Friend came out as gay, I'm having some trouble adjusting
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06-12-2016, 08:57 AM
RE: Friend came out as gay, I'm having some trouble adjusting
(30-11-2016 09:46 AM)panthercougar Wrote:  To be clear I understand he is the same person. I guess to better summarize, is it common for it to take a little time for something like this to feel normal?

I think you'll get over it pretty quick.

But I'd be curious as to here whether you "anxiety", is primarily caused by him keeping the relationship a secret, or just by being gay? If he came out as gay, but wasn't dating anyone, do you think you perhaps would still feel the same way?

Or do you think that you're somewhat irrationally uncomfortable by homosexuality in general, even though you're perfectly accepting of it? Do you think you'd feel uncomfortable seeing two men kiss in front of you, or holding hands, even if you recognize this as irrational? Would you feel uncomfortable at a gay club, or attending a gay pride parade, etc...?

It seems to me, that its more or less a matter of you being thrown outside of the comfort zone that you've been accustom to, but eventually your comfort zone expands to include these new arrivals. And it starts to feel much like it used to. You don't seem to have any particular beliefs, that would get in the way here, so it should be a short and painless transition.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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06-12-2016, 09:04 AM
RE: Friend came out as gay, I'm having some trouble adjusting
Maybe there's a fear that he's opening up a whole new world, possibly joining a whole new scene, taking on a new "lifestyle" so to speak and you worry he'll have less room in his life for you and your family. If that's the case it sounds to me like he still sees you as a vital part of his social circle, it seems important to him that you meet and interact with his new boyfriend. To me, that level of trust means he's VERY invested in your friendship.
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07-12-2016, 08:55 AM
RE: Friend came out as gay, I'm having some trouble adjusting
He's still your buddy. He just watches different porn.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
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12-12-2016, 08:14 PM
RE: Friend came out as gay, I'm having some trouble adjusting
A persons sex life is a very small part of their life. I'd judge someone based upon the bigger parts.
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14-12-2016, 07:57 AM
RE: Friend came out as gay, I'm having some trouble adjusting
(06-12-2016 08:57 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(30-11-2016 09:46 AM)panthercougar Wrote:  To be clear I understand he is the same person. I guess to better summarize, is it common for it to take a little time for something like this to feel normal?

I think you'll get over it pretty quick.

But I'd be curious as to here whether you "anxiety", is primarily caused by him keeping the relationship a secret, or just by being gay? If he came out as gay, but wasn't dating anyone, do you think you perhaps would still feel the same way?

Or do you think that you're somewhat irrationally uncomfortable by homosexuality in general, even though you're perfectly accepting of it? Do you think you'd feel uncomfortable seeing two men kiss in front of you, or holding hands, even if you recognize this as irrational? Would you feel uncomfortable at a gay club, or attending a gay pride parade, etc...?

It seems to me, that its more or less a matter of you being thrown outside of the comfort zone that you've been accustom to, but eventually your comfort zone expands to include these new arrivals. And it starts to feel much like it used to. You don't seem to have any particular beliefs, that would get in the way here, so it should be a short and painless transition.

To be honest with you I'm not sure what causes the anxiety. I think it could be any number of the things you mention. And believe me, I have a ton of guilt for feeling this way.

I think you might be right, that I am somewhat irrationally uncomfortable with homosexuality even though I'm accepting of it. I do think part of could be due to my lack of exposure. I just haven't been around very many openly gay people in my private life up to this point. I think you are right, that my comfort zone will expand as I spend time with my friend and his boyfriend. They are coming to our house for dinner this weekend, so it will be the first time we meet him.

I haven't had a chance to talk to my friend since he came out to us. I think I'll try before this weekend. I'd like to share my feelings with him. I'm pretty sure he would understand, and as someone else pointed out he may be feeling some anxiety or nervousness himself. I've been known to make social situations awkward in the past, so I'm going to try and avoid it this time around!
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14-12-2016, 02:56 PM
RE: Friend came out as gay, I'm having some trouble adjusting
(14-12-2016 07:57 AM)panthercougar Wrote:  I haven't had a chance to talk to my friend since he came out to us. I think I'll try before this weekend. I'd like to share my feelings with him. I'm pretty sure he would understand, and as someone else pointed out he may be feeling some anxiety or nervousness himself. I've been known to make social situations awkward in the past, so I'm going to try and avoid it this time around!

