We’ve all had one — that kid in school who just seemed to “get us” and didn’t mind that we were a little different from the rest of the guys.
But what happens when that crush doesn’t find its natural closure early on? Grade school becomes high school. High school graduates to college, and all those secret feelings stay beneath the surface.
As one Redditor (and millions of people before him) learned, the truth will set you free.
At 14, John (we’ll call him John) met a boy who would become his best friend.
“I spent many sleepless nights wondering why everything had to turn out this way, it crushed me every time I thought about it,” he writes. “Over the course of the rest of high school, my feelings of love gradually faded to where I could think of him as a brother, rather than someone I lusted for, although it wasn’t easy.”
Now both 18 and attending separate colleges, John knew he had to reveal two secrets — two coming outs — to his friend. Telling someone “I’m gay” is one thing, but “I’m gay and have secretly been in love with you” is another.
“Most of the reason I decided I had to quell these feelings was because he has a girlfriend whom he is committed to and I didn’t want to cause them any disrespect through my actions, words, or thoughts. I cared for him and wanted him to be happy and to do that I wanted to ensure that his relationship with his girlfriend was unadulterated from my feelings towards him.”
But the moment had arrived. John built up his courage and managed to come out to his friend, leaving out the bit about being in love with him.
“I was euphoric. He began to ask me what I looked for in a guy, how long I’ve felt this way, just everything. To finally be able to tell how I felt and discuss it with someone who cares was something I had never experienced before in respect to sexuality. It really sucks having to bottle it up as so many of us have done or are currently doing. As I described to him what my ideal guy would look like, he asked me if I thought he was attractive because my description very closely matched someone with his characteristics. I said yes.”
That’s when the whole truth spilled out.