Do I Tell My Straight Friend I Have a Crush on Him?

Today: Do I tell my straight friend I have a crush on him?
Plus, I’m a bisexual Mormon virgin.

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Dear Pigeon Guts: I’m 17-year-old
with a huge crush on one of my straight friends, and it’s really taking a toll
on me. I know that I should just ignore my feelings and move on, but I can’t
and it’s really bugging me. He knows I’m gay, as do our whole circle of
friends, and he’s cool with it (we hang out regularly). I don’t really want to
mess things up between us, but I feel like the best way for me to get over this
is to just tell him.

I’m a senior in high school and he’s a junior, and with me
going off to college next year, I figured that I might as well tell him how I
feel and hope that it won’t turn out badly. In any case, I need some
experienced third-party opinion. My friends have given me mixed reactions, most
leaning towards not telling him. If you could give me some advice on the
current situation, that would be awesome. — JT, New Jersey

The Pigeon Guts Speak:

As a general rule, I strongly
advise against telling unavailable people about any crush you might have on
them. The feeling that it’s important to tell them is based on a flawed
assumption: namely, that your crush is as important to them as it is to you.
But by its very definition, it isn’t. You’re
the one with the crush – they’re the
one who doesn’t feel the same way.

Meanwhile, revealing a crush has a
strong potential to ruin everything. One of the things we all like in our friends
is their predictability: they’re “safe” to be around. The revelation of a
secret crush violates that trust in a big way. It makes a comfortable,
predictable, “safe” friendship something perilous and awkward. Have you ever
had someone reveal romantic feelings to you when you didn’t feel the same way?
The sense of expectation can be overwhelming.

And I haven’t even touched upon
the whole issue of straight teenage boy weirdness on the issue of homosexuality
(no matter how “cool” he is with a gay friend, he may be less cool with an
available gay guy crushing on and/or mooning over him).

Crushes fade in time. That’s why I
think the best course of action is to enjoy it for what it is and just let it

That said, I think there are rare
instances where a friendship is really close and really secure and it can
survive this kind of disclosure. And I’m sure you’re thinking that part of
what’s giving this crush some of its power is its secretive, unexpressed

I’d still recommend against
telling him, but if you’d do, I’d keep it extremely light, even making it a
joke with absolutely no expectations on him whatsoever, basically saying,
“Would you stop being such a nice guy? I have this stupid gayboy crush on you,
and it’s making it impossible for me to find a boyfriend!”

Q: I’m a 16-year-old boy, openly gay, a
sophomore in rural Oregon
(not as bad as it sounds). Anyway, so I met this guy last year, and we started
bonding. He’s a senior this year, and around October, we kind of had a fling.
Well, to him it was a fling, to me, I was hoping that it would develop into
something more. He was on the down-low, kind of, anyway. Most everyone knew
that he was gay, only because he wasn’t very discreet about his ventures.

He has a complicated story: he came out to his dad, who
left upon hearing it, and he had to call his dad and tell him that he was
“just joking” for his dad to come back. After that, he claimed that
he was straight again, and had a relationship with a girl, that became sexual,
and he lost his virginity to her, and later broke up with her without much of a
reason. A few years later, we had our little fling. It lasted about a month,
and in that time, we weren’t very sexual, because we weren’t comfortable with
it yet. He told me that he was okay with that, but a week or so later, he broke
up with me, without much of a reason.

Since that was my first relationship, and since I really fell for the guy, I
was heartbroken. Skip forward to now. He ignores my existence, and has begun
dating a girl, in a sexual relationship. And I still feel heartbroken. I really
care about this guy, but if anyone brings up the fact that we dated, he gets
really mad, and he pretty much pretends that it never happened. He told me that
he was bisexual, but he told his dad when he left that he was gay, and I
honestly am not sure which one it is.

