The Ultimate Brokeback Forum

Author Topic: Coming out: how and why?  (Read 109152 times)

Offline happycamper

  • Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 502
Re: Coming out in the workplace
« Reply #45 on: February 07, 2006, 02:49:39 PM »
I guess even gay/bi people are not immune to thinking that being gay is about what we like to do in bed...

Where on earth have you got this impression from?   ??? ??? ???
helen_uk, I was refering to jim, not you, and I couldn't remember his exact orientation...

But I will ask the same question that I asked Lola - what is wrong with announcing it then? How is it any different than telling your boss about some other important development in your life, assuming you have those conversations?
« Last Edit: February 07, 2006, 02:51:11 PM by happycamper »

helen_uk

  • Guest
Re: Coming out in the workplace
« Reply #46 on: February 07, 2006, 02:54:19 PM »
Right, I am suggesting that some people were so uncomfortable with gordonleo's decision to share his orientation with a co-worker because they are interpreting what he did as tantamount to announcing "I like anal/oral".  :-\

Who is uncomfortable about gordon's decision?  Not me that's for sure.  Perplexed and confused do not mean uncomfortable. And in his own words he announced it to his boss, not exactly the same as sharing it with a colleague.  I haven't seen anyone interpreting his announcement in the way you suggest - where are they?

Offline jim ...

  • Global Moderator
  • Expert
  • ******
  • Posts: 442
Re: Coming out in the workplace
« Reply #47 on: February 07, 2006, 02:54:54 PM »

helen_uk, I was refering to jim, not you, and I couldn't remember his exact orientation...

But I will ask the same question that I asked Lola - what is wrong with announcing it then? How is it any different than telling your boss about some other important development in your life, assuming you have those conversations?

happycamper ... I am a gay man.  It sounds as though you feel there are substansive other difference between gay and straight people, other than what they like in bed. I always thought I was pretty much like everyone else otherwise.  Could you elaborate?  What are those other differences?

Offline Lola

  • Membership_deactivated
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 10471
Re: Coming out in the workplace
« Reply #48 on: February 07, 2006, 02:57:43 PM »
I heard Pamela Anderson "announce" once on Howard Stern that she likes anal/oral   8)
 
FUNGURL

helen_uk

  • Guest
Re: Coming out in the workplace
« Reply #49 on: February 07, 2006, 03:00:44 PM »
[what is wrong with announcing it then? How is it any different than telling your boss about some other important development in your life, assuming you have those conversations?

Nothing wrong with announcing it, I just personally don't see why one would feel the need to do so.  I questioned him about it because I'd like to understand his motivation, nothing more. 

Offline jim ...

  • Global Moderator
  • Expert
  • ******
  • Posts: 442
Re: Coming out in the workplace
« Reply #50 on: February 07, 2006, 03:03:08 PM »


But I will ask the same question that I asked Lola - what is wrong with announcing it then? How is it any different than telling your boss about some other important development in your life, assuming you have those conversations?

Somehow, telling your boss that you just bought a new house ... or car ... or are adopting a child...etc .... feels real different then telling him or her you're gay.  I think the word "gay" takes on a pretty specific connotation.

Offline happycamper

  • Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 502
Re: Coming out in the workplace
« Reply #51 on: February 07, 2006, 03:04:45 PM »

helen_uk, I was refering to jim, not you, and I couldn't remember his exact orientation...

But I will ask the same question that I asked Lola - what is wrong with announcing it then? How is it any different than telling your boss about some other important development in your life, assuming you have those conversations?

happycamper ... I am a gay man.  It sounds as though you feel there are substansive other difference between gay and straight people, other than what they like in bed. I always thought I was pretty much like everyone else otherwise.  Could you elaborate?  What are those other differences?
How about that we fall in love with people of our own gender which is generally not accepted and that we grow up learning that it is wrong and also everyone around us assumes we are the other way so that when we finally do realize and accept who we are it is a major step in our fulfillment as human beings and it is something that we (hopefully) feel wonderful about and want to share. (Chorus of Let the Sunshine...)

Offline Lola

  • Membership_deactivated
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 10471
Re: Coming out in the workplace
« Reply #52 on: February 07, 2006, 03:09:20 PM »
Then I would say, tell your Mom, tell your Dad, your brothers and sisters, your friends,  but maybe not your boss!

But if I were the HR manager and you came in and said all that to me, I would say "well good for you"   ;D

The director at our company would probably have said "and who are you again" lol   BIG COMPANY!  ::)
 
FUNGURL

Offline jim ...

  • Global Moderator
  • Expert
  • ******
  • Posts: 442
Re: Coming out in the workplace
« Reply #53 on: February 07, 2006, 03:13:20 PM »

How about that we fall in love with people of our own gender which is generally not accepted and that we grow up learning that it is wrong and also everyone around us assumes we are the other way so that when we finally do realize and accept who we are it is a major step in our fulfillment as human beings and it is something that we (hopefully) feel wonderful about and want to share. (Chorus of Let the Sunshine...)


yes, those are differences that many of us have felt.  I think the same can be said though for any minority that has had to battle for acceptance.  Everyone has their own struggle with feeling acceptance.  The individual issues may vary but the general concept is the same.

lynn

  • Guest
Re: Coming out in the workplace
« Reply #54 on: February 07, 2006, 03:26:36 PM »
I hope you can indulge me asking another one of those “ignorant straight girl” questions.

Most civilized people will refrain from making overtly racist comments in front of members of ethnic minorities. Similarly, most reasonably mature men will not make degrading sexist comments in front of women.  If such jokes are made in “mixed” company, they often draw the scorn and disapproval of other people present. And certainly in most workplaces today, people are very careful about what they say, at least in public, for fear of getting reprimanded or fired, even if for no other reason.

