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Old 28th Jul 2015, 06:10 PM   #1
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Gender: Genderqueer
Orientation: Not straight...that's all I know
Out Status: A few people
Location: London
Posts: 29
Join Date: Jul 2015

Found out that friend outed me?

I wasn't sure whether to put this in the coming out thread or this one - apologies if it's in the wrong place. About two years ago, when I was about 16 or 17, I decided to tweet, "i'm not straight". I feel as though nobody should assume that anyone is straight, but I had no idea what my sexuality was beyond 'not straight', and I felt as though I needed to get it off my chest. I would often tweet about LGBT issues, and I would heavily imply that I was not straight at times. Rather than being the subject of speculation ("is _ gay?"), I wanted to approach coming out on my own terms.

I didn't intend it to be a totally public announcement. Not many people IRL knew about that twitter account, but it wasn't locked at the time. It was silly of me to come out like that, and I wouldn't repeat it, but I trusted everyone that followed me on the account entirely - it was an easy way to come out, en masse, to people I trusted. I had created it two years prior to that, during secondary school, and a few close friends from that time followed it. One of them was someone I was no longer close with - she went to a different sixth form to me (that's like the last two years of high school, which are separated from the other years of high school in the UK). However, it didn't occur to me that she might be a problem - she seemed fairly interested in activism, especially activism about LGBT people. She came across as much more educated on the topic than my other friends. I felt that made up for me not being as close with her as I am with my other friends.

When we were close friends, I always got the impression that this friend thought our friendship group, myself included, wasn't 'cool' enough for her or something. But I brushed it off as I have a tendency to be very suspicious of people and very anxious, and she had always been lovely to us - I can't quite explain what it was that gave me this impression, and in all honesty, I doubt I can remember the details. I hadn't talked to her for around a year at the time when I came out for the first time, and she didn't seem very interested in what I was doing. To put it simply, we had drifted apart. Let's call her friend A.

Anyway, a few days after this tweet (by which time it had been buried under other tweets), I saw two of my friends - not the friend that I've been talking about. One of them followed me on that account. Eventually, the topic of my non-straightness came up. The friend that did not have my twitter account said something along the lines of, "Congratulations for coming out as gay!" which...isn't what I did. Immediately suspicious, I said, "Oh, thanks; but I didn't say I was gay. How did you know I came out?" and she said quickly, "Oh, (Friend A) told me". This surprised me. I honestly thought Friend A had little interest in what I was up to. It made me feel uncomfortable, but it didn't occur to me that she had outed me. However, I knew that this friend, Friend B, snoops around on social media a bit, and wasn't very educated on the subject. It was possible that she had found my account and been idly scrolling through my tweets, most of which were about activism and memes, and stumbled across the coming out tweet. It would have been very easy for her to just assume that I meant I was gay - and it wasn't a problem, because she came directly to me to talk about it, where she could be quickly corrected. I didn't really mind her knowing, even if this was the way she had found out. What it meant, however, was that I couldn't know for sure that Friend A really had outed me.

Anyway, over the last six months, it's emerged that Friend A excluded another friend, Friend C, from her social group. She had also, allegedly, called Friend B manipulative to one of their mutual friends, who then informed Friend B of the exchange. By then, I thought it was probably true, but I've always been suspicious of people that tell their friends, "Oh, so and so talked cr*p about you to me", because I immediately wonder why the heck they were listening to their friend being sh/t-talked and didn't stick up for them. This brought Friend A outing me back into my memory, and it was the first time that I considered that she had outed me.

Yesterday, I asked Friend C if she thought Friend B might have stumbled across the coming out tweet I made over a year ago accidentally. But, Friend C informed me that Friend A told her and Friend B that I was gay. After all this time, it's been confirmed - Friend A outed me, and got it wrong to boot. Because it's been so long, I'm not viscerally angry about this - just a little...uncomfortable, I suppose. To our faces, she seems very civil and nice and kind, but she posted something on her blog about "letting people that hinder your growth go", which was obviously referring to us. But...I accidentally hit publish on a word-vomit post about the shame I've felt for potentially being a lesbian...just as my laptop ran out of battery. Another idiot move. I quickly switched it on, and loaded up my blog. I saw then that this friend, Friend A, had liked the post. I felt sort of relieved. It felt like she was comforting me. But then, within seconds, she had unliked it. I guess she must have liked it accidentally, or else not wanted me to know that she had read it, which, considering what else she's done, makes me feel a bit on edge. It would've been nice to know that she was here for me. It means that I feel as though she's not supporting me...she just wants to know what's happening with me. OFC, the post is gone now, but she still read it. It was very personal.

I literally have nowhere else that's not anonymous other than my blog to talk about my feelings about liking the same gender as me - I have a friend that goes to university a few hundred miles from where I live, and we communicate via our blogs. Both of us are not straight so we use it to chit-chat about it without there being any immediate pressure of replying and conversing, which is handy, considering our vastly different schedules. But now that I know Friend A is in fact keeping tabs on me, I'm not sure what to do. I sent her a message about attending a welcome-back do I was organising for my friend, who was returning from abroad after a year with no contact, and she didn't answer it. It was sent briefly after she had liked my post.

I don't know whether this was born of malice or ignorance. Next time, I'll be more careful when coming out, but I can't believe that this person outed me. I'm not sure whether to confront her about it or post something about consent & coming out and hope she gets the message. It's been over a year now and it's been so long but I still feel as though she's hovering around. What should I do? :/
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Old 28th Jul 2015, 08:29 PM   #2
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Gender: Female
Orientation: Lesbian
Out Status: Out to everyone
Location: Boston
Posts: 132
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Re: Found out that friend outed me?

As far as what to do about her at this point, I would distance and block her if possible. I will say that if you publish ANYTHING to social media, however, it is public. You can't expect anything to be kept secret once it is on the Internet. She should not have done it, but you really can't expect information to be "contained" online.
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Old 29th Jul 2015, 06:03 PM   #3
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Gender: Genderqueer
Orientation: Not straight...that's all I know
Out Status: A few people
Location: London
Posts: 29
Join Date: Jul 2015

Re: Found out that friend outed me?

Yup, I've learned my lesson. I certainly won't approach things in the same way and will only use social media to come out should I decide to be absolutely open about my sexuality. That account was deleted around four months ago and the tweet became impossible to find after a few says as it was buried by other tweets. It just hurt that it came from a once close friend, is all.
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