The media is full of stories about John Travolta's alleged groping incidents with male masseurs and asking, "Is he gay?" and "Did his wife know?" We don't know what is going on in John Travolta and Kelly Preston's marriage, but plenty of other non-celeb couples deal with this issue every day.
Contrary to popular belief, finding out your partner is gay is not something a spouse "knows about" and decides to ignore. It is horrible, shocking, and surreal. Believe me, I know.
But if the spouse of a friend or family member comes out, you can help. Your friendship and emotional support will be vital at this devastating time. The first way you'll want to help your friend is by NOT say the following 13 things -- no matter how much you want to.
Didn’t you know?
Did you see any signs?
My cousin’s friend’s sister’s husband came out.
(That's great. Has nothing to do with me.)
Isn’t that better than another woman?
(No. It's different. Not better.)
It’s good he came out though, right?
(Probably, but I can't celebrate right now.)
I always suspected.
(You're an asshole.)
Didn’t you have sex?
Ha. That's funny.
(I actually had someone say this.)
Are you going to get an AIDS test?
(Yes, but that is not what I want to discuss right now.)
Maybe he’s just going through a phase.
(Maybe so, but right now he's gay and I'm destroyed.)
Is he the father of your children?
Did he always want to do anal with you?
(No. You've seen Brokeback Mountain too many times.)
Are you worried about him being around the kids?
(No. He's gay, not a child molester.)
And now here are some things that you could say to a friend or family member that would be really helpful and appreciated:
I'm really sorry this happened.
This is devastating.
I'm here to support you.
Call me whenever you need to talk.
I'm in total shock right now.
What would you say to a friend whose husband or wife came out?
Image via Carbon NYC/Flickr