Trans Teen Outed By Friends Seeks Help On How To Approach Their Betrayers
"That was supposed to be my thing, and you took that from me." This iconic line from the movie Love, Simon rings true for all LGBT folks who need to make the important step of coming out in their lives. Unfortunately, not everybody respects that. Sometimes we are forced out of the closet too early to people who may not accept us.
u/gaycheesecake laid it out for us:
I [23M] was outed as trans by 2 close friends [18F-20M] and i'm not over it
I'm transgender and confided in 2 close friends of mine about 8 months ago, it gave me relief and a chance to be myself around at least 2 more people in my life.
2 months ago, I found out they outed me to friends/family of theirs. I made a big deal out of it, but essentially let it go because nobody would own up to it or apologize and I didn't want to lose them as friends. I also was afraid if I pissed them off, they'd tell people. They played victim.
Last week, I found out people they outed me to told even MORE people, which is a direct result of them betraying my trust, and telling those people in the first place. I was crushed.
It's been 2 months since the initial incident and I feel that i'm still upset and hurt over it, but I don't know what I want. I don't know if an apology will help, will it make me feel better? Is it too late to re-open old wounds?
TL;DR: Outed as trans, let it go, don't want to make it a big deal but still hurt/want closure
Here was some of the advice they got.
First of all, you have every right to be upset and angry with these people. Second, you're young. When I was your age I was also afraid to stand up for myself out of fear that I would "lose friends". I guarantee that if you don't say anything and this continues to hurt, you will just feel bitter and angry and voiceless with these people. Tell your friends that what they did is f*cked up and ask for an apology. If they balk at this, then they are not good friends.
I had friends that did similar f*cked up sh*t to me when I was your age and they wouldn't own up to it. We had a falling out over it. Years later, we're friends again and I've forgiven them, because we all grew up. Maybe that will happen with your current friends. But don't lie down and take this. It's wrong.
OP, it sounds like this is something painful to you. Distance yourself from these people. You don't have to ghost them completely, but it's very okay to put them to the acquaintance tier from now on.
These days there's a lot of information about transgenderism. It sort of makes sense to talk about it within a limited group, to figure out how to be a proper friend, if this topic is something one is ignorant about. But talking to more people seems like this is not about being a better friend to you. Noteworthy too: you didn't get an apology, they didn't think they were in the wrong.
It seems like these people only see your transgender side when they view you, OP, not who you are besides the gender. You've already lost their friendship. Find new friends.
Well, for G-d's sake, OF COURSE you're upset. Your "friends" outed you, lied about it, did it AGAIN and aren't sorry. For anything you confided in friends, this is a betrayal (three of them?). When it comes to coming out, this betrayal could get a person killed.
I understand that icing them out or ghosting them might result in zero friends, but this is a bridge too far. They annihilated your trust. If they can out you to even more people, obviously protect yourself. That is priority ONE. But I agree with u/Lemony-Snippet about making new friends and then distancing yourself from them. Find ANY friends for now. Rabid raccoons would be better friends than these two.
And then when you make new friends and feel safe, I'd burn these friendships to the ground, middle-fingers-up style. You do not deserve to feel alone or lonely or unsafe or betrayed. I am so sorry.
OP, I am a stealth trans guy and I would ditch anyone who outed me. They betrayed your trust in a way that they don't truly understand because cis people never really do, and continue to do so. My privacy is super important to me and I would feel similarly crushed. Do yourself a favor and drop them, because I highly doubt they will stop doing this either way. Find some support among other trans people if possible.
One of my friends outed me as a lesbian to my best friend 5 years ago and I stopped talked to her as a result of it. I completely get that you haven't gotten over it, because it's not something you can get over easily.
Your friends are shitty people for not owning up to it and not understanding that what they did was sh*tty. You have every right to be pissed at them. We got into an argument over text about her compulsive lying (this was the final straw in a long line of manipulative behavior bc I was 17 and naive as sh*t) and about her butting into my life and I just straight up cut her off. Literally have not spoken to her since.
We were in the same friend group, but some of the others saw that what she did was wrong (and they'd been used and lied to by her too) and sided with me (for the most part; I know they still hung out with her on the side for awhile). She never tried to apologize, and that whole incident left me with trust issues out the wazoo.
It takes awhile to realize that people who you thought were your friends really aren't; it f*cking hurts and leaves you confused about who's really your friend and how friends are supposed to act. It's not something you can just "get over," so I don't blame you at all for being pissed as all hell about this. Your friends don't sound like understanding people; my best suggestion is to leave these ones in the past and start trying to make new friends or hang out with a different group.
