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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » LGBTQA Relationships » Best Friend

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Author Topic: Best Friend
emochickie7
Activist
Member # 24171

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So.. I've been best friends with this guy since I was 11 and he was 8 (I'm 18 now and he's 15) and a lot of people used to make fun of us and say we were boyfriend and girlfriend. Well.. today.. he just came out to me. I was really not expecting it, but I don't think anything of it. The thing is, none of my other good friends [openly] identify themselves as anything other than straight, and I'm the first one he's told. So.. I don't know exactly how to help him. As in, telling other people, talking about his feelings, etc. Any suggestions?
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Well, the best thing you can do is really to ASK him if he needs anything, and if so, what he needs that you can help with.

Sometimes, it may really be nothing at all: sometimes, telling one person is enough at a given time, and a person may not have any real conflicts or concerns about being queer. Other times, obviously, the situation can be different, and as time goes by, those needs are likely to change: if and when he starts dating, for instance, he may just need you to gripe to about all the usual; dating stuff any of us gripe about.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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emochickie7
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Thank you for the reply.

I just talked to him over AIM, and I guess he's still not comfortable to tell me what's been going on with him in person, but we've decided that, until he's ready, we can talk about it on AIM and in notes/letters (he came out in a letter).

And now the bigger issue.. I just found out that for the past year, he has been having sexual contact with his stepdad's relative who is 24. He had to sign off of AIM so I didn't find out the whole story, but I'm still worried. His uncle might just be using him, and what they did/are doing is illegal, considering their ages. And all of this could definitely cause family problems (just to clarify, however, they aren't related by blood). He told me that he likes his "uncle." And I know you can't always control who you like but I know that if this keeps going, he could end up very hurt. Since he just told me today, though, I don't want to pounce on him about every detail.

Any suggestions, comments, or anecdotes would be appreciated. I'm really worried for my friend, but I don't want him to feel judged by me or something.

[ 04-10-2006, 04:29 PM: Message edited by: emochickie7 ]

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Heather
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Where are you both located?

Because yeah, given his age it's highly likely this is, in fact, a statutory rape issue. Given that age difference, it's also highly likely he may be, in some way at least, being exploited.

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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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emochickie7
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We're in a suburb of Chicago.
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Heather
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Then yep: he's decently under the age of consent there.

Here's the thing about that that should make some red lights go off.

This older man likely KNOWS what the AOC is and that the sex he's having with your friend is criminal.

Which begs the question, giving the intense punishment for sex offenders, often more severe due to homophobis in same-sex cases:Why doesn't he care?

Sometimes -- often, really -- someone like that doesn't care because they are relying upon the younger person's silence. And as is probably obvious, that doesn't really suggest a very healthy dynamic. Since this is a close friend of the family, I think it's safe to say reliance on silence here is absolutely in play. And that's pretty scary.

Is it possible for you to -- even lightly -- bring these issues up to your friend over the next couple of weeks?

I would if you could. If he's got any shame involved per his orientation, it's pretty typical to be drawn to an adult, especially a trusted one, telling him he's okay. But if that same person is having sex with him, a big part of why he is telling him that/giving him those messages, is because it is beneficial to the ADULT that your friend thinks it's okay.

--------------------
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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emochickie7
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Yeah, I'm definitely going to try to bring it up in conversation again.

I know it's not really the main point but they haven't had sex.. my friend gave manual sex (?) (I don't want to sound crude or something) to the family friend guy, and he hasn't been "getting" anything in return either. Which makes me wonder how he hasn't felt completely used this whole time.

Wow. The more I think about this, the more I wish I could yell at the "uncle" person for being such an irresponsible adult. Ugh. I'm not even the one going through anything, but I feel so torn up for my friend. Thanks for all the help.. I'll probably be coming back to this thread pretty often.

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Heather
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Well, do understand that for those of us who are queer, there's no one activity which defines us as "having sex." So, for instance, if you're assuming anal sex is "sex" for gay men, think again. Plenty of gay men don't participate in anal intercourse at all. In other words, they've engaged in a sexuali activuty, which could have as much or as little weight as any other. A relaitvely low-risk one when it comes to STIs, but still sex.

And yes, "uncle" anyone engaging in sex with a minor who came of age considering him such is being exploitive to some degree: it's pretty much a given. But it's also pretty common when you first realize you're queer -- especially for young gay men -- to find that the only queer community/mentorship you can find is via adults, and via having sex with adults. It's a pretty crappy condundrum in many cases, especially when the adults exploit.

One thing you could offer to do which might be of help in this regard would be to go with him to some local, peer queer event or gathering. Is there a GSA at school, for instance? Might you or some folks you're friends with be up to starting one? helping a friend to open up doors to find that mentorhsip and community without having to give a handjob to get it can be a really big help.

--------------------
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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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