Life Advice



Ask Amy: Teen forces gay friend out of the closet

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

He's very shy about being in public with me, and I don't think that's as much about the age issue as it is about being gay.

He's concerned about what people think, and he's always worried that he will run into someone he knows when we are out in public.

Because of this, we mainly stay home. I've talked to him about confiding in a friend or a family member to feel better about himself and become more comfortable in his own skin, but he's dragging his feet.

I have no intention to deliver ultimatums, but I don't want this to go on forever. I want him to meet my family, and I want to meet his one day. What else can I do to help him overcome his fears? What we have is extremely special, and I think it could last a lifetime.

– No Closets

Dear Closets: You say you two have a million things in common, but I can think of two very important things you don't have in common: your age and your life-stage. You, for instance, know who you are. And you are trying to mitigate his immaturity by telling him who he is.

You sound like a nice guy, but this is not a relationship of equals. You can't pull him out of the closet; instead you are stepping into the closet yourself to guard his sensitivities. Is this what you want?


You don't need to deliver an ultimatum but giving him some distance might actually be good for both of you. Without your kindly mentoring, he may be able to make some choices of his own.

(May 2011)


(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

©2021 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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