Feedback from My Blog: “Are You Out At Work?”

My January 28th post on coming out at work and the possible consequences of just candor elicited quite a few comments from my readers:

One of the guys on the night shift called me a F%CKING FAGGOT after he hung up the phone with me after a midnight call because he couldn’t do his job. I walked him through it. He slammed the phone down and said those 2 words. He was written up and then when filing a grievance with the union, said he didn’t know those were derogatory comments. They dismissed it.

Yes, I’m totally out a work. I told them on the job offer day.

Back when I was able to work, I was out for the most part to most the ones I worked with at my jobs. Hell, even my boss at one job was only 20 and a flaming queen and everyone knew it..if you didn’t you weren’t very observant. I think even the actual boss of both of us was probably BI. Last I knew he was fired for having sex with a guy in his back office. I don’t know for sure but it’s what I was told. But I guess it would depend on where I worked if I would be open about it or not, but if confronted, I might as well be honest.

I work in Health Care Industry – very large well known hospital… they ’embrace diversity’ and offer benefits for our spouses… but homophobia doesn’t go away because of corporate policy – people still have their personal beliefs and that’s what you deal with. Whether or not the corporation is behind you in written policy you are still subjected to the convictions of individuals. We’ve tried having LGBT groups at the hospital but they never seem to last long… don’t know why but that’s the way it is… I however have never had anyone question me or remotely try to ruffle my feathers… they get one look at me and are quite sure I’m not gay because I don’t fit the stereotype – funny how people like to label and categorize… it’s even funnier when they do find out I’m gay – the look on their face is priceless..

Regardless what a company handbook may advise it is still legal to fire anyone for being gay in 29 states. In 34 states you can be fired for being transgender. If you work on an environment where being LGBT is accepted, good for you. But I know too many people who have lost jobs for being out and know many more who can’t afford to be unemployed to come out and take the chance.

Lastly how we all feel even if we don’t necessarily express it:

I don’t want to be tolerated, If they don’t like who I am, f&ck them.

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