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How can I support my friend who is gay?

42 Answers
Last Updated: 08/23/2021 at 5:58pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Sarah Robb, LISW-S (Licensed Independent Social Worker, Supervisor Designation) and LICDC (Licenced Chemical Dependency Counselor)

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. Life poses many challenges. Learning to face, cope with, and resolve these challenges can increase our resilience.

Top Rated Answers
November 5th, 2014 11:07pm
By continuing to be their friend. Presumably they would remain the same wonderful person that they were before I knew they were gay.
June 14th, 2016 2:56am
First off, you are a wonderful friend for wanting to support your friend. Being there for someone is huge. Secondly, I don't know the details of this situation, but if you are in a community in which being gay is viewed negatively and/or your friend is getting bullied, if you (and perhaps other friends and classmates, if you're in school) can stand up and speak out against homophobia, that is great. Being an ally and helping to create safe spaces for those who are being marginalized is super important. That said, I recognize that standing up in the face of prejudice is far easier said than done. Does your school or community have a local Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA)? If so, if your friend is unaware of it, you could tell them about it, and also join yourself. If there isn't one, you could consider working with others to start one: I think these tend to be in schools, but maybe also in communities in general? Lastly, on a more personal note, I would say just listening to your friend, validating how they feel, and asking them what they need to feel safe, loved, good about themselves, etc., not making assumptions or speaking over them (not saying you're doing this!) is very important too. Letting your friend know you are there for them may sound small but I think it's actually huge. Take care!
November 11th, 2014 12:00am
Do whatever you can to ensure that they are in a safe, judgment-free environment. Don't try to "cure" them, and don't try to dictate their life. Just let them be them, and offer support when they need it.
November 5th, 2014 9:11pm
There is honestly not much to it when supporting a gay friend. They shouldn't get special treatment because they have a different preference when it comes to relationships/interests. But you can support them by seriously being there for them and not treat them differently in a negative manner. Just think of it, how would you want to be treated by your friends? :)
November 16th, 2014 12:58pm
Let them know that you are there for them, no matter what. It is important for them to know that you support them, and that you are someone they can talk to about it.
April 23rd, 2018 5:07pm
By not acting any different, generally when they talk about the gender they like, act as if you were talking about the same gender as well. Don't make any rude jokes about gays, and support them through and through.
November 5th, 2014 4:41pm
Even just letting them know you're there if they ever need to talk or vent is a great place to start.
January 19th, 2016 6:33pm
Love them unconditionally, listen to them when they are down and not having a good day, and hang out with them. Treat them like you did with any one of your friends. As a human being.
November 15th, 2014 11:18pm
Listen to him, and of course , Looking up for information about the LGTB Community. It is important have good sources of information
May 3rd, 2015 8:51pm
#1 = Listen without judgement and seek to understand what they are saying when they express themselves. Listen to hear how they are feeling. Ask them how you can support them if they're having a hard time. It helps to be inclusive of them and their partner(s) when you're doing things you'd normally involve people's friends/partners too (like a dinner or party). Don't shy away from the topic, but DO ask them if they are out to everyone, or need it to be a secret sometimes. DON'T out them to ANYONE. It makes things unsafe for them - emotionally, physically, economically, and/or psychologically. And, remember they are the same friend you've always had, they're just showing they are more comfortable with you now and able to reveal this part of themselves to you.
November 24th, 2015 2:18pm
As a friend I would tell them that they are brave for coming out to me if they do so. If not I will be just as supportive as I would be to any of my straight friend. As a gay myself, I have had friends tell me that they were gay and I was more then happy to tell them Yaay.
December 29th, 2015 2:11pm
He's your friend. He's gay. Does it negatively affect you? Sexual orientation is something people can't control, so...
June 4th, 2015 8:24am
