Help with a gay friend? Please read


#1

I have a friend who is gay and it is making me nervous and upset. Being Catholic, I believe that it is wrong but is it wrong to be friends? She is very nice and has helped me with many difficulties i have had (like people teasing me at school) and I don't want to just throw our friendship away. Also, she didn't even tell me she was gay until we had already become good friends. For months now I have been fighting with myself. Do I tell her how I feel or not? And the only reason I haven't told her yet is because she is so depressed with her life and I am afraid if I tell her, she will become suicidal and even maybe kill herself. She texts me sometimes about her "ex girlfriend" and when she does text me things about that I just ignore her text and never respond. If I were to respond, she would think that being gay is ok. Which it's not. She texted me something about how sad she is about breaking up with her "girlfriend" tonight and when I ignored it, she said "Fine. I get it. You don't care." So my questions are: Should I be friends with her? And if I tell her that I don't agree with being gay, do you think it will make her suicidal? I don't want her to kill herself but I think this is what God wants me to do. Please help. I'm very scared. :blush: Thank you.


#2

[quote="kittensrule, post:1, topic:327954"]
I have a friend who is gay and it is making me nervous and upset. Being Catholic, I believe that it is wrong but is it wrong to be friends? She is very nice and has helped me with many difficulties i have had (like people teasing me at school) and I don't want to just throw our friendship away. Also, she didn't even tell me she was gay until we had already become good friends. For months now I have been fighting with myself. Do I tell her how I feel or not? And the only reason I haven't told her yet is because she is so depressed with her life and I am afraid if I tell her, she will become suicidal and even maybe kill herself. She texts me sometimes about her "ex girlfriend" and when she does text me things about that I just ignore her text and never respond. If I were to respond, she would think that being gay is ok. Which it's not. She texted me something about how sad she is about breaking up with her "girlfriend" tonight and when I ignored it, she said "Fine. I get it. You don't care." So my questions are: Should I be friends with her? And if I tell her that I don't agree with being gay, do you think it will make her suicidal? I don't want her to kill herself but I think this is what God wants me to do. Please help. I'm very scared. :blush: Thank you.

[/quote]

If you think she could be suicidal, you need to ask for help; you are not equipped to deal with the situation.

As for your other questions- it is fine to be friends, Jesus ate with "sinners" after all. We're all sinful, it doesn't mean we should shun people.

Secondly, you need to clarify what you mean by "don't agree with being gay". It's her actions that are the problem, not the fact that she finds people of the same sex attractive. If you feel the need to witness to her, please make sure you are clear that it is not her desires that are sinful, but her actions. And please follow that up with something hopeful or positive, like that God loves her. I don't know how well that specific comment would go over, just think of something positive.

And again, if you think she could be suicidal, please alert someone and ask for help. Do not try to handle such a situation alone.


#3

Thank you. That makes sense because some people cannot help their same-sex attractions. Like I have heard, if you have those attractions, you should not engage in them. I think I am going to tell her tomorrow.

No, she said she is not suicidal but I am afraid that if I tell her, she will get so upset that she might become that way.


#4

At some point you will have to address the issue with her honestly, but if she's in a low spot and in danger I'd hold off. Definitely seek help with a counselor or someone if she talks suicide.

When I've had gay friends who were in relationships, I tried to show love and caring for them as people yet keep my position on the concept of such relationships clear, yet low-key. It is a very delicate balancing act, and growing more difficult - this was 2-3 decades ago. Back then, my friends and I had an easier time coming to an understanding that if they chose to talk about those issues with me, I might be apt to either present Catholic teaching (they won't like that!) or remain silent.

I'd try to explain that although they might not even like the Catholic Church at all due to its stance on sexual morality, I love the Church. Also that Church teaching on celibacy is not the boogey-man they fear, that we all have crosses to bear. For instance, as a straight woman, I can't just pick up a man in a bar to have a sexual relationship with because I feel lonely or whatever - and as for marriage, yes, I can theoretically get married, but in reality it's hard for me to even get a date. This cross has become lighter to carry over the years . . . :o

But I would try to insist on some ground rules for the friendship. Like, here's what I bring to the table - caring, loyalty, fun, etc. - but I can't be part of condoning what my Faith teaches is sinful. I won't preach or lecture or argue, I'll answer questions as patiently as I am able if the person is interested, or refer them to resources such as CAF or Courage if they want. And in turn they don't ask me to do something against my faith, such as attend a same-sex "wedding" ceremony or something of that sort.


