March 14, 2013

I’ve Been Outed

I am not having a good day.

Thanks only to an errant text message I happened to see on my wife’s phone, I have learned that she has outed me to her best friend … and that her best friend has subsequently told her husband.

I have lost control of this secret. It’s out of my hands now.

In my wife’s defense, it was her best friend. But my wife knows the LGBT community; she had a brother who transitioned. She should know better than to out someone! That is something that you JUST DON’T DO!

And it’s not like I’ve made her keep the secret all to herself. Her brother (the transman) is in the “circle of trust”; so to is an old college friend of hers whom she trusts (and who lives in Florida, which helps). But this is the second time she’s outed me to someone I simply didn’t want to know yet! The first was her mother, last month. At that time, I asked her to please, please not tell anyone else without my permission. But she has.

I love my wife and I don’t want to lose her. I want to stay with her as long as I’m able, even though I know it will end in separation. But this is not helping me trust her or the things she’s promised me about this whole situation.

I have tried to get ahold of the situation. I have spoken to the friend, asked her to please keep the secret, basically forced her into the “circle of trust.” She has promised me she will keep it. But my wife also promised me, and look how that turned out!

I am having a bad, bad day.

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  • I had something similar happen when my partner outed me to her sister. Your right, it causes a lot of problems now when it comes to trust.

  • Ali, It may (emphasize MAY) not be as bad as it seems (as long as you don’t lose your job over your “secret” being divulged. I certainly agree that what your wife did wasn’t something to inspire trust in her, but moving beyond that, the ledger sheet has some positives you may want to consider. One example:

    Many transgendered people agonize for years over (A) WHETHER to tell their family and friends their “deep, dark secret” or (B) WHEN AND HOW to do so or (C) possible repercussions of all kinds. And on and on the agonizing, hiding, gut-numbing fear, and doubts consume all one’s waking moments.

    Now that your wife has begun to expose the YOU you really are, is it reasonable to think that others will soon learn your “truth?” Is it conceivable that you could choose this time to begin enlarging the circle yourself (of those who know)?

    Yes, your children are a MAJOR concern. I won’t presume to suggest that I know best how or when they should be told. I fear, however, that your wife may take this issue in her own hands, She must surely know that the more people she tells the more likely are the children to find out as well.

    The possibility of job recriminations (up to and including dismissal without cause) must also weigh heavily on your mind. Again, unless good sense begins to prevail with your wife, one can only assume that your livelihood may be in jeopardy. A good lawyer will be able to answer the many questions you have in this area, especially in some future divorce proceedings.

    A Personal Note: I have no minor children. I DO have close family all over North Texas and two adult children (grown and married with six children between them). None of them know. And I think every day how I wish I could tell them. Not because they NEED to know. Not because I NEED to tell someone. No…I wish I could tell them because not telling is a lie, and I, too, am a lie. I am all too adroit at rationalizations and reasons NOT to OUT myself, but OHHH, at what cost? So, I sometimes think how “good” it would be if my “secret” got out to my small corner of the Universe…and I didn’t have to do it myself.

    Ali, just know that many people will be offering their best thoughts, wishes, advice, suggestions, and even prayers in the days and months ahead. You are NOT alone. You belong to a vast community of like-minded travelers on a difficult path. Relax as best you can.
    The Spanish have an expression, “Lo que sera, sera.” (with accent marks over both “a’s.”
    “Whatever will be, will be.” In truth, whatever will be already HAS been. They got through it. You’ll get through it, too. And we are ALL pulling for you.



    • I can see your point intellectually, Randa, but I just can’t get there emotionally. I’m scared shitless right now. I don’t think my job is at stake, but this could spread amongst the circle of friends my wife has, who are also parents in my kids’ school, etc. I have to trust her friend and her friend’s husband, and she has given me their word; but I trusted my wife, too.

      • The expanding firestorm WILL spread. All you can do is some preemptive damage control (or rumor-mongering countermeasures) using methods analogous to those employed in fighting forest fires. Backfires, burn outs, and counter fires are the most well known of these suppression methods. A quick read of the following site (5 mins. max) may suggest some actions you can take to minimize the “spread” of your own “forest fire.”

        In another sense you ARE in a game, a very serious game — you against the spread of those who know more than they need to but MUCH less than they should. You will be playing “what if” games with these witless and hurtful opponents for the foreseeable future, and you must learn what prophylactic measures work best against them, sometimes as a faceless group and sometimes as distinct and known individuals. Your experience with chess may stand you in good stead as you engage in “If you do this, I’ll do this, and if you then do thus and so, I’ll do this” with those who become privy to knowledge they never should have received in the first place. Be prepared to deal with what you KNOW will happen and don’t give a second thought to things that are almost certain NOT to happen. And, in life as in chess, the game WILL end. It will be long, but it WILL end. Take as much comfort from this fact as you can. Don’t panic. Think as dispassionately as possible and the moments of absolute clarity are sure to follow.

        I realize much of the above isn’t specific and may seem far-fetched. But it was intended for the type of mind I know you to have, for your particular background, and life experience. Now, I will try to come up with some specific tactics that may be helpful. The overall strategy will be yours to come up with to meet the unique circumstances of “Ali vs: the Shit-Storm.”

        Deepest Respect,


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