Anyways, sorry for the novel, I just get really heated about people outing other people and not realizing they were wrong to do it. Pisses me off to the nth degree.
You have every right to feel betrayed and frustrated by their revealing a trusted secret- you have your reasons for keeping that information close and they should have respected that. The circumstance would be the same if this were anything else but in the end it comes to this: there is stigma around being trans and it's not their lives they're messing with by saying more.
I vote to make the seriousness of this clear to them because they may think they are going good for advocating for you. Perhaps they are, but this is your story to tell.
Okay, so your literal safety is at risk when people out you.
Like, when people out you, they paint a giant, giant target on your back. Anyone who outs you is not your friend. You get to choose when you come out. Every time--every day--you get to choose that. If someone decides to that power away from you, they aren't being inconsiderate, they are actively victimizing you.
You don't need friends who are supportive of LGBTQ+ people. You need to be in an active queer community so that you can be protected. How you present has absolutely nothing to do with your gender identity. Please, OP, be careful. These people could cause you to get seriously hurt.
I'm so, so sorry they did this to you. I would absolutely consider it a betrayal of trust.
If you feel you would like to try and salvage the relationships, I'm wondering if maybe there are some articles online that explain how absolutely inappropriate and heartbreaking this is to trans people. It sounds to me like these individuals don't respect you, but maybe they will respect some authorities online who are able to put into words the feelings you want to express.
Don't get me wrong, they should absolutely respect you, simply by the fact that you explicitly told them not to tell. They should have simply respected you, end of discussion. However, they didn't. And unfortunately, even the most supportive-seeming people might completely stomp all over your boundaries, but they might change their tune once a so-called authority puts into words why they shouldn't do what they do.
What I mean is that you telling them not to tell might seem like a boundary they can break - "oh, we know better than OP, they don't know what they're talking about, of course they'll be accepted." But if you were to present them with articles from doctors, or psychiatrists, or leaders in the LGBT community, explaining exactly why what they did was so harmful and devastating, suddenly, they might feel ashamed and realize what they did. Now, it's not just "oh, OP is so sensitive," now it's people who are authorities, telling them that true allies, which they claim to be, would never do such a thing. That other people would consider what they did completely inappropriate and wrong. That if they were to brag to their LGBTQ friends about how "woke" they are, they would actually be humiliated because what they did was so devastatingly wrong.
Again, these individuals should have respected you simply by virtue of you telling them not to tell. It should not require someone else to reinforce what you said. They should have accepted it, and respected your words. You would be completely Justified to cut these individuals out of your life, and even if you don't, I I would hesitate to trust them with any important information anytime soon. If you would like to try to work on these relationships, which you are not required to do by any means, this might be one way to start understanding and communication.
It is a betrayal of trust and also can be dangerous to out someone. Though they may be cool they can't guarantee that 2nd, 3rd or fourth degree (etc) contacts are also cool and may be motivated to use the information maliciously.
I would expect an apology myself. If they are not willing to do so i would distance myself from these people. They don't respect your wishes. As another commenter said. You're young you'll find plenty of people who you can trust and will have your back.
As an additional part of me thinks the reason they told others was a form of virtue signalling. But i'm a cynic in that regard.
All the best.
Your "friends" didn't even apologize? Heres the thing, you told two people, and they told more. Nothing can change that. But you can't trust them now either, and you'll have to watch what you say around them because you KNOW they betrayed your trust, and they'll do it again. It doesn't matter if they played the victim, or lied about it, or anything else, they betrayed you, and don't even apologize for it? Why would you want these two around you anymore? There's a point when people grow up, you're 23, they're 18 and 20. You have matured, they have a ways to go. Have you talked to other transgender people, see how they may have handled coming out? Just talking to someone could help, someone to share things with, or ask advise from. But your 2 "friends" the ones you told so you would be more comfortable and honest with, have shown you they can't be trusted. Even if they said they're sorry now, it's too late. They should have said it already, and you still couldn't trust them. Cut em loose.
What would your advice be?
Quitting a job can be a liberating feeling, but it can also be scary as hell... especially if you don't have another job waiting for you on the horizon.
Thanks to Redditor BurningDruid13, we have some answers to the following question: "Have you ever quit a job, without another lined up, for your mental health? How did it turn out?"