1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Anyone else have a career that keeps you 100% closeted?

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by Beth 43, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. Beth 43

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2016
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Gender:
    Female
    Sexual Orientation:
    Lesbian
    Out Status:
    Some people
    Anyone else have a career that keeps you 100% closeted?

    I work in education. Anyone else require the closet to keep your career? In a job where society is your customer, so to speak, the rules aren't really the rules. I know they would never fire me over such a thing publicly. I am certain however, that they would come up with some reason and quietly remove me from the building.:dry:
     
  2. OnTheHighway

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2014
    Messages:
    3,932
    Likes Received:
    620
    Location:
    Florida
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    i have been in an industry that has historically been known for its good old boy mentality. Like you, I was hesitant to publicly come out for fear of the implications.

    I am sure there certainly were quite a bit of whispers and behind door discussions, but I have seen no meaningful impact after having come out some time ago.

    I generate business, attend conferences (even with my partner), have meetings without any hint of outward discrimination. And I am still as productive at what I do as I had been prior to coming out.

    And there has been real benefits to coming out! I have set an example for others in my industry not to be afraid. Even within my own company, people followed my lead and themselves came out. For others, even at other institutions whom are closeted, they know of me and see that I am standing tall an proud, setting an example for them.
     
    #2 OnTheHighway, Sep 6, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2016
  3. Nickw

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,332
    Likes Received:
    1,386
    Location:
    Out West
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    Some people
    Beth

    My brother is out and married. He and his husband are both in education. So, I think it is geographically dependent somewhat. Like everything else. I know a couple of gay teachers here.

    I am in construction management as a consultant. If I were totally out, I would lose my business. No one would contract with someone who may cause job site issues. I still won't hide though. Innuendos and gossip get forgotten. I think it is how you present yourself. If you don't shout it out, I think one can be comfortable with not hiding.
     
  4. WanderingMind

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2015
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Rockies
    I makes me profoundly sad that these two statements go together. There are places where they don't. I hope the world changes so you live in one, too. (*hug*)
     
  5. I'm gay

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,751
    Likes Received:
    809
    Location:
    United States
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    I am fortunate to work in an industry that is considerably liberal and being out is fairly common.
     
  6. Anthemic

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,890
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Alabama
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Lesbian
    Out Status:
    Some people
    I do. I work for the city of Birmingham. I work around a lot of African Americans (90% of the people who work here are black) who are extremely anti-LGBT. Most people probably think that African Americans are accepting of the LGBT community, but boy, are they wrong. I work with a lady who went as far as calling them faggots, sissies, and damning them to Hell. Some people have no idea how bad it really is here.

    You'd be surprised how open-minded a lot of white people can be. They can be anti-LGBT one day, and supportive the next day just because they listen to the other side of the story. But, it's impossible to even try discussing it with a lot of the African Americans here. They're so stubborn and talk over you. They don't want to listen, and it really upsets me. I know they're all not like this, but only 1 out of 10 of them would listen to what I had to say.
     
    #6 Anthemic, Sep 6, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2016
  7. Eab91

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2016
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Visalia
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Lesbian
    Out Status:
    Some people
    Yes, I am a social worker and there are not many openly gay colleagues. Like you, I know I would not be fired over it, but it makes it easier to stay closeted.
     
  8. OnTheHighway

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2014
    Messages:
    3,932
    Likes Received:
    620
    Location:
    Florida
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    If you do not mind, I am curious - If your comfortable that you are not going to be fired over it, do you think you would ever reach a level of confidence that would enable you to be out without worrying about what others think?
     
  9. ssxElise

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2016
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Europe
    Gender:
    Female
    Sexual Orientation:
    Lesbian
    Thankfully I know that being a lesbian will not be an issue at work. I work at a private clinic in the healthcare industry.
    My country is probably one of the most accepting countries. Telling people will not be a big problem but it´s just about ending my marriage first...
     
  10. BenFreeman

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2016
    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    south of north
    yup...
    I also wanted to be in education...I love little people...but I have restrained myself because of the implications and expectation that I would not be accepted as I am. There's an expectation of conventionality for teachers...How do you cope? How do you manage to have a social life?
     
  11. biAnnika

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2011
    Messages:
    1,839
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Northeastern US
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Bisexual
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    I have to note that it's not your career (education) that has consigned you to the closet...it is *where* you've chosen to pursue that career. There are plenty of out homosexuals, bisexuals, and transpeople who teach in the US.

