Should I come out at work?
I'm an attorney on a contract document review job, and have been on this job eight weeks, but it could last a year.
I have been out since high school, have a partner of 30 years (not married yet) and a nine year old daughter we jointly adopted.
At first it didn't seem necessary to come out; I was working alone and questions or conversation never came up. But now I am part of a smaller team of three, where we are beginning to share personal information, such as health care plans, ex-wives, etc. One guy is a middle-age conservative but funny and reads Drudge, and other is a down-to-earth young woman.
I think my team will be ok but I wonder about word getting out, and what the bosses on the project might think or if they'd treat me differently. There is no one out that I know of; out of about 100 on the project I am acquainted with about a dozen. And every guy that has pinged so far has a wife!
But if personal conversations continue I will have to either come out or be vague or just plain lie, which I haven't done before and am not used to.
|by Anonymous||reply 46||10/31/2013|
I don't think you'd risk losing a contract document review job for being gay. It's thankless work and the firm simply needs bodies to do it. I'm sure they could not care less in that context.
Are you angling to get hired full time? Is that a realistic possibility? Have no idea how coming out could affect getting hired full time without knowing a lot about the firm and it's people.
If this is just about continuing on in the doc review job, why do you want to come out? Simply comfort - so you can talk honestly to your colleagues about whatever everyday things you may discuss? Simply for principle? Some other reason?
|by Anonymous||reply 1||10/30/2013|
you should come while you work out!
|by Anonymous||reply 2||10/30/2013|
What r13 said. You're over 40 and used the word partner. You're already out.
|by Anonymous||reply 14||10/30/2013|
OP - which city do you work in? You mentioned Marie's Crisis - are you in NYC? If so, I can't imagine what you could possibly be worried about with "coming out", or rather, just being honest about your life - law firms in general are much more LGBT-friendly than other working environments (full of educated professionals, very self-conscious about diversity and discrimination issues, etc.) and several if not most of the major NYC law firms have out LGBT partners, not to mention associates and other employees. Most law firms care more about your professionalism (and putting in lots of hours to generate revenue) than about your personal life.
If you were in some really rural, conservative homophobic part of the country, I could understand being sensitive, but otherwise it seems you're worrying too much over nothing. Hell, if you're looking for a more permanent position, it wouldn't hurt to find out if the firm has an LGBT affinity group and see if you can attend a meeting / social event - it's possible you can make some good contacts you wouldn't have otherwise.
|by Anonymous||reply 15||10/30/2013|
If only you'd worn your cape the first day of work….
|by Anonymous||reply 16||10/30/2013|
Don't lie because it is damaging to you, however you have a right to as much privacy as you want. If you were a single woman would you feel the need to divulge the details of your personal life?
I told the people I work with that I stay home every night and weekends too watching PBS and eating Jello. We all laughed but they are not that interested. I think they were just showing a polite interest.
Sometimes I make up outlandish crap like "I adopted a monkey this weekend". They just smile. They would rather be listened to than ask questions, I'm cool with that.
|by Anonymous||reply 17||10/30/2013|
There is no question about coming out. Of course you come out - and by that it's a matter of speaking as openly about your life and the people in it as is natural and appropriate to the context, just as anyone else would. And if homophobic comments are ever made in your presence, you speak up about it.
Unless there is a pressing reason to call a news conference about it, it's perfectly okay - normal, even, just to get on with your life in the open. In many cases the day of the Big Announcement is past, and one of the main reasons for that is that one's being gay ends up being a surprise to few.
Note R15's "just being honest about your life."
R7 as well: "Mention your personal life just like anyone else does."
And thanks, R8. That shit at R6 not only posted a stupid post here, but stinks like crap from that Hillary thread.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||10/30/2013|
If your inclination is not to come out, that's fine. I would have a different answer if you really become friendly with the other two guys, or the assignment looks as if it will last longer.
|by Anonymous||reply 20||10/31/2013|
One guy is a middle-age conservative reads Drudge = homophobe
and other is a down-to-earth young woman = possible homophobe
I wouldn't. I know what it is like to work with homophobes.
unless you are in NY or SF...
|by Anonymous||reply 21||10/31/2013|
I know about document review jobs for lawyers. Do young lawyers call that "shit law"? You probably have a little cubicle in the veal pen downstairs with the other document reviewers.
Document review is the last rung on the employment ladder for lawyers and, baby, lawyers are a dime a dozen these days after 20 years of cutbacks and farming work out to India.
You stay right there and keep your big mouth shut. Fit in, that is the name of the game if you want to pay off your enormous student loans.
You fuck it up even just this one time, you won't get a second chance. Not in this employment cycle.
|by Anonymous||reply 22||10/31/2013|
r22 is right, look what happened to Susan Dey and Jill Eikenberry
|by Anonymous||reply 23||10/31/2013|
Just keep it real. Does anyone there care about your personal life? If not, let it be.
I have to believe that lawyers nowadays are more evolved than r22 thinks, but there's no reason to go on a crusade.
|by Anonymous||reply 24||10/31/2013|
Take it from me...don't come out at work. I did with awful consequences. A malicious, fat frau at work made it her sole objective to get rid of me once I confided in her that I was gay and had a partner. I too was only on the job, for which I am totally qualified for, only 8 weeks before I was asked for my badge by an official of HR who said that I had made inappropriate comments to someone with whom I work and they were offended. I am now appealing the termination to the local unemployment commission so that at least I'll get some Unemployment Benefits, which were denied due to the firing.
