This past week I headed up to San Francisco for a business conference with a handful of my colleagues.
Seeing as it was San Francisco, I guess the timing was well, perfect to reveal the gay side of me.
Anyway… I’ve had a hunch that my boss has known that I’m gay for a while now.
And honestly, it shouldn’t really be a surprise.
As I’ve mentioned here before, I don’t really hide the fact that I’m gay, I simply don’t like to advertise it to the world, and most importantly, in my professional life. For better or worse, there is still a ton of judgement on the whole gay life thing.
And while our workplace should be 100% accepting and sexual orientation should have ZERO influence on your career, fact of the matter is, it absolutely can. Maybe I should be more comfortable with who I am but I guess that’s the excuse I used to not come out so soon when I got hired at my current company.
Just to give you a better idea of where I work, my office is literally like a fraternity house.
We’re all a bunch of young, crazy drunken fools that like to have fun and goof around. If you were to come to my office, you’d totally understand what I mean. Describing it as a frat house, is not even remotely a stretch.
So, going through the fraternity life in college and having that similar type of an environment in my workplace, it made it a little more difficult to figure out how people would react.
Sure, I figured most people wouldn’t give a shit, but that doesn’t mean it’s not something that you think about in the back of your mind. And like I said, with my professional life, it’s just a little bit bigger of a deal. Where judgement and not being accepted could have a larger impact on my life than with other people.
Anyway, back to the business trip…
Luckily, I work in an industry that is notorious for drunken shenanigans. To be perfectly honest, I couldn’t even guess as to how many drinks I had in that 72 hour time frame (my guess is somewhere in the 30 drinks/day range).
As the first evening rolled around, I have to guess that I was already about 15-20 drinks in by the time we hit our first company party, and luckily for us (and me) we had amazing Grey Goose bottle service at the club we went to.
Needless to say, I drank a lot.
And with lots of drinking, comes plenty of drunken conversations, one of which, happened to be with my boss.
For some reason, I felt like on this trip in particular, my boss tried to let me know that he knew that I was gay.
When we were chatting, he was talking to me about a meeting that he had earlier with one of our clients, that he thought was clearly gay, and basically wanted to get my opinion on the situation and conversation with him. It was like he wanted input from someone with first hand experience, and that person was me.
So we chatted about it, and I gave my input, and then we drank some more.
Did I mention that there was a lot of booze?
Needless to say as the night went on, so did our drunkness and perhaps, any inhibitions I had.
After the club we decided that we all had a bit of the munchies and wanted to check out this Philly Cheesesteak place that my boss knew about (he lived in SF for a while) so off we went.
We got there, got our grub on and of course, had some more booze.
And that’s when the conversation continued…
It was my boss and another coworker. My coworker was at the meeting earlier too so the conversation came back up about the whole gay guy that was apparently marrying a “she”. As we kept talking about it, the conversation moved a bit further into gay relationships as a whole.
As I think about it now, it’s still a bit fuzzy as to what it was exactly that we were talking about. But what I do remember, very clearly, is talking about gay relationships from the perspective of someone that had direct experience with gay relationships.
And at some point, I just decided to make it clear that I WAS speaking from personal experience.
I told them that I don’t generally like to discuss this part of my personal life but this is how me and my boyfriend do it…
The response was very nonchalant (I told ya he knew for a while) and the conversation just continued to flow as if it were no big deal.
The only thing my boss said was that it absolutely shouldn’t be that way (that I keep that part of my personal life out of my professional life). He made it very clear that who I am has zero impact on my professional life and I should feel welcome and encouraged to simply be me in the workplace.
He told me that he had known since about three weeks in and truly, it’s no big deal. It’s not something that I should remotely be ashamed of.
And of course, I’m not.
I just don’t advertise it.
All in all it was a very positive experience. I feel like the relationship has only grown stronger since (he actually follows my BF on instagram now, LOL).
My boss isn’t just a boss to me, he’s someone that I’m lucky enough to call a friend. He’s someone that I hang out with, and talk to on a regular basis on a wide variety of things, not just business.
And it’s very liberating to know that that part of my life is something accepted by him, and the company.
When I wrote the title of this post, I said that I came out, and things have changed, and they have. But 100% for the better.
No longer am I worried about people judging me about who I really am. I’m now free to be me with no limitations. Maybe this is part of me growing up and fully accepting who I am but it’s very liberating to now have a relationship where I can freely talk about my boyfriend and have my boss be genuinely interested in that part of my life.
It’s changed, for the better.
Could you do me a small favor please? If you liked this post, please share it! And of course, feel free to comment all you like. I read every one of my comments :-)