"I’m thinking of taking a job (or at least, applying for one) that would have me very closeted, and living with my parents. If I got the position, I would probably take it—it is a lot more money than I am making right now, and it would be a good thing for my career in the long run. But how to maintain self-identity in the meantime?"
- Question submitted by Anonymous
I, honestly, don’t completely understand the need to be out at work. Regardless of who I was dating or what their gender was, I was never the kind of person who constantly talked about my relationship with my co-workers. It’s always made me feel a little weird. I’m a pretty private person when it comes to my relationships, so NOT coming out never bothered me or made me feel like I was lying. PLUS, being gay isn’t the only part of my identity, you know?
HOWEVER, I understand that some people are not like me and they can’t just NOT talk about a part of them.
You and I are basically the same human bc I would take the job, too. Keeping work / personal life separate isn’t that difficult. I mean, after a while you start to make really good work friends and maybe you go out a few times, you get to know each other and they’re your one person who ACTUALLY knows you as a human. Make sure the people you’re hanging out with / dating know your stance on the situation, because if you’re out and you just introduce your girlfriend by name without saying she’s your girlfriend, you stand to really hurt her feelings. Just be open with the people you care about and you’ll be totally fine. PROMISE.
Dannielle and I are very different when it comes to keeping our feelings in. I have a really, really hard time being closeted in any capacity at the workplace, because I like to make a million friends and have long conversations and I always feel weird and like I am lying if I have to skirt around certain topics.
I certainly agree that it is no one’s obligation to be out ANYWHERE, and if you are like Dannielle, then perfect — the above will work wonderfully. If, however, you are more like me, then this could be a little more challenging for you. Putting myself in your shoes *slips on converse* I would say that the first step would be to look at this as a temporary, and ever-changing situation. You aren’t going to be living at home with your parents forever, and you aren’t going to have to closeted at work forever.
Second, I would talk to my close friends and my girlfriend, and explain that I was feeling really conflicted, but that it seemed like the right choice was to do this for now and see what came of it. Let them know you will need them even more as a support system, so that in those moments when you tell your coworker that you just “aren’t interested in dating right now,” you can go outside and call them up to tell them how weird it feels and how nothing is fair and you are angry, etcetera.
Third, I would urge you to take this day by day with yourself. I am sure that the job is a good one, and important to your future… but that NEVER, EVER means you should be hurting yourself deeply on a daily basis. If this is something that, after you begin it, finds a rhythm and you have moments of frustration but are feeling content overall, then okay. If you find that it is weighing on you and causing you a lot of stress, you have to re-evaluate the importance of things. You being depressed and angry all the time and feeling trapped will affect your relationships and your life as a whole. If that is how this begins to affect your life, you should consider making choices that will allow you to be you. Period.
August 4, 2011: 1. Mom won't let my gf and I sleep in the same bed. 2. My friend at work says 'faggot' and it upsets me, but i'm not gay.
“So I work in a democratic campaign office, I know most everyone in the office is accepting of homosexuality, but when is the right time to let them know? I would prefer it be casually because it isn't really an office memo type deal.”
- Question submitted by Anonymous
You know, I think it’s funny how when we grow up we’re like ‘ugh, I can’t do things like I did in high school SLASH college bc now I’m a grown up so everything is different’ WHEN REALLY, shit is kind of the same.
It’s like, you know that one guy/lady in the office who tells everyone’s business to everyone else? Of course you do, everyone knows that person. You know, the one friend you have, SANTEE, that you’re like ‘hey, yea i’m just feeling down bc TRIXIE and I broke up’ and that friend is like ‘omg lets get some pizza’ and you’re like ‘okay see you soon’ then you hang up the phone and dust your hands off bc you know that SANTEE will tell everyone that you and TRIXIE broke up and you now don’t have to go around to all your friends and tell them individually.
It’s the same as high school, you guys, there are certain bitches in our lives who just tell your business and believe-you-me that is NOT always a bad thing. These people are really good vehicles for getting shit out there when you don’t feel like sitting down and having srs convos with everyone you know. Just go up to the SANTEE of your office and be like ‘can i ask you a question’ and when she’s like ‘yea?’ and you’re like ‘i know we don’t know each other that well, which is why i’m asking, bc you seem totally cool and i wanted to know if you think it would effect anyone’s perception of me if they knew I was gay, like, do you think I should hide it or something?’ and she’ll be like ‘oh no, not at all, no one cares’ and you’ll be like ‘thanks, SANTEE, i knew you’d be the best person to ask’ and before you get halfway out of the breakroom #watercooler she’ll have already IMed half the office from her smartphone.
Here’s the thing, Anon. I support any means that you choose to declare your gaywad-ness, but in my experience the best way to tell people is to just have open and honest conversation. It is a slightly gradual thing that will take a few weeks(ish), and then it isn’t this weird situation where people feel like you sat them down to pour your heart out, you know?
