I've been a bartender in a few gay bars back when I lived in LA. There, if you were a female, getting hit on was par for the course, but no one pushed so hard it weirded you out. Now I'm working at a straight bar in New York. My first. I'm stupidly not out yet at my new job, and like any bartender's boss, my new boss hired me most likely because of my long blond hair, nice tits, and hot ass (as well as my experience behind the bar). Their are two reasons I don't come out: one, the guys who drink there would go nuts in their frat boy girl on girl fantasies; two, ever since I started, my bar is packed, which is the goal behind hiring me.
Q: You're not out at your new job, and you think coming out will either get you fired or get you hassled by lesbian-loving men.
A: First, don't say, "stupidly" again, many of us who have been out for decades have kept our sexuality quiet at the job for a whole host of reasons.
"Ten years. That's how long I'd been out—but not at work," Terrance of Dallas told us. "I'd have been accepted had I came out, but I just didn't want to. Everyone knew, but no one ever said a thing. Still, I felt that if I came out people would start looking at me and thinking about one thing: how I had sex. That, and I am one of those people who feels strongly that sex and work don't mix. I never see or hear straight people openly talking about what they do in bed. Sure, they can talk about their boyfriends and girlfriends, but it was just my choice not to go there."
Julia from San Francisco said, "Living here in what some think of as the gay Mecca, you'd think there would be no problems being out at work. Well, there are—and not just for me, but for many of us. That said, I just did it, I came out at every job I ever had. To some, I was merely regarded as one of those gays from that part of town. I can only imagine what the young men were thinking. I know there are laws all across the U.S. to protect us from on the job discrimination, but all it takes is three warnings tagging me for this or that mistake at work to easily get rid of me. The bottom line for me? There was nothing more awesome than getting on top of all of it. No cowering, no shame, no worries about being gay."
I have definitely been there, " James from Nashville told us. "I was out everywhere but my job. I was so out you'd think the entire world would have known. But my boss didn't. Or at least he didn't act as though he did. Worse, he'd make all sorts of slight gay jokes. Not outright, but enough to get grins on the faces around the table at meetings. Before I could get too sick of it, I decided I was way too gay to take it. A few weeks passed and there we were, sitting and watching him talk—when he did it again. This time he referred to one of my colleagues as light in the loafers. I must have snapped three times in my head because I just belted out, 'Mine, honey, are so light I can hardly take this anymore.' Everyone in the meeting just froze for a long minute. The good news was that, without acknowledging my sexuality, he apologized to me and continued the meeting. He never did that again in my presence and everyone knew: I was gay."—N.B.