Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Being outed

I've been thinking about a friends recent coming out journey that he has just embarked on. For the record, I am really pleased that he has made the decision and without wishing to sound overly dramatic, he should be proud of himself.

On related topic, and in a Carrie Bradshaw 'Sex and the City' style...  I got to thinking, is it better to be outed than never to be out at all?

Telling someone that you are gay can be tough and as I have said before, I have never found it an easy thing to do. One option that can be good and bad is being outed. I didn't have to tell brother number 2 as he had been told by someone else before I got to him. Job done! I was also outed in my last job to a few people and that meant I didn't have to keep repeating the same thing. Perhaps I should allow it to happen at my current job?

Based on my experiences, my friend could potentially benefit from being outed to certain people and thereby avoiding the awkward questions over and over. This especially works if the person doing the outing has the full story and his blessing. But of course, you lose control and also won't know who has been told. If he is reading this, no I'm not going to out you!

As for my friends overall situation, do I know how this will end?   I do actually.  I know that quite a few people will say "I already knew/suspected" and he will realise that the only thing that changes is a lifting of the weight from his shoulders and a realisation that he should have done it years ago.

Better late than never though.


  1. The ones who really NEED to be outed are those who are not only secretly gay (which can be understandable in certain circumstances) but present a public face of rampant heterosexuality and, worst of all, homophobia. I'm not just speaking, obviously, of politicians and clergy but Joe Bloggs too. I should know. I used to be one of them - and I hang my head in shame at my early adult past. Oh, those blatant lies! (Through luck, I was never 'outed' but did it myself in my late 20s). But I've nothing but admiration for those who have the balls to come out when still teenagers. More power to them.

  2. Personally I only found outing myself to people who already knew me difficult: the pre-existing friends and my family were challenging.

    I stopped caring and am just out -- and since then I don't hide the fact that I am gay, I just am gay. Whether it comes out directly or indirectly--say whether I talk about what I've done over the weekend, or somebody suspects it--I don't actually care, and if it matters to them, then it's their problem. They can choose to stay away from me.

    As for being forced out -- generally I am opposed to it, but I can think of at least one person in my online world who should just come out and get it out of the way. Right now his internalized homophobia annoys the hell out of me.

  3. I have outed only one person in my life -- a closeted older gentleman friend of mine who went to a big church on a hill and put "One Man One Woman" signs in his front yard -- all the while telling me he liked me, not my sin. All the while he stayed in the closet....secretely telling me his naughty boy thoughts. After years and years of me trying to be kind and welcoming to him, I outed him to his pastor and friends. He still is in the closet (except to those people). He still goes to the church. He is one sad man.

  4. I was SO scared to come out, so after telling 2 friends and my parents, I asked them to tell everyone and then let me know who they told.

    Worked like a charm!

  5. Being outed was the best thing that ever happened to me. It might not have felt like it at the time!

    I was very closeted and very unhappy but I couldnt come out. I didnt have the guts.

    On my 25th birthday, my ex accidently let it slip to a friend and within hours, everyone knew.

    I had to deal with it and it worked out great.

  6. I'm with Adam on this one - I just get on with things, my sexuality is irrelevant.

    That said, I recently had to "out myself" to the new guy at work after he questioned whether I had any romantic inclinations towards a female friend I mentioned in conversation!

  7. Where I agree that sexuality is irrelevant - it's not always that easy to live life in that way.

    If it were, I wouldnt still be 'in' at work and my friend would not be 'in' everywhere.