Dear Sue: “Tom from Tinder”
This campus is very accepting of most people. It makes me feel pretty safe. A couple months ago I started seeing this guy from another school that I met on Tinder and we get along pretty well. The only thing is he’s completely “out” to everyone and I am not. My best friend is my only confidant but I feel this will hinder my present/future relationships. What do I do? What if I’m not ready to tell people?
Tom from Tinder
You said it yourself, this school is relatively accepting. But the first step to all of this is asking yourself if you are ready. If you don’t know if you’re ready to tell your friends who you really are, then you are probably not ready. Yet, in dear ole Sue’s opinion, you should come out. Don’t slam any doors shut. If someone gives you the opportunity or is a close friend of yours, don’t be afraid to let them know that you are gay. To a degree it is understandable that you might be shy/afraid about coming out, but society has made great progress in being accepting of the LGBTQ community; especially college campuses and our generation.
In terms of your relationship, being honest is always the best policy. Does the guy you have been seeing know that you are not “out”? If not, then you should tell him that. Maybe he can help you discover the best path for you to take. He will most likely be supportive at first, but it does become taxing to live a false life, especially if you are living it with someone else. If he can’t be open and loving towards you in public, that is going to be really tough. As it will be for you. Presenting a false front is not the way to live a good and healthy life.
Back to the first point, the best thing you can do in this situation is to first question yourself. What are you afraid of, what will you lose (nothing), and what do you have to gain (everything). Being honest with yourself is the hard part, which you clearly already know who you are, so that part is over. The next step is to reach out to the people closest to you (your parents, best friends, siblings) and take strength from their acceptance. If it makes people uncomfortable, then those are the people you don’t need in your life, and it is best to just let them have some time and rethink their values.
Sue Z. Maroon