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How to Talk To A Homosexual: A Guide For Straight People

Wondering how to talk to a homosexual without making an enemy? We’re here to help.
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If you have gay friends, and you’re not gay yourself, there’s bound to be a little miscommunication while you adjust to the situation. It’s a whole new dynamic if you’ve never had a gay friend before – but it’s not so hard to get used to.

Wondering what you should do to avoid your new friend hating your guts?

Well, it’s really pretty simple: Treat us like humans. For a more specific tutorial, check the following list.


Don’t run away screaming when they come out to you.

It should be pretty self-explanatory, but some people have a hard time with it. Just don’t do it. It’s rude.


If you really feel the need to run away, do so slowly.

And if you care about them at all, give them the courtesy of being discrete. Coming out on someone else’s behalf? Also rude.


Don’t assume that they’re attracted to you.

Just like most straight people are not attracted to everyone of the opposite sex, most gay people are not attracted to everyone of the same sex.


Don’t assume they’re not attracted to you.

Hey – maybe they do think you’re cute. But that generally doesn’t mean they’re going to force themselves on you. We do have self-control.


Don’t assume you’re not attracted to them, either.

Sometimes, your desires might surprise you. It’s ok. We won’t judge you for it.


Don’t expect them to think you’re a novelty.

Even though you might have never met a gay person before, they’ve probably met straight people before. They probably don’t want to know every detail about your “lifestyle”.


Don’t treat them like a novelty, either.

They probably don’t want to answer a million questions about being gay. Most don’t mind answering one or two – but if they wanted to answer a million questions, they’d be writing an advice column on a gay website. (Yes, this means you can ask me whatever you’d like! But please be respectful.)


Please, don’t make it painfully awkward.

This includes repeatedly bringing up your opposite-sex significant other so that they know you are 100% definitely not gay. (BTW, this makes you seem way more gay.)


“Why are you gay?” counts as an awkward question.

Other questions to avoid: “Are you sure?” “Have you always been gay?” “How long have you been gay?” “What made you gay?” “Do you like being gay?” “But how do you know if you’ve never been with the opposite sex?” or the dreaded “Do you know [fellow homosexual’s name]?” (We do not have some telepathic link with one another – although that would make dating a hell of a lot easier.)


Don’t expect their gay-ness to just not come up.

If they’re out of the closet, they’re not going to get back in the closet just to make you more comfortable. Asking them to would be incredibly rude.


No, it’s not “a sex thing” (for most of us).

And if it is, that’s none of your business. The only people who are entitled to know about our sex lives are those we choose to share them with. (Again – if they wanted to be on display, they’d be on display.)


Your kids are not in danger.

Well, if they’re really cute, we might file for visitation. (Wink wink.)


Your honor is not in danger.

The vast majority of gay people have no interest in pursuing, dating, or sleeping with a straight person. Don’t worry.


Your marriage is not in danger.

No one is trying to steal your husband or wife. If gay marriage threatens your “traditional” marriage, that means one of you is gay. No exceptions.

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Author

Barbara is a 26-year-old lesbian living in California with her partner (and their “fur babies” – an adorably chubby puppy named Porkchop and a ball python named Ru). In the spare time she pretends to have, she enjoys horror movies, music of all varieties, reading, and complaining about the weather.

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