Coming Out and Losing Out

Q: I’m happily bi, and on coming out to my friends, I thought they’d be happy for me – admittedly with some getting used to. However, there’s this one friend who won’t have ANYTHING to do with me any more. We went through a lot of difficult times together over the years and I really miss her friendship and support. There’s never been anything ‘romantic’ between the two of us; she’s got a steady long-term bloke. She’s also got gay (male) friends so I didn’t expect it to be a problem. However, she now avoids seeing me, won’t answer my messages, and gets her bloke to answer the phone and tell me to leave her alone. I don’t know how to get through. I should probably just leave it but it’s difficult to let go of 5 years of friendship just like that, and for such a stupid reason.

Diva Says: Yeesh. That’s got to hurt. I’m sorry you’re going through this. Oddly enough, the question I answered before yours was a young girl in the process of coming out, worried about the reactions of her friends. I assured her that the majority of them would be accepting. But here you are with the worst-case-scenario in action.
It sounds to me like your friend may not have so much of an issue with homosexuality, but with yours in particular. You mentioned that she has gay male friends, so it must not be a moral issue. It could certainly be a comfort level issue with gay women. Or, conversely and on a more personal level, it could be some feelings of betrayal that she may have after finding out your “secret” after five years of friendship. You mentioned that you’ve been through some difficult times together. That forms a bond of trust, and she may feel somehow that you’ve betrayed that trust by keeping your sexuality a secret from her.
She may also feel in some way uncomfortable with the level of intimacy you’ve had in the past and she may, selfishly, assume that you’ve had feelings for her or broken her trust by “checking her out”, etc. I’m not sure of her personality type, but I do know that some women tend to feel some latent vulnerability and suspicion.
I say lay off for a while, but keep yourself available. Don’t stop hanging out anywhere that you might run into her, and don’t alter your circle of friends to avoid being around her. If she’s that set on not seeing you, she can alter her own patterns until she realizes how silly she’s being. Conversely, don’t make a pest of yourself. Let her process this, and, if your friendship was as strong as you say, it’s a fair chance that she’ll reach out to you when she’s ready. In the meantime, try not to take it too personally. I know that’s impossible on some levels, but if you can step back and be amused by her insecurities instead of offended by them, for the most part, it will help to lower the tensions of the situation and make it easier for her to relax.
Good luck!

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