Sunday, November 20, 2011

Keeping a Secret vs. Protecting Oneself.

On Friday I had a former co-worker-friend call me.  He went on to tell me that our old mutual boss had texted him and mentioned he saw something on my Facebook page and my former boss asked this former co-worker/friend of mine if I was gay.   My Friend has know that I am gay for many years and he has been totally cool with it... he hugs me, tells me he loves me, he and his wife have me over to dinner.  They have been totally down with it.  I'm very lucky to have him in my life.  Anyway, he said the first thing he did was look at my Facebook page and didn't see anything.  I looked as well and have no idea how he drew the conclusion that I was gay from my page. 

Back to the story.  He was calling to ask me what he should tell our mutual ex-boss.  My knee jerk reaction, which he was fine with was for my friend to tell him that he didn't know.  I hung up with him and now that I'm out of the closet it, it really started to bother me that I would have him do that.  I felt like I'm making him lie for me.  My main concern is that this former boss and I had a strong working relationship and I would like to use him as a future reference if necessary and didn't want me being 'gay' to change his perceptions of me or somehow have it tarnish his opinion of me as an employee. 

Anyway, I ended up calling me friend back and told him to tell my ex boss to ask me. I doubt I'll get a call or txt.   My friend said 'you realize that's basically me saying yes'.  I told him I knew, but that it took him out of the situation of having to lie  or try to cover for me,  and it would give me the opportunity, if he did ask, to do any damage control if necessary. 

I hate that I'm going to have to play these games now that I'm coming out of the closet.  It worries me that as an employee in Utah that I have no rights if i were to become discriminated against at work because of my sexuality.  However, I'm going to try to take the approach that honesty is best, and hope that people will look past whatever image the word gay conjures in their head and look at me for the person I am. 

Guess we'll see what happens with the ex-boss.  Who knows, but I'm glad I'm moving forward and away from that knee jerk reaction.


  1. Good for you for deciding to be open about things. It's just one of those unique challenges we have to face. You might want to consider contacting your former boss before you use him as a reference. Better no reference than a bad one right?

  2. It is pretty nerve-wrecking to deal with these situations and navigating through it especially at work where our livelihood can be jeopardized.

    Having said that it is probably best if you talk to those that you need friendly and professional support (like your ex-boss) first and upfront--chances are that someone has already beat you to it--it was the same when I talked to my boss but preface things with the ex-boss as: "I know it makes no difference when it comes to my work history, ethic and professionalism but I think you need to know..." and if it is an issue then discuss why and it may come down to now being able to use the person as a reference but at least you know where you stand and not be blindsided by a bad outcome down the road. Good luck navigating through all of this and forgive the cliché--it does get better and better with time, I promise!