This week a reader asks Dr Dannii Cohen whether he’s really gay, because he likes football and goes on lads’ holidays to Ibiza.
Up until recently I only dated girls, but I’m starting to see guys as quite attractive. My friends would consider me one of the lads – I play football and go on lads’ holidays to Ibiza… I don’t really do stuff that’s usually considered “gay” so I’m not sure. Also, I’m worried that my mates will disown me if I come out. I don’t fancy any of them, but they may think I do and that I’ve been hiding my feelings for them. I know they aren’t particularly gay-friendly. It’s been cause for a bit of banter in the past.
Thank you for writing in.
From what you have told me it looks like you could very well be bisexual but focused only on girls in the past because that is ‘the norm’.
Before you come out, try to see if your feelings go beyond just being attracted: go to a gay bar and dance with someone, go on dates, kiss a guy. No reason to come out if you don’t know how far your feelings go.
What do you think those special things that are considered ‘gay’ actually are? There is no reason why someone gay or bi could not be ‘one of the lads’ as gay men come in all shapes and forms, but your friends may, of course, have a stereotypical image in their head.
I am not going to lie: it’s hard coming out inside the kind of group you are in, though there have been some surprising success stories over the years.
Do you have a close friend in the group that you trust and feel you can confide in? Or maybe one of them has an open-minded girlfriend you can talk to? Either of them could have your back during a coming out.
If you take the step try to explain that this changes nothing: you’re still the same footballing lad you always were. Try to stay calm and answer any questions as good as you can.
There is no guarantee that everyone will accept you immediately but you will never know if you don’t try. Try doing it on a night when the atmos is great, after a good tryout match for example. If people feel good they are more positively open. Also, try to come out in a safe public space where people are known to intervene if something goes wrong.
Whatever you do: please discover your true feelings before starting a process that’s difficult to reverse. The moment you are secure about who you are is the moment you feel stronger when coming out.
Always with love,
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Dannii Cohen is a stand-up comedian (drag name Divine Varod) and comedy writer turned author, psychologist, professional counselor, life coach and self-help expert. Specialized in LGBT issues, anxiety, empowerment, children’s issues and bullying.
Published works include children’s books about childhood depression and the importance of being yourself (When Clouds Hide The Sun and Christopher the Lonely Bear) and an easy to use self help manual 50 Things To Know To Have A Better Life: Self-Improvement Made Easy.