19 April 2009

A Rock And A Hard Place

So I was talking to one of my friends at work (let's call her Sara) who I've told about being gay (she's been totally amazing and supportive, and I feel very lucky) and I was asking for her advice. Since she knows both me and my roommate (let's call her Carrie), I was looking for her opinion about what she thought Carrie's reaction would be if I let her in on my little secret.

I mentioned that Carrie thinks that gay people have no morals.


Sara has a brother who is gay. This is one of the reasons I felt safe telling her, and I'm sure it's one of the reasons she has been so cool with me.

Now Sara's opinion of Carrie has dropped quite a bit. Carrie has lost a lot of respect in Sara's eyes.

When Carrie says things like that, I absolutely hate it. I struggle with how to react in the moment and how to handle the situation enough so it doesn't become worse in the long term. I feel...just at a loss.

And yet, I feel like I've betrayed her in some way because of how Sara told me she feels now.

Does that make any sense?

And what do I do now?


Scott said...

Carrie obviously believes that you have morals, or she wouldn't be comfortable being your roommate.

The reason she doesn't think gay people have morals is because all she knows of gay people is the stereotyped caricature that she has seen of them in movies and TV shows. Realizing that her opinion is based on a limited knowledge and understanding might help you to cut her a little slack when she makes ignorant comments.

And perhaps you can help Sara understand the same thing, and maybe that will buffer the change in her opinion of Carrie?

Odds are if you do decide to come out to Sara she will realize that her views of gay people aren't quite based in reality, and she will alter them a bit to fit the new information you've given her. There's a small chance she'll stubbornly cling to her prejudices and change her opinion of you instead, and that's a risk you take whenever you come out to someone, but in my experience it usually doesn't work out this way. In general, people care more about people than about principles.

Good luck!

alex dumas said...

Chances are, Carrie will, at some point in her life, discover someone very close to her who struggles (maybe you, maybe not), and she will be humbled and her opinions will change.

In the meantime, why is this important? Do Sara and Carrie interact with one another?

drakames said...

Thanks for your feedback. I really appreciate it! I'm trying to stay objective and weighing my options. Maybe I just need a vacation or something.

Alex: they don't see each other on a regular basis, but they do interact. I don't know what will happen when they're in the same room together next. Cross your fingers!