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Author Topic: Coming out to the one I mentor
The Wonderer
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Hello again. To summarize, I'm a senior in HS and I've decided to come out as a gay male in the next few weeks.

One concern I have is that as a senior, I've kinda adopted a freshman guy and taken him under my wing. I know he has a massive respect for me and I've been told that I've had a strong influence on him. He is a very quiet, shy, antisocial freshman who just seem to have low self confidence. He's definitely in that freshman stage where he's trying to find a niche for himself.

It is also worth mentioning that I have a tiny crush on him. However, I have told only one person who I'd swear to secrecy when I come out. I don't want him to know about the crush because I don't want him to feel betrayed by his mentor type thing. I don't want to betray his trust and faith in me.

He seems slightly homophobic, mainly because he's so young and has taken on others' beliefs to fit in? I doubt that he would be someone to take a stand for something. I've trying, as his mentor, to get his confidence up so he can stand up for things and think for himself.

Do you have tips or advice dealing with this? Do you think my plan for handling this is OK? I can provide more information as necessary.

Posts: 30 | From: Florida, US | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
hey22
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im only a sophomore, im not homophobic and i have a few homosexual friends but honestly if he is slightly homophobic or immature i wouldnt mention anything because if you do it could ruin the friendship you have with him.

Good luck and stay strong

Posts: 4 | From: America? | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Light
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Sometimes the thing that shocks people out of their assumed homophobia is actually knowing a real live gay person.

I don't see how you could come out and not tell him, word would get around and he would wonder why you didn't tell him.

I'd say go for it and come out, though I might be biased, because I didn't stand to lose any friends when I came out.

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Heather
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If he's got massive respect for you then you actually may be the first person to change his mind when it comes to any homophobia he's got, really. He may also feel more able to ask you questions about it than he might someone else. Those are both very good things, for both of you.

One thing I can tell you about mentoring people is that when you are a mentor, it's pretty important to have a certain level of non-attachment, because as a mentor, that person is not your friend. It's a different relationship than that, because it's necessarily a bit one-sided in terms of you being the giver. If and when someone you mentor is ready to move on, or you're no longer an apt fit for them as a mentor, I think you've got to be ready to just let them go, send them on their way and wish them well.

So if your being gay happens to be something he doesn't take well, or which no longer makes him feel like you're the right mentor for him, so be it. I'd pay more mind to your friends on equal standing with you than I would to someone you mentor when it comes to coming out.

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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The Wonderer
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I'm sorry, Heather, I should have been a bit more clear. I don't officially mentor him, it's more of a "taken under my wing" thing. We are both in band together. I consider myself a friend of his and I know he feels the same way. I've kinda taken under my wing because I'm just older and more self confident, and he's just young.

I try and get him to hang out with my group of friends after football games and stuff. He's sometimes tags along in my group on trips and stuff. I'm trying to get him to be less antisocial. = p

To Light: I know he'll find out because word travels fast in my school.

I don't know if I should tell him directly, simply because I have a feeling it would make him uncomfortable. If I don't tell him directly, he isn't the kind of person who would ask why I didn't come to him about it. He'd just accept whatever the situation is. Whether he'd be offended I didn't tell him, I have no idea.

Shy, seemingly apathetic kids are hard to read... heh. Any thoughts?

[ 01-06-2008, 07:32 PM: Message edited by: The Wonderer ]

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Heather
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Thing is, you're talking about a mentorship relationship. You're talking about schooling him, essentially, and working on his personal growth. Heck, you're calling him a kid. Clearly, you're not talking about a relationship of peers or equals here.

So, I'd still stand by the advice I gave you.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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The Wonderer
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Ok, I understand you more now.

Thank you! = )

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moonlight bouncing off water
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Your situations, what I've read of them, seem really interesting. They have nothing really to do with me, but they are so darn interesting! Hey, and homophobia is a little bit there in all or us, for instance I am only homophobic towards my self weird. So I just wanted to say, keep posting please!!!! Your posts are really interesting, you could write a book seriously.
Posts: 863 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Wonderer
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Thanks for the interest!

I came out after I graduated high school and I went my separate ways from the mentee. I'm sure he's heard through the grapevine, but I've never had the conversation with him since I haven't talked to him in a while.

Lame resolution, but it all works out in the end.

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moonlight bouncing off water
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Hey at least you got a resolution, I guess you might say that I am in the middle of coming out and in some cases going back in.

--------------------
~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

Posts: 863 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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