Last week, a good friend of mine (let's call her Rebecca) told me that a mutual friend of ours (let's call her Miriam) came up to her and told her that she'd overheard me talking, and now Miriam knows I'm gay. Miriam said that she knows who wrote the article in the Beacon, and it seemed as if she wanted confirmation from Rebecca that it was me.
This bothered me on a few different levels. Firstly because Miriam is a friend of mine, and if she overheard something, I personally believe it would be a better approach to ask me about it as opposed to another friend. (The issue of whether or not you should ask someone if they're gay- which I firmly believe you shouldn't- is a whole other issue in and of itself.)
My second issues lies in this: what if Rebecca hadn't known? What if Rebecca was a friend I had not yet come out to? Then Miriam would have been outing me to someone else. I am in the closet for a reason, and telling someone else that I'm gay is hurtful, both to my feelings, as well as to my life and reputation.
Thirdly, on a general note (and I am speaking to everyone who is reading this), if you have confirmation that someone in your life is gay, but they have not yet told you, there is a reason for that. Maybe they aren't comfortable with who they are yet. Maybe they're not ready to be out to everyone. Maybe there are reasons like mine, which include concerns for my family. Whatever it is, you do not have the right to know. You do not have the right to ask, especially someone else. If you have suspicions, please keep it to yourself, because the results could range from asking someone to face something they're not ready to face, to ruining someone's life.
I did speak to Miriam and we managed to work things out. I stressed to her the importance of keeping my secret, and she was completely understanding and supportive. The lesson learned here on my part is that I need to realize that because of my need to stay in the closet for now, I do need to be more careful with what I say and where I say it.