I think I'm gay. I've decided to be discreet my whole life. I know it's gonna' be hard and all but I really want to have a family. I want to love a wife and our children. But right now, I think I'm falling for my friend. I don't know if he's gay or anything. He's on the varsity team, really kind and we have fun hanging out and talking with each other. When I consider doing something with him I also think about my future and the decision I made.
Lately, I’ve been avoiding him to trying to make the feeling go away; but they don’t. It's been affecting me, my studies, my thoughts, and my attitude. Every now and then I get depressed. I'm not so sure if I should tell him how I feel. I don't want him to love me, but there's also a part of me that DOES want him to love me. It's a conflict of interests…I'm facing a great dilemma. What should I do?
You are expressing a dilemma that many, many gay people experience when they are in the process of coming out: wanting to be able to express their sexuality, yet not wanting to give up certain dreams or expectations they have of themselves (e.g., a wife and kids); things that they think are not feasible for a gay person. Sometimes they resolve the dilemma by denying full expression of their gay identity; more often, they discover that they are able to establish a new sense of themselves that may include aspects of their original dreams (lots of gay people have kids!), but doesn't require them to suppress an important aspect of who they are.
In other words, Jack, I think it may be premature for you to decide, at 16, that you are going to "be discreet" your whole life! Maybe you will be, but give yourself the option of changing your mind if you determine that being discreet is not working for you. Also, don't forget that any potential wife may have feelings about being married to a gay man, no matter how discreet his behavior.
Regarding your feelings for your friend, only you can decide whether or not it's best to tell him how you feel. We generally encourage people in your situation to feel the friend out about homosexuality in a general way first. If he expresses an open-minded attitude, you may want to open up about your own sense of your sexual orientation. If that goes well, perhaps you'll want to tell him how you feel about him. But, at all phases (and especially with the last one) be prepared for a less than positive response and the possibility that your relationship will change or end. If you don't think you could handle that at this time, it might be best to just live keeping your crush to yourself for the time-being. But remember, Jack, all people, gay or straight, experience unrequited love at some time in their lives. That's why love songs are so popular!
If you find that your feelings of depression are getting stronger and really impacting you on a daily basis, you should see about speaking with a counselor about what you're going through. Of course, you can always start by calling our helpline, 1-800-4-U-TREVOR (1-866.488.7386).