Gay at work?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 01, 2007 4:34 AM GMT
    I recently accepted a job offer and I am moving half way across the country... At my current job everyone knows I am gay, but I am curios what others thoughts are on how or if I should tell the new company my sexual orientation. I am currently at a company of about 2000 employees and the new company has less than 200 but seems to be very progressive. I'm not shy about my sexuality but I just don't know what is appropriate for my new career. Your thoughts?
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    Nov 01, 2007 6:00 AM GMT
    For the most part I would say it depends largely upon what your industry is, and the climate of the people you are working with.

    Normally the way I go about it is, I don't say on my first day, ya I like puppies and kittens and apple pies and big juicy dicks.

    But if they ask or if they keep bugging me with their talk of how they want to bang this chick or that chick. And talk of tag teaming them I tell them I'm gay. For the most part that works for me icon_biggrin.gif
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16414

    Nov 01, 2007 7:12 AM GMT
    To me this is really a pretty difficult question to give input on. You are your own unique individual with your own comfort level that myself or others may or may not identify with... and when you say you are moving "halfway across the country".. are you moving to a metro area or smaller town. Are you moving to a red state? And of course the type of business and your position.

    I say consider carefully and do what you believe is most prudent for yourself and your company. I know friends in Kansas that are "very out" (even some state employees) and nobody cares... and in other cases, um probably not the best.

    If you are comfortable with being out, I'm sure you'll know when it is best to divulge that information. I wouldn't start with it. But again, if you are comfortable... it wouldn't be healthy for you to be with a company that isn't "gay friendly" is it? I would probably check out the employers handbook and just see if there is any commentary as to "partner benefits" or speaks "pro or anti" gay.....
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    Nov 01, 2007 1:40 PM GMT
    I agree with HK.

    It depends: geography, your position and internal culture of the company that you will be working for.

    You will get a feel for the company when you discuss your benefits package during your orientation.

    If they have benefits for domestic partners that would be you first clue navigate around the issue “If you ask do I tell policy” from there.
    If not the tread lightly! icon_smile.gif

    Good Luck

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 01, 2007 6:22 PM GMT
    Not enough info, but generally speaking, there's no need to volunteer info about yourself ever. You're there to do a job, not to be the gay guy at the job.
  • asupas

    Posts: 234

    Nov 01, 2007 6:30 PM GMT
    I've been out at work for several years now. I can't imagine working for a company who's culture had a negative view of my sexuality. If I started to work for a company and got any sort of heat about it, I'd raise an HR nightmare. If that didn't work, I'd simply leave and find greener pastures. A small bump in my career is worth not having to hide that part of my life again.
  • olden

    Posts: 200

    Nov 01, 2007 6:41 PM GMT
    I look on it like the scene in Queer as Folk where Brian's new boss says, "The rumor has it you are gay." Brian answers, "The rumor is true, but unless I am f***ing you, it's none of your business."

    You were hired because you has some unique talents and skills. Show your new co-workers those. Build your base of allies. The fact that you are gay will come out later, usually at the right time and to the right people who will assist in getting the word out to everyone with a positive spin.

    As others have said, a lot, of course, will depend on the location of the job, age and education of your co-workers and your position in the company.

    I know this is not the modern way and smacks of The Age of The Closet, but I lived through that age and ended up a company president. Those who know or knew accepted me for my abilities. And those who didn't know either respected me or hated me for those same abilities. In most industries and in most parts of the country, successful gay businessmen have to be successful businessmen first.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 01, 2007 7:12 PM GMT
    My recommendation would be to play it by ear when you get there. Rumors of them being progressive and open may be just that.

    I am of the personal belief that sex lives (gay/bi/straight)need to be left out of the office environment it at all possible. Once you have established a group of coworkers you feel confident in then perhaps tell them.

    I really don't want to hear about most peoples sex lives anyways...unless I have a vested interest in it myself.

    Don't rush it. Feel it out. Safe route.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 01, 2007 7:17 PM GMT
    ChuckmeisterI am of the personal belief that sex lives (gay/bi/straight)need to be left out of the office environment it at all possible.