|by Anonymous||reply 25||10/31/2013|
Sorry to hear that this happened to you R25 But that#s why I would never tell somebody "confidentially" that I'm gay. I just answer questions and don't lie about it, e.g. if somebody asks me, if my girlfriend is also I'd say: no my boyfriend is working as such and such. I don't walk around with a rainbow flag, but if someone asks I out myself. I'd do the same OP. Talk about your daughter and if somebody asks something about your wife, tell them you have a boyfriend. Just tell the same things that your co-workers talk about. Yes, it will go round the office, but if they're really homophobic (which I doubt in a NYC law company) ask yourself if you really want to work there and living a lie and having to be careful about everything you say or do, even if it is for only a year.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||10/31/2013|
How can someone in a 3-decade relationship and raising a child even ask this question?
|by Anonymous||reply 27||10/31/2013|
I am a lawyer and I have been with the same law firm for nine years. I am not out. I have no intention of coming out. I do socialise with my colleagues but I try as much as possible to keep my work and private life apart.
|by Anonymous||reply 28||10/31/2013|
You have no reason to share your private life with your coworkers. Take care of your own interests and the interests of your family first.
|by Anonymous||reply 29||10/31/2013|
If you have a partner and you are raising a child with him, then you have a context for coming out. If others in the office discuss their families, than so can you. put a family photo on your desk. That alone will communicate that you are open without having to say the words "I'm gay, with a partner and child"
|by Anonymous||reply 30||10/31/2013|
Question for the OP: Do you tell your daughter not to let people know she has two daddies? Do you go over the times and places when it's appropriate for her to tell people and when it's not? Do you teach her to hide it the way you hide it from people?
|by Anonymous||reply 31||10/31/2013|
If you're only going to be around these folks for a few weeks then maintain your privacy, but don't insult your relationships by denying them. It should be natural, not some awkward announcement. Does the old Conservative have any power over you? Than don't give him any by allowing his presence to govern your behavior.
|by Anonymous||reply 32||10/31/2013|
OP, you're in a committed relationship with a child, I mean you are someone's father, OP. And you're asking?
|by Anonymous||reply 33||10/31/2013|
Yes. It sounds like your co-workers will figure it out quickly if you don't tell them, since they all talk freely about their own lives. If you don't come out on your own you will become the tragic closet case that everyone talks about behind their back.
|by Anonymous||reply 34||10/31/2013|
You don't have to admit you're gay.
Just mention that you have a full-time anal spooge bank who takes care of your kid.
|by Anonymous||reply 35||10/31/2013|
I'm 45 and have been out at work in Corporate America for over 20 years, but in mostly liberal environments. I have felt no direct consequences that I am aware of, but I'm sure people higher up harbored prejudices against gay people, and others in my cut-throat field would use anything the step on someone else in their climb up the ladder. There was at least one closet case (married, with kids) who was the epitome of an "hissing eld*rgay", who would borderline flirt with me to my face but bad mouth me behind my back. Everyone knew he was nuts and his gayness was obvious from space, though, so no one really paid him any mind.
However, I was laid off at the height of the Great Recession from a job I worked at for 13 years to stellar reviews and with a great reputation among my colleagues. Did my open gayness play a factor in getting cut? Maybe. Don't really care. Many more people who were laid off were straight, but some of them were poor performers, unlike me. I know the big boss never liked me, and there were rumors she was a homophobe.
I have no regrets. I freelanced quite a bit while unemployed and I now have work on my resume directly related to gay organizations and gay-related projects (I'm a creative). I'm proud to have it on there and I figure it works like homophobe-repellant for prospective employers. I'm happily working now with very liberal people in a liberal environment with at least one other openly gay person, plus a secretary (FRAU!) with a dad who came out late in like. Everyone knows I'm gay and treats it like nothing different from straight. They know my legally married husband by name, ask for him often and include him in office social events where spouses are invited. It's a very nice thing and I wouldn't trade it for a 10X fatter paycheck somewhere that would force me to closet myself and pretend I'm single and "don't talk about my private life". That sounds like such a miserable way to spend 40+ hours a week of your life.
|by Anonymous||reply 36||10/31/2013|
I do not know how you stay closeted at a job where you work with people. It is pretty hard NOT to say anything about your life. Not to mention what you did on holidays and who you did it with. Not to mention any household emergency you that comes up and who you have to help you deal with it.
And then if something does slip and you run into someone while on the street with your family, and everyone knows you have been hiding some basic info from them, no one will trust you.
Sharing about our lives is how people bond and learn to trust each other. It is kind of hard to conceal the major stuff and maintain any kind of working relationship. Don't you know this by now?
|by Anonymous||reply 37||10/31/2013|
Question to OP - Where you out at your previous jobs/work places?
|by Anonymous||reply 39||10/31/2013|
r10, GHI was Group Health Insurance. Since merging with Health Insurance Plan of New York three years ago it's now Emblem.
|by Anonymous||reply 40||10/31/2013|
If you feel comfortable with them and truly think they will accept you or have no problem with it, you should do it. But honestly, I agree with R22, R28 and R29. This is corporate America - you can bond and share some aspects of your life, while keeping quiet about others unless you develop friendships outside the office (which could also be problematic). If you feel conflicted, wait until someone asks you directly about it and gauge their intentions.
I don't agree that keeping quiet in the office is "living a lie".
Some of the most phenomenal attorneys and senior counsel I've worked with were very friendly and pleasant, but they never seemed to lose focus on the job at hand and their positions in the hierarchy, without being sociopathic.
|by Anonymous||reply 41||10/31/2013|
If you want to share, then do it, OP. You shouldn't lie.
|by Anonymous||reply 43||10/31/2013|
Yes. I'm out at work. It's important to come out. Visibility is everything to gay people. It's what should be done anyways.
|by Anonymous||reply 44||10/31/2013|
Why not? It's ok to be gay.
|by Anonymous||reply 45||10/31/2013|
What does your heart tell you?
|by Anonymous||reply 46||10/31/2013|