#5

[quote="kittensrule, post:3, topic:327954"]
Thank you. That makes sense because some people cannot help their same-sex attractions. Like I have heard, if you have those attractions, you should not engage in them. I think I am going to tell her tomorrow.

No, she said she is not suicidal but I am afraid that if I tell her, she will get so upset that she might become that way.

[/quote]

People have to decide if they are going to hold themselves hostage to make others tiptoe around them. Her choices are hers to make and even if she did kill herself it wouldn't be your fault. Now, having said that, I want to emphasize that I am not suggesting you be callous or uncaring. And you have to discern - even though something may need to be said, is this a good time or bad time to say it, how should I approach it, and so forth.

It is a delicate and tricky situation. Even though we are responsible for our own choices, we also want to help others remain calm so that they don't do anything rash that would hurt them and haunt us. And if this is a young person, which I'm assuming both of you are, there is often more temptation toward suicide, which is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Sometimes people feel there's no other way out of their inner turmoil. So we must figure out what is the safest and most charitable approach in any given situation.

This is why if you have that fear, you need to have some guidance on how to deal with this.


#6

Not even a little bit.

If I were in your shoes, I would say something like the following when next it seems appropriate:

“I’m sorry if it seemed like I was ignoring you or don’t care because that’s not the case at all. The truth is, I have moral reservations about homosexuality and didn’t know what to say when you wanted to talk to me about your dating life. I value our friendship very highly, however, and didn’t want to hurt you in any way, so I kept quiet. That doesn’t seem to be helping, so here I am to explain. To be clear, while I and my religion don’t approve of homosexual actions, I know that no one controls to whom they are attracted and love you as a friend regardless. If you ever want to hear about the Catholic position on homosexuality, I would be happy to talk to you about it. In the meantime, I will do my best to help you as much as I can.”

Put the ball in her court. Don’t try to cram a bunch of unwanted exhortations about how her lifestyle is wrong down her throat, as she’s likely had so much of that from uncharitable sources than she’ll view any attempt to lecture her as unfriendly. Let her know where you stand, that you still want to be friends, and that you’re there for her when she needs you. That’s really the best anyone can ever do.

If you do think she’s suicidal, though, absolutely don’t bring this up now. Try to help her get some help before getting to anything touchy.

Also, kittens do totally rule. :slight_smile:


#7

[quote="kittensrule, post:1, topic:327954"]
I have a friend who is gay and it is making me nervous and upset. Being Catholic, I believe that it is wrong but is it wrong to be friends? She is very nice and has helped me with many difficulties i have had (like people teasing me at school) and I don't want to just throw our friendship away. Also, she didn't even tell me she was gay until we had already become good friends. For months now I have been fighting with myself. Do I tell her how I feel or not? And the only reason I haven't told her yet is because she is so depressed with her life and I am afraid if I tell her, she will become suicidal and even maybe kill herself. She texts me sometimes about her "ex girlfriend" and when she does text me things about that I just ignore her text and never respond. If I were to respond, she would think that being gay is ok. Which it's not. She texted me something about how sad she is about breaking up with her "girlfriend" tonight and when I ignored it, she said "Fine. I get it. You don't care." So my questions are: Should I be friends with her? And if I tell her that I don't agree with being gay, do you think it will make her suicidal? I don't want her to kill herself but I think this is what God wants me to do. Please help. I'm very scared. :blush: Thank you.

[/quote]

Take it from someone who has tried to kill themselves it does not bring happiness. You should tell her why you don't respond to her text. It is better she knows that she is upsetting you by talking about it. How is her relationship with God?


