The fake straight dude

Originally Published: April 28, 2000 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: May 31, 2012
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Alice,

Okay, let's say you have this teenager who is gay. He's dating this girl, and been doing it for over a year, and only doing it to fit in as being straight. In this school, if you don't have a girlfriend, you get harassed and called queer. Well, now this teenager has hit a big dilemma. This girl wants to have sex, but he can't because he isn't attracted to her. What should he do? He really cares for her, but feels he is using her, and she is developing strong feelings for him. What to do? Should he "come out," or keep playing it off, finding some way to have sex with her?

— The Fake Straight Dude

Dear The Fake Straight Dude,

It's unfortunate that The Fake Straight Dude (FSD) lives in a world where he feels forced to pretend he's someone he's not. It's equally tragic, and understandable, that he fears he'll be hurt if he just lives his life. On the bright side, our friend the FSD seems to already have a good handle on the basics of who he is. Coming out is a personal decision and it may take a while for someone to decide what is right for her- or himself. Some people are surprised at the support that awaits them when they come out, and others are disappointed in the lack of support they receive. For now, staying a FSD — at least publicly — might be a workable option, even if it's not his first choice.

So, then, what about the girlfriend? The FSD does have options. Since not every guy is attracted to every girl, and vice-versa, perhaps the FSD could bring an end to his romance with this as the reason: He needs to concentrate on an internship, a job, clubs, sports, or whatever so that he wouldn't have time for a girlfriend (or so his classmates will think)? He might even get lucky and find new friends and partners in the process. He can also tell his girlfriend that he is not ready or has chosen not to have sex at this point; certainly a feeling many guys have, gay or straight. If he prefers to be more direct, he might say that the relationship is getting too intense. Or, if the FSD is feeling comfortable, courageous, and trusting of his girlfriend, he might tell her that he's attracted to men. Notice that among these options there's no suggestion to have sex with his girlfriend just because that's what's expected.

Is there anyone in the FSD's world who might get the way he feels, either because they feel/felt it themselves, or because they're tolerant and open? Having a trusted ally and expressing one's true self can help an FSD (or a Fake Straight Gal, for that matter) feel like s/he's living more for her- or himself than for others. These people might be nearby: friends, family, and again, even the girlfriend. They could be further away: a teacher, counselor, or community organization.

Here's info about gay-straight alliances, mentioned earlier:

The FSD's situation is surely challenging. For what it's worth, readers of Go Ask Alice! frequently email with questions which relate their feelings of  being trapped or muzzled by the expectations of others. Finding and expressing one's true colors can be challenging from any perspective; but keep the faith that yours will shine!
Alice

P.S.:
Hey school administrators, parents, and local leaders: Do your institutions and communities have policies on harassment and violence? Are they enforced? Could they be stronger? How would you be graded on your educational efforts to deal with these problems? Fake Straight Dude, along with New Black Girl, Recent South Asian Immigrant, Religious Muslim Guy, The Overweight One, Lesbian Lass, Not-So-Good-At-Sports, Gal With Green Hair, Learning Disabled Dan, The Jew From Peru, and many others, aren't being the students they can be because they're distracted and consumed by fears of ridicule, threats of injury, and physical and psychological abuse itself. Does tolerance of, or inaction on, these everyday occurrences interfere with the health and learning of your children? Some programs and resources that address these issues can be found at the following organizations that advocate anti-violence in schools:


October 4, 2007

21348
Dear Fake Straight Dude,
I can understand it must be really really difficult to be gay in the kind of school you have described. I think it is horrible that your classmates tease anyone...
Dear Fake Straight Dude,
I can understand it must be really really difficult to be gay in the kind of school you have described. I think it is horrible that your classmates tease anyone without a girlfriend and that you feel you have to keep your sexuality a secret. However I really don't think it is fair to keep dating your girlfriend, unless you are seriously in love with her. It's up to you whether you tell her that you are gay, or just give her another reason, but I think you should break up with her as soon as possible. If you keep dating her you are allowing her to deepen her attachment to you, which is going to make it very hard for her to move on when she eventually finds out you don't have feelings for her after all. I'm sure you don't want to make it harder for her to trust men in the future. I'm sorry for you, because it is not an easy position to be in, but I think you owe it to her to break up with her. Best of luck!

March 27, 2007

21217

Dear The Fake Straight Dude,

I feel sorry for you, but I don't think it would be right to be in a relationship you don't want to be in.

If you don't want to tell her that you're gay...

Dear The Fake Straight Dude,

I feel sorry for you, but I don't think it would be right to be in a relationship you don't want to be in.

If you don't want to tell her that you're gay, all I can think of right now is to break up with her. I know it is mean and doesn't sound right, but if you think about it, wouldn't it be more mean to be in the relationship as her love and passion for you grows, while you don't feel the same way?

Although the best thing would be to tell her you've been questioning your sexuality and found out you really are gay, you can still tell her that you still would like to be friends. If she doesn't want to be your friend afterward, then it's her loss, isn't it?

I'm not saying you have to do any of this... it's just what I think.

Signed,
Bi-guy

October 26, 2001

20385
Dear Alice, I would like to respond to the article, THE FAKE STRAIGHT DUDE. I am a twenty-year-old male who is going to college and has just gone through the same thing. I, for the longest time, had...
Dear Alice, I would like to respond to the article, THE FAKE STRAIGHT DUDE. I am a twenty-year-old male who is going to college and has just gone through the same thing. I, for the longest time, had girlfriends. but experimented with guys on the side. Well, I met this girl in Feb 2001 and started seeing her as soon as we met. Now I knew that my feelings for her were sub-par to say the least, but I enjoyed the shield of having a girlfriend because that way, I didn't have to worry about the whole gay bashing issue. But when it came time for us to have sex, and after it was really too late emotionally on her part to turn back, I went ahead and went for it. I can truly tell you that I didn't enjoy it because one, it was my first time with a girl, and two, it was making me physically sick. Afterwards, I had told her that I did not wish to sleep with her any more and told her why, and she was pretty cool with it, and we just became better friends because of it. So the moral of the story is, do what you feel is good for you and if you think that it is going to cause a problem in your relationship, tell her that you feel that you are still too young to be having sex, and that you don't want to risk the chance of her becoming pregnant, and that you think that it is too big of a commitment for you both as teenagers to do so. And worry about coming out when you are ready to do so, and don't let anyone force you out of the closet. And when the straight boys start making fun of gays, just play it off if you are worried about it too much. Just crack some jokes of your own; not only will it help you slowly grow confidence in yourself, but you will find out who you can and cannot trust should you come out to those who were your friends. And believe it or not, your true friends probably already know that you are... Just hang in there, FAKE STRAIGHT DUDE.