"HE'S LIKE REALLY GAY"

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Apr 02, 2008 3:42 PM GMT
    So.. one topic we see on this site (and comparing) is our comfort level with being gay. Our comfort within ourselves.. then our level with family and friends.
    Some are exploring that with difficulty, others on here are long beyond that process and have adopted the "Screw you if you don't like it" approach. It is kind of interesting.

    I'm halfway in between. Very comfortable with myself
    and reasonably so with others, although I have some in my life that are pretty clueless. I don't talk about my scene with my employees, clients or anyone else that I wouldn't confide in otherwise (about other topics). Its really my own business.

    But yesterday I had something happen which was an uncomfortable reminder. I didn't like it, what happened or my response.

    I was seeing a new client, but this is someone with whom I attended college. Nice woman, both she and her husband. Did business and spent some time talking about people we know from college, then chatted on the way out and the subject of another person, older, who was on staff for our private liberal arts college when
    we both were students. Today I know this gentleman is gay and in fact I am involved with him in a gay religious organization (there are some of those).

    The client said, "Well you know he is .. really gay these days". I asked how she knew this and she proceeded to talk about his role in Wichita with theatre. She talked about his faked marriage (which I didn't know) and that it was all over that "he was weird and really gay". I asked her if that was important in any way? She said no, but the conclusion was that this man was kind of odd and "strange" because of his parties (which I know are seldom) and that he was gay.

    Of course she was clueless about me, but I found the dialogue discomforting. I suppose its like any conversation about someone (who got a divorce or something else). There was no reason to have had it about this man in the first place.

    Comments? How do you deal with a "clueless" person when the subject comes up?
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    Apr 02, 2008 4:13 PM GMT
    Hndsm,

    I can relate since I have been in similar situations many times. I think you are dealing with two different issues:

    1. Being professional and working with a client
    2. Having a client who is an acquaintence and naieve

    Whenever I work with my clients I try to leave my sexuality out of the relationship - I am there because my client is hiring me because of my expertise and not who I sleep with. Likewise - I try not to delve into my client's personal matters. It can be very difficult to be objective and neutral when there is a disagreement regarding politics, sexuality and etc. and in the end doesn't really benefit either my client or myself. I have worked with many conservative clients who like me for my work and professionalism, but would condemn me for being gay.

    On the other hand, you first knew the client personally and then entered into business with her. I guess I would handle this very tactfully with the knowledge that you may loose her as a client. I would bring-up the subject (off the clock) and let her know that you had some concerns about what she said, and that you are gay. Then let the conversation go from there. You may just enlighten her since you are someone she knows personally.

    Good luck - I know you will handle it well!
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    Apr 02, 2008 4:16 PM GMT
    i think i would ask her why she felt that was something worth discussing and point out that you cannot look at most lgbt people and know their orientation/identity and that she therefore probably knows a good many more lgbt people than she presumes.
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    Apr 02, 2008 4:24 PM GMT
    bout a month ago i came out to my friends coworker, and she told me her husband just did as well. and apparently, he went all out, as if he'd been seriously acting for the last how ever many years. mannerisms changed and everything. we're in a semi-rural community here (no not montreal. this is Sherbrooke, qc) and apparently it was a big thing for her community as well. there was talk about how he suddenly became "really gay". she was telling me that it was more because people knew him as he was before, and he sort of dropped everything from friends to family, even those who accepted him. i dunno if this is as relevant as i thought it might be, but i feel it might be the initial shock of seeing someone change so quickly. when did this guys divorce and everything happen? if it was years ago then the lady you were talking to is living in the past and feels like spreading useless information. if it's new, then it's stil not her place to spread the word in such a gossipy manner, but it's "news" of people from your joint pasts.
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    Apr 02, 2008 4:40 PM GMT
    dancerjack saidi think i would ask her why she felt that was something worth discussing and point out that you cannot look at most lgbt people and know their orientation/identity and that she therefore probably knows a good many more lgbt people than she presumes.


    I'm real good about controling a situation like this to make a point. I take the gay being weird out of the equation by saying... You know this is probably a good example of why gay marriage should be accepted so people don't create a life filled full of lies. Sure would save everyone a lot of money. Hmm.. I never knew he was into the theater. Thats a kick. My cousin and his wife are really into local theater as well. Wonder if they know him? Then I usually add that people in general confuse me. Like the single lady that lives down the street who never smiles, gossips all the time, blasts opera 24/7 and has a million cats she calls her children. I think she's straight to. Just frigid like many straight women her age. I'd probably say this cat loving straight woman was the same age as the female sitting in front of me and conclude It's just "weird"

    If I am uncomfortable with someone trying to establish that gay is weird I just let them know none of that is an issue. Everyone .. gay/straight and all the in betweens are just as weird. I make sure they notice I'm not phased by the subject that gay is weird and I'm not really interested in hearing that nonsense. It almost bores me. They get it real quick and I change the subject real fast.
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    Apr 03, 2008 7:45 AM GMT
    something about gossipers taking people into their 'confidence', is that they assume you are in all ways ALIKE. icon_razz.gif

    I've had a classmate point out to me his critiques on some props (for a presentation) then immediately backtracked, apologizing profusely, when I said I made them. icon_rolleyes.gif

    Also on a bus once, two women, obviously former classmates of one of my sisters was gossiping about MY sister. LOL Nothing bad was said though, but it was extremely uncomfortable as I was sitting just across the aisle. Luckily, a teacher from school, though I've never been a student in her classes, recognized me and told them about it. We all blushed. LOL And they included me in the conversation instead, asking for news.

    Anyways, I suggest just telling her outright, 'you do know I'm gay, don't you?' or something like that. Then some humor I guess. Unless she's a rabid homophobe, I expect she'll just be embarrassed - then you'll have to reassure her it wasn't a problem at all, because she's a client. hehe
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Apr 03, 2008 10:19 AM GMT
    Here is where the fun part comes in...
    when someone says something stupid like that they are really revealing things about their personality
    and some dark secrets that they have

    use those in your favor....

    things like that are not something people like revealed
    so what I would do is
    put a figurative asterisk on it

    let the person know that you might call them on it

    say something like
    Oh... gay like me?
    or
    I can't believe that I just heard you say that

    It's time to put the fear of God into these people when we canicon_wink.gif
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    Apr 03, 2008 10:40 AM GMT
    I have to admit I'm probably wussing out whenever something like this comes up (believe it or not, for fear of getting outed). I go to a real small school, so usually when the topic of a student being gay comes up, we all know him, at least in passing, from a class, etc.
    If I know the kid and he's a good guy I'll usually throw out something like "yeah, but he's cool, helped me with my homework" or "nice guy" or something like that, which I mean as a way to deflect any aggression so the conversation won't go to picking on anyone. I know that's still trying to justify or rationalize liking someone "even though they are gay," which isn't right, so I wonder if I'm doing more harm than good. I figure it's one of those at-the-end-of-the-day things.
    Now if the kid is a total tool, then I let the guys tear into him, but you have to be a real jerk for me to let that happen.
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    Apr 03, 2008 11:11 AM GMT
    GQjock, I like your tactic the most. It's very similar to how I deal with it.

    I'm a lecturer and my students often claim that this or that is gay. My favourite is,

    "My boyfriend's gay you know, and I love him very much."

    And maybe it makes life easier for my gay students too.
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    Apr 03, 2008 11:14 AM GMT
    I wish someone would come out with the comment of "He is really straight", meaning a rude, crude insensitive jerk. Maybe then people would starting getting the message that saying that someone is "really gay" is not really cool.icon_evil.gif