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Old 05-22-2019, 02:54 PM
 
63 posts, read 33,035 times
Reputation: 273

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I'm gay and been together with my partner for 15 years. At every job prior to my current one, at least one co-worker knew I was gay and in some cases, most co-workers did. Even then I am a private person and don't divulge a lot about my life. My current work environment is VERY conservative though and I've never felt comfortable being out to anyone. I'm starting a new job soon and it just seems ridiculous now at my age to either lie or not be open about myself to co-workers. I still don't plan on giving personal updates to co-workers, but it would nice to just be myself, and part of myself is that I'm gay.


In your current workplace, is it commonplace for gay people to be out and treated normally? I really do mean normally...no awkwardness, no weird treatment because they think you're a novelty, and no standoffishness.


Should I just start right off on my first day and say when my new manager asks where I live, "My partner and I just bought a house in XXXXXX."
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Old 05-22-2019, 03:21 PM
 
3,785 posts, read 2,999,734 times
Reputation: 7545
Is being gay "a novelty?" I can't think of any of my workplaces (there have been many) where this was something to take notice of.

Good luck in your new job!
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Old 05-22-2019, 04:33 PM
 
1,610 posts, read 1,122,065 times
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Straight person here: I hope you feel you can get it out there right away. Especially if you might be a little effeminate or too well-dressed :-). I'd hate wondering people were speculating about me and having to censor my conversations, then having it possibly leak out slowly. Might be better to just rip off the bandaid. Maybe do like Mayor Pete and put a picture of you and your partner on your desk.

What's the educational/demographic level of your workplace and are you really in Chicago (or other biggish city)? If everyone is pretty educated and making a good living, they're probably fiscally conservative but socially liberal and won't care.

I've worked with a decent number of out gays/lesbians over the years and it always seemed fine to me. But that's like a white person saying there's no racism in their workplace. My current team includes a gay guy and we are all very tight. He told me first (I'm just a peer, but we hit it off during the interview) and asked if there would be any issues. I said no and offered to tell everyone so he wouldn't have to have a series of coming-out announcements and awkward conversations with different people. He said yes, and that was the end of it.

Sorry you have to worry about this.
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Old 05-22-2019, 04:40 PM
 
690 posts, read 251,056 times
Reputation: 1815
At this day and age, I think most people don't treat gays or lesbians differently than straight people. As long as everybody does his/her job well, who cares?

At my workplace all males, females, gays, lesbians are invited to all events, baby showers, bridal showers, etc., pre-wedding showers for gays and lesbians. Everybody joins and does not look at anyone as weird.
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:01 PM
 
Location: State of Washington (2016)
3,567 posts, read 2,391,335 times
Reputation: 13857
[. . . Should I just start right off on my first day and say when my new manager asks where I live, "My partner and I just bought a house in XXXXXX."[/quote]

OP, you could say something casual like that if you wish but why is it even necessary? Just be yourself and do your job, your personal life is just that - personal. As your co-workers get to know you, they may realize you are gay but you don't have to make some big announcement about it. Our firm is quite conservative as well, but I know there are gay people here. No one is focused on someone else's sex life; they are too busy doing their jobs and taking care of their own lives.

Last edited by Praline; 05-22-2019 at 05:11 PM..
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:11 PM
 
17,270 posts, read 10,194,544 times
Reputation: 28792
Just put a picture of you two on your desk/cubicle as a 'preemptive' move. Many people put pictures of their significant other/spouse on their desk wall, no big deal. No need to 'come out' or any of that sort of thing.

Too easy, my man.
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:16 PM
 
333 posts, read 143,553 times
Reputation: 375
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicahgoChicahgo View Post
I'm gay and been together with my partner for 15 years. At every job prior to my current one, at least one co-worker knew I was gay and in some cases, most co-workers did. Even then I am a private person and don't divulge a lot about my life. My current work environment is VERY conservative though and I've never felt comfortable being out to anyone. I'm starting a new job soon and it just seems ridiculous now at my age to either lie or not be open about myself to co-workers. I still don't plan on giving personal updates to co-workers, but it would nice to just be myself, and part of myself is that I'm gay.


In your current workplace, is it commonplace for gay people to be out and treated normally? I really do mean normally...no awkwardness, no weird treatment because they think you're a novelty, and no standoffishness.


Should I just start right off on my first day and say when my new manager asks where I live, "My partner and I just bought a house in XXXXXX."
Hi,

I have a union in my workplace (government) and been exposed to gay & lesbian. I found that they don't disclose by saying "I'm gay", but in a conversation, they may say something like, my partner and I had a wonderful time attending ________ show or ________ vacation trip.

Any coworkers who is "religious", in my mind, probably don't like that person and prefer to be stand-offish or anyone who wasn't aware of anyone in their past to be gay or been exposed to gay people. They are stand-offish because they could be disciplined by management and the union would not protect them so much because union organizations don't judge on anything like that.

Mod cut.

Last edited by PJSaturn; 05-23-2019 at 02:42 PM.. Reason: Off-topic.
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Denver CO
21,177 posts, read 11,780,372 times
Reputation: 32183
I like the idea of putting a photo of your family on your desk, right from the start. Your family is every bit as valid as anyone else's. I would take a cue about how much people talk about their families and non-work activities as a general guideline about how much to say, but I've never been in a workplace where people didn't share at least a little bit about their non-work lives.

And I think the more matter of fact you are about it, the better - for everyone. And fwiw, totally normal at my workplace, it's a mix of all kinds of people, and we are all better for it, and since it's a healthcare provider, our patients are better served by a staff that reflects their diversity in all ways.
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,947 posts, read 8,403,847 times
Reputation: 15546
I am straight, liberal and don’t have to deal with any repercussions over your decisions. So it is easy for me to say you should just be open about it.

Yes, in my correct workplace it is common for people to know a person’s preferences and not judge. A few will still do so of course, but they are definitely a silent minority.

Yes, I would be open about it from day 1, although stating “my partner and I...” is not definitive, as many unmarried but committed heterosexuals also use that terminology. You may have to go with “my partner Bob...”.
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Old 05-22-2019, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Erie, PA
2,865 posts, read 1,257,703 times
Reputation: 6454
We have several LGBT employees both at our corporate location and my location, and it's not a big deal to anybody. Our corporate location is in the NYC area so there is more of an 'out' atmosphere about it but here it's common to see pictures of partners on the desk and once in a while hear talk of partners. Nobody minds and it's pretty much a non-issue.
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