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feeling embarrassed

Discussion in 'Sexual Orientation' started by ahundredpennies, Sep 28, 2021.

  1. ahundredpennies

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    Hi everyone. So while I was at my new job a last week a co-worker outright asked me if I was gay. Personally, I don't think it's okay to ask anyone about their orientation especially at work and if you don't know them well because you could be outing them at work and it could be unsafe/personal. I immediately got embarrassed and asked "why do you ask?" and she said she was just curious, and I said I don't talk about my personal life at work. She was fine with that answer.
    The problem is, I'm bisexual and so I do like men, but Im frustrated that I wasn't open about it. I felt embarrassed to admit it and I don't like that- It was just my immediate reaction and I wish I felt more comfortable and open. It's like something I'm ashamed of even though I know there's nothing wrong with it... any advice?
     
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  2. masterofnone

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    id say it’s within your right to not answer that question to anyone if you don’t want to
     
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  3. Nickw

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    Hey @ahundredpennies

    It’s fine to respond the way you did. You don’t owe anyone an explanation.
     
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  4. caden0803

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    You told her all the information that was necessary.
     
  5. QuietPeace

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    I agree with the others. No one should be pressured to be out. If someone directly asks you a question that you feel is too personal it is perfectly acceptable to simply ask "Why would you even ask such a question?". As a bisexual it would also be perfectly legitimate to say "No, I am not gay" and then just leave it at that. You will have been honest without having to reveal anything that you do not want to reveal.

    If you actually want to be out but are having issues with that then maybe you should try getting into therapy to see why it is so difficult for you.
     
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  6. PatrickUK

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    I agree that you don't owe anyone an explanation and your response was perfectly reasonable. When we are more confident in our sexuality we don't tend to mind these questions so much, so I just wonder if it's worth exploring why you felt so embarrassed and ashamed. How do you feel about your sexuality?

    It sounds like the question was asked in a fairly blunt and direct way that took you off-guard. I wonder, if the question had been asked in a more sensitive and discreet way, do you think you would have had the confidence to answer? If your colleague had prefaced the question with a supportive statement about the LGBT community, would it have lessened those feelings of frustration about not opening up?

    Have a think about it and say more, if you can.
     
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  7. silverhalo

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    Whilst I didnt get asked a question that bluntly I can totally sympathise with being caught off guard and then perhaps afterwards reflecting and wishing you had said something different.
    As the others have said there is nothing wrong with deciding not to share that information with other people especially at work. I do agree with @PatrickUK though it is worth exploring why you feel ashamed. It is definitely something I struggled a bit with when I was first coming out but it definitely got better.
     
  8. ahundredpennies

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    I think I was caught off guard for sure, and I think I am wondering why I didn't just answer and say "No I'm bisexual" or anything like that. I do think that it would have been better had it been prefaced with some conversation about LGBT things or people because it might have felt safer to answer. I didn't know if she was going to have a problem with my answer because I don't know her very well at all. But I also think I do have some hesitation about coming out to people and I'm not sure why and this does bother me a little. I want to be able to feel confident in my identity and self. Maybe I'm just not there yet?
     
  9. Nickw

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    I do share your embarrassment at being, potentially, outed at a work environment. It is very difficult to be a bisexual in society. A lot of folks like to label folks they meet. And, many people don't understand bisexuality...even other LGBT members. I've had this come up at LGBT events. And, even though I am with allies, sometimes I just don't want to get into defining what being a bisexual is.

    Maybe there is some hesitation on your part in coming out as bi. I'm not sure that I would be too hard on yourself. We are just, now, reaching a point where bisexuality is being recognized as something besides "gay lite" or "on the way to gay". Both stereotypes that I feel don't apply to me and I don't want to defend what I am. Personally, I don't feel any of us need to make some sort of a public stand if we are not comfortable with how we may be perceived. The important thing is that you accept yourself and feel good about it!
     
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  10. BiGemini87

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    I think it's more that the question was sprung on you by someone than a sense of shame. Your co-worker asking you point-blank took the choice, and thus, the power from you to broach the topic on your own terms, in your own time.

    Difficult as it is, try not to feel guilty about it. We often struggle with these things when people catch us off-guard. It could have happened to anyone, no matter how open or for how long they've been comfortably out.