A little over a month ago I told one of my really good college friends that I’m gay. She was definitely shocked, but she seemed to take it fairly well. I didn’t really worry too much about it because she immediately told me she loves me and that our friendship is still as close as it always has been.
When we finally got to sit down and really talk about it, she asked me why I told her first, as opposed to telling our other really close friend. It’s not that I valued her friendship over the other friend, it’s just that I thought she’d take it better. After talking with her about it, I realized that I really did need to tell the other friend.
I finally built up the courage to tell the other friend over dinner. She took it fairly well. In fact, I was the one who as emotionally thrown. Why? Because she already knew. The other friend had told her.
I’ve never been anywhere near this angry at this particular friend. I rarely get this angry at any friend. Once I realized this, the other friend immediately jumped to her defense. It was an accident, she let it slip, it just sort of happened.
But here’s the part that really got me:
It happened about a month ago. And another mutual friend was there as well.
So she accidentally told two of our friends. And when I texted her after dinner, letting her know we needed to talk, she figured out what had happened.
She came over, expecting me to yell at her. It was my original plan. But when I opened the door, I realized that it would be a horrible reaction to have. We sat down and she explained what happened and repeatedly apologized. Not just for letting it slip, but for not telling me that she had done that. She asked for my forgiveness, but I had forgiven her 10 minutes ago, when I saw how horrible she felt.
Coming out is really hard. Even the people you love and trust the most can screw up and fail to keep your secret. The important thing is that the people you tell are the people that matter the most. They will never mean to hurt you, but they’re so close that accidents are bound to happen. Knowing that you can see past the mistakes is what makes them the people you trust enough to hold your secrets.
She was just afraid to talk with me about her mistake as I was when I came out to her and talked her through it. We’re humans. The secrets will come out eventually.
It’s how you handle it that matters.