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Coming out to a best friend
#1
I am out to two of my three best friends and plan to come out to the third next month. We are going on a two hour car journey together and I will tell him then. I know I will not be very good doing this verbally so I am thinking of presenting him with a letter to read. What do people think about this idea? Here is the first draft of the letter. Bear in mind that I am 64 year old virgin who is still in the closet.

I’ll keep this as short as I can and come to the point straight away. Basically, I’m gay. Or mostly gay anyway. You may have suspected this for a while now. The fact that I do not have a woman in my life at my age sort of hints at it. The fact that I live with another man is another clue. That is the ironic bit because Steve is not gay and nothing has ever happened between us and never will. He probably suspects that I am gay and sometimes jokes about it but I’ve never confirmed it and we’ve never talked seriously about it.
Also, I’m a virgin. Now you may find this hard to believe but I swear it is true. The reasons for this are complicated and I’m not sure that I understand them myself. It’s been a lonely existence and had its dark times but I’ve grown used to it now (ish).
I’ve been wanting to tell you this for quite some time but didn’t have the courage and the time was never right. As one of my three best friends and one of the most important people in my life I’ve hated myself for keeping this from you. You deserve to know and I want you to know the real me. My sexuality is only a small part of me and doesn’t define who I am. My personality, character and heart you know already.
I ask of you two things. Firstly, whereas I trust you explicitly to not spread this around I realise that you probably do not keep anything from Eileen and guess that the two of you may have discussed this aspect of me already but if at all possible please do not share it with her.
Secondly, after reading this, please give an honest reaction. It may take you a while to realise what your feelings are. If I lost you as a friend I would be devastated but I wouldn’t hold it against you. It would be even worse if you said that nothing will change but then over the next few weeks or months it did. Please be honest.
I will answer any question you have and really don’t mind you asking about any aspect of this. In fact it would be good to talk about it as I never really have.
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#2
Sounds good to me, good luck.
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#3
Question.

Why do you feel the need to volunteer the information of your sexuality?

I have never felt the need to, or have I ever actually, volunteered to tell anyone that I am gay.

Knowing ones sexuality isn't going to change anything really is it?

I don't know why not informing every man, woman and dog of your sexuality is classed as 'hiding' or 'dishonesty'. Why is it that people feel this need to inform others of their sexuality?

The only reason I came out was when someone asked me 'Are you gay?' and I answered 'YES' and of course people got all excited and threw me a coming out party...it was a free feed so I went.

I'm not saying don't do it....I am just putting my thoughts on the matter out there.
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#4
I think your idea will surely work, but why wait? You could use your draft letter as notes for your talking points and just call him up tomorrow and tell him. That way, by the time you take that trip next month it's all been processed and you can just enjoy your time together. You don't have to be good at talking about this, just say what you need to say as awkward as it may come out. You don't get points for eloquence as there are no judges listening in on the conversation.

From the contents of your letter it seems like there is some chance of rejection, perhaps just all made up in your mind, or perhaps real. Coming out during a two hour journey and getting rejected would make for a long, strange journey.

You should certainly drop the stuff about not holding his potential rejection against him. Why say that? If I lost a friend because I was other than straight, hell yes I'd hold it against him. It sounds like you still have a lot of internal shame, that it would be just perfectly understandable for people to reject you because you are gay. That is something worth overcoming. If someone rejects you because you're gay, that person is the one with the problem, not you!

Now, why can't Eileen know too? You are trying to pull other people into your closet with what you think is some big secret. Tell them both. Not sure what the big deal is. You already know that they know, so just go ahead and talk about the elephant in the room. They may be relieved to hear you finally say it.
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#5
A conversation would be much easier.

Also, too much information in the letter, and it's far too long.

As for coming out, then telling him not to tell his wife, what's that all about.

How about you just give him a thank you card with "surprise, I'm gay" written in it. I find humour is a much better way to deal with something when your nervous.
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#6
I agree with Camfer Mike. I think you should probably either present him with the letter or call him up before going on the drive with him. Give him time to digest the information. I understand why you want to do it by letter, it is very daunting doing it verbally, but if you do call him up, at least you have your letter to refer to if you get tongue tied with nerves. Whatever you decide, I wish you the best of luck, and I hope telling him provides you with some sense of relief and gains you another person you can confide in and be yourself with Smile.
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#7
I wholeheartedly agree with [MENTION=20941]Camfer[/MENTION], he gave you really sound advice. I would add a few things:
1) Waiting for the letter to be read and his reaction might be really stressful, and nothing stops him from showing it to everyone he knows if he turns out to be a not-so-good friend. That's another reason to tell him in person.
2) Cut all the unnecessary details (being a virgin for example), you can save those for later. For now you just want to come out.
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#8
deephiance Wrote:Question.

I have never felt the need to, or have I ever actually, volunteered to tell anyone that I am gay.

I have been the same way, I have never denied being gay, but I have never made a point to flaunt it either.

That being said everyone's life is different and if this is something important to you I get that.

What I don't get is the letter. Talk to your friend. I think they would appreciate it more hearing you tell them, then to find out in a letter.
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#9
Thanks to everyone who responded. Your comments have made me think twice about the letter approach. I'm still going to tell him during the drive as we seldom get much time alone together and this way we certainly won't get interrupted. But I will probably do it verbally. I am 95% certain I will not get rejected.
Thanks guys.
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#10
Good luck Mike. A good friend will love you just as much!
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