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…