Outed gay boss
Seasons Greetings to the staff at Barbados Today, I hope all is well with everyone.
I like how you answer people’s questions so I decided to write to you with mine.
I attended our office party recently and had a little too much to drink, well more than a little.
I said some things I shouldn’t have to my boss.
You see I know that he was having an affair with one of our colleagues and that is why he was promoted ahead of more qualified people.
Yes the guy is gay although people don’t seem to know that. I know because we were at university together and we are friends. I never told anyone anything until that night and I didn’t mean to.
My boss’ wife was there and his partner too, although he was introduced as his buddy.
I know I am wrong and I have apologised but the weird thing is that my boss thanked me.
He said my “unruly, uncouth outburst” helped him to lift a burden he had been carrying for several years.
He teared up but never threatened to fire me. He didn’t cry, when he was explaining why he was so relieved that it was out in the open.
He said that his family refused to believe him when he told them he was gay and his father threatened to kill him, but instead put him out of the house.
His mother pleaded with him to let him stay but he didn’t budge. She instead found him a woman to marry in an effort to change him.
His father accepted that his son was straight again and accepted him back into his life.
His wife, he said, always knew that he didn’t love her so she had a string of discreet lovers to satisfy her sexual desires.
They were happy and he disclosed she was too. He is okay with it being out in the open and doesn’t mind the jeers and stares from his employees. He said he feels free for the first time in 15 years.
My only problem is my friend is not speaking to me: What should I do?
Since yuh asked, I’d say drink less and talk less. You might have helped him with his secret, but you have now lost his respect and you can’t blame him.
There is not much I can say except to see how much time will heal. I don’t think you may ever be the same again, but you never know, in time he might forgive you enough to engage you in friendly conversation.
I would suggest, however, that the bigger problem is whether or not he can trust you with the job. I don’t know what position you hold, but I am reasonably certain he will be wondering if you have also been talking out company business to outsiders.
Your task is rebuilding trust all around – and it will not be an east job.