Coping being gay in everyday life, is something that is a challenge that never goes away. Just when you think that you are just like everyone else, the “GAY RUG” is once again pulled out from beneath you. Far to often it is when you least expect it to come up. Other times, it is just the elephant in the room every time you go or do something with new people.
Really? Yes, this is true. Just ask any gay person that you know. In this post, I am going to share some instances when being gay always seems to come up in everyday life. Right out of the blue in a totally normal circumstance. When in reality, it should never come up in any of these situations. BUT IT DOES!
Even if you aren’t hiding your sexuality because being gay isn’t a label that we wear on our shirt, that means the questions from co-workers are going to be asked. Innocent enough questions things like:
- Are you married?
- Do you have kids?
- Do you live with someone?
The reality of any one of these questions, is that you are going to have to answer them. At that moment, you are deciding what you want to reveal so early in the situation. More often than not, you end up being pretty vague. It is just simply something that people don’t want to hear right out of the gate. Oh by the way “I’m gay and have a partner”.
This is absolutely ridiculous thinking I know, but the truth is we really do go through all of this in our head before answering. The stress that this mind cluster brings, just adds to the already new girl at work scenario.
I remember when I started my last job. I was moving from one department to another in the company, where most of them didn’t know me, except one girl did. Usually that is a good thing, to know someone. You can slowly integrate in the job and get more comfortable. In this case, not so much. Instead the girl decided to tell everyone in the entire plant that I was gay before they even met me.
The only reason that I can think of as to why she would tell everyone, is to make herself look and feel better. And maybe by telling everyone a head of time that I was gay, it makes me look like odd, strange, or whatever you want to call it to everyone else. A negative first impression without actually meeting me.
I know you are thinking, well who cares, you are out, so what is the big deal. The big deal is that at that moment, you are being judged, introduced, and labeled before I have even worked there for 1 min. More of a spectacle then just a new girl starting a new job with a clean slate. NOPE!
If people don’t fall into the question approach, then they may come forward as what I call the “Gay Looky Lou’s”. They are the people that come up and right out of the gate to ask you questions about yourself.
Yet at the time you know they are fishing to see what you will be willing to tell them. Honestly, it feels a bit like you are the “Show and Tell” of the day.
The other folks are less in your face about it, but you know deep down that they are looking at you differently just because they know you are gay. Even though it is 2021, you will be surprised to know that many people still have never worked closely or known anyone personally that is a Lesbian. To them it is like the most foreign thing, so that leads them to attack it head on if you will to get some answers.
I have to say this approach seems way more tolerable, as at least they are just wanting to get you know. At least that’s my thinking on it anyway.
Not only are you having to deal with starting a new job and the lack of confidence that this creates. You are now trying to maneuver your way through the gay stigma that exists in the workplace.
The word is out and now you are the focus of everyone’s attention. This is even more of an issue if you are the only gay person in the work group. Which in my life, I have pretty much always been. That I know of any way!
People will say that everyone in the workplace is treated the same and that this gay stigma doesn’t exist.
That reality is WRONG!!! Unless you are the one living it, you just don’t believe how much of an issue it really is for people.
Just think we are at work for like 8 hours a day, and that is a long time to spend closely with someone.
At times I think that men are more intrigued by why you don’t want to sleep with guys, while the women are usually one of two ways:
#1 Really could careless and it is not even a factor. Like not an issue at all.
#2 Then there are the ones that play it pretty cool, but as you soon as you walk away are talking about it to anyone that will listen.
I have been lucky enough, that in the important years of me coming out, I had some best friends that a girl could ever ask for. Super supportive inclusive and an absolute joy to be with. Maybe one of the most critical things that led to me come out in the first place. Love you ladies, and you know who you are.
Ultimately both men and women that are heterosexual equally can have issues with it. One is not really worse than the other. At least in my experience anyway.
Attending an event
The second real life situation that causes a gay person to have to cope with their sexuality is when you are invited to an event of some sort. Anything from a wedding, work event, or party.
Most events that you are invited to, you don’t know everyone that is going to be there, so you will be meeting new people.
When you attend an event, almost all the time, I bring my partner Roxanne with me. The second that you walk in and grab a drink, people almost always know that you are gay. Not because of how we look or anything, but usually because someone there has shared your truth for you. They just can’t help themselves.
It’s almost like a point and stare type situation. Mentally anyway.
I don’t know what it is about being gay that everyone feels the need to share it behind your back to anyone that will listen. But it happens all the time.
Obviously if you are going to a party where you know that there will be other gay people there, this isn’t the case. If you are the only gay couple there, then for sure some type of discussion is going to come up.
I don’t walk into a party and think oh well she is married to a man and has kids. It’s like who the hell cares. I sure don’t care who anyone else loves.
We all know how hard it is to walk into a room full of people that we don’t know. That is stressful on its own. Add the fact that you are gay, and once again it magnifies the entire level of stress. Just think about that.
I have been a person that has some gay friends and plenty of heterosexual ones in my life. When meeting with anyone, I am always aware that at any point the conversation in the room could switch to the “GAY TOPIC”.
It can start off as an innocent conversation that gets brought up in a way that is supposed to be inclusive, but yet it ends up taking a turn to the negative.
In the past couple of years, I was at a friend’s house who I have know for 20 years. They had another couple there that I also have known forever and they were visiting. When I got there, they were a bit intoxicated when I got there, but I stopped in for a quick drink and a visit anyway.
I hadn’t been there long when WOW right out of left field, the conversation took a turn to gay couples having kids through adoption or fostering.
Right away I am uncomfortable, because the tone of the conversation is leaning to one of them saying that they didn’t think that gay couples especially men should be allowed to have children. Like somehow that is a despicable thing for a kid to have 2 dads. WOW!
Like HELLO, I am sitting right here. Turning to me and saying, “I am not trying to offend you”, but! BUT!!
Seriously, how is this OK. You are completely discriminating against gay people right in front of me. MAN was I mad, and caught off guard!
I think probably the worst part about it, was that everyone else just sat there and really didn’t stand up for me or for the negative comments about the LGBTQ community. This just baffles me how and why this is OK. Do people really not understand what that does to someone’s self-worth, self-confidence, and everything else. Well I am here to tell you that it literally shatters your soul! That is the best way I can describe it.
I have just proved my entire post, about how being gay means that you will always be treated differently. It doesn’t matter what anyone that isn’t gay says, that is just the reality of it.
Equality when your gay is something that you fight for every single day. I am almost 50 years old and have been out and gay for almost 30 of that.
I want to know when it is going to end. When will I not be concerned “gay” before anything else?
Coping being gay in everyday life is no joke. You have to have that fierce pit in your stomach that demands you just be who you are. Even if that means that things are harder, as ultimately living scared, thinking your unworthy or not equal is not living your TRUTH!
I know that I AM FIERCE inside and will not be pushed down!