Background: My best friend of 9 yrs, we'll call her Lola, (20F) and I (20F) are quarantining at our apartment together. .She's trans and has had trouble growing her hair out, so she wears wigs. She has some really cute ones in other colors that she wears for fun and stuff, but she has a standard everyday wig she wears most of the time.
Lola never got the traditional girly childhood, so we've been making one for her in quarantine. We built a fort in the living room, have been making friendship bracelets, playing summercamp-style games. It's a lot of fun!! Last week, Lola mentioned to me that she wanted to start a quarantine diary so that she could document her experiences for future generations. I actually thought it was really cool, and then we got on the topic of journaling and I told her about my first diary – one of those flismy lock diaries that every girl had as a kid.
We bought matching ones as part of our “give Lola her childhood back” crusade. They took a little while coming in, but we got them on Friday. Saturday night, some of our friends from college decided to do an impromptu girl's night in. Lola was in the shower, so I answered the Zoom without her.
Side note: Lola is NOT out to anybody at our college and I respect that. This is her fresh start and she has a right to decide when she wants to come out to these people, if at all. I know I wouldn't 100% trust some of the people at our school with something as personal as this.
We were talking about what we've been doing in quarantine and I mentioned that we had gotten the diaries. I said it was for the nostalgia and they wanted to see the diaries. We left the box in Lola's room, so I went in to show them. Lola and I go into each other's rooms all the time – we're basically sisters to one another, and it's just about second nature. When we were younger, we had keys to each other's houses. I didn't think anything of it.
I flipped the camera to show the diaries and didn't flip it back. I got distracted by a cute choker on her dresser and forgot that the camera was flipped/there was anything to hide. They knew Lola has worn wigs out to parties/the club/etc. but her everyday wig was right out in plain view, and one of our nosier friends asked what the “new wig” was. I completely bluescreened and someone else realized that it was Lola's hair. I genuinely had nothing to say. They were asking why Lola wore a wig and I had no explanation. I didn't want to out her.
Someone else came to the conclusion that Lola must have cancer or alopecia or some other horrible thing that causes hair loss. They've decided that she was just too embarrassed to say, and they all started going on about “poor Lola” etc. I just didn't know what to say and I said it wasn't my place to confirm/deny. I hung up and immediately told Lola. I apologized profusely, and I know how badly I fucked up. I feel so guilty about it. But, understandably, she's upset.
Now, she's being forced to decide whether or not to out herself. Lola, understandably, doesn't want to lie about having some serious disease and people are already trying to “show support.” At the same time, though, she doesn't want to have to come out. I don't know wha tto do. I want to support her, but she doesn't want to even see me right now.
TL;DR: I exposed my friend's wigs and have put her in a tough spot. What are good ways to help and support her? Should I try to do damage control and tell people to just butt out? What good can I do in this situation?