What it's really like to be out at work in 2017

    By: Kelsey Vuillemot on Nov 13, 2017

    Rich Bellis writes, "By the time I interviewed for my first professional internship, I was already out to my family and friends. But figuring out how to be out at work still wasn’t something I was prepared for.

    During the interview, for a small lefty book publisher in New York, I ended up blurting out something about how being gay made me feel committed to social justice. It was true, but it felt like a cheap way to win points, and I regretted it even after getting the internship. Later that summer, riding the elevator up with an editor one Monday morning, I blushed red while describing the barbecue I’d gone to over the weekend 'at one of my boyfriend’s friends’.'

    I was hugely privileged to be a college-educated, young, white gay man getting my foot in the door with a liberal employer in a liberal industry in a liberal city. But even so, determining whom to come out to and how to do it was often a fraught, awkward, frustrating experience.

    These are uncomfortable calculations that many queer people face at work–and for some, they’re perilous ones. The Justice Department rolled back protections for LGBTQ workers in July, and it remains legal to fire someone for being gay or transgender in 28 states. But others in the community have radically different workplace experiences, including the cover subject of Fast Company’s 'Out at Work' package, screenwriter and actor Lena Waithe."

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    Released: November 13, 2017, 11:15 am
    Keywords: NAWL News


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