I’ve got a secret

Wuttke, Alexandria

From time to time, we are challenged and compelled to lie in order to keep a secret or protect a person to whom you promised confidentiality. A situation in my life where I felt like I had to keep a secret was when I was in high school and one of my closest friends confided in me that he was gay. Let’s call him John. It was extremely important that I kept John’s secret because he was not ready to disclose that information to other people, however I was at a crossroads because I was also very close friends with his “girlfriend” at the time. Let’s call her Jane. I remember advising him to tell Jane about his thoughts but he wasn’t ready to.

This secret was probably one of the most difficult I’ve had to keep simply because I was young and I wanted to be able to share it with Jane, but I also didn’t want to betray John’s trust. Especially since there were so many rumors going around about John’s sexuality and since I was one of his closest friends, a lot of outsiders tried to get me to confirm or deny the rumors. Not to brag, but I was well-known in high school; I was on the dance team and a lot of people knew who I was, so it wasn’t easy for me to keep secrets. Especially at that age, where it’s not uncommon for someone to want to fit in. I didn’t want to disappoint my other friends by not telling them, but at the same time I didn’t want to let John down either. (Not to mention that knowing this secret before even Jane made me feel powerful, like being privy to that information made me more important). YOU WRITE WITH CLARITY AND FORCE.

Looking back, it was silly of me to even think about telling other people. It would have been disrespectful to John’s privacy and dignity; it would have taken away from John’s autonomy and right to make those decisions for himself.  WELL PUT. In the end, I kept his secret and let him tell who he trusted when he was ready. By keeping his secret and lying to protect it, I protected John’s right to privacy. However, by keeping his secret and lying to protect it, I also hurt Jane. She was upset with me for not telling her sooner. Regardless, I don’t regret keeping that secret because in the end, it was John’s responsibility and right to disclose that information when he was ready to. And, it worked out because after all these years, I remain friends with both John and Jane. DID HE COME OUT TO JANE?



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