Dear Urban Diplomat: Is it okay to announce on Twitter that a friend came out of the closet?

Dear Urban Diplomat: Is it okay to announce on Twitter that a friend came out of the closet?

(Image: Arden) 

Dear Urban Diplomat,
I’m 30 years old, and I recently came out of the closet to a few friends and my parents. I was still contemplating how and when I would announce it to the rest of the world when one of my particularly supportive friends tweeted hearty congratulations on my first Pride as an officially gay man. When I got to work the following Monday, word had spread. Everyone was polite, but it was as though they were trying to prove their progressiveness by being inquisitive about my relationship history. I was mortified. I gave my friend a talking-to, and he argued that my expectations of privacy are outmoded in the age of Twitter. Is he right?
—Bitter over Twitter, SWANSEA

Minor personal developments like a pal’s cool new haircut or birthday (provided the age is omitted) are fair social media fodder, but major news is strictly verboten. Tell your friend that when it comes to engagements, breakups, pregnancies, births, adoptions, illnesses, recoveries, deaths and, yes, coming out, people should be allowed to go public—or not—themselves. When in doubt, consider this: if it’s a great friend, congratulate or console him in person. If it’s not, then why are you tweeting about his personal business in the first place?

Send your questions to the Urban Diplomat at urbandiplomat@torontolife.com