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Came out to my best friend… she’s kinda supportive? Kinda not?


Asher
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I just came out to my best friend yesterday… it wasn’t planned, but she pushed me to tell her what was going on, so I did. I’m nonbinary and pansexual, and she didn’t know what either of those terms meant. I don’t know if she fully grasped the meaning of either one, but basically she knows I’m not straight and I’m not a girl. I made her promise not to react badly, and she didn’t… not really at least. She’s a Christian and I am too, and I think that’s the part she couldn’t really figure out. She doesn’t think it’s possible to be part of the lgbtq+ community and also be a Christian. She told me she would try to support me to the best of her ability, but only because I’m her friend. She doesn’t support the community, but she supports me…? Idk what she means but I really hope she comes around soon… I’m hoping to come out to my other friends soon as well, and I already know they’re gonna be far less accepting. I’m scared to see which ones will stick around and which ones will leave… but at least I’ll figure out who my real friends are… right? Anyways, thanks for listening to my problems! Hope you have a great day!

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  • Digital Mentor

Hey @Asher

Thanks for sharing this with us. It's good that she has said she will try to support you to the best of her ability, especially given her belief that you cannot be Christian and a member of the LGBTQ+ community. However, the fact that she didn't know what non binary and pansexual meant makes me wonder how she came to the conclusion that you cannot be a Christian if you're LGBTQ+, do you know what I mean? 

I have supported people in your kind of situation before, and I find that most people come around to the news, and it's just that it can take some time which is frustrating, so you have to try your best to be patient. I completely get why you are scared to see which ones will stick around and which ones will leave. Regardless of the circumstances in which we lose a friend, it still hurts. However, do hold out hope - they might surprise you and react well. What do you think? 

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Well, she knows what gay and trans mean, and she’s been taught all her life that those things aren’t what God wants. I used to believe that too, which is why I was really scared in the beginning. I was freaked out when I started noticing girls more and when I started wondering what it’d be like if I wasn’t a girl. I thought that meant I would go to hell. Maybe they will surprise me, because I know she surprised me when she didn’t react badly when I thought she would. I’ve seen her make hateful comments towards a couple of other people that came out as bi and gay, so I thought she’d react the same way to me… but she didn’t. I really hope my other friends surprise me too. I’ll try to be patient like you said. Thanks for replying!

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Hey @Asher

Yeah, I think it's really important to hold onto the hope. When we are going through a difficult time, the hope can really see us through. The fact that she made hateful comments towards other people who came out and then responded to you differently shows to me that she has grown and educated herself, so hopefully this continues. How are you feeling about everything today? 

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Today I’m feeling kind of… i don’t know, conflicted? I just got back from a really fun day with two of my best friends and I’m really happy to have them as my friends. It makes me sad to think that things might change between us when I come out to them. I told one of them that I have something I want to tell her but I think I might wait a little while until the time is right. I told her how this is something I’ve been struggling with for a while, and when I told a couple of other people about it they didn’t react exactly how I wanted them to. She asked how I wanted them to react, and I said that I wished they had been more supportive, open-minded and loving. She told me that she wouldn’t judge me no matter what I told her, but I still have some doubts. She’s another one of my friends who has made homophobic comments towards other people in the past… but I still want to tell her.

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Hey @Asher

Yeah, I completely get why you'd feel conflicted. I think that for most people who come out, they do think that their friendships might change. I must say, I've supported people in similar situations to you before who have felt this too, and they actually end up being closer to them in the end. When we hold back something so important, the rest of the world doesn't get to see the beauty in that. So, by coming out, you help the world to see more of your beauty by living as your authentic self :)

It's great that she said she won't judge you. Can I ask, why do you have doubts? Also, for the fiend who has made homophobic comments, do you think that she was being serious? 

