June 26, 2008
Out In The Workplace: Yay Or Nay?

As you’re probably aware, June is Gay Pride Month. To show our gay pride, we’re having Gay Week over at Boinkology: from Monday to Friday, it’s all gay posts, all the gay time.

If you’re interested in maintaining your sanity (or keeping your job), it’s generally a good idea to maintain some boundaries between the office and your home life. Sure, you can have friends at work — but we don’t recommend bringing all your personal shit into the office with you.

But what does this mean for the gays? Is sexual orientation a part of your personal life, and thus something that should stay at home? Or is it a part of one’s identity, like race, religion, or hometown, something that could easily come up in casual conversation, something that’s no big deal? Is there a universal standard, or does it vary from office to office?

What’s your opinion?

[Photo by whatwhat]

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  • sqr says :

    It least for me, my level of outness at work depends on the liberalness of people working around me. I mean, I’m pretty obvious, but if I’m working retail over school breaks(like at Wal-Mart) then I tend to leave it as something that is unspoken. And, if I’m working at the university during the school year, then I’m pretty out.

  • Garrett says :

    I’m straight but most of my friends are gay and my girlfriend is bisexual. I worked at a catholic school for a year as a teacher and had to hide pretty much everything about my personal life. Most of my coworkers fell into two camps, young and unmarried and MARRIED FOR LIFE. The former group was far more open, accepting and cool, while the latter was made up of people who would say things like “Hmm, I wonder if she’s even looking to get married? Maybe not to a maaaan.” Creeptacular.

    Funny thing was, the only time I’ve ever been cruised at a job was by one of the frumpy old married guys in the teacher bathroom. Yes, the image you have in your head of the nerdiest math teacher you’ve ever seen making an awkward pass at a young male teacher is just as disturbing as you’re imagining.

    I declined.

  • fancyfree says :

    My general rule is that if the straight people at work talk about their relationships, I have just as much right to talk about mine. Anyway, I much prefer a deliberately casual conversation drop-in like, “Oh, yeah, I saw that movie a million times because it was my girlfriend’s favorite,” to a blatant coming-out announcement. If they want to know more, they can ask. If they don’t want to know more, I at least haven’t turned the situation into a stand-off where they must approve or disapprove of my sexual orientation.

    And just like with hetero relationships, if it’s information I’d prefer not to share, I don’t.

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