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ROBBY ASKS...
Submitted 6 Nov 2003

I have a friend whos been with an adult on our street alot. He says that nothing is happening, but i saw once that hes lying, hes like my best friend and i feel he wants to tell me. Should i say something to him or wait for him to tell me. The guy is realy cool and even told us he was gay.

Robby, 15

Our answers
Submitted 11 Sep 2004

i was sexually assuated when i was 9 and my very best friend knew that i was he was like you didn't know what to do until a few weeks after when we got drunk and i told him what happened to me so please let him tell you or you will break up a goodfriendship with him i am now 15

Jim, 15

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Submitted 23 Nov 2003

Let him tell you if and when he's ready. If you try to force it out of you you'll prolly embarass him and he might just end up lying to you about it anyway.

Brendan, 27

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Submitted 17 Nov 2003

I think you should test the waters. Make little suggestions like how cool you think this man is and ask your friend if he likes this guy more than a friend. Tell him that you've had those feelings too, if you have. If you want your friend to answer honestly and candidly, bring it up as if it's no big deal and you have the same thoughts and stuff. He'll feel a lot more comfortable talking about it.

I'm going to suggest that the reason he might not want to talk about it is because if friends or family find out he's gay/bi or in a relationship with another male, the homosexuality aspect alone could cause a big problem with his family and other people in his life. He and his friend probably want to keep it a secret for that reason, as a lot of young gay people do.

Hope this helps.

Howie, 21
howie@agetaboo.org

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Submitted 16 Nov 2003

Hi Robby,

I think it's important that you somehow let him know that he can talk to you about anything. Whatever's going on, he probably feels he can't tell anyone, and if things get difficult for him, he'll need someone to talk to. Maybe asking him straight out is the best way, or maybe revealing something private about yourself to him will encourage him to do the same, or you could just tell him that you'll keep his confidence and won't think any less of him regardless of what he tells you.

If he's underage and they have sex, he needs to know that it's illegal and there would be severe penalties for the adult, including jail time. That would probably be very traumatic for your friend, especially when he'd be required to testify against the man, and describe everything they did. This would probably cause a lot of emotional conflict and feelings of humiliation. Your friend might also be required to undergo therapy which could have similar effects.

He also needs to have someone to talk to in case the adult is pressuring him to do things he doesn't want to do, if he's uncertain about whether he likes what's happening, if he feels conflicted about his sexuality, or in case he thinks he's abnormal. In all these cases, he could use someone to just listen and maybe help him to figure out how he really feels, so he can make good decisions.

Hope this helps!

Matthew, 40
matthews@agetaboo.org

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