(Note: Both of thes…

(Note: Both of these letters are in response to Tuesday’s letter from a male student who thinks he might be gay and wants to come out to his roommates, but is afraid they will react negatively.)

Dear Dr. Date,
I don’t know if you ever suggest counseling in your column, but there are resources available on campus for students exploring sexual-identity issues. University Counseling and Consulting Services offers counseling for students exploring sexual-identity issues. The Gay/Lesbian, Bisexual/Transgender Program Office also offers information and support.
I appreciate that your column focuses on sexual advice, but readers could also benefit from information about campus resources available to help with these concerns.
— Glenn Hirsch, Ph.D.

Dear Dr. Date,
I give you kudos for loving your friend for who he is, rather than who he wants to sleep with. I think you definitely need to point out in the future that those who cannot accept their friend’s homosexuality are insecure, small people who need to examine their own homophobia. Anyone worth anything will love their friends for being good, honest people, not for being heterosexual nor identical to themselves. Homophobia is a very dangerous thing that has caused much violence and even the murder of gay people. Granted, your column is not a political forum, but it is an area devoted to discussion of sexuality issues. Homophobia is certainly involved in the discussion of sexuality, and you should address the seriousness of the issue when the opportunity presents itself.
— Anonymous

Thank you for both of these letters. Coming out is an intense personal experience that can be delicate and difficult. For many reasons, men seem to have a harder time coming out to their male friends than women do to their female friends.
Rarely will you find a situation in which two guys will discuss their homosexual thoughts. This is odd, too, because surveys show that a majority of men report having homosexual thoughts. It only seems natural to want to tell your buddies that you think you might be gay. Unfortunately, some guys are too insecure to handle that information.
The most sickening news story I’ve read this year was the detailing of the defense’s argument in the trial of the Matthew Shepard murder. The defense claimed that Shepard hit on the accused at a bar, causing him to be embarrassed in front of his friends — so he beat him to death.