Por ejemplo #spanishtuesday, John DonkeyButt will be like, ‘My girlfriend thinks Brad Pitt is so hot, I just don’t get it. Are you into him?’ And you will be like, ‘Nope, I’m with you. Angelina all the way.’ Then he’ll laugh and pause and look at you and be like, ‘Wait, really?’ and you’ll be like, “Haha, yeah dude, it’s not a big deal, UNLESS YOU MAKE IT ONE’ and then look at him real angry and then when he looks worried burst out laughing and punch him in the arm.
The next day, when Susie BlueBoobs is like, ‘So, do you have a boyfriend??’ just answer honestly: ‘No, I actually date women, but they are just as big of a pain in the ass as anyone else so I am currently single and waiting for someone who isn’t a big idiot to come my way.’ Then she’ll laugh and be like, ‘Oh man, so you mean even if I give up men forever I’m still screwed?’ and you’ll get real serious and be like ‘DO YOU THINK THIS IS A CHOICE’ and she will get nervous and then you’ll burst out laughing and punch her in the arm.
What I mean to say is, little by little it will become just another part of who you are at the office, and then you’ll look back and remember when you asked Everyone Is Gay for advice and it will all seem so silly because now everyone knows and no one cares except for Susie BlueBoobs who now has a total crush on you, and then you’ll write us again for advice on dating co-workers.
Know what I mean?
“I am African American. I am also bisexual. I live in a rough city where my sexuality is not celebrated. I'm a musician. I feel like when I'm writing I want to share that part of myself in my music, but I am afraid of the backlash that comes with it. Any advice?”
- Question submitted by Anonymous
ay yi yi. I’m not african american, nor am i bisexual, and I also don’t wanna write/play music for a living and yet here i am, a tiny white gay girl tryna give you advice on how to do those things with pride. I know it’s hard and I know it’s scary, but keeping it inside is only going to be harder and scarier… THIS IS MY OPINION. When I figured out I liked girls the most terrifying part was right before anyone knew. The hardest of hard is when you have it inside you and fucking no one knows bc you’re sure if they know you’ll just keel over from immediate heart attack.
You can absolutely sing and write about being terrified, about having things to hide, about feeling out of place, about loving someone you’re afraid to love, about not feeling supported, about how no one could possibly understand what you’re feeling. It is completely possible to write every single word you want to say and every single feeling you have to feel without saying “I’m bisexual and you guys don’t get it.” In fact, I think there is so much to be said about writing all of those things down and NOT saying exactly why. That shit is mad hot. You know? I would FO SHO listen to those songs in my room and cry and know for a fact we’re feeling the same things. Be proud of what you write because what you write is real and true and beautiful and yours.
Also, if you have the burning desire to come out, do it. This is a decision that can only be made by you. If you want to come out, fuck ‘em, do the whole shebang, move to a big new city, come out, become a rockstar and live your life so thousands of little girls will go ‘holy shit, i was feeling that and so scared.’ If you don’t want to come out, don’t do it. Because like, also, fuck ‘em, it’s your life and who you bone is no one’s business but your own. Your songs will still be equally as beautiful and meaningful, plus it’ll be really funny when a little girl is like ‘that’s exactly how I feel about Nick Jonas’ … you know?
First of all, I am sorry that you live in a place where you have to fear the backlash that comes with expressing your true self. Dannielle and I have it pretty easy where we live in Brooklyn, but we do know how isolating and infuriating it can be to exist in a place where you feel that no one knows who you are. We know that because of financial reasons, family obligations, or a million other combinations of life’s situations…you might not be able to just pack your bags and leave at this very moment. If it helps at all, know that we get hundreds of questions every week from people who are feeling those exact same feelings of isolation and anger. You most certainly are not alone.
It sounds like you want, at the very least, to be able to express yourself in your art…and you absolutely should. Nothing makes better art then the pain of feeling alone, misunderstood and angry. The beauty of music is that you can pinpoint every feeling you are having in your lyrics, and to you it may seem horribly obvious that you are talking about wanting to bone a girl and not being able to tell her…but unless you use those words, the listener always applies their own life to what you have written.
No one needs to know exactly what your music about unless you want them to. It’s yours.
Write everything you are feeling. Write all those songs that are in your head. I guarantee you that most of them will not have the lyric, “I am bisexual / I like girls / Now you know,” AND IF ONE OR TWO OF THEM DO, just play them to yourself until you are in a place or space where you feel comfortable sharing them.
For many of you, expressing yourself through music, drawing, dance, theater, etc is the only outlet you have for what you are going through. Never cut yourself off from creating – even if, for right now, you are your only audience.