Dear papa bear,
I am a male & recently (June 2015), I told my best friend that I like him. Before telling him, he gave me several hints that suggested he felt the same way. (Saying I had a big dick, asking if I could rap my dick a fruit roll up, asking why does the light skinned dick have to be bigger than the dark skin dick, waiting for me to get out the shower so we could end up getting dressed at the same time, and so on). So I let all these things build up before I actually told him. I tried to find a way for 2 months to tell him, but I finally did. The conversation went something like I said, "Have you ever just liked somebody & didn't know how to tell them." He said "Nahh" So then I said "Well I really feel some type of way about this person." His response was "Who, male or female?" I said "Male." He said, "Who, Paul?" I said, "No." Then he said, "Who? Me?" I said, "Yes." Then he said, "Oh. Well different people have different preferences." So as we were getting out the car I said I'll text you & he said ok. So while we were texting I told him again & he said he wasn't a homo & assured me he wasn't going to tell anyone. A few days after that, I left to go out of town so we didn't see each other for the whole summer. It wasn't until we got back to school in the fall that I found out he had went around telling everyone & acting funny with me. One day we would be friends, then next we wouldn't. I couldn't understand why my best friend was doing me this way. I tried several times to fix our friendship, but nothing worked. He started talking to all these females & having sex with them after we've been in college 4 years & this is when he decides to do this to prove to people that he is not gay, when everybody knows he is lying. To sum it up, we ended up fighting by the end of the semester & the little bit of friendship we had is now gone. We haven't talked since November 24 & it's now January 5. What should I do?
Anonymous (age 21)
* * *
I can tell from this letter that you’re pretty smart. You’ve figured out exactly what I would have said: this is classic overcompensation by your friend to disguise the fact that he’s gay. He’s distance himself from you by telling everyone you’re gay, and then jumped into a pool of wanton heterosexual sex to try and convince everyone how masculine he is (and how immature). Could you be wrong that he’s gay? Hmm, maybe, but it’s kinda true that guys like us have a “gaydar,” as they say. You can tell. Heck, even straight people can tell a lot of the time, as you seem to indicate in your letter by implying most people who know him on campus have figured it out, except a few dense and overly horny students he’s managed to sleep with.
Since you already understand what’s going on, this will be a very short reply on Papabear’s part. Go talk to him once more, and simply say, “Buddy, we both know who you really are inside. When you get over being afraid of that, give me a call. In the meantime, make sure you wear a condom when you’re having sex with all those girls and pretending to be straight.”
And walk away.
You’ve left the door open if he wants to talk to you (don’t shut it), but there’s no reason you should have to put up with his childish drama. Life is far too short to waste a lot of time on someone who might not even want to be fixed. If you’re searching for a boyfriend or more, start looking for someone who knows who he is and doesn’t play games. You’ll be much happier. Remember, you aren’t responsible for trying to help people who don’t want to be helped. You have to wait until they ask.
In this life, friends come and some of them go. Don’t worry. You’ll be fine.
A note on comments: Comments on letters to Papabear are welcome, especially those that offer extra helpful advice and add something to the conversation that is of use to the letter writer and those reading this column. Also welcome are constructive criticisms and opposing views. What is NOT welcome are hateful, hurtful comments, flaming, and trolling. Such comments will be deleted from this site. Thank you.