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DEAR ABBY: I am a woman who last year discovered I was gay. I was married with children. When I told my husband I was gay, he embraced and supported me with a great deal of love. We told our children in an open and honest way, and they, too, have supported me. I have also told a select group of friends whom I felt I could trust.

One of these friends is the mother of one of my son's classmates. Her daughter asked her mom why I was always with a woman and her response was, "It's her girlfriend." Her daughter asked more questions, so her mother told her I was gay -- outing me to her daughter and my son's classmates! I am beyond hurt, and I am considering dissolving my friendship with this person. I am unsure what I should say or do. Can you help? -- CONFUSED IN SEATTLE

DEAR CONFUSED: Once a "secret" is shared, there is no guarantee that it will remain a secret. When you began coming out to your friends, you revealed who you are. You can't be both in and out of the closet.

Please forgive your friend. Her daughter asked honest questions and was given honest answers. That is a good thing. There are worse things than being known as gay in Seattle -- such as being gay in a place that's less accepting. So start celebrating who you are and the rest will fall into place.

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