You Know We’re Right: Trying to work with a secret romance?

September 9, 2011

Dear Morgan and Leah,

I’m a gay junior and I’m very comfortable with my sexuality. While I’m not super public about it, my family and friends know and I haven’t tried to hide it since I came out in high school. I’ve recently started seeing a guy who isn’t out and I don’t know what to do. A few of our close mutual friends know, but that’s it. I sometimes feel like we’re just friends who secretly hook up, which sucks. I know he really cares about me, but I want to be able to hold his hand and kiss him in public. What should I do?

Bummed Out Boyfriend

Dear Boyfriend,

While neither of us can say we’ve been in your exact position, but we’ve seen and dealt with people uncomfortable making their relationships public. We’ll do our best to help you out!

Don’t pressure him!

Even though you came out in high school, the prospect of coming out can be scary, especially if your guy has a particularly conservative family or group of friends. Remind him that you can relate but that it might not be as frightening as he anticipates. A gentle nudge is totally acceptable, but you don’t want him to feel like you’re trying to force him, nor do you want him to resent you and pull away.

Help him feel more comfortable.

Remind your guy of all the reasons you think he’s great. Is he insanely funny? An awesome listener? Chances are you fell for him for the same reasons his friends and family love him—reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with his sexuality. Remind him that those qualities are what truly matter to those who know him.

What if?

The worst case scenario is that he is never ready to come out fully . Maybe he feels he can tell friends but not family, or some groups of friends but not all of them. You need to decide if there is some sort of compromise for you, or if he needs to be totally out in order for the relationship to work. Maybe you’d be OK with him being out at school but not at home—something that could change the tone of your relationship from day-to-day. But if it’s a deal breaker, tell him and see if it changes anything. If not, try to move on.

Moving forward …

The bottom line is that you can’t and shouldn’t pressure him to come out to anyone if he isn’t ready. Hopefully, he will get to a point in his life where he feels comfortable in his own skin, but until that happens you’re just going to have to wait it out. Just remind him how much you and his friends and family care about it him.

Good luck!

Peace, Love and Great Advice,

Leah and Morgan

Have questions that you want answered by the lovely ladies of The Hoot? Submit your questions to advice@thebrandeishoot.com or at formspring.me/leahandmorgan! They will be answered by Leah Finkelman ’13, Features Editor, and Morgan Gross ’14, Impressions Editor. We’re so excited to hear your questions!

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