And Then, And Then
A year and a half ago I read your email once, then immediately shut down my laptop because you were the first people to ever give me the truth about my situation and I simply couldn't handle it.
I want to give you an update. I indeed broke up with my girlfriend. She still does not know I am gay, but I am trying to work on the next steps. I created an online profile with a blurred picture, explaining my situation and looking for other closeted men. I've only had one or two responses, but I'm hopeful.
Because of you I understand who I am. You saved my ex-girlfriend's life and mine, as without you, I would have married her and gone on for years with this secret.
I may not be ready to come out tomorrow, but I'm doing all I can to one day make myself comfortable. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for your help.
Jake, when you wrote the first time, you were engaged to an incredibly beautiful woman who was head over heels in love with you. She was expecting a ring, but you knew your attraction has always been to men.
You were an expert at fooling everyone and terrified at the prospect of being the subject of gossip on Facebook. "Guess who's gay?" You ended your letter saying, "I need a hand to hold and somebody to talk to."
The trouble with online, anonymous relationships is you don't know whose hand you will find. Wanting to hide your identity can attract the wrong person, and showing you won't be open can turn off the one you seek.
Try this instead. Pick out a good therapist and talk to them, simply for the experience of sitting down with someone face-to-face. Talking to a professional, in confidence, who won't out you before you are ready, can be invaluable.
This doesn't need to involve lengthy therapy, because really there is nothing wrong with you. You are just revealing more of yourself to the world.
Think of it as training wheels to say, "I'm gay."
One step at a time, no step too big. Usually people hold on to secrets because they fear the reaction of others, without realizing most others will be sympathetic.
More and more we live in a "I'm straight, he's gay, who cares" world.
We salute your courage in breaking off the engagement. You did your girlfriend an enormous kindness. Now do an enormous kindness for yourself.
~ Wayne & Tamara
I just got hired at my company and my coworker/close friend did not. She got passed over and remains a temp. She has not spoken to me in a week.
She claims it was because I didn't tell her I was getting hired, even though company policy states I couldn't until it was official. When I did try to tell her, she refused to speak with me. It was then I learned she heard it from someone else.
I've bent over backwards for this woman and now she won't even look at me. Am I wrong if I wait for her to approach me? I'm so angry at the situation I don't think I should apologize.
Renae, you can't apologize to someone who snubs you because of your good fortune. You know, and we know, she isn't angry because you didn't tell her. She is angry because you got the job and she didn't.
Any overture to this woman will make her think you were wrong and she is entitled to be in the superior position. It will tell her you condone her actions.
You can't do that. Friends want good things for each other; they aren't spiteful. Without a full-on, meaningful apology from her, she shouldn't be in your life. We have to be careful who we call "friend."
~ Wayne & Tamara
Column for the week of July 15, 2013