How do you choose to come out in a conservative work environment?
Last Updated: 10/28/2019 at 1:40am
Jennifer Patterson, LMFT, ATR-BC
Life can be messy. Sometimes you need a little support to make your way through it. I love to help guide people through their challenges & to find the beauty in our messes.
Top Rated Answers
Your top priority must be your safety. If you feel like it wouldn't be safe for you to come out, then you're not obliged to. You don't owe it to anyone. But if you think it's safe and you'd like to be free to express yourself, maybe you can start by coming out with a few people, those that seem to be more open-minded. It will be good to know that you'll have at least someone by your side. You can talk about how you started questioning, what you found out, and what it means for you to be who you are. Maybe some of them simply never had the chance to question their induced beliefs and to get to know this reality closer, and when we don't know something, it's easy to fall into the trap of judgement. But they can also get out of it. Good luck!
I told a few people and the word got around. No one really brought it up to me. I brought my girlfriend to a couple of the work parties but that is about it.
Tell a few close trusted work colleagues ; people with whom you have a close bond with and you know will support you regardless of your sexuality. In most coming out cases , word spreads quickly as the " news du jour" - however , you should embrace this. A coming out that is spread in a conservative way through colleagues implies a situation that is not a big deal and most likely wont receive a big deal reaction. Allowing news to trickle down from your trusted colleagues throughout the work environment instead of a Lunch time announcement is my best advice. In general ; we always (as humans) overestimate how big our news will be to others . Realistically people today have many concerns in their own lives to spend too long thinking about your sexuality ; the news of it will soon be replaced by something more mundane and of course .. less fabulous.
The best way is to drop hints here and there, one needs to give them time to understand and accept it. Nothing good will come out of dropping the news like a bomb x
You can choose to come out in a conservative work environment by first trying to open up people's hearts. This will take a huge amount of effort, but it can be done. Be sure to always have a close friend with you doing it with you. From there, you can do it.
Quit the job. Move to Canada. I hear that environment is very liberal over there. It may seem like a big move, but your life and happiness is vital. Ya should do everything to be happy (but within the legal boundaries, of course. :)
I came out in a conservative work environment in the beginning with my supervisor. I asked her if she was willing to talk but not judge me for what I was about to tell her in the office. I made sure that my supervisor was willing to keep our conversation a secret until I felt that it was safe to share about being LGBTQ in the office setting. I ended up coming out six weeks later and did it couple of co-workers at a time but tried not to dwell on the conversation. I actually got positive responses from 98% of my co-workers about coming out in workplace.
Though nobody knew I was gay, my coworkers had made homophobic comments before and I didn't say anything until another coworker chastised them for it. I would say it's best to have a support system among your coworkers and friends there before you say anything. That way, you'll have someone to have your back if things go awry.
Coming out is a choice NOT a responsibility. You life is yours, it's not something you have to put on display. So when YOU want to come out to your work colleagues you will be calm & ready, and you will know what to do.
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