Opening up to friends

Psychologist's comment. LGBT personal experience
Maria Naymushina
a psychologist of LGBT-group "Raduzhny mir"
According to the experience these are the friends who more often than others are on the side of acceptance and who react to coming out neutrally or positively. If we talk about the adolescent environment, this is often the LGBT-teenager environment that turns out to be the only "escape" where the child is taken seriously, they try to deal together with the problems relating to relationships and help with what they can.

However, there are also stories when the peers also spread information about teen sexuality (they make a so-called "outing" – the disclosure of information about a person's sexual orientation without his / her consent to this). Especially this often happens in small cities and towns, about which they say that "everyone knows everyone" there. In such situations, this can lead to the public persecution of a man and his suicide.

If there is even the slightest doubts about whether to open up to a friend, if something resists inside - it is better not to open up. If there are doubts, but it is so unbearable that you want to tell at least someone, choose the lesser of two evils.

The smallest risks in such a situation is to begin with applying to adequate assistance services. Fortunately, they now exist. Both for adults, and for teenagers. There are teenagers who constantly contact the trust service, and this service provide a support to them as long as necessary until the situation is resolved. If in my childhood there would be such a service, it would be much easier to me in some moments of my life.

Sometimes an accidental person can help. Some time long ago the colleagues told about one address. The situation was complicated. A child, a newcomer, who spoke Russian poorly. He was persecuted at school: by children and even by some teachers. He had no relatives who could really support him. We were looking for various kinds of help for several months and finally found. One resource, discovered almost immediately, was in the younger sister he was courting. And the other one was an adult, a watchwoman at school who smiled at him every morning and said "Hello." The rescue operation was developed through her, and this worked.

There are always the people willing to listen. You should find them. For some people such person is their first teacher, a grandmother living in the same entrance, or even a clergyman. Yes, there are also people in the church who are as a minimum not aggressive, and who are as a maximum ready to listen to alternative points of view.
I liked my girlfriend. It was interesting and incomprehensible, and I was scared to discuss with her what was happening. Not every day you are said: "I want to touch your breast so much like a motherfucker." In the end I decided to discuss everything with her. She said: "I do not want to be scared of you, so we will talk." And we were talking: about what exactly I felt, how, when. In the end she admitted that I had sympathy for her and that she couldn't reciprocate it, but she didn't want to lose a friend either. We were in good, trusting relationship. I could tell her: "Now I would kiss you!", and we laughed at it together.

On the other hand at that time I lost many friends and acquaintances. People like putting labels, and I often heard something like: "Oh, that is why she is so man-like - she turns out to love women." Or: "Oh, that's why all her friends are faggots."
Nastya, Uzbekistan
I started coming outs to my friends when I was 18, and did it very carefully, one person at a time, starting with my closest friends and girlfriends. It was very scary, but I was lucky. During all this time I have not received any negative reaction, there were only a couple of phrases: "Yes, I always suspected this, you did not tell me anything new" and "Do not lie to me, you are not at all like a gay". In the end everyone in my social circle knew about me, and everything was fine. In my group of friends I could easily say: "Please meet my boyfriend".
Alexander, Russia – Latvia
I concealed everything from other people until the last moment. If you ask my "friends" about me, they will say - it was a great guy. But if you show me to them now, they will be the first to take knives.
Nicole, Azerbaijan – the Netherlands
The hardest thing was to open up to a best friend. When communicating, he often manifested homophobia. So, first I told everything to his wife. She was surprised, but finally got used to this. I still could not decide to tell about this to my friend, I had a real panic. On the one hand, I understood that it was necessary for me, but the internal forces slowed down, I had an internal struggle. In the end, I asked my friend's wife to talk to him and tell me about his reaction. She did it and then called me. I ask: "Well, how about it?" And she: "He is laughing!" - and in the background I hear that a person has a real hysteric.

A friend accepted this immediately, our communication did not change. On the contrary, he stopped using expressions which could somehow offend me. He even said that he supports the idea of legalizing same-sex marriages, because it is important to the people who love each other. And I heard this from a bearded man of two meters in height, who grew up and lived in a very traditional environment! Do not be afraid of talking to people who are dear to you.
Denis, Russia
I don't remember how exactly I was talking about my orientation with my friends. Something like: "I need to tell you something. I'm a gay". I did not stand out for delicacy. A friend of mine did not communicate with me after a year of such confession. Then, according to him, he realized that he was wrong, and now we get along fine, I am the godfather of his son. I do not even remember how I opened up to another friend. It seems that he always knew everything about me - just as, for example, he knew my name. He told another friend when he drank a lot. We hugged, and we also had no problems.

I think in this way: when you cannot not to tell then tell. The worst thing that may happen is that someone can spread the word. But, damn, to be not yourself is also not good. In the end you just need to accept that one day everyone can learn about your orientation. It's like a change of seasons: a reality with which nothing can be done.
Mikhail, Russia
Text: Vladimir Sokolov, Mikhail Danilovich, Anastasia Sechina. Translation into English: Irina Galina.