    There's a significant difference between "(insert partners name) and I went to see "(insert movie name)" this weekend." and a discussion of sexual practices.
  • jc_online

    Posts: 487

    Nov 01, 2007 7:46 PM GMT
    I can't imagine lying about it, but it may not be something to include as you are introduced around on your first day. I agree with Chaser on this one: include information in a description like he states, but don't make it a big focus. Also, if you have a partner, and other employees have pictures of their partners on their desks, by all means make sure you put yours out too.

    Good luck!
  • liftordie

    Posts: 823

    Nov 01, 2007 8:22 PM GMT
    it really does depend the company you work for and the industry that you are in. working in the luxury retail industry like i do, most coworkers assume that the men are gay. sometimes they are shocked to find out that yes some, are actually straight. lol so being in our out of the closet has never been an issue for me. i guess i am one of the lucky ones!!!
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    Nov 02, 2007 5:53 AM GMT
    I work in an industry that caters to real jock men and yet the corporate office environment is butch male straight. (fitness club)Although, I moved across the country 5 months ago to take this job I'm out at work. I didn't walk in and announce that I am gay and don't have a partner's picture to put on my desk, I answer the questions as they come up for example:

    Q.Do you have kids?
    A. My ex-boyfriend wasn't able to conceive. It was a hard realization for both of us.

    Q. Why don't you live near the office?
    A. Let's see, a single gay man living in soccer mom-ville. Nope.

    Q. My wife has some friends that you might like to meet?
    A. Really?? Is she a hag?

    This is mostly goofy advice but I do advise one thing. The one person that needs to know right up front and the one person that I made sure knew before they offered me the job was the head of HR. That is someone who knows the rules and can help circumvent any issues before they happen.

    Good luck.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 02, 2007 6:12 AM GMT
    Everyone knows my preference. I tell them when I meet them. It nips it in the bud. I tell them I'm bisexual, or tri-sexual (I'll try anything once, I tell them..not true, but, it cuts the ice), and, often, they'll say well you'll like so and so he's gay as a 3 dollar bill. Sometimes, they say what's it feel like and I say neato. ROFL.

    Last night, as I left the gym...and I workout in my wrestling shoes, shorts, over singlet, and 5'5" 195, and everyone knows me...we were talking (the sales guys and I) about this chick (she's hot)...and I was talking and Chris says, "You need to be riding in the other saddle, Pard!" We all giggled. I replied, "Gonna' go down low for the carpet, eh, Chris?" Everyone about fell out of their salesperson chair. We all had a good laugh. I said, "Well, licking the carpet ain't all bad, but, God gave you a prostate for a reason boys." Everyone about fell out of their chair. We were really giggling then.

    When you have integrity, and make light of it, people become more honest and less inhibited in return. Sure, there's a redneck or two, around, but, they are the guys who want you to get them drunk and then they want to top you until you dripping in sweat. Only difference between bi and gay is a six pack and a dirt road, and most times,...most don't need the dirt road.

    People are sexual. Many gays are SO UPTIGHT, and so self-loathing, and so afraid of their sexuality, or...they are so blatant as to be sickening. It's just what it is: no big deal.

    I always tell my workers, business associates, first they know, and it works in my favor many times too.

    The self-centered, poor me I'm a fag, is just that self-centered bullshit.

    Tell them in passing and they'll hook you up.

    I told my friend the gym owner and he says..."Let me hook you up with [name], my employee. He thinks you're hot."

    People generally are accommodating. I don't think a person should put it in their face, but..I always just say, "Yeah, I kinda' sit on the fence and can go either way. She's hot, but, shit, he is, too." The walls drop fast.

    Once it's out in the open, it's a bunch easier on everyone. Everyone can be honest, and if you don't have integrity, you have nothing.

    Scared people do stupid shit.

    Being afraid only empowers hate and reinforces stereotypes.

    I firmly believe in leading by example.

    Once folks see I'm a neat person to know, and to work with, they forget the gay / bi part, unless they hook me up, which they often do. Most folks have a question or two, like what's it feel like or how often, etc?

    I do NOT thing sexuality should be the focus of anyone's life, but, if there's a really hot guy...I want him to have me in his short list.

    I met this Navy Seal a couple of weeks ago.. He told me too, shortly after I told him. He's so FUCKING HOT.

