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The 'correct' response when someone 'confesses' they are gay?

(38 Posts)
Paolosgirl Tue 21-Jul-09 21:02:54

One of my close colleagues is gay, which makes not a jot of difference to me one way or t'other. He doesn't know I know, and I'm pretty sure he's been about to tell me on a couple of occasions recently. If he does 'fess up' what should my response be?

TheNonIronicCathKidstonGoat Tue 21-Jul-09 21:04:19

thats nice dear

bigchris Tue 21-Jul-09 21:04:21

well done for telling me, thanks i feel really honoured that you do


i knew all along grin

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 21-Jul-09 21:05:53

Just say 'and'? You wouldn't be shocked if he said he liked girls so why would you be shocked if he likes lads?
Personally, I'd be pleased they felt they could say this to me and would say something like 'I really hope you find someone who makes you happy, I do have to draw the line at animals though' grin

differentID Tue 21-Jul-09 21:06:46

The one I've used is "So?" and a puzzled look.

then they say

"but you don't mind?", to which the correct response is "why should I?"

hester Tue 21-Jul-09 21:09:23

Just smile and say, thanks for telling me, then take the conversation from there.

Don't tell him how you knew all along.
Don't tell him all about the other gay people you know.
Don't tell him how hip and groovy you are about these things - though of course you yourself are 100% heterosexual and could never imagine being otherwise.

hth grin

VulpusinaWilfsuit Tue 21-Jul-09 21:11:19

Like this:


<carry on>

hester Tue 21-Jul-09 21:12:30

I understand what Fluffy and different are saying, but as a gay person I would find a 'so what?" response really unhelpful. He may have been plucking up courage for ages to tell you, and to then wrong-foot him by asking him to justify WHY he has told you is not kind IMO. You KNOW why it may be hard for him to tell you, and why he might ask if you mind - because gay people often get negative responses when they do come out to people.

Just make it easy for him to get it out, and then to move on with the conversation. That's much more important than proving how super-cool and casual you are.

LaDiDaDi Tue 21-Jul-09 21:13:00

"Ok" and a shrug of the shoulders.

Fennel Tue 21-Jul-09 21:13:16

Lots of my colleagues are gay, they don't "confess". (in my last office I was the only heterosexual in the office, should I have confessed?)
It just becomes obvious when they talk about their partner or who they live with, etc. No need for any response on my part. Any more than if I find out they're heterosexual.

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Tue 21-Jul-09 21:14:25

I know.

morningpaper Tue 21-Jul-09 21:15:04

I've never heard a gay pereson "confess" grin

Are you SURE that's what they are 'about to tell you'?

Perhaps your dress is just very see-through or something but he doesn't know how to let you know?!

MrsMcCluskey Tue 21-Jul-09 21:15:56

'Duh I guessed '
I clocked that a friend of mine was gay straight away
We were on a works night out and I was dancing with him
He must of thought I fancied him , he said 'you do know I am gay dont you?'' Duuuurrrr!'

Fennel Tue 21-Jul-09 21:18:20

I never guess, I have appalling gaydar. But I know quite a few people who are or have been bisexual as well so it gets unpredictable.

Mintyy Tue 21-Jul-09 21:18:45

This has happened to me many times. I did Drama at University so of course there were queues forming re. coming out. But also my sister (at age 22) and brother (age 34) had this to deal with. I think you should take the news as if you hadn't known beforehand, are honoured that they feel close enough to trust you, but at the same time somehow reassure them that this is non-news in the nicest possible way. Not easy!

Paolosgirl Tue 21-Jul-09 21:23:14

Yes, I'm pretty sure that's what he was about to tell me, given the context of our conversation - the most recent occasion was when he had just been on equality and diversity training and was recounting how awkward he found it, was about to tell me why and then blushed and stopped.

He's quite shy, and is not openly gay like a lot of my colleagues, so I guess for him telling me is a big deal. I don't want to sound as if I'm dismissing him by sounding too disintersted, nor do I want to sound too intense iykwim!

OK hester - I won't tell him about the other people I know who are gay! grin

Tambajam Tue 21-Jul-09 21:29:45

I may be a bit weird here but if he is starting to blush and stammer a bit and it's maybe becoming a 'thing' I would attempt to have a conversation where I let him know I already 'know'. Nothing too heavy. Just mention relationships and partners and say 'they' when asking him a question about a prior relationship (assuming you are quite chatty and might discuss that type of thing). Just play the pronouns game enough to let him know you are not assuming a 'she' and it's not an issue.

Paolosgirl Tue 21-Jul-09 21:46:03

I kind of did that when we were talking about the Christmas do. I asked him if he was going to take his partner (gender neutral!), he said no, he'd have to find one first, and we laughed - then we left it at that.

MamaLazarou Wed 22-Jul-09 08:18:43

My response in the past has been: "Oh. Thanks for telling me. You seeing anyone?"

jellyjelly Thu 23-Jul-09 16:24:21

I personally wouldnt say 'so' or 'so what' or anything along those lines.

I came out to my colleague and she was gay and i was coming out full stop and she said 'congrats' it was lovely and what i needed at the time as even she hadnt guessed.

I think a polite thankyou and who are you seeing is nice and not too forward.

BadgersArse Thu 23-Jul-09 16:24:58

dont do the" I always knew"
makes the person look stupid

notcitrus Thu 23-Jul-09 17:14:23

"Thanks for telling me" if it looks like they've screwed up their courage at all, or just 'oh right'.

"No shit!" is the wrong response...

maggievirgo Thu 23-Jul-09 17:17:42

My friend was annoyed when I said, yeah thought so. He thought it was his secret to reveal, and was somehow irked that it was obvious; that other people knowing or not knowing was out of his hands. But maybe he's just a control freak! He's relaxed a bit now.

UnquietDad Thu 23-Jul-09 17:19:03

If it comes out as a "confession" I suppose "I'm glad you're happy" is OK? It's never been an issue with any gay people I know - they usually let people guess and make it pretty obvious.

kathyis6incheshigh Thu 23-Jul-09 17:25:36

The last time someone said this to me my answer was, 'Ah, that explains the earring', followed by, 'It suits you.'
I don't think there is a standard correct response tbh!

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