I’m a bisexual woman in college “dating” (read: hooking up with) this guy I’ll call “Dan.” He’s in a fraternity with “Michael” who’s dating (read: going on dates with) my good friend, “Mary.” Mary and I met in our university queer group.
Mary identifies as a lesbian but she genuinely likes Michael as a person and is dating him to see if there’s some chemistry there. Although she’s out, she hasn’t yet mentioned to him that she’s queer and somehow he doesn’t know. She’s going to tell him soon, before they even kiss. So that’s all good.
Dan knows who Mary is because they’re from the same town. He knows that she and I are friends because he’s seen us together. I’m pretty sure he knows I’m bi; like Mary, I’m out but it hasn’t come up.
The problem? Dan keeps asking me: “So, how do you know Mary?” I think he knows that I know her from the queer group and is trying to get me to say it. I don’t want him to tell his frat brother that she’s a lesbian before she does because: DRAMA. On top of that, I don’t even feel like I can out myself to him now because he’ll assume that I know Mary from the queer group and go running to Michael. So what do I say to him when he asks me that?
– Lambda Gamma Beta Tau
The next time he asks, look him in the eye and say, “Why do you keep asking?” If he gives a sort of non-committal, “I don’t know” response, don’t let him off the hook right away. Say, “But this is, like, the fourth time you’ve asked me that. Why?” You’re essentially calling his bluff and he’s likely to back down.
On the odd chance that he directly asks if Mary is a lesbian or if you know her from the queer group, ask him, “Why aren’t you asking Mary this?” If he doesn’t know her well enough to ask, then he doesn’t need to know.
Keep in mind that he might actually be asking this to because he wants to know more about you. For that, go easy on him because he’s not sure how to broach the subject. Let him know that you’re happy to talk about yourself with him but you have a policy of not talking about other people’s personal business.
And for future reference, if you can’t say you know someone from the queer group because you don’t want to out them (or yourself), always use the ol’ “we met through mutual friends” gambit. It’s hard to prove false and just vague enough to sound real.
Are you a bi lady in need of some good advice? Write to Tiggy Upland at firstname.lastname@example.org. This advice column is for entertainment purposes only. The columnist reserves the right to edit the letters for any reason. Find more Ask Tiggy on www.biresource.net.