This is wise. Take him out for a beer. You buy. Right off the bat, this tells him that you're comfortable at least buying a buddy a beer, even if he's attracted to your gender.

I'm fortunate that, even though my parents raised me in a fundamentalist church that is/was strongly homophobic, my mom was also active in theatre, and I was exposed to a great many homosexual people-- I grew up seeing it, despite my church's best attempts, as no different than the difference between people with blonde hair and people with brown hair, so to speak. As you gain more experience, you will feel more comfortable with considering it totally normal-- this will be made easier by the fact that you don't harbor an ideological outlook that says it's abnormal.

As someone who has been active in AIDS-related charity work since the 90s, as well as my ties to the theatre community, I remain active in the LGBTQ community, and I consider myself fortunate to be (mostly-- like all communities, there are assholes among them, too) accepted despite being straight, white, and from a middle-class WASP background. Laugh out load

All joking aside, I'd say that a good suggestion might be for you and your wife to invite him and his boyfriend (if they are the club types) to take you their favorite gay bar. Again, tell them that drinks are on you. From what you wrote, it sounds like your exposure to the gay community has been minimal, and I'm gonna tell you right now-- you're missing out! They do it soooo much better than most straight clubs do. Get out there on the floor and let loose, in a place where nobody is judging anybody. Dance with some dudes, even. The freedom that you will experience at not having to worry about if you're being judged (for bad dancing, say) is a rare and precious commodity. You might get hit on a bit, but simply saying "thanks but I'm straight" will be perfectly-well accepted. Almost everyone in there will know you're straight, anyway, and will notice that you came in with your wife and buddies, but both they and your friend and his new boyfriend will grasp that, despite your reservations, you're willing to walk in their shoes without judgment. And you'll have a good time doing it. Your wife, unless she has ideologies you didn't mention, will be impressed with your degree of confidence in your own sexuality, and will probably bang your brains out after watching you on the dance floor.

You don't realize it yet, but your friend has paid you a huge compliment by being honest with you, and has opened up a (potential) new world that will enrich your existence. The least you can do is buy him a beer and say thank you. Smile

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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14-12-2016, 04:12 PM
RE: Friend came out as gay, I'm having some trouble adjusting
I had a similar thing happen- a friend of mine, Eric, came out. Eric is my oldest friend- I don't mean he's Methuselah, I mean we've known each other since we were in diapers, of course.

We literally grew up together, out in extremely rural west Texas, where I was raised on our family ranch. Eric's family moved out there when he was 6 months old- I'm almost a year older. (Still don't remember a time "pre-Eric") His father worked for the State, and was retiring soon- this was their move to escape the hustle and bustle, as both of his parents were country raised.

Eric and I were best friends from the time our parents dropped us in the same playpen so they could play poker. We did everything together, we grew up in a volunteer fire dept, we built cars, we chased girls, we were lifeguards at the community pool, we smoked our first cigarettes, (if you don't want your kids to smoke, smoke Pall Mall unfiltered and leave 'em around for them to steal. Ugh...)

In high school we grew apart a bit, as we had very different interests, but we always considered ourselves best friends, regardless.

I joined the air force, and went out into the world, Eric moved to a different city and opened up a medical billing business. We stayed in touch to a degree, but pre-email it was harder. We finally lost touch, although I knew where his mom and dad were.

When I was 26, I got a letter from a minister. It said that Eric had "come out" and was hoping to get together with me but was afraid of rejection, so had asked him to mediate, or liaison.

I was annoyed that we needed a minister, but agreed to have dinner with them. There would also be a few other people from Eric's life present, many of them I knew from our childhood. The minister said I was Eric's prime concern, because we "had been" so close. That really annoyed me. "Had been"??

