Coming Out – At Work or Not – Case Study Spouse

Coming Out  – At Work or Not – Case Study Spouse

A unique challenge LGBT people have is, letting others know or not know that you are LGBT. While there is the hard topic of coming out to those closest to you, there is also the struggle on when to come out on the job (or not).  A sad shameful part of living in “The Greatest Country in the World” is that in most states your employer may fire you for being gay. While progress has been made especially on marriage equality, more LGBT people live in a state where they can get married to the person they love then apply for spousal benefits at work only to get fired for being gay. While I doubt many employers would exercise their discriminatory right to fire gays for fear of the public backlash, it is always best to proceed with caution. Further, while a company may not fire a person for being gay, the working conditions or ability to advance may be limited after coming out.

If you are to the point of asking if you should come out then you are most likely in the right mindset (not set one way or another), but knowing the person and company on the other side is equally if not more important. Remember, sometimes to feed our-selves or to accomplish our life goals, with a heavy heart, we go back into the closet to make some cash to get ahead in life. There is no shame with going into the closet to get ahead. Do what is best for you, just do not persecute other gays to get ahead. This is a case study on my spouse’s position.

A case study my spouse

My spouses story why he should come out at work:

– He is in a stable positive relationship. We have a great stable happy relationship that is most likely better than most peoples and is a source of strength and pride. Because we have an awesome relationship we could be good gay ambassadors to the straights that “don’t know any gays”. Further, our relationship is similar to a typical straight relationship so they may relate easier.

– Large company. With a large company typically their are checks and balances to discrimination and a public backlash can have a significant affect on their business. Shareholders would be ticked to a loss of value due to one bigoted person.

– Expand social interactions with co-workers. My spouse would like to have some work friends and take me to various work events or not have me hide or be a friend. Being closeted is irritating and adds shame where there should not be many.

– Work and the “family factor”. My spouse is pretty sure his raises, time demands, travel demands, and work duties are unequally dispersed towards him because “he is a single dude”. While it could still be unfair after “give the gay dude work” may be it would not.

– Odd in future when a baby appears. When we figure out a baby him taking FMLA for the baby may be a bigger deal if it comes out of the blue.

My spouses story why he should not come out at work

– Demographically Conservative Christian area. Statistically if his co-workers are pulled from the surrounding community, several years ago they showed their disdain of gays voting overwhelmingly to define gays out of marriage on the state level.

– Mainly straight old white men in positions of power. Lots or various studies show that people promote people they can more closely relate with. So being black, female, young, or gay can hold a person back because it less relates the promoter to the person.

– Company gutted diversity program. The program was never very progressive (race, gender, disability mainly represented), however, the only non-whites are no loner on the committee and the only issues the group deals with now are gender/disability based.  They love their wounded warriors.

– Company does not specifically give protections to LGBT people. Company only gives the federal minimum protections to suspect classes. Definitely not a leader on equality.

– He is not at the level within the company he would like. My spouse wants one more promotion and then he is fine riding it into retirement. Coming out prior to getting promoted may make the discretionary process of promotion more difficult.

My spouses choice: Not to come out until a promotion or a job change. I support him on this choice. I like many spouses just want him to be happy/proud of the job he does.

How does your situation match up? Do you think my spouse is right/wrong?

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