I came out of the closet at work, a little bit.

I came out of the closet at work a little bit on Thursday:  Just a crack, but it’s a start.  I’d noticed that one of the other women electricians was wearing a t-shirt from the rugby club that my ex has recently joined, and so when she stopped me in the hall to say hello and formerly introduce herself, I asked her about it.

It’s funny, but I feel like people are really starting to be friendly with me now that I’ve lasted through the first two weeks:  Though I haven’t the data to back it up, I get the idea that some workers simply quit within that time frame, and so no one bothers to get to know them.

Anyway, this woman and I had smiled at each other a one point or another, but never spoken until Thursday morning when she told me her name and asked mine.  In response to my question about the team, she confirmed that she’s one of the players, to which I responded without a thought, telling her that my ex was her teammate.  It was so easy and enjoyable:  Her utter lack of surprise, my comfort with chatting about a former lover, the whole little interaction.  Afterwards I felt relieved, revealing stress I hadn’t really realized I was experiencing.

Which was good, it turns out, because later that morning while doing some conduit installation in an otherwise deserted section of the building, I came across graffitti on a wall, letters 2 inches high in black marker on the concrete:  [Some dude’s name] IS A HOMO.  Still feeling good from the outing, and remembering how fucking exhausted I was by fighting the homophobic bullshit at trade school, all I could do was laugh.

… And I grabbed my own permanent marker, and replied underneath:  SO AM I.

I thought of adding “WE’RE EVERYWHERE!”, but it hardly seemed necessary.


7 responses to “I came out of the closet at work, a little bit.

  1. Good for you, is always unsettling to come out at work — I remember when I did it, step by step, and was weird, even though I work in fashion retail and half the guys are gay. Ok more than half…

    Next time, write WE’RE EVERYWHERE…!

  2. Pingback: I came out of the closet at work… « Big Gay Closet

  3. “We’re Everywhere”
    Yes, I believe this is true. I came out of the closet in a big, unintentional way: a poem I wrote for a creative writing class in university was published in the university’s newspaper for the “Queer Edition: Celebrating the Colours of Queer!” I was not even asked if my poem could be submitted, nevermind published, but it got there with my name under it. Well, my parents read it, friends and peers, professors, co-workers, and even the local bartender. Nice. The day after it was published, I walked into class, sat down, and prepped myself for the worst. However, over the next few weeks, I only received praise.

    This is my outing story. Since this time I have realized that we are out there, many of us – more than any straight could really want to imagine – and that we are pretty content with ourselves. The secret is not so deep, it is just elegantly hid.
    I hope that when you come out fully – if you do one day, it is your choice – you receive praise and acceptance.

    • feralgeographer

      Thank you for sharing your story: That sounds like an intensely stressful experience!

      After I got laid off from the job I was working when I wrote this post, I learned that news of my queerness had spread pretty quickly within weeks of my arrival at the site, thanks to former classmates from trade school. Not that I mind the fact of folks knowing! And I did come out on my own to lots of these coworkers, particularly the journeymen I was apprenticing with. But it was strange and a little uncomfortable to find out later that most of the rest of the men knew, and yet never said anything, and instead continued with the hetero-sexual-innuendo jokes.

      Oh, the elegance of how our existence is hid! Very well put. It was only this past fall that my mother finally confirmed that my great aunt (after whom I’m named) was gay, after years of my gentle prodding questions… Everyone knew, it just wasn’t to be discussed.

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