Friday, January 8, 2016

Straight Man, Gay Friend

   Ok,  So I have a lot of friends that struggle with SGA, or Same Gender Attraction.  I have a lot of friends that don't struggle with SGA, but they do struggle with how to deal with or handle men that have that struggle or they struggle with just developing good friends.

    Truth be known,  you probably already have a good friend that struggles with SGA or you might have a friend that just struggles  making friends  but just cannot bring himself to tell you about his struggle, and even a greater truth is he is aching to confide in you but is  afraid of what you will think.  And if the truth be known, even a greater truth, he needs you and desires your support and love and understanding.

     So the big question is what can you do to help a friend that struggles with SGA or a friend that struggles with making friends.  I by all means am not an authority on this topic, but I have learned a few things over the years and feel it's time to share with you some of the things I have learned and discovered in my journey.

    Most men ache or desire a connection with another man,  SGA or not. Most men don't want to admit short comings or weaknesses, at least what society labels as such.  Most of us  want to keep up the appearance of how in control we are and how together we are.  So we go along hiding behind our masks.  On the other hand there are some of us that prefer that some things just stay behind the masks.  If we stay hidden we don't have to deal with it.  We often for example might think a friend struggles with SGA, but we just won't go there for fear of judging or even a greater fear, what do I do, what will he think of me?   It's more comfortable knowing but not knowing.  We don't have to deal with it if we don't acknowledge it.  To be perfectly honest that is a poor choice.  The reason that it is a poor choice is that your friend needs you and what you can give him and you need him and what he can teach you.  He is most likely living in fear of your judgements of him and afraid he will lose your valued friendship.  In the process both are missing out on great learning experiences.

     Lets get some facts straight here.  Just because a man struggles with SGA does not mean he wants to have sex with you.  So your safe.  And just because he loves you as a friend does not mean he desires more than friendship from you.  Your still safe.  What does it mean though.

    Most likely it means he admires you and trust you and wants to be your friend.  And if he is attracted to you,  whats the big deal anyway.  Take is as a complement.  He thinks your great,  he may even think your handsome, charming, and yes even sexy,  your still safe.

     In our society we keep up borders to protect ourselves and in the process we deny ourselves meaningful deep personal healthy relationships that bless us and others that we let into our lives.  Friendship, really true friendships develop when we allow others into lives and when we let others in the private areas of our hearts.

      So, back to the question of what we can do to help others and help ourselves.

#1 Transparency,  Be transparent,  meaning don't hide who you are or what you are.   We all need to practice being more open and letting others see us for who we are and what we are.  That often means taking off the mask and removing the walls.  It's a hard thing to do, but so worth the effort.

#2  Try to understand.  Even though you don't deal with the same feelings or challenges, try to understand.  You may have no idea what it feels like to be attracted to other men,  or your friend may have no idea what it's like to to be attracted to women,   Just because you don't get it or he doesn't get it does not mean it's not real and you can't be friends in a very deep meaningful way.

#3 Ask what you can do to help, and listen to what they are saying.  And be willing to help.  That's the big thing.  Be willing to help.  So often we sexualize everything, from hugs to looks.   Honestly most men that I know that struggle with SGA are good men, God fearing men, that have a challenge that they are trying to deal with in a very personal powerful way.  Research has found that when these men can connect in a positive healthy way with other men they are able to handle and deal with the struggles they have and to perfectly honest part of the problem is the disconnect with men.

#4  Be a friend,  a real friend,  not just a friend that is a friend if you think the same, but a friend that can love you no matter what.  True friends strive to understand and help,  even when they don't understand they don't run, they stay and learn.

#5  Relax,  you just might learn some things about yourself that you didn't know.  For example, hugging can be great, or watching a chick flick with another man can be fun or you might discover he has a whole different outlook on how to skin a deer or how to hook a worm,  you never know what life will reward you with when you step outside your comfort zone and learn to love someone who thinks different.

#6  Establish boundaries. Meaning that we all can establish boundaries about how to handle our friendship.  Boundaries are good and should be respected on both sides of the friendship.  All men have different trigger points and as a friend we should respect our friends and their needs and where they draw the line.  If you have a friend and he cannot respect the boundaries you have set, perhaps he is not a friend after all.  Good friends learn, know, and respect the boundaries of each other, also in that is understanding the needs of each other also keeping it within your religious and personal beliefs.

I love and adore all my friends,  SGA friends and straight friends.  I learn from each of them and appreciate the journey each one is on.  For both I learn compassion and goodness.  I admire both for trying to be the best they can no matter what the challenge they are faced with.  You know,  we don't choose our challenges, but we can choose who we deal with them and how we help others deal with their challenges.  I choose to be loving and accepting,  and guess  what,  that can be done without having to lower my standards or change my boundaries.  I can choose to love regardless of choices of others and in the process I become a better man.

Men, open your hearts and love your brothers,  they need you and you need them.


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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Good ideas. We all can use more friends, especially ones that we can connect with one as deeper, more emotional level.