Remind him that you're there for him, don't try to change him, and just keep doing what you're doing! If you're already a good friend and supportive of him, then nothing in your relationship really has to change.. I personally would feel uncomfortable if my friends started making a big deal out of it when I came out to them. :)
August 3rd, 2015 2:05am
Money. Lots of money. Just kidding! :) Probably you should ask them what they would like you to do, since different people have different needs. It's important to listen to them and believe them about their own experiences, though, even if they've experienced things that seem unlikely to you.
August 30th, 2016 11:40am
Simple, treat them like you would treat any person. Just because they are gay doesnt mean they should be treated any differently. Be kind to them, and make sure you stand up for him/her if anyone is giving them a hard time for being gay, tell them that you dont really care that they are gay as it doesnt make a difference to you :)
- Expert in LGBTQ+ Issues
August 5th, 2019 11:25am
Letting him know you support him and you'll always be there for him is the greatest thing you can do! It will mean a lot to him. Make sure he knows he can talk about anything with you, you'll be there to listen and support him through everything. If you feel like it, you can also go together to LGBT related events like prides, public demonstrations or cultural events. Sometimes it's good to feel like a part of a big community!
November 7th, 2014 3:40pm
Just accept them. They aren't any different than they were before. They are still wonderful people, no matter what their orientation/gender/pizza preference is.
November 8th, 2014 12:45am
Just make sure they are aware that you are there for them if they need to talk. Having a supportive friend goes a long way!
November 8th, 2014 3:18pm
Simply being there for them and accepting them for who they are is probably the most important thing here. Allow them to talk to you about any worries or problems they may be having and truly listen and support them.
November 13th, 2014 1:53am
Just accept it, and accept them. Try to avoid asking too many questions, just remember it and help them if others don't accept them. Be happy for them when they get into a relationship.
November 14th, 2014 11:51pm
My advice would be to treat them like you normally would before you found out. Maybe ask them what they need. Also, the Trevor Project has a guide for how to be an ally.
November 17th, 2014 11:12pm
Show him or her your compassion, and listen to one's thoughts. Offer your help, and make your support in general public if possible. Tell the person that he is always welcome to stay at your place if he needs it. Tell him that he should find a local community, or if not possible - go online. Or if he or she seems doing well, then treat them as everyone else, don't make any fuzz.
November 18th, 2014 9:41am
By being understanding of how they feel, and any stress they may receive because of their orientation.
November 19th, 2014 5:54pm
Remind them that it doesn't change anything. That sexuality is a sliding scale and shouldn't be used as a defining factor of a personality.
April 16th, 2015 12:18am
You can support you gay friend by making him/her confortable arround you and deffend her/him everytime. acepting and care.. gay people are exactly like bi, pan, hetero so ....
April 25th, 2015 2:15am
Being an LGBTQ individual myself, I believe the most important thing is to let them know that you're there and accept them for who they are.
May 2nd, 2015 3:09pm
Simply saying "I support you" helps already a lot. Listen to them, if they need to tell somebody about their worries and hopes.
May 3rd, 2015 2:50pm
The most helpful and supportive thing you can do for them is just to be there for them, always listen to them and always offer support. Be open with them and try to let them know that there is nothing wrong with them. Having a good supportive friend can make all the difference in the world to someone.
June 30th, 2015 2:50am
Continue to be a loyal friend to them! This includes being open and willing to listen when they need to talk about something relating to their sexuality. Knowing that you will not judge them and that you'll be there for them is likely incredibly important to your friend. Stand by their side when they need you and back them up when they face struggles. You can also do your part to educate yourself on LGBTQA+ issues that you may be unaware of, which will help show your friend your commitment to understanding and respecting them.
April 18th, 2016 5:16am
I think that a large part of supporting an LGBTQ+ friend is a willingness to listen. While you may not be able to directly relate to the challenges that your friend is experiencing, offering him or her a source of support and understanding will go a long way. In addition, try your best to keep an open mind when talking to this friend. Many people in the world are going to try to bring him or her down with their prejudices, and your willingness to be open and caring whenever needed can really help.