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Martin D. Goodkin
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Jobs & Careers > The Gay Man in the Closet--why?--part 4--work

The Gay Man in the Closet--why?--part 4--work

"A growing number of states prohibit discrimination against gay and lesbian
spite of the above statement the majority of States do not prohibit
discrimination and what is even sadder is that we need such laws but we

I was kicked out of the Marines after the 'cold war' was over
and serving 2 out of my 3 year enlistment and I was no longer needed and
would cost money if they waited until I was discharged honorably--and
this was back in the 50s. 'They' wouldn't do that, would they? Would my
life had  taken another road, been different? Did I become a waiter
because I knew, in most cases, even back then, being gay wouldn't
matter? I don't know and I don't care.

IN: SPENCER... and too worried to come out

'Spencer', 25.  Pharmacist. Although his friends and
family know he is gay, he has not told his colleagues.

"I want to say I don't tell people at work because it is none
of their business, but mainly it is because I fear it will become an issue. You
do not want to be known as the gay member of staff - I just want to be part of
the team.

"Working in a hospital I get a bit of attention from female
nurses. It is tricky to put them off without saying 'I'm gay'. I use the phrase
'the other half' a lot. He is called Sam which makes it a lot easier if people
overhear me talking about him on the phone. Everyone at work talks about their
partner a lot. I feel quite self-conscious - it is a bit weird.

"I feel bad lying to people I work with, but it should not
matter if they know or not. It is a shame, but it is easier.

"Sometimes there is speculation about the odd person who
might be gay. I join in a bit, which is awful. You hear people talking about
their friend 'Gay Simon' or they refer to a friend and then say, 'she's a
lesbian'. I don't want to be known as 'Gay Spencer'."

Statistics show that gay
people will not be promoted as quick, if at all, as their straight peer
nor will their salary be as high. Many gay guys talk about their dates,
partners, using feminine names--Roberta instead of Robert--or terms--she
instead of he. They fear the rejection of their co-workers and/or being ostracized by them.

Workplace protection is linked to higher earnings for gay men.
Median earnings for gay men are $3,000 below the income of men with female
partners, though the gap shrinks in states with workplace-protection laws and
increases where none exist. Among less-educated men in the 11 states that
protect workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation, earnings of
partnered gay men come closer to earnings of men with female partners.

For more information:

As in most of life gay employees 'give' more than nongays. Gays give engagement, wedding, birth of baby presents at work and what do they get in return?

OUT: CHRISTINE SMITH... but paid a price for

Christine Smith, 29. Sacked from a publishing firm after
revealing she was gay. Now works for Sussex Police.

"My family and friends knew, but I was in the closet at work.
I was probably naive in thinking everyone would be as accepting.

"I went out for a drink with a work colleague and ended up
telling her. A week later I got called in by my manager. She said: 'We have
grave concerns over the lifestyle choice you have taken. We do not think it fits
the company ethos.'

"She gave me a cheque for a month's salary and I was escorted
off the premises. It was awful. It really brought home to me how homophobic
people could be. It made me really scared to tell people in my next job. It
still makes me shudder now."

still fire gay employees for that reason only, being gay. Of course we
know churches are exempt from any gay anti- discrimination and at the
same time are exempt from playing taxes. Gay actors aren't hired to play
nongays but it becomes big publicity when a nongay actor plays a gay role.'Liberal' Hollywood isn't that liberal and Richard Chamberlain recently told gay actors not to come out.

A gay person has to
'read' the work place and the boss(es) before they come out but lying
about your life outside of work can be a heavy burden and means,
tolerating gay jokes like Spencer does above. Is a job worth giving up
your integrity, being false and 'hiding' your partner and friends? Yes
coming out at any stage in your life is hard and it can mean losing
people and/or 'things' but what you gain is freedom for yourself and
from others.


(I am beginning to worry about George! LOL)

posted on Feb 21, 2011 6:32 PM ()


Mike does not have any problems there of being gay.
He is so well liked there and very,very respectful.
That is nice to hear.
He had never covered up when he was there in his early years.
Sad that lot of these closet case would just come out and tell them.
He or she may be surprised in the outcome of this.
Great series there and do we get more of this?
comment by fredo on Feb 22, 2011 9:54 AM ()
Most people already know the closet case is gay!
reply by greatmartin on Feb 22, 2011 3:18 PM ()
I don't know who this commenter is, but he's an idiot--a sicko. I enjoyed reading your series. Enlightening and thought provoking. Most gays i've known are very loving and giving. That's a trait we all should admire.
comment by solitaire on Feb 22, 2011 6:45 AM ()
Eddie has taken care of it as I don't see the comment and he left something similar on aussiegirl's blog--sad person
reply by greatmartin on Feb 22, 2011 7:19 AM ()

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