Living my life 100% out has been easier for me than some.
About 12 years ago, I came out to my family a week before I moved out of state. I was 25ish. Thankfully, it was quick and somewhat painless. I’ve been out to all of my friends ever since. But coming out at work? That was different.
I didn’t come out at my job until around 2 years later. A few co-workers I had become friends with knew earlier. Because, up until that point, I felt that I could only tell people whom I trusted.
I’ve always worked with a majority of men. Which has never bothered me. However, judging from my experience being around men, I knew that once they found out about my personal life, there was a chance it would alter my work environment for the worse. I even worked with a few men who openly spoke of their dislike of “gays”. I’ve heard my share of anti-gay jokes, and just responded to them with an “I dont get it.” I’ve even heard someone say one time that gays should be lined up and shot to death! Of course I couldn’t help but call him an idiot, but I sure as shit didn’t wave my rainbow flag in his face. Except for that douchebag, I mean, ignorant bigot, overall my experience being out at work has been surprisingly fine, and even welcoming at times.
Where I work now, I am the only female in my department out of 14 men. As far as I know, I’m the only gay in my company. The bigger issue than being a lesbian, is that I’m 1 female vs 14 males. I’m constantly wondering if I’m getting “special” treatment, or that I’m underpaid. But the lesbian thing has been a non-issue. I think it actually helps me, because I’m sort of a “soft butch” type who isn’t like the guys’ wives and girlfriends at home…I’m more like one of the guys…yet I’m not one. I talk about my wife at work…and they have all met her. They’ve been supportive at a distance, even getting me a cash-filled wedding card that had 2 girls holding hands on the front.
In hind sight, it’s been a much bigger deal to me than it has been to everyone else…at least, as far as I know.