Archive for the ‘work’ tag
There’s a school of thought that it’s best for everyone to come out in every part of their lives since that’s the only way things will advance, although I’ve noticed that proponents of that tend to have jobs where being queer is an asset (like working in LGBT media). I remember going to a certain straight person’s lecture and being told that everyone should come out, and if they lose their job, well, don’t worry, you didn’t want that job anyway. She was married to an oil exec and never worked a day in her life.
Fascinating piece on a study that shows resumes with obviously LGBT affiliations get called 40% less than those without. And commentary on what it means to be out and why that’s a decision we need to make for ourselves.
I’m out at work (as are many people I work with) and it’s a real privilege to be able to be.
I said, “No,” while turning bright red.
He said, “It’s ok, I know loads of gay people.”
I looked at him and he stopped talking. I just wasn’t ready for that and my look must have said that.
One Saturday, I was talking way with a guy when I asked him what his plans were for the weekend. He told me his plans for the day and then muttered under his breath so I was the only one to hear, “I’m going to The George tonight with friends”.
Feeling a lot more comfortable in my own skin and aware that he had shared something important with me, I acknowledged it and we had a chat in code so neither he nor I would feel under the spotlight as there were a few people around. It was a surprising feeling of freedom!
A few years later, a long-term customer was in with me and we were chatting away. There was no one else in the shop when he asked if my partner was male or female. This guy is straight, married, 20 years older than me, and someone I like so I answered honestly. He’s interested in gay rights or the lack of, we have some interesting conversations.
I haven’t come out at work to my customers per se but I have been honest with anyone who asked once I learnt to be comfortable with myself. The rumours have gone around and you know you’ve reached the point when there is no need to come out when 2 teenaged boys walk by the open door saying, “I’m not going in there, she’s a lesbian.”
I came out of the closet at work a little bit on Thursday: Just a crack, but it’s a start. I’d noticed that one of the other women electricians was wearing a t-shirt from the rugby club that my ex has recently joined, and so when she stopped me in the hall to say hello and formerly introduce herself, I asked her about it.
It’s funny, but I feel like people are really starting to be friendly with me now that I’ve lasted through the first two weeks: Though I haven’t the data to back it up, I get the idea that some workers simply quit within that time frame, and so no one bothers to get to know them.
Anyway, this woman and I had smiled at each other a one point or another, but never spoken until Thursday morning when she told me her name and asked mine. In response to my question about the team, she confirmed that she’s one of the players, to which I responded without a thought, telling her that my ex was her teammate. It was so easy and enjoyable: Her utter lack of surprise, my comfort with chatting about a former lover, the whole little interaction. Afterwards I felt relieved, revealing stress I hadn’t really realized I was experiencing.
Which was good, it turns out, because later that morning while doing some conduit installation in an otherwise deserted section of the building, I came across graffitti on a wall, letters 2 inches high in black marker on the concrete: [Some dude's name] IS A HOMO. Still feeling good from the outing, and remembering how fucking exhausted I was by fighting the homophobic bullshit at trade school, all I could do was laugh.
… And I grabbed my own permanent marker, and replied underneath: SO AM I.
I thought of adding “WE’RE EVERYWHERE!”, but it hardly seemed necessary.
via I came out of the closet at work, a little bit. « Feral Geographer. (crossposted with kind permission)
He laughed, “Yes, sweetie. What gave me away?”
Two days later I sat at a hotel bar, with a whisky on the rocks and a book, waiting for a meeting to start.
“That’s not very social,” My boss said as he sat down beside me. He was an imposing man, tall and strong, smartly dressed.
“I’m sorry,” I stammered, “I-I just don’t know anyone.”
“Why did you leave your country?” I noticed his African accent.
To get away from judgement, from my parents, from the old me, I said.
“Me too,” he took a sip of my whisky without asking and walked off, calling us into the meeting room.