Now, a 25-year-old British man has found himself unwittingly thrust into the center of this contentious, age-old debate. He recently wrote into advice columnist Colleen Nolan at the Mirror for help.
“I’ve always had a passion for clothes and accessories,” the letter begins. “On holiday recently, I bought myself a man-bag thinking it looked stylish. But since being back at work, all the guys have been abusing me about it and they keep referring to my sexuality because I choose to carry one.”
But it gets worse.
“The problem is I am gay but I haven’t come out yet and the main culprit for the insults is actually a guy I’ve had a crush on for a long time,” the letter continues. “We’ve worked together for many years. We even took up cycling together and every time we’re out for a ride I want to tell him I love him!”
The man confesses that he now fears, because of his man purse, he may lose the one true love of his life.
“After all the abuse I’ve got over the bag, I think he may reject me,” he says. “Help, please!”
As usual, Colleen has just the solution.
“I’m not condoning their behavior,” she begins, “but I think your workmates see it as banter and genuinely mean no harm.”
“Because you haven’t come out,” she continues, “they think you’re straight and they’re winding you up. I don’t think for a minute they’d do it if they knew you were gay. If you want to come out, then now might be the perfect time to do it. The next time your workmates are having a laugh at your expense, say, ‘Actually, I am gay.’ That’ll shut them up fast!”
As for the coworker who the man claims to be madly in love with, Colleen thinks it’s probably best if he doesn’t try and pursue anything. And based on what happened to this guy, we concur.
“I wouldn’t declare your love for your colleague,” she advises. “I’m assuming he isn’t gay and, if that’s the case, you’re on a road to nowhere. You’ll end up heartbroken and it might ruin your friendship.”
She concludes: “There are plenty more great men out there and if you do decide to come out, it’ll widen your options.”
What do you think? Should this man ditch his purse in an effort to win the heart of his supposedly straight coworker? Vote in the poll below.