Thursday, January 19, 2006

Q&A columnist answers question of gay college student

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The following is from an advice column published by the Toronto Star. A gay, 19 year old college student seems to have found himself in a bit of a "queer predicament":
Gay teen should think about coming out Jan. 19, 2006. 01:00 AM Q: I'm a college student, 19, and I'm gay and fine with that. My problem is not one of identity or lifestyle but, rather, with a girl who continually finds excuses to talk to me and sit next to me. My friends have noticed this (she's attractive and most of the other guys in the class pay attention to where she sits). They're pestering me for a reason why I'm not dating her. I feel that by ignoring the situation that I'm leading her to think I'm interested. I'll be working closely with these people over the next few years and don't want to alienate anyone. I'm not ready to "come out" yet but I also don't want to date someone I'm not attracted to. How do I tell her I'm not interested? ~Queer Predicament A: It's great that you've got it together on who you are; now's the time to start getting comfortable with how you're perceived. This girl likely feels an ease with you precisely because she senses you're not going to hit on her. Treat her casually and use the "friend" word in conversation, she'll get the message. Tell those pestering guys you're just not into her, period. Then change the subject. And so will "coming out." I agree you need to feel ready and it should start with close people. This is a good time to think through how and when. A book I like that provides good information on coming out, is also a primer to give interested non-gay people: Is It A Choice? by Eric Marcus. He writes, "Those gay and lesbian people who choose to tell their friends, family and colleagues about their sexual it primarily because they want to be themselves, because they want to be honest with those they love and trust, and because it can be difficult, exhausting, and personally destructive to pretend to be someone you're not."
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