Sunday, 22 January 2012

Dear Coworkers, I'm Gay

In this day and age -- at least in this civil, free land we call Canada -- how can a gay in the workplace be such a disruptive force that he (or she) should just stay in the closet ?

It's a tough question that I must ponder almost every day.

I'm out to close friends and to some of my family, and since I'm a typical human who makes friends at work sometimes, that means that I'm out to some of my coworkers, too.

In my current role, I have to interact with hundreds of staff.  If I was was totally out, without question there would be some folks who think I am acting against their god, and some who would figure I'm "gay" in the 1970s "non-cool" sense.  My ability to do my job could be affected if (when) these people started to act-out their uneasiness.

It's strange, because I've never been one to think that sex in any way, shape, or form has a place in the office.  Being human, I have of course had a few transgressions in this regard, but in general I keep my private life private, and my attractions to myself, especially when compared to the straight guys and their chatter.  Of course we're all expected to accept this as "guys just being guys."  Even in my circle of friends, where I am now very much now known for my real preferences, there has been a time or two where my gayness has caused an angry outburst of "enough, already !"

I think we've all come to realize that in the Western World today, being a straight guy actually means you're expected to not act gay.  To foster this behaviour, you might pepper your speech with some hatred towards homos.  If you might have an inkling down the Kinsey curve, your straight friends will be there to help you "man-up."  Let's just forget that being a straight man in most of the world involves some pretty gay behaviour -- hand-holding in the Mid-East, and towel-snapping and drunken grab-ass over here.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

The answer to the question "gay or straight" today is really more about trying to force a suspected "not totally straight" guy to come out and say "I'm not gay!"

Perhaps kids today are more accepting, in public anyway.  We have come a long way, after all.  Yet just as straights want to keep people straight, gays seem to want more -- and more famous -- outings.

Even before they were of legal age, Taylor Lautner got a fake People cover "outing" him, Justin Bieber is labelled as gay by maniacal 13 year old girls who feel he's not man enough.  Gays hoped Daniel Radcliffe would just declare his infatuation with dick.  Tim Tebow is devoutly religious -- and a virgin -- yet he's known to display rather effeminate mannerisms though I'd be the first to admit that appearing gay and being gay are very different things (for the record, they all say they're straight).

This is actually one thing that's very obvious in the new generations: Thanks to metrosexuals, it's now perfectly fine to be effeminate.  It doesn't mean you're gay.

The same, of course, applies to "straight acting" guys.

It's a topsy-turvey world.  Thank goodness for the internet.

Maybe we're all just after the same thing here, to feel that we belong and are amongst like-minded people.  For someone that has always made an effort to be different, I find it interesting that even I need to figure this all out, if nothing else, so I can feel a sense of belonging to a group of like-minded people... like-minded or at least after the same thing, be it happiness or income.

I don't need to always be with people of the same leanings.  I just need to feel like I am accepted and needed at my job.  Right now, for better or worse, that means I'm usually "just one of the guys" at work, though secretly I'm amazed anyone would ever think me anything but gay, in the best sense of the word.

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