    Many folks ARE NOT 100% one way, or another. In my case, because of how I look, many guys just wanna' touch me. It's pretty amazing.
  • CincyBOJ

    Posts: 306

    Nov 02, 2007 6:18 AM GMT
    I am one of the more shy people on this matter. When I am asked (or cornered) I do tell. Usually it comes up when something is mentioned about my kids then something follows about my wife or ex-wife. That is when I interject about my partner.

    One of my more favorite lines that I have given is when I was asked why my ex-wife and I split I said, "We had different tastes in men." We both get a good laugh and the point is taken.

    One thing I've noticed from viewing life on either side of the fence is that people are not very forgiving towards someone lying. The truth comes out sooner or later and people want the truth up front.

    I've also had to learn to give people credit for understanding. Give them a chance to accept who you are rather than you deciding for them. In the long run it saves a lot of time.

    I have to agree with some of the previous posts that it is no one's business what you sex life is like but, there is the inevitable question(s), "How's the wife/kids?"

    Good luck.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 02, 2007 6:21 AM GMT
    Timo's comment are a hoot!
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Nov 02, 2007 9:47 AM GMT
    I see my sexual preference as a need to know basis
    Do the people at work need to know who I sleep with?
    Absolutely not
    Would I lie if someone came up and asked me?
    Hell no
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 02, 2007 12:30 PM GMT
    Hmmm. Are you moving to Bozeman, or from? If you're already out in the Bozone, the only place that might give you difficulties would be the Ozarks. icon_razz.gif

    If you're on your way to Bozeman...some things I appreciate about Montana are the way most people have unexpectedly savvy gaydar, and totally don't give a shit as long as you're honest. Also, Bozeman's a college town in a relatively liberal part of the state. I'd say you're golden.

    And I vote Timo for president.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 02, 2007 1:17 PM GMT
    It definately a personal preference, but I can say that going from being out to back in the closet will b very hard. I was recently doing alot of recruiting to get a law job, its a lot of what you do your first semester of 2l year, and some good advice i got from career services was this. I asked about havign things on my resume that would indicate that i am gay. Career services told me this "would you be comfortable working for a company where being gay on your resume is not ok?" I had to say no to that and now I am gay as a 3 dollar bill on my resume. when you have the NEw YOrk City Gay Men's chorus on your resume and the school glbt law student association, there are no questions asked. In fact when I interviewed with firms for 2nd round sI asked the hr person to make sure that I met with a gay attorney while I was at the firm. If its out in the open from the beginning its easiest
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 02, 2007 1:18 PM GMT
    "I'm gay and I'm willing to sleep my way to the top with you, Sir."
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    Nov 02, 2007 1:40 PM GMT
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 02, 2007 6:33 PM GMT
    liftordiesometimes they are shocked to find out that yes some, are actually straight.

    So am I!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 02, 2007 6:35 PM GMT
    Such Clever quips! McGay!
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13999

    Nov 03, 2007 3:00 AM GMT
    I don't hide it, but I don't introduce myself as Tim The Gay Man.
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    Nov 03, 2007 9:41 AM GMT
    I don't hide it either, but I don't volunteer it to employers. I it has absolutely nothing to do with my job performance, so its a non-issue. If they find out, fine... if not, that's fine too. If I'm asked directly, I do not deny it...

    The things I would be looking at is the overall atmosphere of the new workplace, the type of business you're going into, the attitudes of the new employer and co-workers, etc. I'd also want to know the official company policy on discrimination, whether they include sexual orientation in that policy or not, and whether or not they offer benefits to same-sex partners. Policy can tell you a lot about how open you can be at work.

    You also didn't mention the area you're moving to, which could definitely play into your decision. If, for example, you're moving to Chicago or some place similar, it might be much less of an issue than if you're moving to "Tinytown, USA". Different areas of the country have differing levels of acceptance and/or tolerance.

    Good luck! icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 03, 2007 7:14 PM GMT
    As I recommended in the earlier post, I do think it is a good idea to have a discussion with the head of HR. However.....yesterday I had a meeting with the EVP of HR and her direct VP reports and a vendor. I walk in late and apologize to the room and the EVP says, "not a problem, we are just doing the introductions of everyone and their title. Do you want to introduce yourself?"

    I look at the representatives from the vendor and say, "I can make this amusing or I can do it straight."

    The EVP says, "Timo, I doubt you can do it straight."

    She had a point.