#8

Yes, you can certainly be friends with her. No, you shouldn't tell her how you feel right now if she is already depressed and possibly suicidal. There will be time for that later. I'm assuming you guys are teenagers, and I can tell you that the teenage years are the hardest ones to deal with in the first place. If she is having a rough time, you can certainly be supportive without implying that you are in agreement with her lifestyle. Being gay is not a sin - homosexual activities is the sin. Pray for your friend and please don't be afraid to be friends with her. It sounds like she could use one.


#9

[quote="kittensrule, post:1, topic:327954"]
I have a friend who is gay and it is making me nervous and upset. Being Catholic, I believe that it is wrong but is it wrong to be friends? She is very nice and has helped me with many difficulties i have had (like people teasing me at school) and I don't want to just throw our friendship away. For months now I have been fighting with myself. So my questions are: Please help. I'm very scared. :blush: Thank you.

[/quote]

Also, she didn't even tell me she was gay until we had already become good friends.

She trusts you.

Do I tell her how I feel or not?

Yes. She trusts you, you should trust her.

And the only reason I haven't told her yet is because she is so depressed with her life and I am afraid if I tell her, she will become suicidal and even maybe kill herself.

You are not responsible for someone elses feelings. If she is depressed then only she knows why. If you fear that she would become suicidal and kill herself then you believe you have power you do not have. If she declares any intentions like this, reassess your friendship as you call 911.

She texts me sometimes about her "ex girlfriend" and when she does text me things about that I just ignore her text and never respond.

You cannot not communicate. No response is a response.

If I were to respond, she would think that being gay is ok. Which it's not.

You do not read minds. You have no idea of knowing what she thinks without asking her.

She texted me something about how sad she is about breaking up with her "girlfriend" tonight and when I ignored it, she said "Fine. I get it. You don't care."

Here you ask this. We are friends. I am not interested in your female love affairs, this is how I believe and how I feel. If you believe my lack of desire to know about your girlfriend is not caring then that is what you choose to believe. I do care. I care that based on what I believe, what you are doing is wrong. If you want my friendship then this is who I am.

Should I be friends with her? And if I tell her that I don't agree with being gay, do you think it will make her suicidal? I don't want her to kill herself but I think this is what God wants me to do.

These are odd questions for friends to be asking. You may want to look into Karpman's triangle. She is playing Victim and you are playing rescuer. This is a dysfunctional dynamic that you will always lose when you play as the victim will always be the victim and always turns on the rescuer. This is not a healthy relationship.

All these questions should cause you to step back and look for a friend. Be thankful for what she did however inviting you into this web of dysfunction is not healthy for you and you would do better to look for friendship elsewhere.


#10

[quote="kittensrule, post:3, topic:327954"]
Thank you. That makes sense because some people cannot help their same-sex attractions. Like I have heard, if you have those attractions, you should not engage in them. I think I am going to tell her tomorrow.

[/quote]

No, she said she is not suicidal but I am afraid that if I tell her, she will get so upset that she might become that way.

Ask yourself this one question....

Do I want to continue to be friends with someone that I feel personally responsible for taking their life and causing me fear because of something I say.

It won't get any better if this is the friendship you have now. Believing that you have the power to cause someone to become emotional is another sign of a dysfunctional, unhealthy relationship. You may want to speak to your parents, a priest, a therapist and distance yourself from this person.


#11

:thumbsup: Thats a great answer I think.

Kittensrule, If you ever want to know how to treat homosexuals living a homosexual lifestyle, all you have to do is look at how the apostles treated the gentiles, they didn’t shun them, infact it was the contrary, they embraced the gentiles, but not their practices.

In many of St. Pauls letters he warned to be careful not to eat the food that had been sacrificed to false idols or partake in any of their foreign religious practices. But they were told to spread the good news of the Gospels to the Gentiles too.

God Bless.

Thank you for reading
Josh


#12

[quote="Loving_disciple, post:7, topic:327954"]
Take it from someone who has tried to kill themselves it does not bring happiness. You should tell her why you don't respond to her text. It is better she knows that she is upsetting you by talking about it. How is her relationship with God?

