How to speak to a gay Christian friend


#1

I need some help on how to speak to a gay male friend. He has been struggling with depression and is just starting to accept being gay and trying to figure out what that means for him. I’m looking for honest, candid, and practical feedback here. I’m struggling on a couple fronts. First, my friend is Christian and is well aware that I am a practicing Catholic. So, I’ve made it clear that I don’t quite feel comfortable talking about certain things (i.e. dating and physical intimacy). He took strong offense to that, so I really just don’t know where to go from here. I want to be a supportive and caring friend, especially given that very few people are aware of this, but I don’t want to express support for acting on the attraction. What specifically is okay to discuss? Is it okay to “date” as a gay man or should I not support that either? To make things harder, I am married so my wife feels it is sort of an “emotional adultery” if that makes sense. She feels truly hurt when he and I discuss his depression and being gay.

Any advice would be appreciated!


#2

Here’s a podcast that explains it pretty well. As guests he has someone that struggles with Same Sex Attraction and a priest with a brother who struggles with SSA.

http://pintswithaquinas.com/podcast/what-do-you-think-of-homosexuality/


#3

When he wants to discuss these feelings, just be honest with him about what the Church teaches. (The same verses are in Protestant Bibles too.)

Regarding depression, encourage him to seek therapy. That’s not something we can help with other than to pray for him.


#4

Is it possible your wife thinks your friend is romantically interested in you? I can’t imagine why she thinks you talking to a friend is “emotional adultery” unless she thinks there is something going on beyond friendship. Otherwise, that’s just bizarre.

As to what you can and can’t discuss with him, there’s no hard rule about what you can’t talk about. If you’re not comfortable talking to him about sex, it’s perfectly reasonable to tell him you’d rather not hear certain details.


#5

@rptort , just speak to him as a Christian friend .

Would you discuss physical intimacy with a heterosexual Christian friend ?


#6

On the gay point, it’s perfectly reasonable if you don’t want to hear dating and sex stuff. I don’t want to hear about that stuff either, from my gay friends OR my straight friends. If the guy can’t respect your preference, you may need to distance yourself from the friendship, the same way I distance myself from a female friend who wants to talk in detail about what she and her new guy are doing in bed every night.
You can gently remind him of church teaching, point him to some video resources and to Courage organization, and suggest he speak to a priest. Beyond that, it’s not really your job to be his sounding board or leaning post when he wants to have angst, especially since you are a married man with your own responsibilities.

On the depression point, I presume he is seeing a doctor/ mental health professional for that, and again it’s not something you should be responsible for helping with. You can be encouraging and offer a listening ear, but be sure to set limits, such as perhaps only getting together for an hour once a week at a prescheduled time. I have had some friends with depression who were very erratic in their habits of contact and would be calling me up once or twice a day when I didn’t really have time to deal with that, and then if I should at some point need a little encouragement or an ear myself, they weren’t in a position to respond in kind. It got old real fast.

On the wife point, your wife needs to come first before your friends. She may be annoyed that this person is taking up time you could be spending with her. She may even be concerned that this gay friend could be trying to influence you to be gay. If this guy is calling you up on a regular basis, like more than once a week, I can see a wife getting upset. Setting limits on this friend’s contact with you should help you to spend more time with your wife.


#7

Red Flag. This is worrisome.

You are wise to set rules and limits like that. It does you no good, and may spiritually harm you. You can’t unhear that stuff.


#9

That probably came off like my wife is exaggerating a bit. I made up the term “emotional adultery” on the spot to try to describe it. Yea for sure I think she has a feeling and fear that he’s interested in me. Similar to if I were talking to a female friend that was interested in me. I honestly don’t know if he has romantic feelings towards me…it’s certainly possible though. So, I totally understand her point of view. But I also feel an obligation to actually be a friend to this guy and that sometimes involves sensitive conversations that my wife doesn’t particularly like. It’s a struggle because I keep asking myself: “Who can a gay man talk to? A women? Yea maybe, but I think there is something unique to a male-to-male friendship. A straight man? Yes of course, but it’s likely that the straight men will become married men. A gay man? Yes of course, but does that lead to further temptation.” I’m rambling here, but hopefully that get’s the point across.


