The big “secret” you have to reveal to everyone you meet. But they can look at you and tell, right? Not necessarily. Well, at least I can say I used to not be that obvious. With my short hair and wife, I could be cast on Orange Is The New Black. Yeah I said wife (that usually gets a double take, especially in the South).
That’s how it starts. A subtle hint at a wife instead of a husband. A gay bar. A parade. You have to do it. You have to come out to people all the time - especially at work. Whether you’re more of an “I’ll just put our picture here” or rolling out the rainbow carpet, it’s going to come up.
I find that most people fall somewhere between the two based on how long they’ve been out of the closet anywhere (let alone at work) and the gut check. There’s a bit of a gut check I do during the interview and before I’ll ever come out to someone at work.
Why the hesitation? I guess for me it’s a matter of someone knowing me for the quality of my work, not because I’m gay. If our relationship from minute 1 is about my gay-ness, I’ll eventually be known as the loud lesbian, not the loud all-star marketer that I am.
But here’s the thing. Nobody writes about coming out in the human resources industry; it’s taboo. You can’t ask a bunch of straight HR executives how it feels to be gay at work.
Over the coming weeks, I’ll keep writing about this topic - breaking down coming out to coworkers at different organizations, scenarios to help those of you who haven’t had such a great experience coming out to coworkers and even do a shout out to companies who are doing it right.
You should also know that means over the coming weeks we’re going to talk about sh*t that’s probably going to make you a little uncomfortable. That’s ok. We’re going to talk about people and places that make you feel good too. Speaking of feeling good, there will also be at least 1 Portia de Rossi reference because she’s worth it.