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'My friends keep reassuring me they'll be supportive of me when I come out. But I'm straight.' UPDATED

'My friends keep reassuring me they'll be supportive of me when I come out. But I'm straight.' UPDATED

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The phrase "don't judge a book by its cover" applies across the board, even if you're trying to be supportive.

"My [24F] friends keep reassuring me that they'll be supportive of me when I come out...only I'm straight."

I want to start this off by saying my friends are wonderful people who are supportive and positive. We're a very diverse crowd and would probably be considered progressive by most people's standards.

There's eight of us in this social circle (including me), and between us half are POC, three are LGBT+, one is a s*x worker and another became a parent at 15. I'd like to think we're open minded people who see personality first and nothing else and I love them all to shreds.

The problem I'm having now is that they're a bit too woke to the point that I'm now getting DMs from my friends who are sending me links to organisations like this for 'coming out' support. I literally have been in a straight relationship for 5 years now but I think they believe I'm bisexual.

Other examples of my friends trying to support me would be when one of my LGBT+ friends invited me to join their LGBT+ society at Uni (we go to the same one). I pointed out it's for LGBT only and not allies and they said "That's the point, they can help you!" I have said multiple times that I'm straight, I love my partner and I've never been interested in anyone who isn't a cis-male before.

When I politely remind them of this they keep quiet for a month or so but then it comes back up somehow. Last Saturday I'd had enough, we had all been on a video call together and a joke was made about how "literally half of this damn group is gay!". Half of eight is four, there are three who are gay unless you count 'me'.

I just outright asked why everyone was under the impression I was gay. I was fed up of not knowing how this started and why they weren't listening to me. Everything went so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Finally one of them said it was my body language, my mannerisms, how I talk to women, the way I dress etc.

Apparently the vibe I give off is that of a woman who is gay but hasn't realised yet. Another friend then pointed out how in high school there was a rumour I had a girlfriend because a female friend of mine would sit on my knee and we would go to the bathroom together a lot, which I'd completely forgotten about.

It sucks because I see their point. I do dress in baggy men's clothes and shoes. I do dye my hair funky colours and wear Lynx/Axe spray. I do probably come across as flirty with women (completely unintentionally) by doing things like pulling out seats and holding doors open. I'm broadly built and many people over the years have said I stand and sit like a man, I've even had women make a pass at me in gay clubs.

This would be great if I was gay but I'm not. I can tell it's only a matter of time before my partner becomes concerned but I'm not sure how to address this! My friends genuinely are lovely people and they aren't being pushy, I think they're just worried I have internalised homophobia and want me to be okay. My questions are:

• Should I make a conscious effort to make my appearance and behaviours more feminine and less stereotypically butch?

• What's the best way I could sit my friends down and talk about this properly?

I would be heart broken if this affected my relationship with my SO. I love him to pieces and it was super hard trying to find a guy that didn't want me to be their lady-bro in the first place. I don't want to lose the person who could see past that and find it attractive. Please help!

EDIT: Aan I just say...wow. You have all been so incredibly supportive of me and I want to say thank you. I was terrified of posting in case I came across like I was being sensitive and overreacting and that it was my fault for being who I am. I can't thank you guys enough.

The internet had a lot to say.

Medical_Fisherman_52 wrote:

Don't change who you are, unless you want to, especially if your SO accepts you as you are! Tell your friends firmly you're not gay and done with the hints. They can be who they want, but don't need to force it on you. It's almost like parents sending children to therapy to un-gay them. Won't work, doesn't help

OP responded:

I know their heart is in the right place, but it has left me concerned that one day they could do this to someone who is actually gay and it could freak them out because they aren't ready. "Don't change who you are, unless you want to, especially if your SO accepts you as you are!"

Also, thank you for that, genuinely. I think he would be sad to see me change, but I think it must be crap for him being made to feel like the closet I'm hiding in. I'll have this discussion with him too.

jayaywing wrote:

Come out to them as a straight. And say that if they do this to anyone they will freak out for not being ready.

OP responded:

It has occurred to me before that if I really were gay it would be unfair for me to come out due to pressure and not self-love and confidence.

jayaywing wrote:

That's true. But I would be like "hey guys I have something to tell...I'm straight and you are extremely rude and you will destroy someone's life in this way." But you're happy in the way you are and that is the most important thing.

OP responded:

It is true. I'm hoping after this talk I have with them they will come to their senses and not approach a circumstance like this again. Closeted people are closeted for a reason and usually it's a personal one, and should be treated as such!

JackNotName wrote:

First of all, you do you. Do not change for anyone else. Sit all your friends down. Explain to them that they are stereotyping, which is just as bad as being homophobic in many ways. People come in all shapes, sizes, and demeanors. It is absolutely possible to give off a gay vibe and be straight.

If they respect you. They will accept you at your word and stop f-king pigeon holing you in their view of how the world works, because you are living proof that things are in fact different.

If they don't respect you, then how can they call themselves your friends? Then, the next time one of them start suggesting anything like this, why not send them a link a ridiculous support group and let them know that you are there for them if they ever want to talk.

A few weeks later, OP shared an update.

First and foremost, thank you to everyone who reached out to me, I was blown away by how many others have gone through the same thing. There was some wonderful advice in there which I used going forward with my friends. So without further ado, here is the update.

