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How can I tell my same-sex friends that I am gay/lesbian/bi without them thinking I like them?

29 Answers
Last Updated: 08/26/2019 at 11:56am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Polly Letsch, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I provide non-judgmental, person-centered, objective therapeutic treatment for individuals of all ages to improve social, emotional, mental and other areas of functioning.

Top Rated Answers
January 30th, 2015 5:14am
This can be really hard... When I came out to a friend this year I had a really hard time telling her cause I knew she was gonna think I liked her. That is literally the farthest thing from the truth! So when I came out to her I said something along the lines of "I just wanna be clear here that I don't like you. Gays are just like other people. If I was straight I wouldn't like everyone of our guy friends, therefore I don't like you." She took it very well and was glad I cleared that up! Take care and good luck!
May 6th, 2015 4:08am
In my experience if one of my friends assumes I like them solely because I'm gay, that doesn't bode well for our friendship or them supporting me. You have to gauge the situation, I told one of my close friends she had an ugly nose before coming out to her, and sat down with another and talked to her about what it means to be gay, and who I was attracted to and had to reassure her multiple times I didn't like her, we're not friends today. You might lose some friends, but if it means being true to you thats more important.
July 13th, 2015 3:27pm
Its best to be up front and open to them about it and not cut comer's when talking. Friends will understand and will be willing to help you and support you better.
October 24th, 2017 12:01pm
Just let them know that they're like your siblings and that you're aware that they're not interested and would therefore not hit on them. You can also remind them that sexuality does not equal finding *everyone* of the same sex attractive, because like them, you have types. Good luck!!
May 18th, 2016 8:56am
When I came out as bisexual, I actually waited until something of the topic came up. It may not work for you, but keeping it as casual as possible helps. If you seem to be tense, or overly, extremely nervous, that is when they might think you like them. In other circumstances, it could be better to say it to two people, or more if you need, to make it seem less of a personal thing said to them, but making it a personal part of you.
May 4th, 2015 7:20am
Well, you can try this one, which often works for me. Point at a random person of the gender they're attracted to. Say, "Do you like them?" Chances are, they'll say no. Why would they be attracted to every person of that gender? Once you put it in those terms, it's easier to understand for them.
April 30th, 2018 11:47pm
It is a good idea to have this conversation in a private, safe place, where you feel comfortable having this conversation. Most people that you come out to that are same-sex will not think that you like them, and will most likely be supportive of you. The only time they would have reason to believe you like them is if either a.) you have told them explicitly that you like them, or b.) you have given them reason to believe so, such as ‘flirting’ with them. It is better not to mention anything about ‘liking’ the other person, so don’t say “I don’t have feelings for you.” Even if you do say something along those lines, it is best not to keep repeating what you have said, or they might start to think that you actually do like them.
February 16th, 2016 11:06pm
Just tell them! If they are so naïve that they immediately think you like them they are not worth spending time on. Be proud of who you are let no one judge you
April 13th, 2015 5:30am
That's less on you and more on them. You can try explaining afterward that you experience attraction to specific people of your gender just as they experience attraction to specific people of the opposite gender. Give an example of someone they don't experience attraction to even though their orientation would allow them to and they might get it. Good luck with everything!
May 17th, 2015 11:53pm
By saying that you want to tell them because it's part of who you are and that they deserve to know
May 29th, 2015 5:33pm
When you come out to them, let them know that you look at them as your best friends, and that they shouldn't act differently around you because you're gay/lesbian/bi. You'll always be the same person and friend that you were before you came out to them.
July 21st, 2015 1:21pm
As you probably know, same-sex attraction doesn't mean attraction to the whole sex. There are types, attraction to certain people and favorable looks. Something I like to use is that hetero people like the opposite sex and yet is not attracted to every single person with that sex. So why gays/lesbians/bi will be attracted to anyone? Talking is something that can greatly help, and telling how you feel.
January 11th, 2016 6:00pm
Sadly, it's very difficult to do this sometimes (especially when you're young), but hear me out: That is not your fault. People should not automatically assume that someone likes them just because suddenly they find out that person likes other people of the same gender. Ultimately, I would say don't even mention it. Coming out is about you, not them. If they ask, tell them plainly that you're not interested in them. But even if they don't, congratulations. You've taken a brave step forwards.
February 22nd, 2016 2:47pm
Just tell them that you are queer, and if they think that you are attracted to them tell them that not just because your queer means that you like them.
May 17th, 2016 2:03am
Tell them straight up you're gay and not interested in them in a sexual way easy as that.........................
June 7th, 2016 10:22pm
If they automaticaly jump to that conclusion just tell them straight up that you have no interest in them.
April 19th, 2015 12:16pm
I would just tel them, and say that you're afraid that they will think you like them. Just be honest in what you feel and what you're afraid of.
May 19th, 2016 3:09pm
Just be honest. I wouldn't assume someone liked me just because they came out to me.
January 9th, 2017 8:23pm
Remind them that your sexuality does not change your friendship in any way and, if they still don't seem to get it, tell them nicely that you are not interested in them romantically/sexually.
March 27th, 2017 5:39am
I've always just started by talking about a girl I like and letting them know it's not them. It's worked for me countless of times. Of course you have to actually have a girl you like. :)
- Expert in LGBTQ+ Issues
August 26th, 2019 11:56am
You can express your feelings and explain what it means to be who you are, and why is it so important to share it with others. If they understand how much lgbt people need to express themselves freely, they'll understand that you don't have second intentions and you only want to be free to be who you are with them. Just tell them it's important for you to let them know who you really are, because they are your friends and you want to share everything with them. They'll understand!
April 24th, 2015 4:12pm
I think it's best to just be honest with them. Sometimes a little honesty is all that's needed. I believe you have the ability to do so.
April 25th, 2015 10:42pm
The best thing you can do is address your fears and concerns with them. You may benefit from letting them know that you want to tell them something, but are afraid that they will misinterpret it. Then, consider elaborating.
September 15th, 2015 4:58pm
I can't, cause I really do like them. What I can do is explain what makes me the way I am and how I feel about it. I don't plan on telling (most) of them that I am attracted to them, unless they ask me.
May 3rd, 2016 4:22am
That you care about your friendship and hope to become better friends, but not tell them that you like them.
June 27th, 2016 6:45am
You can tell them that you are gay/lesbian/bi because it makes you happy. And that you will be happy that as friends they understand that. At the same time that you will date out of the friend zone.
June 28th, 2016 8:43am
I would make it clear that you are telling them you have only the potential to be attracted to the same sex, and that you don't think of them romantically.
July 10th, 2018 11:06pm
Start by explaining that this is a very difficult topic for you to discuss with them, as you are unsure how they will react. Make sure they know you are close friends and that is why you want them to be one of the first to know. Then explain that you are gay/lesbian/bi, but be sure to follow with the fact that it does not mean you are interested in them in a way that's more than friends. I found, personally, that this helped some of my less understanding friends to feel more comfortable with me being open about who I am. With some people, it doesn't matter what you say, they will think what they think and you just have to hope for the best.
August 13th, 2018 6:43am
from my experience (yours may be different) most people who you come out to will (either seriously or jokingly) ask if you are attracted to them, and you can answer them by saying "no i'm not but i'm attracted to (insert their gender)"