[/quote]

Yeah, I really want to text her back but I just don't think this is a good time.

She is Lutheran and believes in God.


#13

Kittensrule, If you ever want to know how to treat homosexuals living a homosexual lifestyle, all you have to do is look at how the apostles treated the gentiles, they didn't shun them, infact it was the contrary, they embraced the gentiles, but not their practices.

In many of St. Pauls letters he warned to be careful not to eat the food that had been sacrificed to false idols or partake in any of their foreign religious practices. But they were told to spread the good news of the Gospels to the Gentiles too.

God Bless.

Thank you for reading
Josh

Thank you Josh. That helps. :)


#14

[quote="BlaineTog, post:6, topic:327954"]
Not even a little bit.

If I were in your shoes, I would say something like the following when next it seems appropriate:

"I'm sorry if it seemed like I was ignoring you or don't care because that's not the case at all. The truth is, I have moral reservations about homosexuality and didn't know what to say when you wanted to talk to me about your dating life. I value our friendship very highly, however, and didn't want to hurt you in any way, so I kept quiet. That doesn't seem to be helping, so here I am to explain. To be clear, while I and my religion don't approve of homosexual actions, I know that no one controls to whom they are attracted and love you as a friend regardless. If you ever want to hear about the Catholic position on homosexuality, I would be happy to talk to you about it. In the meantime, I will do my best to help you as much as I can."

Put the ball in her court. Don't try to cram a bunch of unwanted exhortations about how her lifestyle is wrong down her throat, as she's likely had so much of that from uncharitable sources than she'll view any attempt to lecture her as unfriendly. Let her know where you stand, that you still want to be friends, and that you're there for her when she needs you. That's really the best anyone can ever do.

If you do think she's suicidal, though, absolutely don't bring this up now. Try to help her get some help before getting to anything touchy.

Also, kittens do totally rule. :)

[/quote]

Thanks!! I think I'm gonna use what you said but I think I should wait a week or two to let things cool off.

I Love Kitties!! :D


#15

[quote="josh987654321, post:11, topic:327954"]
:thumbsup: Thats a great answer I think.

Kittensrule, If you ever want to know how to treat homosexuals living a homosexual lifestyle, all you have to do is look at how the apostles treated the gentiles, they didn't shun them, infact it was the contrary, they embraced the gentiles, but not their practices.

In many of St. Pauls letters he warned to be careful not to eat the food that had been sacrificed to false idols or partake in any of their foreign religious practices. But they were told to spread the good news of the Gospels to the Gentiles too.

God Bless.

Thank you for reading
Josh

[/quote]

That's a great way to think about it! :) Thank you!


#16

Yep. Affirm that you value her as a friend and want her to be happy. Explain that when she talks about her gay attractions it puts you in a bind in which you can’t relate to her feelings and can’t offer encouragement without seeming to encourage actions (not feelings) that you simply can’t encourage.

Gay people don’t respond well to “it’s morally wrong” explanations. If you’ve FIRST established that you value her as a person and that you aren’t gay yourself (assuming you’re female and that she might be attracted to you), then you can go on to explain the beauty of the way God made males and females to be complementary in ways FAR beyond the physical. Just like there is a lot more to an iceberg than what you see, there is more to the differences between the sexes than most people suspect.

Then reiterate that you don’t want to hurt her, but you can only offer friendship from who you ARE. And in your case, convictions about the purpose and meaning of human sexuality are part of who you are. If she can’t accept that, then at least it’s not YOU doing the rejecting.

And like others have mentioned, don’t be afraid to ask for outside help if you think she’s capable of harming herself. Young people with a same sex attraction have a terrible time figuring out who they are and how they are just as precious to God as anybody else. Humans have a hard time rejecting ideas without rejecting people and gay people have suffered the brunt of that for a long time.


#17

How would you interact with a girlfriend who just broke up with a boyfriend and you knew they'd been sexually active with each other?

It is hard being young and trying to live righteously. Shoot, it is hard being young. In the Gospels, Jesus struck a perfect balance between loving people and counseling against sin. Would it maybe help to read how he spoke to the prostitute?


#18

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