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Coming out at work

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by Fuzzy, Oct 9, 2020.

  1. Fuzzy

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    So, I have come out to family and close friends. I still have people who don't know, but I suspect that word will travel and most people will know at some point. I'm wondering about work though. How many of you came out at work? How did you address that in a professional manner?
     
  2. OGS

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    I've been out everywhere I have worked for almost thirty years. There were no coming out conversations; I'm always just open about things. It comes up if you let it.
     
    #2 OGS, Oct 10, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2020
  3. DecentOne

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    I came out to my supervisor first, figuring I didn’t want my supervisor to hear through the grapevine. I explained I’d be joining an LGBTQ hobby, and likely being seen at the LGBTQ center events so wanted to say something first. Totally supportive.

    Then I came out to peer-level coworkers during a staff meeting. We have “check ins” as the meeting starts, to tell about a highlight of our lives, and one week (after I told my supervisor) I just said they were like a family to me and so it was important that they know I’d come out to myself and my wife as bisexual. Actually I said “not straight” and my supervisor interrupted and said “Go ahead DecentOne, say the word!” In an encouraging way, so I said “bisexual”. That ended up setting a good tone: the group saw that I’d revealed it already, and my supervisor was totally supportive.

    Then more broadly to all levels of employees. I got an enthusiastic hug from one with purple hair (younger generations seem so open about all this), and another (in my age bracket) came to me privately and said “you are so brave, I wish I were that brave” (but didn’t say more). Then another came out to our co-worker’s circle in a similar way months later. I’d really opened up levels of comfort in sharing at work, as another staff member was brave to mention something pretty deep another time. Go team!

    I’m not at that work location anymore, but they gave me a nice LGBTQ-friendly going away gift as I was transferring to my new location. They brought up how great it was that I had shared, and how it made them feel good as a work team to be that open.

    Your situation may be different of course. I knew the work-place culture was supportive of LGBTQ on paper, and another of my peers was completely out since before the hiring process. It wasn’t going to be a disaster there.

    I’m out in my new work location too, and was out to the hiring team early in the process (I asked if my bisexual identity was going to be a problem for anyone at the new location as I interviewed, but it wasn’t a surprise to them as I’d mentioned in my written materials my involvement in the LGBTQ hobby showing my outside interests). I know I’m kind of invisible, as they see my family picture and hear me talk about my wife and grown kids, but I have pride flag stuff on my car and at the office too.
     
  4. Contented

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    After coming out I happened to change firms and simply said from the start that I was gay. So really I didn’t exactly come out just stated the fact. No one even cared, and it certainly didn’t have any negative impact on my career.
     
  5. Choirboy

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    My employer (a large payments processing company) had history of being LGBT friendly, and my boss was out, so I actually came out to several coworkers before anyone else. Since I ended up with a partner very quickly, our picture is at my desk and served to initiate several discussions with other coworkers. Since then we have been bought out twice and i have switched departments a few times, but I've always been open but not pushy about being gay, and it's never been a problem. I talk about my partner like everyone talks about spouses and family. It's very casual and I'm not treated any different from anyone else.
     
  6. Mirko

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    I'm out at work to most of my coworkers. So far, and in particular before the pandemic, there have always been enough conversations during breaks or during the lunch hour where I could mention things about myself that made it clear I'm not straight. I was never treated differently as a result of coming out.

    I have also had chances to get involved in projects or the local pride parade on behalf of my employer that gave me the space to come out.
     
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  7. SemiCharmedLife

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    I had been hesitant to come out at any of the places I'd worked in the past. When I was looking for jobs at the beginning of last year I swore to myself I'd never spend another day in the closet at work. It was exhausting having to hide and dance around talking about my life. So when I started this job I would just casually mention my bf in conversation and I have a couple pictures of us at my desk (which has been empty since I've been working from home).

    The company also started an LGBTQ employee workgroup not long after I started. I got involved and just did a presentation telling my coming out story and talking about coming out and allyship. It's been such an amazing journey over the last year and a half. I never would have imagined this even two years ago
     
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  8. LostInDaydreams

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    My workplace is very LGBT friendly and whilst I’m not officially out at work, I’m not actively hiding my sexuality either. I’ve joined the LGBT colleague network, for example. So, I don’t intend to make a point to come out to anyone at work, but I figure that it will come up eventually.
     
  9. HM03

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    I'm always hesitant to come out at work. I've only come out at two places I've worked - they've tended to be more friendly, lighthearted/jokey places to work. If straight people can just bring up their partner, then that method is professional enough for me too. Both times word travelled super quick, but also was received well.

    It's funny, the places I feel comfortable enough to come out I like even more afterwards, and the jobs that seem super cold/impersonal (so I don't feel comfortable coming out) I hate even more lol