The first time I came out to a coworker, he was giving me a ride home from work. I remember us talking about music for a while. He liked Rap and I liked indie-singer-songwriter-type songs. He asked me if I had a boyfriend in the way people do when they have a vested interest in something. I said I didn’t. He asked why. I told him I was into women. He didn’t believe me.
The next time I came out to a coworker, he had caught me looking at a cute female customer for longer than was really necessary. He smirked knowingly. The other guy had told him. Months later, he asked if he could come into my apartment after he gave me a ride from the store (I swear I mostly got around using public transit, but free rides are the only thing men are good for…
lol). I agreed to let him hang out in my living room. He asked if I was “definitely a lesbian” and then he said something about sexuality being fluid. I asked if his sexuality was fluid. It wasn’t. He left later. I imagine that he a different idea of how the night would end when he asked if he could come inside.
Two years later, when I worked somewhere else, a coworker was talking about buying lingerie for her boyfriend’s benefit. She hit me with a “you know how men are” line. I said I wouldn’t know. Without missing a beat, she responded with “some women are like that too. I used to live across from (insert gay bar that I have forgotten the name of here).” And then we laughed about it.
Recently, a female coworker asked how old I was, and then she asked if I had a boyfriend. I jokingly told her that the two of us had to have a conversation, and then I said that I didn’t date boys. She replied with “so you play for my team.” I was pleasantly surprised. I never would have guessed!
This is just a small selection of the many coming-out experiences I’ve had. My haircut (as opposed to the braids I used to have) and my general lack of interest in all things related to men tend to give me away half the time, but when they don’t, and I’m in a situation where I want or need to come out to a coworker, I do it pretty casually.
That’s my advice to people who want to come out at work but don’t know how– keep it casual. Someone asks you if you have a boyfriend? Shrug and say you’re not into boys. A female coworker starts going on about a man she finds attractive? (you know it’s bound to happen). Say you don’t see the appeal. One of the hets starts talking about their relationship drama in the break room? Let out an exaggerated sigh and say “straight people!”
Are you out at work? How did you go about it? Tell us in the comments below.
December 3, 2016 at 11:52 am
I had to come out to my manager two or three times. Even though I first mentioned having a girlfriend in the context of my Valentine’s Day plans, she still thought I was talking about a gal pal.