I looked into your best friend's eyes and smiled, like nothing in the world could break our trust. "Promise you won't tell anyone?" …"Ya, I promise." Everything was fine, until we had a fall out in our friendship.
My hands trembled with frustration and tears start to swell in my eyes. Here I was staring face to face with the principal of my dream job, yet tears streamed with stinging disappointment. I had just been outed. "A certain friend of a friend told me about your sexuality." My heart skipped beats like it does when you accidentally miss a stair or two; I knew exactly who he was talking about. How could they do this to me? I didn't do anything to deserve this. I shook my head in disbelief and excused myself from the meeting. Embarrassed, hurt, and furious I tried to tell myself to stop crying, but that only made it worse. I got into my car and broke.
Being outed for the lack of a better terms feels like you're being punched in the gut repeatedly. When you are outed it can feel as if all eyes are on you. I don't know which feeling is worse, being outed when you're not ready or being betrayed by someone who was once close to you. A best friend is supposed to be there for you and keep your secrets, not share them with the entire world. Even in 2018 where the LGBTQ+ community is becoming more accepted, there are still a lot of people will not take it lightly when they find out you are something that you're not "supposed to be".
There is a reason why you did not want to tell anyone in the first place. In fear that your sexuality will lead to bullying or rejection by friends, family or even a workplace. Unfortunately, there are some people who are more interested in your life than their own. Once the word slips out, news travels fast.
In the unforgettable movie "Love, Simon," main character Simon Spier struggles with his sexuality and eventually gets outed to the entire school by someone he knows, "I'm supposed to be the one to decide when and where and who knows and you took that from me." In a way it feels like you are naked in the middle of a crowd and all eyes are on you. You feel completely exposed because all of these people, including strangers, know something about you that you were not ready to share (not that it was any of their business in the first place).
Many people in the LGBTQ+ community have experienced this before where there is a falling out in a friendship or a relationship. The biggest mistake that we make is to continue to give these types of people attention. Sure it is going to hurt like hell if you have been outed by someone that you used to trust and care for, but remember that people like them do not deserve the slightest bit of your attention. Behind every negative group of people there are better ones just waiting around the bend. There is an entire community who is willing to accept you for you. We are the community who stands together in acceptance for our differences. Welcome home!