Those who read my articles know very well that I’m gay; I never hide it. Thing is, I’ve never come right out and told my boss. I just decided she must know already because I’m so open when I write, surely I thought, she’s read some of my material some time or the other.
I also never told her because many years ago I lost a job because I told one of my superiors at that job that I was gay and it wasn’t much more than a week later that I was fired, blaming it on something else. After that incident which hurt me a great deal, I had a difficult time telling anyone I worked with that I was gay.
I have worked for the same job now for nine and a half years and I’ve actually had two bosses over that time span as one GM left for another job. The current boss is a really swell lady and we’ve had a good relationship; she’s been there for me when I’ve gone through a few crises in my life. Yet I have never told her I was gay until now.
I’m a night auditor at a hotel for those who didn’t know. Last night when I got up to go to work, I logged on to my Yahoo to see what the latest news was and saw an article about President Obama affirming that he had accepted gay marriage. I don’t know why those historical words he said at that moment affected me so much but I spent my night at work in an emotional tailspin, realizing that my president supported people like me falling in love, marrying the one they love and then having the kind of life that had always been unreachable for my generation. I thought, dreams do come true, even for gay people after all.
This morning, one of the guest at the hotel I work, said something to me after a news story came on the lobby TV about Obama endorsing gay marriage. The guest said something about how the morals of the country had gone down to this. I sarcastically replied “Yes, we should just make gay people start sitting at the back of the bus; that’ll surely put them in their place” and then I walked to the back so that I wouldn’t continue the conversation, which had angered me inside. I just wanted him to compare gay people with what black people went through before the 1964 civil rights era. Were gay people to continue to be treated as second-class citizens also? I don’t know what his response was as I didn’t stick around to see.
When I finally got home for the day, I decided to do what I had been trying to talk myself into for the longest – I called my boss up on the phone and told her I was gay, of course blurting it out after stumbling around with it for a few seconds – it really wasn’t easy. She took it well and let me know that it didn’t make any difference to her. I cried a lot so she knew it was an emotional thing for me. I told her how I felt about Obama coming out in support of gay marriage and that was the reason why I felt prompted to finally spill it her.
I am now very relieved. I explained to her that I had lost a job once because I told them I was gay and I really hoped it wouldn’t affect my job or my relationship with her.
It was a lot like telling one’s mother – as that’s how I see her in a way, not so much because she’s old enough – she’s probably only ten years older if not younger than that, but she’s just been supportive in that way.
I realize there’s probably a lot of other gays who want to come out of the closet with someone they consider a friend, or like me; their jobs and their bosses. I think it’s most generally a good idea; this time it was for me. Still, I can’t recommend everyone to do the same because some may have the same result as I did at the former job and lose that job. They don’t have to say they’re firing you because you’re gay; they didn’t me. If a job wants to fire you because you’re gay, they’ll come up with something else.
Gay people still have a long ways to go before they see the day that most of society accepts them and their freedom to marry; not just allow it. Of course, we well know that the bigots of society will always be there, hiding behind religion and fear. Still, most people, even those with deep religious beliefs, are good at heart and wish no unhappiness to anyone.
And it’s because of that, and because gay people will get married and those people will soon discover that gay people’s married life has nothing to do with theirs. They’ll discover that gay people will end up in divorce courts just like them, and fighting over the custody of their adopted children. They’ll see gay people grow old together in loving, committed relationships more and more as time passes. These are the things that will solidify in people’s minds and acceptance will finally kick in.
As far as me telling my boss I was gay; I was surprised to find out she really didn’t know. Even though I had invited her a few times to check out my website, she was a busy woman she explained and just never got around to it. But the most important thing was the fact she let me know that she had no problem with me being gay. She let me know she was completely supportive and that meant a great deal to me.
I thought I was out before but I guess I was wrong; well I am now. My boss also let me know that I could always come to her about anything; we all need someone like that – don’t we? I suppose I’m really fortunate, to have such a great boss.