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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Identity » coming out and privacy issues

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Author Topic: coming out and privacy issues
Member # 50004

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So, I am 19 years old and I recently came out to my family that I am a lesbian. Before I came out to anybody, I told my BEST friend, who I have been friends with for 7 years. When I told her, she was very open and accepting and I didn't think telling her would be a problem. I told her in CONFIDENCE, asking her to PLEASE not tell anybody that I am gay because I wasn't and still am not comfortable with some people in my life knowing. She PROMISED me that she wouldn't tell anybody and I trusted her because she is my best friend. A couple days later, I found out that she told her boyfriend. I was mad, but let it slide because I know that he wouldn't tell anybody. Then a week later, she told me that she told her PARENTS. At this point, I was getting mad because her parents know my parents and I wasn't ready to come out to them yet. Soon, her whole family knew that I am gay. Then, my "best friend" told all of her friends in college that I am gay. We don't go to the same school, but it still makes me so angry to know that she told her friends about me even though I asked her to never tell anyone. I feel like I have been betrayed. I confronted her about it and she told me to stop being so sensitive and to "suck it up." She also told me that it doesn't matter that I am gay and that its okay that people know, but it isn't okay with ME. I want to be able to be open about my sexual orientation, but it takes time to get comfortable, and I am not completely comfortable yet, so I am really hurt and upset that my friend would do that to me. I guess I just want to talk to somebody about this, maybe get some feedback. Thank you.
Posts: 17 | From: Davis | Registered: Nov 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
May Day
Member # 39174

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"She also told me that it doesn't matter that I am gay and that its okay that people know"

Not true. It would be nice if we lived in a magical world where homophobia didn't exist and people didn't experience isolation, persecution and violence because of who they love, but that's not our world. The fact of the matter is that making your sexual orientation and identity public knowledge, your "friend" has put you at risk to be targeted by bigots.
It was never her right to share your personal information with others and in your situation i would feel hurt, betrayed and furious. I'm really sorry that you've experienced this, it is no one else's business but your own and of course you don't have to mention it to your family (or anyone) until you're comfortable.

Unfortunately, a whole bunch of people now know before you got a chance to choose who was told. That sucks. It can't be taken back, but you can choose how you want to respond when people bring it up. "it's none of your business" is my catch phrase of choice but you may to approach things differently.

Posts: 172 | From: Australia | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scarleteen Volunteer
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It is absolutely unacceptable for your friend to break your confidence like that, regardless of her opinion on whether or not it's ok for you to be gay.

Even if we did live in a world where homophobia did not exist - it is your right to your privacy and if you asked your friend specifically not to tell people then she should have respected that.

A person who acts like that is not acting as a friend of yours - and you have every right to be angry and to tell her of this anger.

What do you want to do now, do you want to stay friends with this person?

Did she give you any reasons as to why she told these people?

Posts: 896 | From: Europe | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 50004

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I agree, she is definitely not acting like a friend of mine. When I found out that she told all of those people, I was in complete disbelief. I sat at home crying all day during my winter break because she was my only true friend and I found out that she severely broke my trust.

I'm not sure if I want to stay friends with her. We have been through a lot together as friends because we have been friends for so long, but it is very hard for me to forgive her and simply go back to being best friends.

Her reasoning for telling these people was that she "thought I was comfortable with my sexual orientation and that it didn't matter if people know." That is the worst excuse I have ever heard honestly. I feel like there is no reason for her to share my personal life with anybody.

I have, since then, come out to my family, which was a struggle in itself because several members of my family were unaccepting, so having to deal with the confidence that my friend broke is a lot for me to handle right now. I don't really know what to do.

Posts: 17 | From: Davis | Registered: Nov 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 20094

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It's totally understandable that you're not sure if you want to stay friends with her - what she did was a big breach of trust, and it's really not surprising at all that you're having a hard time dealing. (I would feel the same way were I in your shoes.)

Ultimately, it's up to you what you feel most comfortable doing, but I will say that just because we've been friends with someone for a long time doesn't mean that we need to continue the friendship if it no longer feels like a good fit. People change, things happen, and sometimes a friendship just isn't workable anymore.

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

Posts: 5799 | From: Canada/Australia | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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