But let’s just get to the point: I still have feelings for
this boy. At the same time, I really hate him for being such an *sshole.
Everyone tells me that I should just “get over him” because he’s such
an *sshole, not just to me, but to everyone. But he wasn’t, when he was with
me. He was different, he was honest. I see him every day (we do theater
together) and it hurts, but at the same time, I don’t want to not see him. And
as much as I would love to “get over him,” I just really hate the
feeling of being alone, which is how I’ve felt ever since he broke up with me.
I really want a boyfriend, but not just a fling, I want someone whom I could
actually fall in love with eventually. Am I asking too much? And what about
this boy who makes me feel so many conflicting and confusing things? Am I being
stupid for feeling so much over something so small? Just because he has had sex
with girls, does that mean he’s not gay? What should I do? – Trevor, OR

The Pigeon Guts Speak:

You seem like a really smart,
really self-aware kid. So I’m going to ask you to do this: read your letter
over again, pretending that you didn’t write it. Do it now.

Okay, having read the letter
again, what advice would you give this person?

That’s right: this guy needs to
listen to his friends and move on. It’s obvious, isn’t it?

You want two things: a boyfriend,
not a fling. And you also want a relationship with this guy. But these two
things are mutually exclusive: this guy is just too messed up at this point to
commit himself to another guy. Will he ever be able to do so? Hopefully, but it
won’t be for many years – and there will be at least a couple of really messy,
screwed up relationships before that time.

Trust me: you don’t want to be a
part of this. If you weren’t the writer of this letter and you were giving
advice to him, you’d say exactly the same thing.

So why is your heart telling you
that you do? Because you’re sixteen and lonely, because he was your first love,
and because this guy probably really does have some great qualities.

But he still can’t give you what
you want, and the sooner you accept that, the better off you’ll be.

Pigeon Guts: I’m about to turn 25 years old and I feel empty. After
spending years trying to come to grips with myself, I’ve decided that I’m
bisexual. While content with the prospect of dating women, I have yet to
experience the same interactions with men. My problem is that I’m Mormon. When
I was a teenager, I just hoped and prayed that the attraction to men would go
away. Now I’ve decided that it’s okay to be attracted to men (or in my case,
both genders). And after doing a lot of searching, I’ve decided that while I
might identify as Mormon, I don’t agree with everything they preach and have
lapsed (I do believe that the church, and others, will change one day).

I’m not out to my family and only to a couple friends (one is a girl who might
share feelings with me and is also bisexual). Of my immediate family, only my
mother and brother are Mormon. My dad is quite liberal and would actually
support me. My mom probably wouldn’t and I fear what that would do to their
marriage. My brother might try, but his wife would probably shut me out and I’d
never get to see him or my beautiful niece again. My brother is my best friend.

I truly see myself as one day being happy with
someone of either gender, but because of the fear of losing my family, I
haven’t gone out to experience anything with a man. I haven’t dated, slept
with, or even kissed a man. I’m afraid that because I’m shutting out this part
of me, I’m eventually going to shut everything else out. It’s been two years
since my last date with anyone, and I honestly don’t have the urge to anymore.
Now I feel depressed a lot of the time and I’m afraid that the depression is
getting worse. I don’t know what to do. — Lost, Knoxville,

The Pigeon Guts Speak: 
First, it’s important for me to
point out that sometimes people surprise you. You think you know how your
mother and brother’s wife will react, but you may be wrong, especially over the
long-term. You’re depressed right now, so that may be making you unduly

(I have a feeling your brother is
no fool, and as your best friend, he’ll actually be relieved to find out what’s
been slowly eating at you.)

But let’s assume for the sake of
argument that you’re not wrong about any of this.

You’re in a no-win situation. You
stay closeted and unhappy – and being closeted and unhappy makes it really,
really difficult to have a relationship with either a guy or
girl. Or you come out and you jeopardize or destroy your relationship with your
mother and brother.

But here’s the thing: you’re already miserable. That’s the thing about “no-win” situations: you can’t win!

So the question becomes which
course of action is most likely to eventually lead to a more
satisfying outcome. The status quo? Is there a way you can stay closeted to
your family about your bisexual feelings while staying authentic to yourself?

And what if you did pursue your
bisexuality and/or began the coming out process to selected members of the
family? Is it at least possible that your
mother and your brother’s wife could eventually come around?

You have to find your own answer
here, but I strongly encourage you to enlist the help of a
GLBT-supportive therapist to help you find it and to deal with your depression.

P.S. Your parents’ marriage is not
your responsibility. It really isn’t.

Need life advice? Contact me here (and be sure
and include your city and state and/or country!