You friend probably needs you more now than ever.....who cares what others think you know and that is all that matters. Think about it before you do anything drastic.
If you really care what others might think, more than caring about your supposed best mate.. That's pretty awful. There is no way to cut him off without hurting his feelings, because you're considering doing a bad thing, for even worse reasons. Real friends would laugh it off if people said they were a couple, or maybe assure people they are not together. They don't just cut each other off, to keep a certain image. I really, really hope you've changed your mind about this since posting, at least for your friend's sake...
I agree - be honest. It's a sucky reason and may hurt his feelings...but it says more about you as a person than him. Not trying to be mean - just how I see it. <br />
OR...you can try to take the mature road and stop worrying about what anyone else 'might' think because TRUE friends are not easy to find in this world so you shouldn't discard them so easily.
If it's because he's gay, there's no way to not hurt his feelings over that. They're just going to be hurt. Because to not be someone's friend over something they can't control makes you prejudiced and ignorant. If that's not the case, please, fill me in on the details.
...that's ridiculous. You're going to stop being his friend because you think other people might think you're gay? How insecure are you? Grow up. That's not how the world works. And if you're willing to stop being someone's friend because of what other people may think, then he deserves better friends than you. You, sir, are a pansy.
You're definitely gonna hurt his feelings either way...
just be honest. =]