I had three best friends in high school. They were all parts of different circles and none of them ever really hung out with each other. And they were all very different.
I wrote about one the other day. She is the one who I tended to do the crazier stuff with, but she also tuned out whenever she had a serious boyfriend.
The second was my most laid back, steady friend. She lived with her grandparents, and I practically lived there for much of high school. She had a '68 Mustang that her dad restored for her, and she would let me drive it on the weekends when we were out cruising for boys. We have been in touch, on and off, but our lives are pretty different now and we aren't especially close.
My third best friend was a gay guy. But I didn't know he was gay at first. We kissed once and realized that there was nothing there but a platonic friendship. Not long after that he came out to me. In fact, I was the first person he ever came out to. And I was the person he confided in as to how and when he would come out to his parents and the rest of his family. We grew apart after a couple of years because he was becoming involved in risky behavior that I was not down with.
I've tried to find him online a couple of times, but had no luck. But tonight he found me on FB. Turns out that I haven't been able to find him because he has been in prison! I was stunned. We chatted for quite a while and he told me the whole story. I just can't get over my shock! He was always such a nice, never hurt a fly, type of guy.
Anyway, he told me that he thought about me a lot while in the clink and that I was always part of his coming out story. Because when he told me, my response was "That's great. Now we can go to the mall and check out guys together!" Of course, at the time it was happening I had no idea the significance of being someone's "coming out" person. I had never known an (admittedly) gay person. But he was my friend and who he wanted to sleep with wasn't going to change that.
I hope that I handled his coming out of prison story with the grace that I handled his coming out story as a 16-year-old girl.