Outness

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 11, 2010 3:28 PM GMT
    Do you have a sense of how out your friends and acquaintances are?

    I was reading the forum posting about "Would you date someone who is not out" and some of the responses got me thinking about things. Some of the posters mentioned having to be secretive when out in public with a closeted guy. What about running into your gay friends when they are with people you do not know....if you don't know how out they are, do you avoid saying things that might out them?

    Also from the posting, I was reminded of a time that I ran into someone from work at the gym.

    I think the guy is gay but he has never said anything to me. We don't work together very often but we do know each other at the place we work. In general I am out at work, but its possible that he does not know I am gay. I really don't know who knows and who does not know and I really don't keep track. While its possible that he, like me, is out and I have never heard anything, I still think if he is gay, he might be closeted, at least at work.

    When I ran into him at the gym we talked for a little while and someone he knew came up and talked to us, mostly him, for a bit. The other guy that came up to us was wearing a Provincetown Pride t-shirt so I believe that he too was gay.

    I thought the guy from work seemed uncomfortable around the other guy and the other guy soon left. My first thought was maybe the other guy was an ex-bf, hence the awkwardness. I did not say anything about the awkwardness and we continued our conversation.

    Since I was not sure the source of the discomfort it was only long after the whole exchange that I considered that maybe the guy from work was not out at work and somehow worried that the guy that came to talk to us would somehow out him during the conversation.

    My personal philosophy is to assume nothing about someone's level of outness unless they tell me.

    So for you guys in the forum, how well do you think you know your friend's level of outness? Are they out at work, to family, to non-gay friends?

    Have you ever accidentally outed someone?

    Here is another question. What do you think of the words discreet and private in the context of "outness"

    The word discreet to me seems to have become a synonym for closeted or secretive like cheating on a bf. However, this is not consistent with the definition of discreet which means self restrained or tactful. Based on the dictionary I think you can be out and discreet. However, based on the common usage I don't think you can be out and discreet.

    The word private means to me, exactly that, private. However, private to some people sounds like being ashamed. I disagree. I think you can be out and private. Private means to me that there are just some subjects that you do not readily discuss with just anyone. I have worked at jobs where I was out but considered my private life very private and this was not just limited to my love life, this also had to do with things going on with my family (with my parents and my siblings). I just chose not to share a lot of details about these things at work.

    Now before anyone starts to say things like "straight people are not discreet, or straight people are not private" I want to say that I think that gay people and straight people should have the same rights to the same things.

    However being private does not mean that you are ashamed.



  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 11, 2010 11:34 PM GMT
    Cliffnotes version with a clear list of questions only please?

    I can't make heads or tails of what you're trying to ask.