Q: This is the first time I’ve ever written to anyone asking for their advice, but I just can’t figure out what to do so I thought I would write to you. My problem is that a person whom I thought was a friend as well as my co-worker is angry at me and threatening to go to my boss and tell him I am gay.
He is angry because he left early one day and I didn’t cover for him, so now he wants to get back at me. He hadn’t asked me to cover for him, he just walked out and said he was going home. I didn’t go out of my way to tell the boss that he had left for the day. It’s just that the boss walked in and asked where he was, and I said he had left for the day. I think I had every right to tell the truth. Now he is mad and says if I ever tell on him again he will let everyone in the company know that I am gay. I just don’t know what to do. I have no idea what the boss will say about my being gay, and I’m just not ready to come out to the whole company.
Some of my friends say that I should tell my boss myself so he can’t blackmail me. Others say I should try to make up with him, and cover for him, so he doesn’t tell. I just can’t stand how nervous it makes me to have him threatening me. What would you do to get out of this? I can’t afford to quit my job.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
A: For me, I feel like living with secret of being gay is more painful and frankly dangerous than hiding in a closet that can be kicked open at any time. The fact is, if your co-worker knows that you are afraid of being outed, he will be able to blackmail you for other things at work. So for me, I would go to my boss and tell him what is going on and let him know I was gay. But that’s me and you asked what I would do.
You say that you can’t afford to lose your job. You might want to fish around your placed of employment and see if you can get a clue about your boss’ attitude towards gays before you make that decision. If it feels like your boss is going to have a real negative attitude about you, you may decide to not tell and give yourself time to find another job somewhere else; somewhere where you can be open about who you are and not have to put up with this kind of thing again.
Q: I recently broke up with my partner. We were together for 10 years. Almost all of our friends were other couples. When “John” and I first broke up I really didn’t want to go out or see anyone. But after a time I started wanting some company and started calling some of my friends to do things. It seems that most of them are too busy or, sometimes, they aren’t even returning my calls. I don’t know if they are seeing John or if they think the breakup is my fault or what. How do I get them to invite me out even if I am single?
Missing My Friends
A: To find out why they aren’t inviting you out or making contact with you, you would need to ask them what is going on. Just a few possible thoughts are: they may be uncomfortable with your and John’s break up just in general, and not know what to do. Or, they don’t want to take sides and feel if they invite one person or the other, it will look like that. Sometimes, couples feel threatened by singles or just rather have couple friends, and it’s not personal to you. Usually, people who break up need to start opening up new friendships with other single folks. They sure don’t need to give up couple friends, just add on some single people to hang out with.