I have been out of the closet since I was 17 and am in a relationship with a man who is still very much in the closet even though he claims to be out. He told his parents that he is gay but refuses to tell anyone at work about me. I have been to his office after hours and there’s not even a photo of me on his desk or anywhere else in his office. I’m guessing that none of his colleagues even know I exist or know that he is with anyone. I’ve never been invited to any of his company holiday parties even though I feel his company, though conservative, is at least open-minded enough for him to bring me to social functions. I am getting tired of this as it has been four years and I feel I am being kept in the closet with my partner due to his refusal to really claim me as his partner to all of the world. What do you recommend?

–One Foot Out (United States)


Only you can decide what you need to do. The question to ask yourself is whether the joy and fulfillment you have with him outweighs the resentment and frustration of feeling invisible and hidden in your partner’s life. A relationship counselor might be able to help both of you understand each other’s perspectives in this situation as well to help you as you make your decision.

Also, no one can truly keep you in the closet if you’re out. Be proud of who you are and of your sexuality and don’t take your partner’s reluctance to be public with you personally. You were amazingly self-aware and courageous to come out as a teenager but sometimes others may need more time to have that same level of courage and freedom.



I am a man from Sri Lanka but have been living in United States for the last 8 years. I have a wife and one kid. I want to live a life that has freedom in the sense that we would be able to do whatever we want (such as going to live in Sri Lanka with my parents for a while and coming back to the United States and work again–and do this several times a year). With my current job, I cannot do that. Career wise, I want to do some kind of a business where I have more freedom than in my 9-5 job. Also, I am afraid to quit my job in case the business doesn’t work out. I want to live life on my own terms but am not quite sure how to go about it. What is your advice on this?

–S.V. (United States and Sri Lanka)


Since you and your wife have a child you are responsible for, it might be a little more complicated to make this happen but it is definitely doable if you make a solid plan and work hard. Be aware, however, that initially, you might less freedom as far as your time as you building your business but the initial investment can eventually give you much greater freedom.

Modern technology makes it much easier to start your own business that you can do from anywhere that has reliable Internet access. has great resources for people starting businesses, including a list of businesses ideas you can start at low cost. See for details. You have an advantage, as you speak English fluently, and I’m guessing you probably speak Tamil and/or Sinhala fluently as well. Perhaps you can start a business that would serve both English-speaking markets as well as the Sri Lankan market.

If you need to develop more knowledge and skills, there are many great (and free) resources. Check out MIT and Stanford University also offer some free classes online.

I would start doing the research and make a business plan and start implementing it step by step while you keep your job. When you build up your business enough that you have some savings set aside (for your family as well as for your business), you can let go of your job and focus on your new business full-time. It will be a lot of work initially but the payoff as far as the freedom and potentially the financial rewards can be great.

As you get things going, be sure to take time to exercise, sleep enough, and play, as taking care of yourself is important to not only your well-being but be able to succeed in your plans. Perhaps you could even enlist the help of your wife when she is not at work if she works in the daytime and perhaps the help of your parents and other family members so you can pool your energy and resources and make it a successful family business without any one person (namely you) getting exhausted or burnt out. All of you will benefit in the long run.

Wishing you much success and freedom as you create the life you want.

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