On the other hand, it’s obvious that the Leno-style jokes about gay people, especially gay men, are pervasive in society as well as the media. I’ve seen both women and men make such jokes or derogatory comments. I expect that from certain people, but I’m always surprised to hear it from the well-educated, liberal, tolerant types, even though I think most of the time they are just being thoughtless rather than expressing true hate. (not to discount that it might sound hateful to the target….)

Since one’s sexual orientation is not an obvious characteristic as is race or gender, I assume that many of you have endured these type of rude comments in the workplace and at social gatherings from otherwise well-minded individuals who didn’t realize they were potentially insulting someone right in front of them. I can only imagine how distressing that must be. I also assume it makes “coming out” in the workplace an event fraught with anxiety for many people. How do you handle it when these comments are made? Do you just get immune to it after a while?  Do you end up only surrounding yourself with other gay people, as it seems some posters on this board have done? (but how is that even possible?).

Offline jack

  • Tough Old Bird
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 13964
  • aloha y'all...
    • My Adventures In Paradise
Re: Coming out in the workplace
« Reply #55 on: February 07, 2006, 03:37:28 PM »
I was an HR manager for years and like I said unless it was "job related" somehow, to do with benefits etc.  I would have been stunned if someone had walked into my office and said "I just want to let you know I am a homosexual" 
What if they were feeling unwelcome in the workplace? Either because people were homophobic, or because people thought they were anti-social because they wouldn't talk about their private lives?

Among my friends this is the pervasive experience of gay men and lesbians in the workplace, with only a few welcome exceptions. It's hard to believe an HR person would not have been confronted with that.
may i add...
perhaps this lack of empathy, or even basic corporate  research is why i have so little use for the average HR office.  although, as shabby as my company's behavior sometimes is, they have a far greater comprehension of the realities of workplace discrimination than evidenced in that remark.
"through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall..."

Offline jim ...

  • Global Moderator
  • Expert
  • ******
  • Posts: 442
Re: Coming out in the workplace
« Reply #56 on: February 07, 2006, 03:38:32 PM »

Since one’s sexual orientation is not an obvious characteristic as is race or gender, I assume that many of you have endured these type of rude comments in the workplace and at social gatherings from otherwise well-minded individuals who didn’t realize they were potentially insulting someone right in front of them. I can only imagine how distressing that must be. I also assume it makes “coming out” in the workplace an event fraught with anxiety for many people. How do you handle it when these comments are made? Do you just get immune to it after a while?  Do you end up only surrounding yourself with other gay people, as it seems some posters on this board have done? (but how is that even possible?).


Great question Lynn!  I am lucky enough to work in the arts and the majority of my colleagues are very sensitive to gay and bisexual people.  I would imagine that for many, it would make it  more difficult to come out at work.  I don't think anyone ever becomes immune to the jokes.  As much as we might like to deny it, it hurts to some degree.  On occasion, I have been in a group where a joke has been made.  My reaction is to (as diplomatically as possible)  let the person know that I didn't really see the humor in their joke and do they realize that what they've said is hurtful.  That usually makes them think!

Offline Lola

  • Membership_deactivated
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 10471
Re: Coming out in the workplace
« Reply #57 on: February 07, 2006, 03:42:22 PM »
I was an HR manager for years and like I said unless it was "job related" somehow, to do with benefits etc.  I would have been stunned if someone had walked into my office and said "I just want to let you know I am a homosexual" 
What if they were feeling unwelcome in the workplace? Either because people were homophobic, or because people thought they were anti-social because they wouldn't talk about their private lives?

Among my friends this is the pervasive experience of gay men and lesbians in the workplace, with only a few welcome exceptions. It's hard to believe an HR person would not have been confronted with that.
may i add...
perhaps this lack of empathy, or even basic corporate  research is why i have so little use for the average HR office.  although, as shabby as my company's behavior sometimes is, they have a far greater comprehension of the realities of workplace discrimination than evidenced in that remark.

Gee Jack I wish you had bothered to add in my reply to this.  There was no  lack of empathy beleive me!!!
 
FUNGURL

Offline mountain boy

  • Cowpoke
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 8453
  • Thou not speakest thy truest love
Re: Coming out in the workplace
« Reply #58 on: February 07, 2006, 03:45:01 PM »
I guess it just sounds that way - to hear that an HR person would be "stunned" to have someone come in and talk about being gay is distressing to me.

Or tell your mother, don't tell your boss - that sounds abusive.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2006, 04:06:12 PM by wdj »

Offline Lola

  • Membership_deactivated
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 10471
Re: Coming out in the workplace
« Reply #59 on: February 07, 2006, 03:51:52 PM »
Well you can interpet it any way you want, seems you are damned if you do and damned if you don't in this topic.

Even Gordo said:

as part of that journey, i went to the director of my work place (ontario government - ministry of community and social services) and announced my new found self and my new intentions

she was very supportive and very gracious - and she said

You know gordonleo this ministry is very very tolerant and very very accepting

AND - in my heart of hearts and soul of souls my minds voice said

until this very moment - you were always just gordonleo
and now you are tolerable and acceptable


ouch -



Soooo what in the world would have been a proper response from this woman?

And yes I repeat I would not have expected someone to walk in my office and say "I AM GAY" just wanted to let you know.

I would be waiting to hear what came next???

And if they wanted to just talk about their life and their new found freedom, I would listen and say great.

Just like if anyone came in and said any number of life changing things that had happend to them.   But I tell you if everyone came in to share everything wonderful that was happening in their lives, it wouldn't leave alot of time to get any work done.

 :-\
 
FUNGURL