

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    you could try having a chat with him before you go, something along the lines of 'i'm delighted you want to come along to Pride with us, just as long as you know anything you, see, hear or do stays at Pride and beween us' that way you get to be yourself and don't have change your behaviour but he also knows he's free to be himself be that bi/gay or a supportive straight ally and that your open to talk about it if he wants to either on the day or afterwards