Playing it by ear
It's not always easy to know when is the right time to tell someone that you're gay.
When I meet somebody and shake their hand for the first time I don't say "I'm Rick and I'm gay." But if I develope some kind of relationship with a person, over time my personal life will eventually come up in the conversation.
Sometimes I'll casually sneak it into the conversation. For instance, if we're talking about hiking and camping ( which I love to do ) I'll say something like, "I dated a man once and he and I used to camp up on Mount Mitchell. There's a lot of great hiking trails up there."
Other times the need just arrises and you're faced with the decision to tell them.
Once I was talking to a man who lived near downtown Atlanta. He said, "I love living in Atlanta but I have a problem with all the homosexuals there." So I just came right out and said, "I'm gay." I knew that he needed to know that I was gay before he continued his conversation and embarrassed himself. He said, "Oh. Okay. I didn't know that."
We moved on to another subject and it didn't come up again until I saw him on another occassion. That's when he said, "I'm sorry about what I said about homosexuals." And I said, "You really don't have any reason to apologize because you didn't say anything."
With a close straight buddy of mine, I told him only a few months after I had aknowledged to myself that I was gay. He and I were close friends so one afternoon I said, "You need to know something about me. I'm gay." Since he and I were such good buddies he handled it very well. That was 32 years ago. We're still good friends today.
It's not always easy to know when's the right time. Sometimes you just have to play it by ear and do what feels comfortable. Unfortunately job security keeps many LGBT people from being as open as they'd like to be. That's why job discrimination protection is so important.
Being free to be ourselves makes us happier people. And happiness is what it's all about.
Out of the closet and into the streets!
Last edited by Rick336; 05-28-2006 at 11:40 AM.