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Sister outed our cousin. Am I wrong to be livid?

Discussion in 'For Parents and Family Members of LGBT People' started by Boise, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. Boise

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    I am looking for perspective here because I’m so confused. Several months ago my teenage cousin disclosed to myself and my sister that she is transgender. She is in a loving family, her mother is aware and supportive.

    Later on my sister told me that she was very moved by the experience and the fact that our cousin had opened up to us and my sister wanted to tell her husband or our mom about it. I was horrified and insisted that it was not OK for her to disclose our cousin’s private information. I could tell she was dismissive and I reiterated that it was not her secret to tell.

    Well I just found out the she DID tell our mom. I am livid. But what’s worse is that our mom (who is very progressive) doesn’t understand why outing our cousin was not OK. She feels that since she is loving and supportive that it should be ok that my sister told her and she feels that I am insulting her by saying it doesn’t matter who she is, my sister should not have told anyone.

    My mom is my best friend but we are now not speaking. It’s pretty bad. Am I off base here??? I just feel that whether my mom is supportive is beside the point and that my sister had no right to share our cousin’s info, especially since it was not an innocent mistake, I had told her it was a breach of trust but she did it anyway.

    I have looked for articles to share with them but the articles all focus on safety concerns if you out someone and they get discriminated against, and I know my mom and sister will not resonate with those since my mom is not going to discriminate against my cousin. But it’s just a basic fact that you don’t take it upon yourself to share that kind of info without consent. Right?!?
     
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  2. Jackie Ray

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    Your mother and sister are wrong, you need to give them the silent treatment. In this festive time of year, they will feel it harder and have time to understand the weight of their decisions. Tough love.
     
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  3. gravechild

    gravechild Regular Member

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    Coming out should be a choice the person living with the consequences should have. It's one thing if you're given permission to do so, but my mother, too, still describes one of her co-workers as "the gay lady" and has revealed to me that one of our distant relatives is trans. She has no malicious intent, but like you, don't think this information should be thrown around so casually.

    This isn't something like describing a person with red hair, or a preference for cheese pizza. There are very real issues that could come up if the wrong person finds that information, not to mention how personal it is. That's why its such a huge thing when certain celebrities come out. Someone young and barely starting their journey? Not so much.

    The people who do know must understand that it isn't okay to spread gossip, and I would be more careful with who I shared this information with. A lot of parents, spouses, friends, etc. come on this site after having confronted someone, only to have that person clam up and/or deny they're LGBT. That's just one example. If you haven't come out to someone, but suspect they know, it can lead to some pretty awkward/tense exchanges.
     
  4. Biguy45

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    This is precisely the reason I won’t come out to anyone unless I’m prepared to be out to everyone. Unless I choose to reveal something, it’s nobodies business
     
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  5. Creativemind

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    Trans women are one of the groups that face the most violence, so outing someone in this case can be very dangerous. Even if her Mom is accepting, the rest of the world may not be.
     
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  6. kayaz

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    I feel like you're right to be upset. Outing someone is a terrible thing to do. If your cousin isn't ready for more people to know then that's how it should stay.
    I'd check in on your cousin. She will likely be upset, but she deserves to know what is happening.
    I hope everything turns out okay.
     
    gravechild likes this.
  7. Okteivia

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    I know this is off topic but I thought "the gay lady" comment was so funny bc it sounds like my Mom. She said the other day that some women in our town recently got married, like she was gossiping and going to say something bad, so I responded "And?..." she said "have you seen her? She is so nasty." I busted out laughing because I really thought she was about to pull the homophobic, "it's a sin" card and she comes up with how nasty the woman is (southern small town trashy type nasty is what she meant). It was almost a relief because I didn't come out as bi until I was nearly 30 and had my first lasting relationship with a woman. Come to find out she knew about my gf from when I was 17. But she and I have always fussed about LGBT rights and marriage but I felt like that was finally not even an issue. Guess it was a little bit of hope I felt.
     
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  8. Loves books

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    It's not right to out someone it should be their decision. I'm pretty sure my aunt outed me to my straight male
    cousin. I can't think of any other reason he visited our house and managed to turn the conversation to naming lesbian bars without outing me to my dad. But when I came out to my sister I was informed that I had never managed to fool her in to thinking I was straight. But she never told anyone.
     
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  9. Zen fix

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    On one hand the only way to keep a secret a secret is if only one person knows about it. Once you tell someone you may as well assume that others are going to find out. But, I think an adult should know to be more discreet than this. A teen confided in you and your sister and my impression is your sister used it as entertaining gossip.

    At least now you know not to tell your sister anything. I suggest contacting this cousin and letting them know who your sister told.