I'm a 31 year old guy and I'm having trouble talking to my friends about my life. They're mainly all straight and they know I'm gay. I'm out of the closet. But every time they ask me about my private life, even so much as to see if I am dating someone, I get uncomfortable and change the subject. Why might I be struggling so much with talking to my friends about my life?
31? And still using the phrase "out of the closet"? How retro gay chic. How 18th century. Anyhow, it's probably a combination of the following reasons:
- Because you're projecting your internalized homophobia onto others, assuming they will react to you the way you feel about yourself.
- Because you're so used to being silent about your private life, it's a sort of inertia. You've just not used that mental muscle sharing that info and are unclear what you actually want to share and in how much detail. Plus you're unclear on what you want to get out of sharing. Are you looking for advice? Or do you just want people to know what's going on with you? Or are you happy about how your private life is going and want someone to share in your happiness?
- Because sharing details about your private life makes you feel so vulnerable you can't handle it. So it feels safer to stay silent.
- Because your private life is horribly dull (compared to ideas you think others have of glamorous gay living) and you don't want that factoid to be revealed.
- Because your fetishes would make others horrified, or you think they would.
- Because you're secretly dating the same person a friend is dating so you better keep that shit a secret.
- Because your friends don't share much with you so it does't feel equal.
But what I don't get is the "mainly all straight" part. If there is a non-straight one among them, are you more comfortable talking to that person? If so, you may want to try some good old gay separatism and turn those straight friendships into straight acquaintances and instead go all gay.
I don't mean random gay people, but actual gay friends. Especially ones who are open about their lives. Because what you're describing is fairly common. Most people, gay or straight, keep a lot to themselves. Just because people know you're gay doesn't mean they need to know everything. It's about what you want to share. How you want to connect to people.
And how big your dick is. Definitely tell all your friends that so they can set you up on dates with guys ore easily. And also tell them if you bleach your asshole or not. And that you sometimes like at Olive Garden and claim it's your birthday so you can get free breadsticks. But they know you're lying and everyone gets free breadsticks even if it's not their birthday so it's a big joke on you. Or have boundaries! You're in control. You can stop in the middle of a sentence if you want. Though it's the letting go with friends that can feel so good.
Most of all, pick one thing you want to share (really want to share, not think that you should share) and tell it to one person and ask them to keep it confidential. It's called dipping your toe in the waters. Nobody teaches a class on making friends, on emotional intimacy, on being a friend. So just be yourself right now and go with that energy in your gut that wants to connect, whatever form that takes. It doesn't literally have to be telling everyone everything. You can use humor and share the energy or what happened without all those details.
Double most of all, if you do share more and people don't want to hear it, and you end up losing some of your mainly straight friends, that's called change and it's okay. You can then find other people you can be yourself around and you can only do that if you lead with being yourself in the first place versus back yourself into a role. With them you hold back, but that may be more about who they are than who you are deep down.
Send your question to email@example.com