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Coming out to religious friend

I am a gay female (I prefer the term gay over lesbian even though I'm female) and I am not really out to anyone. I want to come out to friends who I can trust not to say anything, but that's where it gets hard. I don't have much friends especially close ones. The person who I consider my best friends and possibly the one I can trust the most is religious. She is a Muslim and while I know that not all Muslims are unaccepting of the LGBT+ community, I know they're not all supportive either. We haven't really spoke about LGBT+ stuff apart from maybe a mention here and there and she didn't seem to have extreme opinions on it which I'm guessing is good. I'm worried that even if she isn't homophobic she might have a "hate the sin not the sinner" view and I don't know what to think of that. Even if she doesn't hate the LGBT+ community she might not be accepting and that could make our friendship awkward.

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Sam

Hi there,

Friends should accept you for exactly who you are and you should feel able to be yourself around them. There’s nothing wrong with being gay, even if some religions say there is. Sin is a religious belief and something that only followers of a religion need to think about. Someone else’s feelings about sin and the LGBTQ+ community isn't something that says anything about who you are and your qualities as a friend. All you need to do is be yourself and true friends should accept you as you are.

It can be tempting to try and be what we think other people want us to be. It's natural to want to fit in and be liked. But it’s important to remember that your friends probably like the whole person you are - all the small and big parts that make you unique. If someone is your friend they already like you for being you - which includes being gay, even if they didn't know it.

If a friend has beliefs that say who you are is wrong then this is something they need to deal with. Everyone's entitled to their own religious beliefs but it’s up to them to decide whether to follow parts that conflict with people they care about. All you need to do is be yourself and if they make the choice that they can't be friends with you then, as upsetting as this may be, it's a choice you can't control.

It’s very important you understand that being gay is not wrong, no matter what any religion says, and that you get to choose who your friends are. If someone doesn't respect you then it's also okay for you to make the choice not to be friend any more.

If you want to talk about this more or help practice what you might say to your friend, you can always speak to our counsellors.

I hope this has helped, thanks for sharing this.

Take care.

Sam

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