I’m kind of freaking out, and don’t know what to do. I was chatting on an app with a guy who didn’t have a face pic, which I almost never do, but he had the most beautiful torso pics, and I figured, “why not?” I asked if he could send me some more pics, and we started sharing what our sexual fantasies are.
The conversation became really hot, and we exchanged some more body pics. After a couple days of dirty talk, I finally said I needed to see a face pic. I wasn’t about to waste any more time. He told me that he’s an “A-List celebrity”, and he’s scared, because he’s closeted. He promised me that he wasn’t lying, and even showed me an image of his SAG card with this name blurred out, so I knew he was an actor.
Anyway, we’ve continued to chat for a couple weeks, and he’s bared his soul about the struggles he experiences as a closeted actor in Hollywood. Finally, two days ago he said he would email me his identity from a private server, and he sent a copy of his ID. Um… I’m still in shock about who it is. And not only that, I’m actually developing feelings for him. I’m now stumped about what to do. I want to respect his privacy, but I also kind of want to date him and be his first boyfriend. How do I navigate this?
A Star Gazer
Dear A Star Gazer,
The first thing I would do in your position is make sure you’re not being catfished. There’s a lot of shenanigans that go down online, and you might need to call in Nev and Kamie for this one. It seems easy enough to get a copy of someone’s ID cards, and create an elaborate celebrity scam to fill some sort of psychological need.
According to “The Psychology of Catfishing” in Discovery Magazine, “Catfishing predators often say their own troubles lead them to adopt fake personas for entertainment purposes, to make themselves seem more attractive or to bully others.” I hope for your sake, this is not the case, but it’s important to be aware of all possibilities.
Now, let’s assume this is 100% legit. A brush with fame can be very intoxicating, and it may seem like you’re having feelings for this guy already, when you’re actually being seduced by his position of power and currency in the world. After all, you haven’t even met him in person yet. You don’t know what this guy is truly like, and if there’s even a real connection. We can often have a tendency to overlook things when under the spell of this kind of seduction, including red flags we pick up on, or other indicators that it’s actually not a great match.
When engaging with Mr. A-List, I would encourage you get to know the person, not the celebrity, to see if there’s real chemistry. Treat him like any other guy you’ve met online, with real feelings, concerns, fears, and desires.
If you were chatting with someone else who was not out, you might either decide this isn’t something you want to deal with at this point in your life, or you might decide to be a supportive and safe place to help guide someone through this scary journey. After all, we were all there at some point.
Celebrities can have an even harder time coming out, because it feels like there is that much more at stake. Their entire career can be affected with the kinds of roles they are offered, which then affects things like income and security. Besides that, the whole world is watching and judging them at their most vulnerable time. Think about your own coming out experience, and the fear that certain people were going to see you in a certain way, and possibly even reject you. Now take that and times it by a million.
If you want to be there for him, I never think it’s a good idea to out someone when they aren’t ready, or push them into something that feels premature. I would encourage you to proceed with compassion and patience. The coming out process is a very personal and individual journey, no matter how famous you are.
We need to give someone space to come forward on their own time. If the timing of this process is too frustrating for you, and you’re not able to handle it, I encourage you to voice that. It’s completely valid to have your own feelings about this.
Regardless of what happens, I hope you both can get support. You may want to pass along LGBTQ Therapy Spaceto your star-crush, as a confidential and safe space to explore the nuances of coming out with a carefully matched LGBTQ online therapist. I’d also encourage you to get your own help if this turns into something more serious.
Being a secret partner of someone who isn’t out yet can have its frustrations, not to mention simply being in a relationship with someone that famous. Be true to your feelings, and don’t disappear into the shadow of someone else’s star.
Struggling with your own issue? Reach out to LGBTQ Therapy Space to schedule a free video consultation with an LGBTQ clinician in your state who fully and authentically understands you. And don’t forget to follow us on social for LGBTQ mental health tips, company news, and more! If you have your own question for Jake to be featured on Queerty, or would like a personal therapy session with him, email [email protected].