I arrived a little late, having had some trouble getting away from the base. When I walked in to the private room at the restaurant, everyone was sitting quietly and uncomfortably, with water in front of them. I observed for a minute, unseen, and then backed out and ordered a tray of tequila shots. (It was a Mexican restaurant)

I took the tray from the waiter and tipped him, and then walked into the room. I stood there for a moment until people realized I wasn't a waiter, and then realized who I was. Eric started to stand up. "Keep your seat, keep your seat. I just have one question, ear-ache." (I called him this to annoy him when we were kids)

"What, asshole?" (He never did have much imagination)

"Don't fags drink?"

Eric stared at me for a second and then burst into laughter, followed by most of the rest. I passed out the shots, and proposed a toast "To my oldest and dearest friend, who shared my childhood with me, who chased girls with me (wasn't that a waste!) and who taught me what friendship really meant. To Eric..(here I paused for several seconds)...the PETER PUFFER!"

I drank, as did Eric...most of the rest spewed their drinks around the room. It was kind of gross.

The rest of the night was great fun. Eric and his hubby Grant are good friends, and we get together often. This was almost 30 years ago.

Just be yourself.
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14-12-2016, 06:40 PM
RE: Friend came out as gay, I'm having some trouble adjusting
I've pondered a while, actually thought I already answered in here but apparently I did not.

You see, the reason some people feel the need to "come out" is the fear that if they show their real selves without prior notice, there might be a bad reaction. Why? Because a religiously based society has taught people to react badly.

But you are this guy's friend. You have liked him (as a friend) for a while already and the fact that you now know his sexual/romantic orientation should not change things unless you had a secret crush on him.

I remember when one of my two best friends realized that I was bi (we were teenagers at the time) and so she would suddenly be a bit weird around me for whatever reason. Now I am a dick by nature and poked her exactly on that level until she stopped acting like I am trying to jump her. So I hadn't officially come out, I was just me, and she got the vibe. But the rest happened in her head and because of whatever happened in her head, she started to be weird. I needed to push her, so she could be normal again.
Maybe your friend needs to push your buttons a bit too so you realize that a lot of the weirdness in the situation is actually because a lot of stuff is just in your head.

"Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4" - George Orwell (in 1984)
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15-12-2016, 07:32 AM
RE: Friend came out as gay, I'm having some trouble adjusting
More good responses here, thanks. To the suggestion on going to a gay bar/club, I had to laugh at that one. I hated clubs in my 20's, and now in my mid-30's I'm sure I would hate them even more! I'd be surprised if my friend has been going to clubs with his boyfriend. He and I have always been more pub/neighborhood bar type guys. Even when I was a bit younger I never understood the appeal of going out somewhere you couldn't hear to have a conversation.

I may have mentioned this in a previous post, but over the years I've wondered if my buddy was gay. Talking to him about it he wondered the same thing and it took him a long time to come to terms with it. Neither of us grew up in religious households, so it certainly isn't a religious thing at all.

I think over time the new normal will set in and I won't even think about it anymore, I just wonder how long that will be. The only other gay person I know outside of my professional life is a friend of a friend who I see a few times per year. It never felt strange or awkward to me, and I think that's because the man was open about it and I knew he was gay from the time I met him. With my friend I think it just takes a bit more adjusting. As I mentioned, we've been friends for 20 years, so suddenly learning something significant about him is just a little disorienting.
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15-12-2016, 04:40 PM
RE: Friend came out as gay, I'm having some trouble adjusting
Well, I'm 40 and my wife is 33, so the "club scene" is long behind us, as well. (Actually, she was never that type.) But when I was in my 20s I had a lot of really good times, going out with my gay buddies. Some of them still go to the clubs because they're simply so much fun. You have missed out! C'est la vie.

It can be very difficult to accept that there is something about you that is strange, long considered abnormal or weird by society, and to tell people whom you love a thing that may disappoint them or cause them to shy away from you. Humans are programmed to be social conformists, so it can be very difficult for the individual to come to terms with an aspect of themselves that almost by-definition designates them as "The Other".

Just remember that literally nothing has changed. Really, you knew all along, so that really hasn't changed either. Your buddy is still your buddy. And I don't know if it's a worry for you, but fear not: he's not attracted to you. Knows you too well. Big Grin

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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