    That said, I think it sucks that we live in a country where to be out and live your life (and thereby help *so* many students struggling with their own sexuality simply by example), you have to move to a State that isn't stuck in the Dark Ages on social issues. Well, I guess really, I'm saying that I think it sucks that we still have States that are stuck in the Dark Ages on social issues. *sigh*
     
  12. xenu

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2015
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Tulsa
    I work in information technology, and in the past there have been quite a few GLBT folks. None of them are still around though, and I prefer to keep a low profile.
     
  13. AndyG

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2014
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Some people
    I thought my 25+ years with the same employer, the reputation I had built/crafted, as well as my family ties and church kept me 100% closeted... And I don't blame anyone for feeling the same way, and I don't doubt there are some situations much more complicated than mine.

    I am in the middle of the coming out process, and maybe one or all of those realities/excuses will be negatively affected, but at this point that possibility pales in comparison to the depression and physical toll staying in the closet was taking.
     
  14. afgirl

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2016
    Messages:
    287
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Mississippi
    I really don't address it, but I date someone from work, so I'm pretty out there. :slight_smile:
     
  15. Eab91

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2016
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Visalia
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Lesbian
    Out Status:
    Some people

    I am still working on that part. I think once I can finally be completely confident and accepting of myself, I might come out. I am very scared to tell my peers.
     
  16. Klutz

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    New England
    I work in a field that is super conservative and a good-ole-boys-club. At my previous position, there was a temp who was openly out. I would grab lunch with friends occasionally and I invited her along. She politely declined and then one of my work friends (you know the ones that you schmooze with, but don't meet up outside work) told me that he didn't want her along because he is Catholic and he can't support her life decisions, so he doesn't want to bring her into his social circle. And no one said anything... I fully admit that I was a :***: coward. I went out of my way to be friends with her after that, but I didn't say anything. It is no defense, but I was just starting to question at the time.

    So, I figured I was never ever ever ever (ad nausium) going to come out at work. But, I have kinda changed my mind. I'm out to two people at work. One, I told because she'd seen me flirting with a woman and I figured there was nothing to lose. Another, I mentioned that I'd attended a Pride festival. Both were totally cool and have been silently supportive. Like, "hey, that's cool, I won't push, let's hangout" kinda thing. Which I wasn't expecting.

    So maybe, where I'm going with this is that I'm happy having been selective. People have surprised me in a good way. I'm thinking of coming out, rather than just leaving the door open, at work for my work group. It is so scary.
     
  17. OnTheHighway

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2014
    Messages:
    3,932
    Likes Received:
    620
    Location:
    Florida
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    That sounds like the right order of things! Good Luck!
     
  18. Beth 43

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2016
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Gender:
    Female
    Sexual Orientation:
    Lesbian
    Out Status:
    Some people
    Thank you all for this great conversation! Let me clear up one thing from my original post. I have no doubt that I would be fired. NO DOUBT. Like I said above, they cannot do it because I am gay. They would find another reason. Low student enrollment, test scores, evaluation scores.... All of my scores are high, but they could change the evaluation scores and say that my high test scores aren't high enough (not enough growth). They know how to do these things. The geographic location is correct. If our community didn't have this negative feeling towards us, I would not have a problem.
     
  19. BMC77

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2013
    Messages:
    3,267
    Likes Received:
    107
    Location:
    USA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    A few people
    I have no doubt that this could happen. Even worse, I have no doubt it could happen even someplace that officially doesn't discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Policies on paper are good, but all it takes is one person in a position of power who hates LGBT people, and has an ability to find some reasonable sounding excuse.

    As for schools in specific... One interesting story involves a teacher I had who was forced to resign. There were allegations against him involving misconduct. (Not sexual--it was more like attacking a student.) I probably will never know for sure what happened. But my mother heard from a reliable source that the incident that forced him to resign never took place. However, the teacher had been such a huge pain in the butt for the school district because of his work on the teacher union. So...when even a half-baked claim against him came along, they embraced it, saying: "We'll back this kid! You can resign or be fired, your choice!!!!"
     
  20. biAnnika

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2011
    Messages:
    1,839
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Northeastern US
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Bisexual
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    Hi Beth,

    I'm really sorry to hear it, but utterly unsurprised.

    My point above was simply to recognize that your frustration shouldn't be directed at your choice of career, but at your location. If you changed career but stayed where you are, you'd face *similar* issues...and let's face it, you probably chose your career, because you enjoy it and it fits your strengths.

    I see three options:
    (1) Stay in the closet (which is miserable)
    (2) Come out and stand up and fight for your rights (not sure of the outcome here...society is indeed poised to change in this regard)
    (3) Move to a more open-minded area.

    Do you see other options? Which of these sounds most do-able to you?