What if you’re best friends with someone who makes fun of people because they`re gay, and you want to come out but you’re just too scared of humiliation.
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Starting the process of coming out is a courageous step in your life! Congratulations on recognizing your own sexual orientation and wanting to begin sharing this part of your life with others. Coming out today is also something that can benefit from some careful thought and planning, which it sounds like you’ve started with regard to your best friend.
All too often in the coming out process, people who are are closest to, like best friends and family, are the people least ready to accept this news, particularly if they look down on the idea of gay people. It is possible, once they realize that YOU are gay, that they will begin to rethink their negative views – but that can take time, and their initial negative reaction can be painful for you to hear.
We would suggest two things. Since your best friend likes to make fun of gay people, maybe you should first try coming out to a different friend or person in your life who doesn’t hold a negative view of gays. That way, you can be sure that you will receive the support you deserve as you begin to share this news about yourself. You want it to be a person you trust, who will listen to what you have to say, who won’t tell other people if you don’t want him or her to, and who doesn’t make fun of gay people regularly. This person could be another friend, or even a teacher or guidance counselor – or family member if you think your family will react positively to the news. The other thing you might want to try is seeing if your best friend is willing to change his mind about making fun of gay people. Have you ever mentioned that he shouldn’t make fun of gay people to him, to see how he or she would react? You can point out to your friend that there are gay people (either in your town, or famous people, or relatives) who you have respect for, and you don’t like your friend’s disrespectful comments toward gay people. See if your friend is willing to acknowledge that being gay is ok. In the meantime, consider coming out to someone else first.
If you are between the ages of 13 to 24, you can join our online social networking space, and talk to other young LGBT people about how they came out to their best friends. That site is available at www.trevorspace.org Keep in mind that there is not a rush to come out until you feel confident that it will be a positive contribution to your life. It is great to take pride in who you are and want to share this aspect of yourself, but also valuable to think carefully about how to come out to people and who to tell first, based on the likely reaction of people in your school or workplace, religious community, town and family. If you have any specific questions or want to run your ideas by us, feel free to call us at 1-866-4U-TREVOR.