To Come Out or Not to Come Out?
I look at her while taking a bite out of my filet of sole.
"Well, we've known each other - I mean I feel I can ask you that." She doesn't want to seem intrusive.
"I've been going on dates lately. But I'm not dating anyone, per se". Okay I gave a Bill Clinton answer. I didn't lie, but I didn't tell the whole truth either. I'm gay. Laura is not just a friend. She's also a co-worker who outranks me. So I haven't told her.
I have no one but myself to blame for this. I NEVER should have admitted to going on a couple of dates with a guy she recently went out with. But I couldn't help it. A few of weeks ago Laura was telling me what she doesn't like about this guy. I couldn't help laughing. She knew that I knew him. He used to work at our company. I had to explain why I was laughing. I completely related to her criticisms.
Back to our dinner. I felt that I dodged the bullet. She went on to tell me about a business dinner during which she got invited to a party in Boston.
"Do you have a height range for guys you'll date?" Laura asked.
Oh, I guess I'm not off the hot seat yet. "Nah, no height range for guys."
I could feel blood rushing to my checks. Thank God the restaurant was dark so she couldn't see me blushing like an idiot. I was so close to telling her.
I thought back to a conversation I had with a friend who does know I'm a Lesbian (she's not a fellow employee). I asked her if she thought I could come out to Laura. She thought I safely could, that Laura wouldn't be judgmental.
Here are the advantages to telling her. I could see us becoming good friends; we have a lot in common. And just as important, I don't want Laura to think I'm an asshole. She's an extremely good person and super smart. She buys coffee for her drycleaner when she goes to pickup her clothes. She's very positive & upbeat, even in the face of difficult situations. She is that rare case of a person who went to top notch colleges and actually has intelligence & depth. I don't mean to generalize, but I've known people who went to Ivy League schools but only talk about superficial nonsense like what they read in People Magazine or how much other people make (boring).
During one of the first conversations Laura & I had, she asked me if I like "fantasy" books. That got my attention. She's not only a fan of The Hitchhiker's series and Harry Potter, she read "Watership Down" as a kid too! (I admitted it was one of the few books I read as a child.)
Besides the fact that both of us enjoy deep conversations, we have some odd similarities. We're both lefties who write with our right hands. And I thought I was the only one!
Laura moved back to NYC recently so she's looking to establish herself & make new friends. I know she'd like to do more stuff with me outside the office. But a lot of times I'm vague about what I'm doing socially because she doesn't know I'm gay. I probably seem hot and then cold.
Now the big negative to telling her. I'm not out at work, or anyone in my field. She's a direct pipeline to our boss. They occasionally see each other outside the office. How do I know it won't be blurted out by accident?
A gay friend of mine advised me not to tell. This friend is out 100% even at work. But she feels there aren't enough reasons for me to come out.
So here I am, not sure what to do. I laugh. I was having dinner Saturday with my straight friend feeling uncomfortable. Then Sunday evening I was in a gay bar, hiding a financial publication I was reading on the subway ride there. God help me if certain Lesbians saw me reading something as "establishment" and capitalistic as "Barron's".
I guess I don't fully feel like I'm a member of either "team". Going 100% back in the closet has its appeal. It's safe and I don't have to worry about this nonsense. But then I remind myself that I'm an oddity in other ways. I'm not really right handed or left handed. Neither is Laura. Hmmm... Can I trust another "Righty-Lefty"?