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Pages: ‘Am I flaunting being gay at the office? [1]
Author Topic: ‘Am I flaunting being gay at the office?
newborn

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2011-02-08 20-15-32

‘Am I flaunting being gay at the office? Ask the Expert: ‘Am I flaunting being gay at the office?’ Steven Petrow By Steven Petrow 09.24.2010 1:00pm EDT Q: “My co-worker in the adjacent cubicle is accusing me of displaying too many things that say ‘gay.’ Sure, I’ve got a gay rainbow 37187, several photos of my lover and me, and even a poster of James Franco from the movie Milk. I think it’s fine and no else seems to care. What do I tell him to get him to back off?” – Ronald D., Oakland, CA. A: How about starting with: “Why do you need to display so many things that say ‘straight’?” Okay that would be a bit rude—but do you see what I mean? Don’t your straight colleagues put up art or knick-knacks that in way or another show people that they’re heterosexual? Pictures of their husbands or wives? What about a movie poster with, say, Jennifer Lopez or Jennifer Aniston? How about that plaque on some guy’s office wall commending him for years of service to the Boy Scouts of America, which prohibits gays from joining? (That’s not only shouting “straight,” it’s practiy screaming homophobia.) My point is that many of the objects we’re used to seeing around—and read as neutral—actually do convey lots about us and our identities. Your straight colleague might not be aware of what his cube décor says to others. In fact, for straights – surrounded by so many other straights – their office bric-a-brac just becomes the norm and whatever you do becomes at best, different. All too often we’re accused of flaunting our “lifestyle,” when in fact we’re just living our lives. Recently, a friend of mine asked in a company meeting about domestic partner benefits for LGBT people and soon heard that others thought it was “inappropriate” to be asking for special benefits. He later learned that there was nothing special about them; that in fact, he had to pay extra tax on value of his partner’s health insurance.
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ports

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2011-02-09 18-34-40

Continues . . . . So, instead of stewing about your office neighbor, why not walk around that cube wall, ask him to coffee, and start up a conversation about some of these issues. But first I’d take a quick look around his cube as well as those of your straight co-workers: Because those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Say that nicely, however. What troubles have you had being out in the workplace and how have you handled them? Steven Petrow is the author of “The Essential Book of Gay Manners & Etiquette (www.gaymanners.com) and a contributor to the Huffington Post, The Advocate, and the New York Times. Send him your question:
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hazzard

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2011-02-10 11-22-23

Only if you wear rainbow skivvies and leave your fly open.
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  • diemert

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    2011-02-10 22-47-24

    the question asked, not answered, but assumed, is that the straight coworkers DO have movie posters and boy-scout paraphanelia up all over their cubicles as well. if they do? proceed as the (self-titled) "expert" describes. he has every right they do. if they do not? maybe the (plentiful) decor is 'out of place' in that office. being 'proud,' does not preclude 'common sense.'
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  • smittle

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    2011-02-11 7-31-39-

    Things that say ‘straight’ such as movie posters are usually not tolerated due to sexual harassment issues. The fish complain, and complain a lot.
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  • kasinger

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    2011-02-11 19-48-53

    while i agree with you on the fish complaining... i have to admit that i'm a little creeped out that adam lambert just replied to a post of mine. *shivers*
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    krog

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    2011-02-12 13-06-22

    So how bout those Seahawks?! You haven't been around the last few days have you?
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  • Fanchon

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    2011-02-12 17-16-23

    ummm... no? but as of the time of your posting, i was. i was east of the mtns saturday, but just for the day. seahawks sucked this sunday - but last sunday (when you posted) i was working... but why do you ask?? 0_o
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