When someone tells you they’re ace do you assume they’re out/open about it or closeted if they don’t give you any more information? Do you make a point of telling people if being ace is a private part of your identity?
Over time I’ve learned to be careful about other people’s identities, but I wasn’t always. I used to think identity was very clear cut: if you weren’t out, you shared that when you shared your identity. Now I try to play it safe.
In high school and my undergrad there were a few lgbtq+ people that were just out. I was rarely told by the people themselves about their identities. This was information shared by others as a normal part of conversation. It was never a big deal (or maybe it was, and I just didn’t hear about it). When a close friend told me he was gay, he made sure to also tell me that very few people knew. This made sense to me.
Later in a different space I met lgbtq+ people who assumed that everything was said in confidence. To them everything was obviously private and there was no need to clarify this.
I find the unsaid expectation of being closeted vrs. needing to say if you are closeted interesting and confusing to traverse. Since then I’ve found it safer to just assume people aren’t out, but I wonder what an expectation of silence does to visibility and pride. I like people knowing I’m asexual. It would be unfortunate if someone wanted to share that with a friend, but assumed I was closeted and didn’t. Should I tell people that I’m out? The unsaid expectation is also different from other communities I’m a part of. If you’re nonbinary and use pronouns other than she/her and he/him it’s obvious you’re out in some way. In the vegan community pretty much everyone is out. I’ve known so many people who are quiet about their politics and lifestyle, only to hear from mutual acquaintances that they’re vegan.