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the friends you don't make when you're in the closet


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So this is a question for gay men and lesbians who have had a period of time when they were closeted.

 

I'm interested to know the experiences of lesbians and gay men in how being out changed their friendships with people of the opposite sex. Did you find people of the opposite sex were more open and friendly after the possibility for a hetero relationship was eliminated? did you find yourself holding back in your friendliness out of fear of giving an impression of flirting when you were closeted, or before you knew they knew you were gay/lesbian?

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Not to hijack your thread but im interested in this actually as wel, im thinking something like: if you are bi-sexual could you ever have friends? Since you love both genders you'd might get sexually interested into anyone you meet, can you ever be friends in a normal fashion with anyone then? =\

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you're onto me. I am bisexual, and I sometimes envy straight and gay and lesbian people, because they have the luxury of being able to declare 50% of the population 'off the menu.'

 

I am capable of being just friends with many men and women of course, but I find that it's a weight on me wondering if they'll think I want them. There's always the fear that if I'm too friendly, they'll get the wrong impression and think I want them, whereas with straight girls, they can get really close to other straight girls, and gay boys can get really close to other girls, straight boys can get very close to other straight boys etc.

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As a bi female, I'm very open with my friends and they all say that they feel totally comfortable around me. I'm a very very verrrrrrry open person and I think thats partly why most people feel at ease around me. Like my girl friends and I will joke around and grab each other boobs, ass and downstairs and we'll think nothing of it. I'm friendly with everyone but when I like someone its a different type of friendly, I show it and theres no questioning it or mistaking it.

 

I tell all my friends that we have an established relationship as "friends". I usually know very early upon meeting a person whether I'm attracted to them or not. I've never been friends with someone for a long and developed feelings for them later, I usually know where I stand from the beginning. Then I have my aquaintances where my relationship status remains "open" with them because I may have a thing for some of them but I'm not quite sure where we stand yet. So ya, thats me.

 

p.s. if theres a bunch of typos in this, or if I didn't make sense in some areas its cuz im tired as hell right now.

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I've never had a problem with friends I already have, but with making new friends I feel very uncomfortable. I want to become friends with people and be open about my sexuality, but on the other hand I'm afraid that if I tell them they're gonna think I'm trying to come on to them. *sigh

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I'm interested to know the experiences of lesbians and gay men in how being out changed their friendships with people of the opposite sex. Did you find people of the opposite sex were more open and friendly after the possibility for a hetero relationship was eliminated? did you find yourself holding back in your friendliness out of fear of giving an impression of flirting when you were closeted, or before you knew they knew you were gay/lesbian?

 

Interesting question lucy.

 

I have to say that, on the whole, my friendships with BOTH sexes have been greatly improved since coming out. I feel more able to be myself around people, more open in many ways, not just with my sexuality. I don't have to be a "closed book" which is how people tended to describe me when I was closeted.

 

I will say that my friendships with girls feel more natural now that I'm open, I think. I've always felt pretty comfortable around girls, and I think part of my increased confidence has to do with the fact that I'm older as well. I still feel awkward around guys, especially cute guys.

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I am capable of being just friends with many men and women of course, but I find that it's a weight on me wondering if they'll think I want them. There's always the fear that if I'm too friendly, they'll get the wrong impression and think I want them, whereas with straight girls, they can get really close to other straight girls, and gay boys can get really close to other girls, straight boys can get very close to other straight boys etc.

 

I understand where you're coming from, but I think it's just a question of having different kinds of friendships. I mentioned in my last post that I feel awkward around guys I find cute, but there's been plenty of straight guys that I've had great non-romantic friendships with and there was never the "does he like me" question. I know gay guys that are friends with other gay guys and don't have that problem (seems less common since gay guys seem really sexual, but it does happen). My straight brother has lots of straight female friends that he's not interested in and vice-versa. Etc. etc.

 

And yes- even for bisexuals there are people who are off the menu- straight women and gay guys. Just as straight guys are off the menu for me. They aren't going to be interested in you so there's no point in being interested in them.

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And yes- even for bisexuals there are people who are off the menu- straight women and gay guys. Just as straight guys are off the menu for me. They aren't going to be interested in you so there's no point in being interested in them.

 

It's true that I consider straight women and gay men off the menu. However, I'm afraid that others may not see it that way. I'm afraid others might also view me as different

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It's true that I consider straight women and gay men off the menu. However, I'm afraid that others may not see it that way. I'm afraid others might also view me as different

 

Do you mean that straight women and gay men might think you have the hots for them because you're bi? I suppose that I could see that happening (seems unlikely with gay men but I suppose it could happen with straight women) but I think you'd either have to be a) very inexperienced with bisexual people or b) really conceited to think that. Unfortunately a lot of people fall into both columns, but I don't think either group would be people I'd want to necessarily be friends with anyways.

 

As for people viewing you as different- I think we all go through that at some point, I think it's generally pointless to worry about how people view us. Some people are different because they dress differently, others because of their religion, or ethnicity, or what high school they went to, or which rich/poor suburb they live in... I think it's just a fact of life. Try not to stress too much...

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I think that pianoguy and Penny_Lane make the most important points. When you are comfortable with yourself, others are more comfortable around you. You can't control how others will react to you, but you can make it easier on yourself by being open and as self-assured as possible.

 

The idea that it's a liability to have people attracted to you is not something I can relate to, personally. Everyone, no matter what their sexual orientation, is limited in potential partners by those to whom they are attracted, and by those who are attracted to them. If you're sending out clear messages, you usually tend to attact those you are interested in. As a lesbian who is "straight-looking," I could potentially attract men and women, but the fact is, I don't give out an available vibe at all. I'm not available, and it's not common for me to have to explain that. But, if I were available, I would not consider that the entire female population, or even the entire lesbian population was mine to choose from. It's always a two-way street--. Maybe when one is unsure of their identity, or uncomfortable with it, they send out confusing messages? I am much more comfortable around men and women since coming out. I agree that it's harder around attractive women, some times, but not because they are interested in me. I have a new respect for the men I've known who can keep their eyes on a woman's face when she is wearing a low cut shirt....

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I definitely had more girl friends after I came out and was much more comfortable with them / closer to them. BUT - I don't think it's because they knew that being gay, I wasn't interested. When I came out, I stopped worrying about keeping a masculine image, hiding my sexuality. That made it easier to relate to girls I think. Before I came out I was really awkward with most girls, more so than the average teenage straight guy. Not sure why.

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