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Ask Annie: My friends think the guy I’m seeing is gay, what should I do?

Facing a problem yourself? Annie has answers. Ask away!

                      Graphic by Nicholas Anastacio

Hi Annie,

I’ve been seeing this guy for a few weeks and I really like him. I recently have been introducing him to a bunch of my friends and they think he’s nice but none of them believe he is straight/likes girls. They’re starting to make me doubt our relationship even tho we’ve hooked up and everything and I think he’s attracted to me? What should I do?

Help please,

Confused af

Dear Confused af,

If it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck — it’s probably a duck. If this guy goes out with you, hooks up with you and makes you feel like he’s attracted to you, then he is.

Crucially, your doubts about the relationship come from your friends’ opinions, not based on your time together. Don’t let their observations from a few meetings override your experiences. Trust yourself: Find security in your thoughts rather than your friends’ assurances.

Focus on the way he makes you feel. Does he compliment you? Text you regularly? If he’s hooking up with you without a clear boyfriend-girlfriend label, he’s clearly lusty for you. His romantic behavior towards you far outweighs any outsider’s projections about his sexuality.

Ask your friends why they think he’s gay. Is it based on a conglomeration of stereotypes about gay men — judgements about his mannerisms and the media he engages with? Or have they heard rumors around campus? Seen him on Grindr, perhaps, or spotted him on a guys’ night out at a gay bar?

If it’s the latter — based on tangible evidence rather than conjecture — it might be worth a private, empathetic conversation with your partner. But if it’s the former …

Gender is a performance. If your paramour expresses his gender in a way that strays from our traditional idea of macho-masculinity, that does not reflect whether he’s interested in you. As Sue Sylvester once said, “So you like showtunes. It doesn’t mean you’re gay. It just means you’re awful.” Besides, sexuality is fluid. People are constantly discovering new things about themselves and their preferences, which are ultimately carried out in their behavior.

Your friends are not the ones in the relationship. Their two cents may be helpful when discerning whether or not he’s reliable or kind, but offering unsolicited input on your partner’s sexual orientation is not helpful. Only your partner can tell you about their sexuality. By going out with you, he’s heavily implied he’s into you.

In my solicited opinion,


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