Is He Gay?
Q: I think my best friend may be gay. He hasn't been out with a woman in years, and every time I mention dating, sex or meeting women, he seems to get very uncomfortable and changes the subject. I want him to know it's okay if he's gay but don't want to bring up the subject and offend him. How can I bring up this issue in a supportive way without making it uncomfortable for him? -Dave, 41
Dr. Anna: That you have noticed and are thinking about this question shows you are already doing a great job of being supportive. Sometimes, though, being too supportive can be a problem. If you come right out and say, "If you're gay, I totally support you!" might come from a good place but it may not land as well as you hope. If you are trying to find a subtle way to communicate that you would accept him unconditionally, try making a point to be inclusive in your speech or talk to him about how you stand against discrimination. Leave the door open but don't demand that he walk through it before he's ready.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.