Yesterday I managed to coax everyone into a group video call. I knew it would be awkward because one of my friends (B) came across my post on here and guessed it was me from the title and username (apparently having a unique situation and eating a toastie with a cup of tea for lunch everyday makes it obvious, oops).

That friend promised that they would keep their discovery a secret and I believe they did based on the reaction I got from everyone on the video call. Going back to my friend - upon finding my post B immediately sent a message where they apologised for not defending me when they should have.

They came across a specific chain of comments where I talk about how forcing people to come out has negative consequences. These comments hurt to read because (unbeknownst to me) that happened to B's brother at the age of 14. He was too young and confused to deal with the heavy burden of being outed before he was ready, and as a result he was s-cidal for years.

A friend snooped on his phone and found MxM p*rn history, screenshot it and it all went downhill from there. I could tell they were truly sorry so I accepted their apology without question (if you're reading this B, you're an amazing sibling to your brother and a brilliant friend to me, please don't be hard on yourself). All has since been forgotten with them.

Right - one down, six to go. So next I messaged the group chat and asked if we could have a video call because I had something to say. This is where it gets awkward. When everyone's cameras came on I noticed that four of them had party poppers and two of those same four had pride flags - one even had one painted on their face.

They thought I was 'finally' coming out.

I didn't entertain it for a second and told them all to calm down because they were wasting their excitement as it wasn't what they thought it was. I condensed my sentiments down in about five minutes - short, sweet, concise. Summed up, I said:

• I am straight. I do not have internalised homophobia, I really am just straight. I'm not bi or a lesbian using my boyfriend to divert attention.

• By invalidating my s-xuality/romantic leanings they invalidated my love for my partner which is unfair.

• Saying someone is non-binary, trans, agender, etc purely because of their interests, looks and taste in clothes is harmful because it (ironically) forces the narrative that women are only really women when they're feminine, soft and smell like roses (and vice versa for men).

• If I really were gay, the way they were going about supporting me was technically forceful and thus harmful. If someone isn't ready they aren't ready.

Once I blurted this all out at them I noticed that B (my friend who found my post) was crying, as was one other friend.

Everyone else was completely speechless. I said I loved them all and that I'm still their friend but I was going to end the call because I felt it was best that I let everything sink in and that the rest was up to them. Now, in my post it became apparent that many of you felt my friends weren't great friends but I'd like to think their reaction disproves this.

There wasn't a single one of them that didn't profusely apologise, but it was the two who were pushing for me to 'come out' most that really went out of their way. Let's call these two friends X and Y. X invited me to an afternoon tea in their back garden (allowed in my country) because it was sunny, and they said that it was just going to be our friend group.

Naturally I said yes because I took this as a sign they wanted to talk. Turns out it was more. They threw me a surprise 'coming out' party but as an ally. There were pride flags everywhere but they had written the word 'acceptance' on them. After many apologies and hugs there was food, booze, laughing and joking.

We had a giant water fight with water-guns and water-balloons loaded up on dr-nken enthusiasm. When the sun went down and it got cold we bundled inside and watched She's The Man on DVD with mango sorbet, my effing favourite :) I love my friends - they gave me the acceptance I was looking for and I couldn't be happier.

TL;DR: Everything is great; my friends, my relationship, my self-esteem. It's all good. We have a big happy friendship circle and everything pulled through with a big talk and a boozy water fight.

PS: I hope those of you reading this who are LGBT+ don't take offense to them throwing me the party because I understand genuinely being LGBT+ and coming out isn't easy and is definitely not a joke. The reason they threw this party, I believe, is because I had thrown both X and Y a coming out party. I see this as an "I accept you, and you accept me" sort of move.

The internet was happy to hear the update.

Ludo1789 wrote:

I’m so glad this turned out the way it did! It sounds like you do have good friends who had the best intentions in mind but unconsciously acted in a damaging way. (Bi woman here)

OP responded:

Thank you kindly, this is honestly the best way it could have gone! They really did have the best intentions, it just came out wrong. At least now they are aware it won't happen again!

TheGoverness1998 wrote:

Nah, as a happy and proud gay, I don't take offense to that at all. Sounds like a nice friend get together, and I'm glad it went well. 🌈

OP responded:

I'm really glad to hear that - I was worried it could be interpreted as making a joke of a serious situation. Thank you kindly for your words!

Lord0fHam wrote:

Your third bullet point is why I think the whole movement has gotten kind of silly. I fully support everyone expressing themselves how they want. It doesn’t make sense that they don’t want to have traditional gender roles but then if you do or enjoy things that are traditionally the other gender, you must be trans and have to switch.

OP responded:

It's quite a shame because it puts pressure on LGBT people to conform to both ideals which is impossible.

ThrowRA_tolove wrote:

I am crying tears of beauty, joy, and all things love 💛 I just want to attract some friends like you / yours. I read both of your posts and this was so beautifully done.

Cheers to supportive and healthy relationships

OP responded:

Awe, bless - thank you so much! I hope you know that so many people like my friends do exist and they will be out there for you too! It's tough finding friends, particularly from scratch, but wading through the crap is so worth it when you find the treasure ♥️ Cheers to you too! 🥂

annoyedpotatolady wrote:

This is so wholesome you made an annoyed potatolady tear up a little bit. Your friends are awesome, especially now that they accept you as you are.

OP responded:

Awe, thank you so much ♥️ they really are awesome, that's why I was so terrified to lose them in the first place. They're an amazing group!

Sources: Reddit
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