Thursday, 20 March 2014

Gay Politics

I work in a relatively big company. Our IT department is more than 100 people and if you add the Business Analysts, Project Managers and other related personnel, my immediate work colleagues are quite a few.  Of course, in this group there’s a number of homosexuals in various degrees of ‘closet-ness’. At first, of course I thought I was the only one. Then I met a couple of more gay people that told me about some other employees of the company. Yes, gossip is a favourite pastime for us as well.


In general, I‘m not overly open about my personal life. There’s an increasing number of colleagues that know about JJ and my life. However, these colleagues are the ones that I’m starting to develop a more friendly relationship with. In a way, I’m trying to keep my personal and professional life apart. I’m not sure why I do that. Especially in large groups, when other people talk about their husbands, wives or children I remain quiet. Would I still do that if I was in a heterosexual relationship? Maybe. And I say maybe because in my previous job I was openly gay. The company was tiny. We were 14 people all of us and I was generally more at ease there, but still didn’t talk about my personal life much. Some of my old colleagues had met JJ, but I still didn't talk much about him.


There are some other factors to consider about my current employment arrangements and secretive attitude. The very first manager I had was a weird character. I know him much better now and I can see his weird (?) sense of humour, but back then, he was intimidating. On my very first day he talked about the gayphone (iPhone to you and me) and about some dykes he used to know. These statements unsettled me and during that first week of employment I remained quiet about my personal life and it’s been like that ever since. I've also seen some backstabbing happening and I refuse to give to anyone any more ammunition.


As I mentioned before, I've now met some gay people in the office. And a couple of them want, in a way, to create a ‘brotherhood’. They want us to start meeting regularly for lunch or after work outings. Just us, the gays. I don’t generally object to that, but to be honest I’m not that eager to do it either. Just because they’re gay, it doesn’t really mean I like all of them. Also, I don’t think that marginalising ourselves like that is a very good thing. I wouldn't like to associate only with Caucasians, or only with males, or only with Greeks, or only with people that like comic books. Yes, it’s nice to have things in common with people you spend time with, but forming a clique is not something I’ll easily encourage.


I've decided to keep an open mind. My concern is the fact that one of the guys eager to create the brotherhood seems a bit sleazy. Maybe it’s just me being paranoid. I might go out with them for a drink or two and see how it goes. Every day lunch break might be a no no though… 

7 comments:

  1. Oh my, this hit home. I know one lesbian at work, she used to be my supervisor until she changed departments. Now, I am alone (though she didn't know I was gay). I am definitely NOT out at work, and given the atmosphere, I doubt that will change any time soon. These people are far right conservatives, and not likely to accept a gay 55 year old man who works in schools. We are all pedophiles, right? Plus, with this state not having ANY LGBT workplace protections (or any other protections, really, given it's an employment at will state), I shall not give them any reason to not want me employed.

    I agree, cliques are not good. On the other hand, affinity groups, such as the one at the Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond that flew a rainbow flag last year during June for its LGBT group, are probably OK. But I suspect a high-rise houses more than a few gay folks!

    I think you should at least give it a chance. Drinks every now and then. Who knows...

    Peace <3
    Jay

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    1. I'm sorry to hear about your troubles. How come there are no LGBT workplace protection in place? There should be. I know so many gay teachers here and they're fine being out at work. I agree on you on giving it a chance. I will see how it turns out before I make up my mind. I'll keep you posted...

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  2. just so long as it doesn't lead to group sex.

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    1. Why not? :-p
      Apart from being very happily partnered, I would strongly recommend against 'dating' someone you work with. It could lead to very bad situations

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  3. i can relate to your attitude about not really wanting to form a clique at work with people just because you all happen to be gay. i mean personalities, and whether or not you get along or not is more important, right?

    as far as i know, there are 3 other gay guys at my work. i socialize with one of them outside work because he is really funny and i like his personality. the other guy is nice, but we don't have a lot in common, so i don't see him outside work. the third one…i can barely stand to say hello to him, he is such an idiot. just the thought of socializing with him because he is gay makes me want to throw up. haha.

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    1. Exactly my point. I don't want to socialise with people I don't really like just because they're gay. And I don't want to form any kind of cliques. I'd like to think that I can remain above these things.

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