Advice for a gay guy in construction engineering

  • sfboy987

    Posts: 209

    Oct 18, 2012 10:53 PM GMT
    I'm looking to get my master's degree in either construction management or civil engineering design. I'm leaning towards construction management because I actually like the field itself, but I'm not sure how I would fit in with the people in the field. Apart from the fact that I have a bit of an introverted personality, I'm also wondering if being a gay guy in that field would be a disadvantage. I know it's a diverse field with more women and minorities, but I still get this impression that the construction field is full of macho guys into sports and that sort of stuff. Any engineering managers on this site that could offer some advice? Thanks!
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    Oct 18, 2012 11:58 PM GMT
    Grew up in construction and worked it for about 10 years in a supervisory position. Never had a problem with it at all and that was back in the 70s/80s. Well, okay, one time I got tied to a column about 17 stories up but they were just kidding. Fuckin' steel workers, man. They're a tough bunch. Make them your friends & no one will fuck with you.

    I come across as pretty butch (often get asked if I'm married, or a cop--what's up with that fantasy?) but I've been out since my early 20s. I noticed only very few snickered behind my back on construction sites, less than I got for being Jewish growing up in an Italian neighborhood, but even some of those guys would come on to me after hours if we were out partying. I drew the line though because of my position. Some of the guys used to discuss their sexuality pretty openly with me, as if I was their sex therapist.

    Since then I still associate with many in the industry on occasion because my family still works it. My brother's an engineer and we frequently host holiday dinners attended by colleagues in the field. I actually like construction guys very much, particularly the guys who work in the field. I'm sure there are jerks in every vocation but my feeling is that construction guys tend to be pretty much down to earth. In fact my brother recently buried his best friend, a contractor. Totally str8. Totally a construction guy. Totally one of the warmest, nicest guys you'd ever meet.
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    Oct 19, 2012 12:00 AM GMT
    Homo's can't do construction. You should know this.

    /sarcasm

    PS. Yes, it will be a disadvantage. Yes, you can overcome it. But you better have balls of steel.
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    Oct 19, 2012 12:13 AM GMT
    I'm reading a lot of fear in your post and even some negative projection. Stop that. There's no power in imagining the worst. If you want to be successful in any career, whether you are gay/straight on introverted/extroverted, you should build relationships with people you work with, one at a time. Don't treat them like a straight person or macho person or diverse person. Treat them with respect, get to know them and let them get to know you.

    There are tons of books out there that can help you figure out how to problem solve through challenges. (Words that Work In Business, How to Win Friends and Influence People etc) If a black guy can be president of the US, a gay guy can surely be successful in construction... but only if that gay guy is prepared to be successful both mentally and emotionally.
  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Oct 19, 2012 12:23 AM GMT
    Most of the engineers at Nasa who put Buzz and Neil on the moon were gay. We're not completely useless outside of bed.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Oct 19, 2012 12:36 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidHomo's can't do construction. You should know this.


    hello, lesbians? you're so closed-minded
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Oct 19, 2012 1:25 AM GMT
    My dad did not know I was gay when he gave me the advice, "When you work, work hard. When you play, play hard." I understood that he meant not to get the two mixed up, but there is a lot of other wisdom in that little bit of advice. I've always treasured it.
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    Oct 19, 2012 3:23 AM GMT
    No worries! Been involved in many design/builds and as long as you can throw down on-site, there is respect.

  • Oct 19, 2012 6:10 AM GMT
    I am a mechanical engineer studying materials science for my masters - my advice would be to fuck the stereotypes in your head and to do whatever you want.
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    Oct 19, 2012 6:11 AM GMT
    sfboy987 saidI'm looking to get my master's degree in either construction management or civil engineering design. I'm leaning towards construction management because I actually like the field itself, but I'm not sure how I would fit in with the people in the field. Apart from the fact that I have a bit of an introverted personality, I'm also wondering if being a gay guy in that field would be a disadvantage. I know it's a diverse field with more women and minorities, but I still get this impression that the construction field is full of macho guys into sports and that sort of stuff. Any engineering managers on this site that could offer some advice? Thanks!


    CIVE here. If you head into construction management, I hope you like camo and mountain dew. icon_lol.gif
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    Oct 19, 2012 6:16 AM GMT
    If a skinny blonde like me can work at a racetrack then you can work in construction, no problem. See? Isn't that easy?
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    Oct 19, 2012 7:54 AM GMT
    Im Engineering in Information Technology ---cant help


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    Oct 19, 2012 1:48 PM GMT
    I kind of face the same problem you do dude, I work in finance which is still a very much male dominated field (all though I dont know why as women love money but Ive digressed).

    Here is my advice, dont bring up being gay unless they make an issue of it. How do they make an issue of it, you may ask? By allowing poeple to bring a spouse to work or forcing you to donate blood etc. Then say you are gay.

    Other than that be really good at your job and people wont care who you do the hanky panky with.

    So, if you love it and you are good at it you are set.

    Also, remember, in anything you do you need to have good business skills and the top business skills are empathy and communication, which is considered feminine. Leverage that, because statistically we are better at these things than our straight counterparts. I have made many a alpha male crumble in a business setting by leveraging their emotions.

    Oh and I have to ask, does anyone know why Finance is considered masculine? Or any career for that matter? Im still stumped by how your gender identity effects these things.