My best friend is gay

My best friend in year 9 & 10 was gay, only I didn’t know it at the time, and I never really talked to him about his sexuality either. It just didn’t seem to come up in conversation. Daniel* and I were pretty close, we spent most of our time hanging out on weekends together, going to parties together, and he hooked up with girls all the time! Our relationship was completely platonic. He wasn’t like other guys – I could actually talk to him about stuff that mattered and we were into the same music.

My Mum would often say things to me like “You know Daniel’s gay don’t you?” and I would get all defensive and say “Don’t be stupid Mum!”. I thought that because he was with girls – he was straight. It wasn’t until we got out of high school that he started hooking up with guys, and is now a married gay man. If I could go back in time, I really wish I’d been able to talk to him about what was going on for him, and to let him know that I would be there for him no matter his sexuality. I wish I’d been able to say to my Mum “So what? It doesn’t matter whether he’s gay, straight or bi, he’s still my best friend”.

Looking back, I was totally scared about what being gay meant, and how it would affect our friendship. I wish I’d been brave enough to really look at why I was worried that Daniel might be gay, and instead just started the conversation with him and been there for him. It’s one of my biggest regrets.

*Daniel is not his real name 

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