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I have doubts because she’s said before that she believes the lgbtq+ community is evil. We’ll just call her E to make things easier. She thinks that homosexual thoughts and desires come from the devil. That’s what most Christians think. And yes, I’m sure my other friend was being serious when she made the homophobic comments. We’ll call her A. I remember one time a while ago there was a kid in my grade that was openly gay, and one of my other friends was kind of bullying him. We’ll call my friend J I guess. J and the kid were friends before he came out, but J has always been very homo/transphobic. J would make rude comments towards him sometimes, but the kid usually didn’t take them seriously since he thought he was joking. Then eventually, it got pretty bad and the comments turned to insults. One time at lunch, the kid came over to sit with us, and I can’t really remember what happened that seemed to offend J so much, but he started insulting the kid again. This time my other friend A joined in. They were saying things like “you’re going to hell” and “nobody wants you here”, and I tried getting them to stop, but I wasn’t sure what to say since I back then I still believed being gay was a sin. He tried standing up for himself but eventually he just stood up and left. He reported it to the school and we were taken to the office for questioning since we were witnesses of the whole event. I told them the truth about what happened: that J and A were the ones to blame for the whole thing, and they were mad at me for a while for not taking their side. But they eventually got over themselves. J is the one I’m most afraid to come out to. J and E are actually dating, so I’m also kinda scared I’ll be putting strain on their relationship if one of them is supportive and the other isn’t. Sorry this is so long, I kinda ended up writing a super long story 😅

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  • Digital Mentor

Hey Asher,

Thanks for explaining this to me. Yeah, it sounds like they have been pretty mean about it all, especially to that poor guy. I completely get why you’re feeling conflicted. It must be hard knowing how they have treated others in the past and then knowing that you will come out to them some day. Can I ask, how long has it been since you heard them be homophobic about anything? 

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Since around may I think. My friend A has been suspicious of her brother and thinks he might be gay because of some stereotypes he lines up with, she was talking with me and a couple other friends about it. That’s when they started saying how being gay was evil and demons are the ones planting these thoughts in people’s minds and blah blah blah.

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Hey @Asher

Ah, okay, so pretty recent then. I hope that they have a good response when you tell them and I think it would be good to prepare yourself for a bad response too. Many people do come around to this news when they have extreme views at first, so you have to be patient a lot of the time with those kinds of people. There may be loads of awkward questions that annoy you, but many people get through it. What do you reckon? How are you feeling about everything btw? 

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A is the one I actually came out to around a week ago. I expected her to ask all kinds of questions about it, but surprisingly she didn’t really ask anything. She asked what nonbinary means, what pansexual means, and how I could still be a Christian when I’m pansexual and nonbinary. She hasn’t said a word about it since then. Idk, that’s probably normal, but I just wasn’t expecting it. There’s a lot of things that I want to tell her about me, a lot of things I want to educate her about since there’s no other way for her to learn about these things. But I don’t want to make her feel uncomfortable.

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Hey @Asher

Yeah, it’s pretty normal to expect people to ask loads of questions when you come out. We spend so long building it up in our head that when we come out, we expect the whole world to stop and there be a massive uproar. However, most of the time, there isn’t. Although the silence might feel strange from your friend, it can also mean that they are actually supportive and have accepted it. It might not be obvious at first, but yeah, a lot of people speak about this happening. Also, it can be because they don’t want to ask you questions that might make you feel uncomfortable. What do you think? 

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Yeah, I think you’re right about her not wanting to make me uncomfortable. I know she could see how scared I was before I told her, and I did make her promise not to react badly. I hope this also means she’s accepting it! That would make me so happy

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Hey @Asher

Yeah, I think it might be that. Many people avoid asking for a while because I guess they're aware that it can be quite nerve-wracking to come out. She said she would try to support you to the best of her ability, so I would take her word for it. How are you feeling? 

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5 hours ago, Asher said:

I’m feeling a lot better now 😅 she’s not acting any differently around me. I was a little unsure at first but I’m really happy I told her now.

Hey @Asher

It's good to hear that she isn't acting differently around you. This shows to me that she has accepted it. What do you reckon? 

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Idk, I think she’s accepted it but I still don’t think she’s the kind of friend that I’d be able to talk with about a cute girl I like or how I want to get a binder. It’s just a feeling tho

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  • Digital Mentor

Hey,

I would give it a go to be honest. It might be that you're just feeling uncomfortable about it all, and once you start talking about things like that to her, it might go better than you think. What do you reckon? 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Maybe… I’ll probably test the waters a bit when we go shopping together. I really want to find some men’s clothes to add to my closet, so maybe I can get her to go look for some with me. 

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Hey @Asher

Yeah, I think that's a good idea. If she does seem uncomfortable at first, try to not take it personally. When people are new to things like this, they can have a weird reaction at first, but after that first initial experience, most people quickly open their mind up and see how happy these experiences are making their friend who is coming out. What do you think? 

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Hey @Asher

Yeah, I know it can be hard to take someone's word for it when they say something like this, but it is a really good sign that they're showing that commitment now to being supportive and nonjudgemental. I'd be concerned if she weren't saying this kind of thing, so I think you'll be good. What do you reckon? 

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