The Land of the Free recently became the latest country to legalize same-sex marriage, an event that was celebrated not just in the States, but around the world. But there’s still a long way to go.
And while the fact that 29 US states can choose to fire LGBT employees wasn’t enough to worry about, gay people have other – and thankfully less serious – problems to worry about in the workplace.
Nonetheless, the struggle is real.
1. You’re Expected to Know All the Other Gay Employees
If you work in a large company, chances are you’re not the “only gay in the village,” to quote Daffyd Thomas from Little Britain. And most of your colleagues will assume that, taking those odds into account, you all know each other.
Straight Colleague: “Do you know Stephen from HR?”
You: “No, can’t say I do.”
SC: “You know: tall, dark-haired, brown eyes…”
You: “Nope. Doesn’t ring a bell.”
SC: “Oh, come on! You must know him! He’s gay, too!”
Oh! Well, why didn’t you say so?
Because, you know, we all get together after work once a week for Woo Woos at the gayest bar ever to flamboyantly dance the Macarena – 8 o’clock on Thursdays (also known as Gay Day), but that’s beyond the point! We then pray to the Great Penis of the Universe and sacrifice kittens while chanting “Forgive us for the sins of the fashion victims!” We also communicate telepathically:
You: “Did you see Deborah in that dress? She looks awful!”
Mike (three floors up): “Say it, sister!”
Assuming all the gay people know each other in the office is like saying every straight person in a company personally knows one another. It just doesn’t make sense. Okay, so straight people might outnumber the gays, therefore making it doubly difficult for them to know every single other straight person they work with, but it still doesn’t make sense!
2. News Travels Faster Than the Speed of Light
In all likelihood, you’ve come out to one of your coworkers only to realize that the news was broadcasted to the whole office in a matter of minutes. Sadly, however, this rarely results in gifts, flowers or cards congratulating you for coming out of the closet, and you’re instead met with the dreaded suggestion of "We should totally go shopping together!"
And no, let’s not go shopping together. The last thing I want to do is follow you into shop after shop for hours on end so you can try on dresses you’re not even going to buy. Plus, I hate shopping as much as any straight dude does.
3. Getting Set Up on Blind Dates
This isn’t strictly a workplace phenomenon; it happens outside of work, too, and it also happens to straight people. But as soon as word spreads along the office grapevine that you’re playing for the other team, a minimum of one of your colleagues is guaranteed to try to set you up on a blind date with their sister’s boyfriend’s really hot gay cousin.
Whatever the motive, whether it’s because they want to show you how “really cool” they are with you being gay or because they genuinely and “altruistically” want to set you up on a date with a friend, it does become quite frustrating after a while.
This coworker will finally corner you into agreeing to be set up after weeks and weeks of trying, despite selectively ignoring your numerous and very grateful declinations. Having a bunch of coworkers offering to set you up on dates isn’t exactly a bad problem to have. But it eventually becomes one when you realize that all their hot brothers/sisters/friends/cousins are the complete opposite of “hot”.
And don’t even get me started on how we’re relentlessly subjected to rather extensive (and boring) monologues of what our dates are allergic to or how gosh-darn exciting the Pythagorean Theorem is. Bless my boyfriend.
4. Getting Asked How Gay Sex Works
Again, this doesn’t strictly happen in the office, but outside of it, too. Whether you’re a man or a woman, one of your indiscreet (and sometimes genuinely curious) straight colleagues is bound to ask you how gay sex works at some point during one of your awkward water cooler meetings.
I don’t know! Google it and let me know!
5. Getting Asked for Interior Design Advice
It’s a really bad day at work. Everybody’s running around trying to meet an important deadline. Tension is building up across the office, and everything is just generally up in the air – and then, suddenly, your boss calls you into his office.
He sounds irritated, and you can’t help but think at the back of your head you’re going to get fired for mistakenly e-mailing the wrong client about the wrong invoice (what with the recent mass layoffs). You emotionally prepare yourself for what’s about to happen, and telepathically say “goodbye” to every colleague you pass on your way to his office. You knock on the door, enter, and –
“Jason. We’ve got a big problem. I can’t decide what color to paint my office. You know about this kind of stuff, right? Help me decide!”
Yep, you’ve just been called for your “expert” interior design advice – you know, the thing you know jack-sh*t about. Just because you’re gay, people automatically assume that you know all there is to know about interior design, fashion, and everything else in between. Guess what? You don’t!
And damn it, Carl, go for a soft neutral color like French grey or summer blue for a calming effect that will promote productivity and creativity! Also, move your desk into a Command Position, diagonally across your office’s entrance to acquire it – don’t you know anything about feng shui?
Damn it, I’ve just blown my cover, haven’t I?
6. Having a Crush on Your Straight Colleague
Okay, let’s get one thing straight (see what I did there? I’m so proud of myself): we’re not checking out your ass. Okay, maybe we are. But even so, we’re not about to pounce on you and rip your clothes off – although we do think about it sometimes. I’m not really helping here, am I?
The problem with being gay and crushing on your straight colleague is similar to being straight and crushing on a colleague of the opposite sex who also happens to be straight, except that it’s really not. You see, crushing on your straight colleague is much, much harder.
You’re subjected to a large yet totally inaccessible dating pool (which is probably God’s way of saying “Haha! Sucker!”). The people you’re attracted to either don’t share the same interests as you (you like penis, he likes vagina) or they’re married or a combination of both.
It later becomes quite awkward that you can no longer look him in the eye without giggling like a silly 13-year-old schoolgirl. Or borderline creepy when you start disguising “I love you” in coughing fits whenever you’re in the same room. Smooth.
Are you gay and out at work? What kind of struggles do you have to deal with in the workplace? Share your stories with us in the comments section below – the funnier, the better!