#10

I get what you’re saying, but I wonder if it is the content of the conversations that bothers your wife or how much time you’re spending with him. If you’re not gay or bisexual, presumably this guy isn’t a source of temptation for you, so I’m assuming your wife doesn’t think he’s going to “steal” you or seduce you or something.

On the other hand, if it’s just that you’re constantly hanging out with him or spending a ton of time with him, I can see how that would bother her in a way that has nothing to do with sex or sexuality. Like, if you have a friend who is monopolizing your time and attention, she’d be justifiably annoyed by that even if the friend was straight.

All that to say you can still be a friend to him, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t limits. He should understand you’re willing to grab lunch or have a beer from time to time, but your relationship with your wife is primary.


#11

@Quis_UtDeus Big fan of Matt Fradd and Pints with Aquinas. That episode was great and certainly helped. Thanks!

@Rob2 I’ve had it happen but don’t seek something like that out. That’s probably a bit of a double standard for me. Well, I have the same standard, but I do have a harder time voicing that to straight unmarried men. There’s one close friend in particular who knows where I stand and listens and respects what I have to say regarding chastity. But I’m not as close with other straight males in similar situations so I tend to just avoid the topic or move on quickly. I’d say that wouldn’t mean I should hear my gay friend out, but more so that I need to speak up more to my straight friends.


#12

It sounds from the tone of your posts and I could be wrong that you don’t want to be in this friendship and are there out of sense of duty or obligation.


#13

We never spoke or hung out frequently, but because my wife is primary, I’ve made sure to distance myself further. We text on occasion (nothing serious…just friendly) and have a serious phone call maybe every 2-3 months at this point. So, outside of just straight cutting it off, I think that removes the time issue. Even when we do speak though, my wife sort of reverts back to feeling secondary. She has certainly come to recognize that this guy needs a friend but would prefer that friend not be me.


#14

Christ tells us to "Cut the cord. "

Matthew 10:
34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
35 For I have come to turn
“‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’
37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.


#15

@PaladinSword He values my friendship greatly, so I do feel an obligation to offer support and guidance. But it sure is a burden on myself and my marriage at times as well, which is why I’ve tried to distance myself.


#16

@JeremiahB I appreciate the post, but honestly it’s not particularly helpful.


#17

I don’t see how the stuff you cite is applicable here.


#18

Is your wife jealous of this guy in particular because he’s gay, or is she like this with all your friends? Because the frequency of communication you’re describing doesn’t seem inappropriate to me, so I’m not sure why she’s bothered by it…but then, I’m not your wife. :man_shrugging:


#19

If you want to stay friends is up to you. But if it is already troubling your wife that is a bad sign. As for anything else… we are adults he should know the teaching on sexual morality however I don’t know if it is exactly your place to force any morality on him out of duty… that is more being a busibody. As long as you are comfortable… But since you are coming here and asking us for support I think you already know this is becoming a burden to you. Furthermore the guy identifies as Christian and Identifies as gay… I’m sure he’s heard it already. More likely from a protestant perspective.

One of our EMs is gay. He is harmless. Chaste. And an absolute joy. The rest is none of my business.

You could paint the gay part as the problem… Or you could maybe realize that it is just awkward and not worth getting all in a twist about perpetually.

Sometimes it’s best to get away from these situations

Listen to your wife. You want to please her yeah?

Edit

Also don’t go around making yourself a martyr over something like this.

If it makes you feel gross that is your instinct telling you to stay away


#20

Homosexuality and Christianity are incompatible.

As Pope Benedict XVI said:
“Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered to an intrinsic moral evil, and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.”

The purity of Christ and the homosexual inclination, an objective disorder, cannot co-exist.


#21

Call me a modernist but I think we shouldn’t be under any obligation to “pray the gay away” for situations like this.

Sure even if the guy was… if he was pleasant I don’t think we’d be seeing this thread.

Op. I don’t like saying this but I think either you are out of line with this guy or it is a relationship you shouldn’t be in.


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