Wise Counsel From Susan Quilliam: Knowing a Secret, Should I Tell?

Hi Susan,

I’m gay but my oldest friend is a straight guy – we get on really well, have lots of interests in common and I also like his wife. Last week when she was away for the weekend I invited him out for a night on the town with me and my friends – it’s something we’ve done before and he gets on well with them. Trouble is this time he got on a bit too well with one and I heard a rumour they were snogging in the loos. Now I’m stuck – do I say something, to him? To his wife? Or do I just put it down to too much beer? Or one of my friends stirring it?


Hi Jim,

To answer your questions. You know your friends – so do you think they were stirring it; if so, then just forget. You also know how much beer your friend was downing – so do you think he was pissed enough to kiss another guy just for curiosity; if so, then just forget.

But if you think that, beer or no beer, your friend was not just acting out of curiosity – and particularly if you’ve had hints in the past that he hangs out with you and your mates because he identifies with you – then I think you should mention this rumour to him. Because if he has got a gay side, and many men do, then he will want to talk that through with someone he knows and trusts. That would be you.

I would definitely not say anything to his wife without his permission. Coming out is a personal choice and – particularly for married men – a choice that can tear life apart. So yes, start the conversation with your friend. But don’t start spreading the news to other people.

Susan Quilliam also offers email, phone and face-to-face coaching on relationship and sexuality issues. Contact her here.

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